It seems that with each year that passes, the more our family falls in love with Halloween.
What started out for us as a pretty low key holiday, has morphed into an annual tradition filled with a gathering of extended family, an abundance of food and, of course, tons of fun and frivolity. (Oh yeah, and a bit of candy!) Apparently, we are not alone in our affinity for the holiday, it is reported that Halloween is an $8 billion dollar celebration.

Seeing as the holiday has become so beloved by so many, I think it is the perfect opportunity for a parent to sneak in a few learning opportunities… don’t you agree?

As you prepare for Halloween with your own children this year, below are a few ways you can make the event even more fun and even (dare I say it?) educational…

Costumes are great for promoting creativity! I know my own kids love coming up with original ideas each year. Very few families actually make costumes from scratch anymore but this Halloween we are going DIY all the way. Paint, duct tape, sewing and hot glue… no idea what they will end up with!

Math and Halloween make excellent bedfellows. The more candy my kids bring home, the more math opportunities exist. We make predictions on how many varieties of treats they will bring home, the night’s total tally and most popular candy. We pair like treats and make trades with other family members. We divide, multiply and subtract like math professors. It is the only time my tween doesn’t complain about practicing math facts.

Science experiments, anyone? Best thing I ever learned how to make was a “witches’ brew.” (It is a crowd pleasure, I promise you!) You will need vinegar, food coloring and baking soda. Fill a drinking glass ½ full with vinegar then add the food coloring of your choice. Finally, add one teaspoon of baking soda and the watch brew bubble out and over the top. Always a winner!

History … for the win! Have you ever looked up the history of Halloween online? Not only are the origins fascinating, but it is lots of fun busting out the trivia at Halloween parties. By the way, did you know that Jack o’ Lanterns actually originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed out turnips to keep away spirits and ghosts?

Have a fun, educational and Happy Halloween!

Jennifer Gerlock is the mother of two tween boys working hard to hold it together while juggling a career, marriage, and life as an entrepreneur. You can find her blogging about working moms, life, technology and fitness on her blog Hip As I Wanna Be.