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9 fun ways to celebrate Halloween (that don’t involve trick-or-treating)

Halloween might look different this year, but it's not canceled.

ways to celebrate Halloween
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Halloween is going to be a bit different this year for many of us. As social distancing is still happening, Trick-or-treating is a risk and we're probably not passing out candy to our neighbors. How can we make Halloween enjoyable this year while also keeping them, our loved ones, and everyone else in our community as safe as possible?

Even if you aren't celebrating Halloween the way you would normally, the good news is that children are flexible—and forgiving. This year won't look like others, but what matters most it's still a time to connect and make many memories. You've got this.


Here are 9 fun ways to safely celebrate Halloween with your entire family:

1. Have a jack-o'-lantern hunt.

Much like the Easter Egg hunt, we can hide trinkets, candy, or whatever our children would normally enjoy collecting from neighbors, and hide those things in our own yards, instead.

Hiding them inside also works well if the weather or other conditions aren't conducive to an outdoor search.

To save money, decorate your old plastic Easter eggs in Halloween decor. Try painting fun monster faces on the eggs with washable paint or stickers.

2. Show costumes virtually—or from afar.

Kids are getting comfortable seeing each other from a distance or virtually. Why not turn this into fun? Schedule a special video meeting or socially distant park gathering to model those fun costumes with friends.

3. Enjoy a safe walk through the neighborhood.

It's fun to watch kids in costumes walk up and down your street. And, there's no reason walking can't happen this year as long as proper safety precautions are followed.

It might be just the sense of community you or your neighbors need, even if you're not stopping to visit houses this year.

4. Incorporate masks into your costume.

Since masks are a part of our normal routine, why not incorporate them into costumes? I don't know about your house, but since face scrubbing doesn't always go over well with my little one, it's much easier to throw a mask into the laundry.

Need a quick idea? Draw kitty whiskers on a plain mask to make the perfect cat costume.

5. Decorate your home together.

Get out that construction paper and start decorating. Hang your child's creations around the house, in the windows and even in your car.

Be sure to talk with your kids about your plan. Engage them in brainstorming. What might they find fun? See how many of their ideas you can incorporate into the holiday—the more you do, the more fun it will feel for them.

6. Connect with friends.

Do you have a friend or family member who you've seen safely this summer? Even if that person isn't normally someone you see on Halloween, see if they'd be willing to have your child visit their home (even if just outside) for a special Halloween surprise that you've organized ahead of time.

7. Go on a scavenger hunt.

See how many pumpkins your kids can count on doorsteps, in windows, and perhaps even growing in someone's garden. How about black cats or other decorations? What else can they find?

8. Start a baking or cooking tradition.

Remember that childhood game when we reached into a bag and tried, without looking, to guess the mystery food inside? Play this game at home with spaghetti, cut orange slices, or other squishy foods for a Halloween snack or meal.

Alternatively, eat Halloween-colored foods for dinner. Orange sweet potatoes, anyone?

9. Start a movie tradition.

There are many sweet Halloween movies for kids. But just because it's Halloween doesn't mean you must watch fall-themed movies. Opt for shows and movies your entire family will enjoy, regardless of the genre.

This story was originally posted on Dandelion Seeds.

Shop these cool costumes:

Mermaid dress

Little Adventures mermaid dress

Splash about 'til their heart's content with the mermaid dress from Little Adventures. When it gets too sea-logged, toss it in the washing machine for the next adventure!

$33

Dragon cloak

Little Adventures dragon cloak

Transform into a mystical dragon in a matter of second! (And clean it just as easily—it's machine-washable, mama!)

$30

Little Adventures pet clinic apron

Little Adventures pet clinic apron

Who says costumes have to be elaborate? This apron is super cute for helping furry friends in need.

$12

Vintage princess dress

Pink vintage princess

Your little one will feel like royalty the second they slip it over their head, yet comfortable enough to play the day away. And when it's time for her majesty to retire? Simply toss the dress in the wash for a clean start next time.

$33

Unicorn crown

Unicorn princess crown

Sometimes you just need a little magic in the day. What better way to snag some than by donning a unicorn crown? Plus, with no hard pieces that can snap off, it's safe for your little unicorns, too.

$7

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

These are only the vitamins I give my children and here's why

It's hard to say who loves these more—my kids or me.

When I became a mama five years ago, I didn't put too much thought into whether my son was getting the right vitamins and minerals. From breastfeeding to steaming and pureeing his first bites of solid food, I was confident I was giving him everything to support his growth and development.

But then the toddler years—and the suddenly picky palate that accompanied them—came along. Between that challenge and two additional children in the mix… well, I knew my oldest son's eating plan was falling short in some vitamin and mineral categories.

I also knew how quickly he was growing, so I wanted to make sure he was getting the nutrients he needed (even on those days when he said "no, thank you" to any veggie I offered).

