5 Great Ways to Put a Literary Spin on Halloween


If you’ve been following Book Kids, you probably know by now that we put a literary spin on every holiday, and of course that includes Halloween. So, without further ado, let’s get right to it:

1. The Costumes. I’d admit, Halloween is the least of my favorite holidays. It can get a little spooky and eerie. However, there couldn’t be a more perfect time to flaunt literature and literacy than during Halloween. What little girl wouldn’t want to flaunt her favorite literary princess’ dazzling tiara and beautiful gown? Similarly, what little boy would turn down an opportunity to sport his favorite literary superhero’s majestic armor, cape, or crown? I couldn’t imagine anything more magical than the scene of literary characters parading our streets on a Halloween night. Most importantly is making sure the kids have fun in the entire process of choosing, purchasing, or creating the costumes. Need ideas? Read this

2. The Treats. Kids tend associate Halloween treats exclusively with candy. If it isn’t candy, then it is automatically thrust into the “trick” category. Well, I’m here to tell you that books and educational toys can be tasty too, for the brain of course. I dare not insinuate that you eliminate all candy; the kids definitely won’t take that well! I simply suggest a healthy balance between the two. Let candy be a supplement to other (educational) treats, rather than a substitute. We’d want our children to get the idea that we value books as much as (if not more than) we value other “treats” and that we consider books great treats as well. Now that’s a real treat! Need ideas? Read this

3. The Events. Whether you’re into hosting holiday parties or simply attending them, a great way to incorporate literature and literacy into the holiday event is simple – host or attend those that focus on literary and literacy themes. The costumes, treats, decor, etc., you select for your party can be based primarily on literary characters. Similarly, take your kids to holiday parties or other theatrical performances or events that highlight literature and literacy. I have yet to meet a kid who would turn down an opportunity to see a play or performance based on his or her favorite book character, especially around the holidays. Need ideas? Read this

4. The Arts & Crafts. Oh, this is truly where Halloween fun meets literary fun. This is really where the magic begins. Calling all crafty and not so crafty kids (as related to arts and crafts) to carve and shape pumpkins into the image of your favorite book characters. You can solicit the help of adults of course. The beauty of it all is that the images don’t have to be perfect; just have fun throughout the process. We draw, we paint, we color, we cut, we paste, we sew …any and everything possible to keep our kids minds stimulated and constantly in learning mode. In the short and long run, the results are fun and educational. Need ideas? Read this

5. The Books. You didn’t think I would leave out books, did you? I deliberately saved the best for last. I’ve said this numerous times and I can never cease to say it: Books are some of the most powerful and effective tools to educate and entertain all at the same time. I often use books to supplement any and every holiday event. They just seem to go hand in hand. My kids and I read all kinds of books pertaining to each holiday prior, during, and post-holiday. We discuss the who, what, when, where, why, and how, regarding each holiday. Ultimately, they come out with a greater sense of background knowledge, interest and, enthusiasm for that particular holiday. Books are essential, educational, and entertaining. Need ideas? Read this

I would like to conclude with a bit of information regarding a program we are extremely passionate about, as it relates to Halloween; a program that sets the stage for adults to raise food allergy awareness and ensure that kids with food allergies are safer during Halloween. I am referring to The Teal Pumpkin Project. The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages adults to offer non-food treats to trick-or-treaters during Halloween. Halloween can be a bit spooky enough for any child, let alone for a child with food allergies. Here’s to a great campaign, making Halloween safer and less scary for children with food allergies. Need ideas? Read this

As always, we love to hear your thoughts and ideas on how you make Halloween a literary event. You may leave a comment or two below. Have a safe and book-filled Halloween! Happy Reading!

By: Dawn Hoff, Book Kids


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