Halloween 2020

Halloween is one of the best times of years to be in afterschool. When this whole pandemic began, I don’t think many of us expected we would still be dealing with it after this long. But? Here we are. And? WE REFUSE TO LET IT STEAL THE SPIRIT OF HALLOWEEN!

Michael Jackson Halloween GIF by saidamagic - Find & Share on GIPHY

It is unfortunately true that our celebrations will need to look a little different than normal. But let’s apply a growth mindset – this as a chance to be ~*creative*~. While some of the ideas from last year’s post may still work with some adjustments, I’ve got a few more sourced from Club staff and the internet PLUS something totally different and special that I hope will actually last throughout the year. Keep reading to learn more!

Friend of the ClubX Blog Lauren from Boys & Girls Clubs of Washington County told me: “We’re doing a trunk or treat – we partnered with our elementary school and the kids’ teachers are going to be the ones handing out candy.” If you’ve never seen a trunk or treat, basically everyone gathers in a parking lot, people decorate the open trunks of their cars, and kids walk around collecting candy from each car. Churches or community centers often do them, I’ve been to one at a public library.

Stacy from Boys & Girls Club of Fremont County is just at the beginning of planning, but said: “We’re considering a drive-thru haunt, using a local park with a circular road.” This would be ideal for a trunk or treat situation, having families drive through instead of walk if needed for social distancing.

Here are some ideas for fun trunk decorations (you can find a bagillion more on Pinterest) and tips for keeping everyone safe. Consider having youth help decide the theme and create decorations.

Kelley from Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield told me: “I have tons of face paints that we usually use for DramaMatters and Halloween to host face painting, but this year for my kiddos I’m going to put together “take home face paint” kits so they can celebrate even if we can’t do the painting.” I LOVE the idea to create take home kits! Even if you don’t specifically have face paint, kits with supplies and instructions for making spooky treats or games would be something special. Here’s even a recipe for homemade face paint you could share with Club families!

I also immediately thought that a spooky movie would be a fun family event. This site has several great ideas, but also a solid list of movie ideas. My vote is always for a Nightmare Before Christmas. 🙂

This last big idea might seem like it comes out of left field, but hang with me for a minute. At the national office, we often get groups or individuals reach out to us wanting to share resources or donations or lots of different things. A lot of times we end up connecting them with a Club organization local to them, but when the International Jugglers’ Association contacted us? We said LET’S TALK.

Members of the IJA, located around the world, have made it a part of their mission to spread positivity and fun wherever they can. They’ve even performed live at Clubs, which gave them the idea to do something for us at a national level. What they ended up doing is putting together a series of videos that you can use to either show young people amazing feats of juggling prowess or even as part of juggling activities! I immediately thought this would be PERFECT as a special Halloween idea. Consider:

  • In the Gym or Gamesroom, use beanbags or small balls to learn how to juggle.
For Beginners
This intro video is from Taylor, who is a Club alum!
X Games Mode!
  • In the Art room, make and decorate balloon juggling balls. Creating take-home kits? Send the supplies to make them! Here’s what you need, which will come to about $1.50 per set of 3 balls:
    • 12 inch balloons with at least 3 colors, 7 balloons per set
    • Sandwich bags, 3 per set
    • Rice, about 1 1/2 lbs per set
    • Scissors
    • 1/2 cup measure
  • In the Education room, research the history of juggling, various juggling traditions from around the world, or write a silly skit that incorporates juggling tricks.
  • Have youth perform at your Halloween celebration or at other events. Wouldn’t it be the best thing ever to have youth show off what they’ve learned at your Steak & Burger Dinner?

Juggling is great because it teaches both physical skills like hand-eye coordination as well as the ever important social-emotional skills of perseverance, self-confidence, and goal setting. It would be relatively easy to do social distancing-wise, and its something your youth are most likely not learning at school, so it can be something unique for the Club. I’m pumped thinking about all of the JUGGLING CLUBS that could exist in Boys & Girls Clubs across the country!

As a VERY special treat, over 50 members of the IJA came together to make this special IJA Benefit Show 2020 Video just for us. This video can be used to show to your youth in the Club or would even be fun to have playing on a big screen during your Halloween celebrations! Some of the tricks shown absolutely blow my mind, and what’s fun is kids and teens are featured throughout. The IJA generously made this video available to us all, so we send a huge THANK YOU to everyone involved! Bill from the IJA and I became instant friends when we spoke on the phone last week, so this won’t be the last time we collaborate.

Regardless of how you celebrate, use this Halloween as a time to have all the fun you can, and give youth a chance to escape from all of the things that are happening right now.  

Juggling GIF by Latham Arnott - Find & Share on GIPHY
What are your favorite Halloween activities? How do you celebrate holidays at your Club? To share with us, comment below, on the BGCA Youth Development Facebook page, or email ClubXBlog@bgca.org!

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