The joy on the face of a child as they strut about in their costume collecting candy door-to-door on Halloween is often lost on families with children coping with a cancer diagnosis and treatment. More often, parents of cancer kids are stressed, worried and focused on what they can do to save their child’s life and long for the time when they can bring their child back to “normal life.” Making time for some traditions like Halloween can help both the child and the parent take their mind off the challenge of cancer, at least for a time.
In case you ask yourself how to celebrate Halloween during these unprecedented times, we have some ideas to celebrate Halloween with your child in the hospital or even at home:
- Dress up in a comfortable easy costume, if appropriate. Make it a fun project to decorate one or more masks.
- Have a Halloween movie night together.
- Use orange strips of construction paper to make a gratitude chain for decorating the room.
- Create a virtual Halloween party with friends
- Make gratitude pumpkins with strips of orange and green construction paper, a hole punch and fastener. Write what they are grateful for on the strips. firefliesandmudpies.com.
- String together orange, purple and black beads for Halloween bracelets.
There are many benefits of doing crafts with children in the hospital. Not only does it make for sweet bonding time, it encourages kids to do things that improve hand-eye coordination, and helps them strengthen their cognitive abilities, which are often affected during treatment.
And that is just one side of the story. We cannot forget the siblings coping with their fear and sadness as their brother or sister struggles in a hospital. As if cancer weren’t enough, the added fear and restrictions of Covid-19 takes it over the top. With traditional trick or treating off the table, it is time to come up with creative ways to keep things as “normal” as possible and celebrate Halloween this year.
Here are some ideas for the siblings who may not be able to visit their brother or sister at the hospital during Covid-19:
- Create a Halloween hunt for treats in the backyard for your little ones to fill up their pumpkin baskets.
- Dress up in costumes and have a photo shoot.
- Carve pumpkins, bake goodies and watch Halloween movies
- Create a virtual Halloween party with friends.
- Check out the drive through haunted houses in your area.
While you navigate the journey through cancer and Covid-19, Here to Serve hopes you can find quality moments and smiles with your loved ones during Halloween and always. Here to Serve is grateful to be able to help families receive support during their journey to ease stress and lighten burdens. If you or someone you know has a child recently diagnosed with cancer, please tell them about Here to Serve. If you are inspired to donate to help us help those families, please follow this donation link. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Happy Halloween!
By Amanda Enciso