Rebecca Levey is a co-founder of KidzVuz.com, a video review site by and for tweens. She writes about technology and education at Beccarama and is a White House Champion of Change for Education. Follow her at @beccasara.
Every year I go through the same Halloween ups and downs with my daughters.
First, way back in September, there’s the hand wringing and endless debates over what their Halloween costumes will be. Once that dilemma has been resolved, we turn to the decorating, signing up to volunteer at their school Harvest Festival and figuring out where and with whom to Trick or Treat. It’s almost enough to take the fun out of Halloween. And then, of course, there’s the candy — to buy and give out, and the enormous bag of loot that comes home every year.
In New York City, where one apartment building can mean 50 doors knocked on and answered with big bowls of candy, the haul is considerable. So, I’ve been trying something new –- integrating tech in cheap and sugar-free ways that can make Halloween fun and maybe entice my daughters to trade in candy for coveted screen time instead.
Here are some of my picks to add some tech into the treat bag –- metaphorically speaking, of course. Instead of loading up on tons of sugar, these tech picks are free or low-cost dentist approved treats. (And that means more Snickers for me!)
Everyone’s favorite free photo collage-based app has a special Halloween feature to creepify your avatar, profile pic or any other photo of your choice. Your kids can create instant zombie or vampire photo collages and cards for family and friends. Free.
Ghost Radar App
For budding Ghostbusters, there’s nothing like sneaking up on an unsuspecting ghost, before he sneaks up on you. You’d be surprised how many poltergeists are hanging out in your living room. Available for both iOS and Android. Free.
Like concentration meets Tetris with Jack o’Lanterns. Keep kids busy with this app that keeps them tapping and searching through endless combinations of pumpkins. Perfect for pre-Trick or Treating impatience! Free.
Spooky Cookie HD (for iPad)
If you’ve got a kid who loves cooking apps, this Halloween-themed app lets them mix, cut and decorate their virtual Halloween cookies — a truly sugar-free Halloween treat. And the best part: no clean up for you! $4.99.
Creepy Halloween Toilet Paper Holder
WARNING: Do not use this if your child is potty training! But, if you’ve got a tween or teen, turning your bathroom into a haunted surprise can be a fun trick, especially for those late night bathroom trips.
Do you have any favorite Halloween apps or tech gadgets that make your Halloween more fun?