14 Halloween hacks for crafty (and not-so-crafty!) mamas

Projects that are inexpensive, fun and easy to make (even for the most non-creative and anti-DIYers among us!)

14 Halloween hacks for crafty (and not-so-crafty!) mamas

With fall in full swing, and Halloween right around the corner, Motherly is sharing a few ideas that are sure to get you excited about it!

These projects are inexpensive, fun and easy to make- even for the most non-creative and anti-DIYers among us. So order some mini plastic spiders, get out that gauze and create some wonderful halloween memories.

1. Forget the carving kits and let your kids help with the pumpkin decorating this year. These creepy crawly spider pumpkins are fun for the whole family to make. P.S—Don't be afraid to make these with any other spooky little things you might find at the halloween store.

2. You probably have everything you need for these witch brooms in your pantry. They're the ultimate easy peasy lunch box or after school snack.

3. These low maintenance costumes are original and effortless with just the right amount of spook.

Mice in your hair (yikes!)

Leg crawlers (creepy!)

4. These super creepy, gooey monster cookies are sure to be a hit at any Halloween party.

5. Who doesn't want a spider in their drink?

6. Recycle a soup can by making these mummy containers! Fill them with candy or little Halloween toys and stickers from Oriental Trading and they make an excellent school or party favor.

7. These mummy marshmallow pops are a foolproof activity to do with kids. A major plus is that there is no baking involved!

8. You only need 3 things to make these glowing ghost balloons. They're a great idea for an after dark party or to attract trick or treaters.

9. Halloween isn't just for kids! These monster doughnuts are the perfect treat to bring to the break room at work.

10. If you're looking for a straightforward Halloween craft to make with kids, these spider lollipops are it. They're the perfect eight-legged treat.

11. These donut hole ghosts are ideal for the non-baker. They make an impressive topper for a standard store bought cupcake or cake, or alone in a cake pop stand. It looks like you put in a lot of effort when you really didn't (shhhhh.. we wont tell).

12. Fill these halloween treat bags with homemade popcorn, fun size candy bars, or anything you have on hand (no pun intended) and you'll have the spookiest goodie bags on the block.

13. These juice box mummies are a totally neat way to spruce up a late October lunch box, adorn the beverage table at a party, or give out to trick or treaters.

14. And don't forget a treat for the adults;recreate this by using any permanent paint marker for a “boozy" grown-up Halloween party.

In This Article

    Tips parents need to know about poor air quality and caring for kids with asthma

    There are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    When wildfires struck the West Coast in September 2020, there was a lot for parents to worry about. For parents of children with asthma, though, the danger could be even greater. "There are more than 400 toxins that are present in wildfire smoke. That can activate the immune system in ways that aren't helpful by both causing an inflammatory response and distracting the immune system from fighting infection," says Amy Oro, MD, a pediatrician at Stanford Children's Health. "When smoke enters into the lungs, it causes irritation and muscle spasms of the smooth muscle that is around the small breathing tubes in the lungs. This can lead to difficulty with breathing and wheezing. It's really difficult on the lungs."

    With the added concern of COVID-19 and the effect it can have on breathing, many parents feel unsure about how to keep their children protected. The good news is that there are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    Here are tips parents need to know about how to deal with poor air quality when your child has asthma.

    Minimize smoke exposure.

    Especially when the air quality index reaches dangerous levels, it's best to stay indoors as much as possible. You can find out your area's AQI at An under 50 rating is the safest, but between 100-150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children with asthma. "If you're being told to stay indoors, listen. If you can, keep the windows and doors closed," Oro says.

    Do your best to filter the air.

    According to Oro, a HEPA filter is your best bet to effectively clean pollutants from the air. Many homes are equipped with a built-in HEPA filter in their air conditioning systems, but you can also get a canister filter. Oro says her family (her husband and children all suffer from asthma) also made use of a hack from the New York Times and built their own filter by duct taping a HEPA furnace filter to the front of a box fan. "It was pretty disgusting what we accumulated in the first 20 hours in our fan," she says.

    Avoid letting your child play outside or overly exert themselves in open air.

    "Unfortunately, cloth masks don't do very much [to protect you from the smoke pollution]," Oro says. "You really need an N95 mask, and most of those have been allocated toward essential workers." To keep at-risk children safer, Oro recommends avoiding brisk exercise outdoors. Instead, set up an indoor obstacle course or challenge your family to jumping jacks periodically to keep everyone moving safely.

    Know the difference between smoke exposure and COVID-19.

    "COVID-19 can have a lot of the same symptoms—dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and chest pain could overlap. But what COVID and other viruses generally cause are fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and body aches. Those would tell you it's not just smoke exposure," Oro says. When a child has been exposed to smoke, they often complain of a "scrape" in their throat, burning eyes, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain or wheezing. If the child has asthma, parents should watch for a flare of symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing or a tight sensation in their chest.

    Unfortunately, not much is known about long-term exposure to wildfire smoke on a healthy or compromised immune system, but elevated levels of air pollution have been associated with increased COVID-19 rates. That's because whenever there's an issue with your immune system, it distracts your immune system from fighting infections and you have a harder time fighting off viruses. Limiting your exposure to wildfire smoke is your best bet to keep immune systems strong.

    Have a plan in place if you think your child is suffering from smoke exposure.

    Whatever type of medication your child takes for asthma, make sure you have it on-hand and that your child is keeping up with regular doses. Contact your child's pediatrician, especially if your area has a hazardous air quality—they may want to adjust your child's medication schedule or dosage to prevent an attack. Oro also recommends that, if your child has asthma, it might be helpful to have a stethoscope or even a pulse oximeter at home to help diagnose issues with your pediatrician through telehealth.

    Most importantly, don't panic.

    In some cases, social distancing and distance learning due to COVID may be helping to keep sensitive groups like children with asthma safer. Oro says wildfires in past years have generally resulted in more ER visits for children, but the most recent fires haven't seen the same results. "A lot of what we've seen is that the smoke really adversely affects adults, especially older adults over 65," Oro says. "Children tend to be really resilient."

    This article was sponsored by Stanford Children's Health. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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