Cultivate Theme

Have you heard of Trunk or Treat?  This is often an event sponsored by a church or community group as an alternative to Trick or Treating.  A group of people gather typically in a parking lot, they decorate the trunks of their vehicles and instead of going door to door for candy and treats the kids go trunk to trunk.  As a host of a trunk you can pass out candy, prizes, have games like bobbing for apples, fishing for small toys, bean bag toss, ring toss, etc.
When planning on attending a Trunk or Treat, make sure it is open to the public, some groups’ host a trunk or treat for the group members and extended family only, and other groups have a Trunk or Treat open to everyone.
When it comes to decorating your vehicle you have the obvious pumpkins, spiders, and Halloween decorations.  With many churches they will ask you to be more family friendly in your decorating instead of going the scary route.  This is good to keep in mind with many toddlers that participate as well.
When planning to participate in a Trunk or Treat begin with picking a theme.  Then plan your decorations and treats you plan to give out with your theme in mind.  You can do a game with your theme as well.  Remember to plan your costume to go along with your decorated trunk.
Here are some Theme Ideas to help you:
  •  Bible Theme (Jonah & the Whale, Noah’s Ark, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Egyptians, Nativity Scene)
  • Movie Theme (Movie Theater Style, or any Family Friendly Movie)
  • Video Game Theme (Pac Man, Angry Birds, Frogger, etc.)
  • Board Game Theme (Candy Land, Monopoly, Sorry, Connect Four, etc.)
  • Sports Theme–Pick a Team or a select sport and decorate accordingly
  • Disney Theme–There is a large variety of Favorite Disney Characters to choose from.
  • Camping Theme
  • Beach Theme
  • Western Theme
  • Pirate Theme
  • Luau Theme
  • Animal Theme (Zoo, Petting Zoo, Aquarium, Pet Store, Jungle Animals, etc.)
  • Era Theme (70’s, 80’s, 90’s, etc.)
  • Christmas or other Holiday Theme
  • Popular Toddler Themes (Veggie Tales, Sesame Street, Backyardigan’s, Nursery Rhymes, Dr. Seuss)

As a host of a Trunk or Treat it’s a good idea to have other things available for not only guest but for the trunker’s such as a Snack Bar (You can sell food, or keep it simple to Apple Cider, Donuts and Hot Cocoa), Jump House, Hay Ride, Games/Activity Station, Puppet Show, etc.)

If your church is considering a Trunk or Treat as an outreach event, plan ahead to promote upcoming events, for example a Christmas Trunk can pass out candy as well as invitations to your church Christmas Play, or if your church participates in Operation Christmas Child, you can promote participation for OCC.
If you are reading this post and do not have young children any longer this is a great way for you to get involved and give back.  Do not count yourself out just because you don’t have kids, on the contrary you are a huge blessing to your local church or group hosting to participate.  Many times families with young children need to be with their trunk and also make time to take their children around to the trunks.  So single parents, grandparents, and young marrieds, get involved, be a blessing to your community and get trunking!  Halloween is still a couple weeks out, it is not too late to get involved, call your local church or group and get involved!  
Events like this are a fun and safe environment for kids, in this day and age we live in, it’s nice to be able to participate in these alternative events and provide great memories for families.
You can research your community events calendars to find local Trunk or Treat Events as well as utilize Google!  For more theme decorating ideas search on Pinterest there are a ton!

If you are a church or group even a group of neighbors looking to have a Halloween Alternative for families Trunk or Treats are fun, you can also have a Harvest Festival.  A Harvest Festival is simply a party with festivities, food, games, hayrides, carnival rides, jump houses, and fun, you could have a chili cook-off and sell the chili as a fundraiser.  The church I attend has done a number of different things for families in place of celebrating Halloween.  We have done Harvest Festivals, Carnivals, Pajama Party in place of a Costume Party, Game Night (with games and food), a drive in movie in the church parking lot.  

The important thing is to have a fun, safe time together as a family, create memories, your little ones will not be little forever.  I know many children who don't celebrate Halloween or participate in Trick or Treating, it's nice to participate in some of these alternatives so the children don't feel as if they are missing out on something.  It's also important to explain why we don't celebrate Halloween in the traditional sense.  I find children who are taught "why" will be more apt to follow with their children.  Children who are just told "we don't trick or treat" and don't understand why are more likely to trick or treat later in their teen years and take their children trick or treating due to that feeling of "missing out" and not knowing the true purpose.

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Comment by Ashley Owen on October 15, 2014 at 2:43pm

Good tips!

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