Ahh, autumn! The air is crisp; the leaves are falling and school is back in session. As winter approaches it brings a wonderful season of opportunity.
Listen Up Stepdads and Moms
If you’ve read much on Stepdadding you understand how vital it is to bond as a family.
Bonding is all about spending time as a family and making shared memories. The last quarter of the year provides some great opportunities. With that in mind, here are a few Halloween family bonding ideas:
Family trip to the pumpkin patch
Choosing a pumpkin has been a ritual embraced by families for longer than countries have existed in North America. Most pumpkin patches have other fun stuff too –like corn mazes and apple picking.** If you don’t live somewhere there’s no pumpkin patch check your local market. Many stores set up something similar in October.
Decorate the house
Halloween is a fun holiday. Candy, spiders, scary stuff –these are things kids love. If you’ve never hung Halloween decorations as a family this is a great opportunity to create a family tradition. Thanks to stores like Dollar Tree and Dollar General, shopping for decorations doesn’t have to break the bank. Set aside a day to shop and an evening to decorate the front of your house. Let me kids do most of the work.** They get to use their imaginations and they’ll love it.
Make an apple pie
What?! The kids get to hang out in the kitchen and make a mess with the parents?** What could be more fun! Never made an apple pie? Don’t get intimidated. With pre-canned apple pie filling and pre-made rollout crusts it’s easier than you think. Gaian – another opportunity to create a new tradition. Check out this simple recipe. Substitute pre-made pie crust to make it easier. You can find directions for laying it out here. It’s fun to make and when it’s done drop some vanilla ice cream on it and enjoy!
Carve the Pumpkin
Another time-tested (yet messy) tradition. Naturally, you want to use good judgement here. Don’t let kids play with knives. Let the kids can draw whatever face they want on the front and the grown-ups can carve it. If the kids want to carve you can buy a safe carving kit at most major grocery store. Check Consumer Reports for more info on safety. Be sure to lay out wax paper on the surface you’re working on before you start, to catch the mess. Once the pumping is open have the kids scoop the mucky innards out with their hands, ** Care the face in and there you have it –your front porch decoration!
** Take lots of pictures. Be sure Stepdad is in them too. He’s part of the family now! Find one or two that you like and have them printed and framed to put up in the house.When you all look at the pictures later you’ll be reminded of the great time you had as a family.
Bonding takes years but if you participate in activities as a family and create new traditions you’ll bond faster. You’ll see –in just a few years your kids will be asking when they get to go back to the pumpkin patch again.