While many think of Halloween as a time for scares, parents of small children might want to consider a different approach. But the decorations don’t have to be frightening. In fact, the holiday can be a very charming one by focusing on pumpkins, candy and the fun of costumes. There are even movies geared for younger audiences. After all, consider Casper the friendly ghost.

Below is a list of ideas for decorating your front yard this Halloween that will be fun for the little ones too. While your children might hurry past those homes that have skeletons coming out of the ground, or spiders crawling over the door, you can rest assured knowing they will be thrilled about their Halloween-themed home. It will also make the most of the season.

A Fresh Take on the Familiar
When trying to find ways to implement the staples that have become common tropes of the holiday, such as pumpkin carving or scarecrows, consider putting a spin on it.

  • Pumpkins: Carved pumpkins don’t have to have scary faces. And really, it is the act of actually creating something that is hugely fun for the children. While you shouldn’t let your child carve their own pumpkin, you can absolutely let them pick out a face they like, or maybe consider a favorite familiar character. It could even accompany a costume they are wearing. Maybe this year it’s Iron Man. Why not his face on the pumpkin? Maybe it’s a princess, or they just want a friendly ghost face. Maybe your child wants to incorporate color or different designs. Painting pumpkins has become quite a trend, as it allows the creator to do more, and it also lasts longer than one that has been hollowed out. And when it comes to painting pumpkins, your child can also help, rather than just watching the parents cut away. Providing your children with a more hands-on activity is always a winner.
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  • Scarecrows: Again, creating a scarecrow can be a fun activity for the kids. Instead of calling it a scarecrow, consider the term “mascot.” Or you can even give your creation a name that the family comes up with. Let the kids take some of the parents’ old clothes and dress up the mascot as they want. Give it life with buttons for eyes. Keep it warm with a raggedy scarf. This is also a great way to get rid of those leaves that have begun to fall and populate your front yard. How often do children get to stuff leaves into a sweatshirt?
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  • Ghosts: Ghosts can smile! Take advantage of those bare branches and hang some ghosts with smiling faces. They can be purchased from your nearest Halloween outlet store or you can use old sheets and make them yourself. If you do create your own, think about attaching little buckets so they appear to be trick-or-treating.

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Making the Most of the Season
There is more to Halloween than just the novelty of decorating. There are fall colors you can incorporate into your landscaping as well.

  • Flowers: Setting flower arrangements inside pumpkins is a great way to use elements of the season. Flower arrangements with orange gerberas paired with maroon miniature carnations, or orange roses paired with orange asiatic lilies and red cushion mums will show that the season is alive and well in your home. Black dahlias are a seasonal favorite as well.
  • Gourds: Like pumpkins, you can apply some color or even wording to decorate your gourds. They don’t have to accompany other arrangements, as they can be decorated to stand on their own and be just as prominent. Maybe you want to write on them, perhaps a letter on each. You can write Happy Halloween, or maybe even your family name.