by Kimberly DeAngelis, Certified Personal Trainer and Pilates Instructor

Don’t fear your kids’ Halloween party! With just a little bit of planning, it can be more than pumping them full of trick-or-treat candy and waiting for the sugar rush. Here are some quick and easy ways to keep the kids moving and having fun this Halloween.

For games with a true Halloween feel, try these:

:: Frozen with Fear Tag. This is a twist on traditional freeze tag. The person who is “It” plays a witch. When a child is tagged, they are turned into “ghosts” who sway in place until they are unfrozen by another child.

:: “Eyeball” Races. Decorate eggs with markers to resemble eyeballs. Place them on spoons and have children race to a specified finish line. The first one there with an intact “eyeball” wins!

:: Halloween Jump Rope Counting. Make up your own Halloween question or rhyme and have each child take a turn jumping rope to answer. Maybe you ask how many wraps the mummy had, how many pieces of candy are in the trick-or-treat bag, or how many warts are on the witch’s nose! Here’s an example: “Wanda the Witch had warts head to toes. Count how many grew on her nose.”

:: Monster Movement. Play this like Red Light/Green Light. The person calling red or green also specifies how the kids should move. “Frankenstein green light” would be slower than “Werewolf green light.”

The following games will make for a less ghoulish, yet fun seasonal playtime:

:: Fall Beanbag Toss. Add apple stickers to beanbags or use red beanbags with strips of green duct tape as stems. Have children toss them into a bushel basket. This can be played individually or in teams (divide into even numbers; the team that gets more beanbags into its basket wins).

:: Pumpkin Bowling. For the “bowling ball,” pick a small, firm, round pumpkin with little to no stem.  For the “pins,” you can use ears of corn (with the bottoms trimmed flat so that they can stand) or slender gourds. Have children take turns trying for a strike.

Whatever the season or holiday, it’s always a good time to enjoy moving and playing with your kids. The best part is, they don’t even have to know it’s good for them. Happy Halloween!