If pumpkin carving and paper mache is becoming too old-fashioned for your tech-savvy tykes, fear not. Dressing up like an iPhone 4 might be a bit much (that’s a real touchscreen, folks!), but there’s still plenty of ways to plan a Halloween that’s cool for the kids, fun for the family, provides parents some piece of mind and most of all won’t break the bank. Here’s six great options – all treats, no tricks!
Make a Zombie App
Sure, the “undead” are all the rage these days, but what if your kids are too young for such flesh-eating fare? These cuter, animated versions should provide some more age-appropriate frights. Customize your creature’s body, background, clothes and more, then share them via email, post to Facebook or save to a disk.
If you’re planning a haunted house, this website can help you increase the fear factor with a digital twist. Download images and animations that can be projected on windows or displayed on TVs, or spooky sound effects for creeping out oncoming candy-seekers. And if this all seems a bit complicated, the good folks at Geek Squad (www.GeekSquad.com or via any Best Buy store) are available to help you set up.
Unless you’re the DIY type, elaborate costumes can be a budget-buster, especially for families with multiple kids. Since a lot of the best get-ups are easier to find online, free shipping is essential for keeping costs down. Look for free shipping Halloween promo codes at FreeShipping.org, and find a deal from your favorite brand. Just do it quickly — Oct. 31 is right around the corner!
Instead of scouring the iTunes bargain bin to create a custom fright-night playlist, try one of many free options for setting a macabre mood. For example, Pandora’s “Spooky Symphonies” features dark background music you might find in a Tim Burton film, while “Halloween Radio” on Slacker.com offers more hard rockin’ hits perfect for the season.
Trick or Tracker
Ghouls and goblins might not scare parents, but the idea of their kids wandering the streets trolling for treats can easily send a chill up the spine. This Android-powered app should help alleviate some stress. Just download it to yours and your child’s phone (if they don’t have one, let them borrow one for the night), and use its GPS capabilities to keep an eye on their whereabouts.
Thankfully, most of those old stories about poison-filled treats on Halloween are nothing more than urban legends, but that won’t (and probably shouldn’t) stop parents from take a little precaution on a night when people are literally taking “candy from strangers.” This iPhone app can connect users with their local poison control center with the click of a button. It’s a good one to have for anyone with small kids and hey, better safe than sorry, right?
Jeff Cambron has worked in the technology space for over 10 years, fueling an obsession with all things digital.