I confess I’m not a Halloween fan. Growing up overseas will do that to you. Halloween wasn’t really a holiday in Brazil.
In America though you can’t get away from Halloween. It’s celebrated on the same level as other big holidays, like Thanksgiving or Christmas. Americans spend close to 9 billion dollars a year on Halloween stuff, mostly on costumes and candy. It’s a really big deal!
As someone who loves God and wants to share that love, you can use the built-in cultural holiday as an opportunity not just for fun but for good. Here are 5 Halloween ideas for letting your light shine.
Every idea can be used with one child, an individual family or in a small group setting.
Pixy Stix Packets
Fill a quart-sized Ziploc bag with a variety of treats, like a balloon, a small bag of microwaveable popcorn, an individually wrapped Rice Krispie square, and a Pixy stix (nerds or pop rocks work too).
Take one Pixy Stix and pour out the candy into the palm of your hand. Follow the talking points in the note below. OR type the following note and tape the Pixy stick onto it.
Today my mom [dad] poured some Pixy candy in my hand. Then she asked me to pretend it was sand. She asked me to count all the tiny grains of “sand” in her hand, but there were too many!
The Bible says God thoughts about us are precious. They can’t be numbered!
God thinks about me all of the time. I wanted you to know that God thinks about you all of the time too.
______________ [sign your name]
Hand the Pixy stix packets out when trick-or-treaters come to the door or hand them out at a retirement community, nursing home or homeless shelter.
Theme: God deeply loves you.
“How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!” (Psalm 139:17-18).
“Story of Jesus” Pumpkin illustration
I love this classic idea. Have a pre-cut pumpkin ready (one with the top cut off and a smiley face carved into the back so the kids won’t see it). Then tell the gospel story while you open up the pumpkin,
Cut into the pumpkin, scoop out all the goop, and put into onto a plate. (Explain that the only one with the power to take away our sin, the wrong things we’ve done, is Jesus.) Then place a lit candle inside. (Jesus is the light of the world. When he comes inside us, he makes us his light too.)
Theme: Jesus is the light.
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).
An Artistic Version of the Pumpkin Story
Take a mini pumpkin and cut a small hole in the top, scraping out the pumpkin “pulp” inside. Melt wax and pour into the pumpkin. Add a small wick. Use as a candle.
While you create your candle, explain that when we do what’s good and right, we’re an example to others. When they see how you live your life, it gives you a chance to share the love of God with them.
Theme: Shine for the Lord by being an example to others.
“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
The Pumpkin Patch Parable book
I love this Pumpkin Patch Parable book by Christian author Liz Curtis Higgs. A farmer plants a seed and it grows into something beautiful–a pumpkin! To get a better idea of what the story is all about, watch it being read here. Tell or read the story with lots of props, like pumpkins seeds and a pumpkin or other seed/plant variations (orange seed/orange, etc.).
Theme: God’s Word is the seed planted in people’s hearts.
“The seed that fell on good soil represents those who truly hear and understand God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!” (Matthew 13:23)
A Different Kind of Trick or Treat
I can’t claim credit for this idea but it’s so good I had to include it. Instead of trick or treating for candy, says Kenny Conley, ask for canned goods for families in need. In exchange, hand them a simple card that explains that God loves a generous giver.
Of course no kid wants to miss out on candy and treats, so when you’re done head back to your house for a sweet treat celebration. Kids get to dress up, those in need receive help, and kids still have plenty of treats to celebrate.
Theme: God loves the one who gives generously.
“By this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive'” (Acts 20:35).
Want more ideas? Check out these great resources from Children’s Ministry.
Have ideas of your own? Please share in the comments below.