Chances are the things that your grandkids are into are a constant source of mystery and confusion for you as a grandparent. Why are they constantly sitting in front of the television playing video games when there are thousands of leaves outside, just begging to be swept up into a pile and scattered again with one well-planned jump? Why haven’t they heard of all of the best fall traditions; hay-rides, apple-bobbing, or baking pumpkin pie? And if you’re the grandparent of anyone over 10, you may wonder to yourself, “Is it possible for them to do anything without their phone?”
Connecting with your grandchild may seem like an intimidating undertaking, but it’s important to keep in mind that even though kids may be into different things today than they were in the past, they’re still kids. This Halloween, use this fact to your advantage! Here are a few “tricks” (pun intended) to enjoying Halloween across generations.
Kids these days seem to travel at roughly a-mile-a-minute, constantly searching for the next exciting thing that will grab their attention. It may seem like they’re incapable of savoring anything. Maybe it’s because their attention spans have shortened due to all of the video games, or maybe it’s because like all kids throughout history, they’re attracted to what’s new. Remember, though, what’s old-hat to you may be new to your grandchild! Approach your grandkid with a Halloween activity that you enjoyed as a child. This could mean filling a tub and bobbing for apples, crafting your own Halloween decorations or costumes, telling them a classic spooky story you remember from your childhood, or even baking a sweet treat together, because who doesn’t enjoy pie?
Taking advantage of the crisp fall afternoons and evenings together is also a great way to connect. Take your grandchild to a local pumpkin patch, or scan your local newspaper for Fall Festivals in your community. Ask your grandchild to pick out a pumpkin, and decorate it together at home. This does not have to involve sharp objects or hands covered in pumpkin pulp (although if you’re feeling adventurous, it could involve both). Places like Wal-Mart and Target sell stencils you can use to creatively (and safely) decorate your pumpkin together.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of sweet, sweet bribery in the form of Halloween candy. Candy tastes have transformed over the years, and it may be a good idea to take your grandchild with you on a shopping trip to pick out candy to give to trick-or-treaters. Try not to be alarmed by their choices – popular candies include “Box of Boogers” with the slogan “Look & Feel Real,” gum that turns your tongue and teeth an alarming shade of red, orange or green, and at least twenty new and interesting takes on the classic chocolate candy bar. Rest assured, though, your house will be the hottest spot on the block for young ghouls and goblins to visit on Halloween night!
However you choose to connect with your grandkids this Halloween, we encourage you to tap into your inner kid while you’re at it. Indulge your silly side, savor all things spooky, and maybe, if the Halloween spirit compels you, snack on a Box of Boogers.