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Wichita Falls Living Magazine

Putting the Happy in Halloween

Take the Fear out of Halloween with Nature Connection
 
Halloween is all what you make of it. On one hand, it can be about the frightening ghosts, vampires, and skeletons, or you can choose to focus on connecting to nature during this holiday and fall season to feel happier and calmer. “Halloween can be scary and anxiety-provoking for many kids. However, if we prioritize fun, positive activities involving nature—like going to a pumpkin patch—we can truly give our kids a Happy Halloween,” explains Sandi Schwartz, author of Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer (Quill Driver Books/Linden Publishing).
 
During a time when your family is busy with the new school year, Halloween is a chance to take a relaxing break and connect to nature. Here are some fun fall activities to help you and your kids experience nature during Halloween time.
 
Visit a Pumpkin Patch
Nothing feels more like autumn than pumpkin patches, hayrides, and corn mazes. Kids love running around outside in a corn maze and searching for the biggest, brightest pumpkin to take home with them. Look for a place in your local area that offers these fun autumn seasonal treats for your family to enjoy. And, of course, your children will have a blast carving the pumpkins and displaying their works of art for neighbors to see.
 
Head to a U-pick Farm
This is a great time of year to visit a local farm to pick your own produce of the season, whether it be apples, pears, raspberries, squash, or whatever is available where you live. It is a wonderful chance for the entire family to enjoy a few hours strolling around an orchard or farm taking in the sights, fragrances, and miracles of nature. A u-pick adventure will help your kids learn about healthy food and the environment, while supporting your local community. Plus, locally grown food tastes better, is more nutritious, and stays fresh longer. The best part is that you can go home from the farm and spend quality time together in the kitchen creating tasty meals from the food you hand-picked yourselves.
 
Decorate with Nature
Everyone wants to out-spook their neighbor with the best Halloween decorations, but this won’t exactly set a serene tone for your kids. Instead of the frightening decorations, look for natural ones like colorful gourds, apples, sunflowers, dried fall leaves, wheat, and even a bale of hay. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with carving pumpkins into all types of jack-o-lanterns to set the mood.
 
Experience the Fall Foliage
One of the most incredible aspects of nature is all the colors we can find. During autumn, colors pop out all over as the leaves begin to change. When we experience the vivid natural colors during this season, we are filled with awe. This special emotion helps us feel happier and calmer, and is worth seeking out. One way to fill your kids with some awe (instead of fear) this Halloween is to go for a hike or family road trip to observe the gorgeous hues of changing leaves. The fall foliage can be so soothing as well as inspiring. Bring along a camera and snap lots of photos of the gorgeous leaves. When you return home, encourage your kids to draw or paint pictures based on what they saw. You can also organize an online slideshow of your photos or print them to create collages. Another fun idea is to collect some of the fallen leaves and bring them home for art projects.
 
Finding Ecohappiness: Fun Nature Activities to Help Your Kids Feel Happier and Calmer is available from Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, IndieBound.org, and wherever books are sold. For more information, please visit www.ecohappinessproject.com or contact Sandi Schwartz at [email protected].
Winter 2023 Issue
Weekly Digital Issue