So when I discovered the new line of children's supplements from Nature's Way®, it felt like a serious weight off my chest. Thanks to supplements that support my children's musculoskeletal growth, their brain function, their immune systems, their eyes and more, I'm taken back to that simpler time when I was so confident my kids' vitamin needs were met.*

It wasn't just the variety of supplements offered by Nature's Way that won me over: As a vegetarian mama, I'm the picky one in the family when it comes to scanning labels and making sure they meet our standards. The trick is that most gummy vitamins are made with gelatin, which is not vegetarian friendly.

But just like the other offerings from Nature's Way that I've already come to know and love, the children's supplement line is held to a high standard. That means there's no high-fructose corn syrup, gelatin or common allergens to be found in the supplements. The best part? My two oldest kids ensure we never miss their daily vitamins—they are so in love with the gummy flavors, which include tropical fruit punch, lemonade and wild berry.


Nature's Way Kids Mulitvitamin


Meanwhile, my pharmacist husband has different criteria when evaluating supplements, especially when it comes to those for our kids. He appreciates the variety of options from Nature's Way, which gives us the ability to rotate the vitamins based on our kids' daily needs. By keeping various children's supplements from Nature's Way on hand, I can customize a regimen to suit my kids' individual requirements.

Of course, high-quality products often come at a higher price point. But (to my immense gratitude!) that isn't the case with Nature's Way, which retails for a competitive value when compared to the other items on the shelf.

Like all mamas, my chief concern is supporting my children's health in any way I can. While I see evidence of their growth every time I pack away clothes they've outgrown, I know there is much more growth that doesn't meet the eye. That's why, for my oldest son, I like stacking the Brain Builder gummy with the Growing Bones & Muscles gummy and the Happy & Healthy Multi. My 3-year-old also enjoys getting her own mix to include the Healthy Eyes gummy. And both of my older kids are quick to request the Tummy Soothe tablet when something isn't sitting right in their stomachs.* And I'll admit it: I've tried it myself and the berry blast flavor really is tasty!

Although my current phase of motherhood may not be as "simple" as it once was, there is so much to appreciate about it—like watching my kids play and sing and create with their incredible imaginations. Along the way, I've eased up on some of my need for control, but it does help to have this range of supplements in my motherhood tool kit. So while I may not be able to convince my son to try kale, having the Nature's Way supplements on hand means I do know he's right on track.*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


This article was sponsored by Nature's Way. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Motherly editors’ 7 favorite hacks for organizing their diaper bags

Make frantically fishing around for a diaper a thing of the past!

As any parent knows, the term "diaper bag" only scratches the surface. In reality, this catchall holds so much more: a change of clothes, bottles, snacks, wipes and probably about a dozen more essential items.

Which makes finding the exact item you need, when you need it (read: A diaper when you're in public with a blowout on your hands) kind of tricky.

That's why organization is the name of the game when it comes to outings with your littles. We pooled the Motherly team of editors to learn some favorite hacks for organizing diaper bags. Here are our top tips.

1. Divide and conquer with small bags

Here's a tip we heard more than a few times: Use smaller storage bags to organize your stuff. Not only is this helpful for keeping related items together, but it can also help keep things from floating around in the expanse of the larger diaper bag. These bags don't have to be anything particularly fancy: an unused toiletry bag, pencil case or even plastic baggies will work.

2. Have an emergency changing kit

When you're dealing with a diaper blowout situation, it's not the time to go searching for a pack of wipes. Instead, assemble an emergency changing kit ahead of time by bundling a change of baby clothes, a fresh diaper, plenty of wipes and hand sanitizer in a bag you can quickly grab. We're partial to pop-top wipes that don't dry out or get dirty inside the diaper bag.

3. Simplify bottle prep

Organization isn't just being able to find what you need, but also having what you need. For formula-feeding on the go, keep an extra bottle with the formula you need measured out along with water to mix it up. You never know when your outing will take longer than expected—especially with a baby in the mix!

4. Get resealable snacks

When getting out with toddlers and older kids, snacks are the key to success. Still, it isn't fun to constantly dig crumbs out of the bottom of your diaper bag. Our editors love pouches with resealable caps and snacks that come in their own sealable containers. Travel-sized snacks like freeze-dried fruit crisps or meal-ready pouches can get an unfair reputation for being more expensive, but that isn't the case with the budget-friendly Comforts line.

5. Keep a carabiner on your keychain

You'll think a lot about what your child needs for an outing, but you can't forget this must-have: your keys. Add a carabiner to your keychain so you can hook them onto a loop inside your diaper bag. Trust us when we say it's a much better option than dumping out the bag's contents on your front step to find your house key!

6. Bundle your essentials

If your diaper bag doubles as your purse (and we bet it does) you're going to want easy access to your essentials, too. Dedicate a smaller storage bag of your diaper bag to items like your phone, wallet and lip balm. Then, when you're ready to transfer your items to a real purse, you don't have to look for them individually.

7. Keep wipes in an outer compartment

Baby wipes aren't just for diaper changes: They're also great for cleaning up messy faces, wiping off smudges, touching up your makeup and more. Since you'll be reaching for them time and time again, keep a container of sensitive baby wipes in an easily accessible outer compartment of your bag.

Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on www.comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that supporting Motherly and mamas.

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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