Ideas for Halloween Service Projects

Guest Post by Emma Rae of Emma Rae’s Halloween 


The autumn season brings cool mornings, crisp leaves, school days, and a holiday filled with costumes, cookies, and candy. It seems that kids’ main focus on Halloween is to rake in the loot (of course!), but Halloween can be as good a time as any to do a little service and have some fun in the process. These are a few suggestions for cute and enjoyable Halloween-themed activities that help spread a little bit of fall cheer.

Decorating Pumpkins with Seniors

Many residents in senior care centers enjoy having kids visit and feeling their energy and enthusiasm, and activity coordinators often welcome new ideas and faces for activities. Decorating pumpkins eliminates the goopy mess of carving and is an activity that people of all ages can enjoy and then put on their dressers or doorsteps afterward; it’s probably best to use smaller pumpkins for this activity. You can use a variety of things to decorate your pumpkins with:

  • Paint
  • Fake gemstones (careful with the hot glue gun)
  • Fabric and modpoge
  • Stickers
  • Ribbons
  • Buttons
  • Anything you want!


Trick or Treat for UNICEF

Instead of trick-or-treating for candy, your kids can trick-or-treat for spare change to donate to UNICEF, helping provide clean water, education, and more to other kids just like them all around the world. This program has been going for more than 60 years! Of course, if your kids aren’t too hip on giving up their candy you can do the traditional trick-or-treating on Halloween night and do a bake sale or some other fundraiser beforehand to raise money to donate. You can order official boxes (which come in several fun designs) from their website,

The Service Ghost

Print out (or draw) a picture of a cute ghost and write, “Boo! You’ve been visited by the service ghost! Now it’s your turn to serve someone else!” on it. Have your children do secret acts of service for each other, leaving the ghost behind when they do.

13 Days of Halloween

This activity, as Brook from The Crafting Chicks says, is “a slightly spookier take on The Twelve Days of Christmas.” Gather up 13 gifts, number them, and leave them in secret one by one on the doorstep of someone else in the days leading up to Halloween. Brooke has adorable things like a caramel apple kit, spooky orange soda, and little jars filled with candy, but you can use whatever you would like. Check out her post here:

Reverse Trick or Treating

This one is an easy activity that can promote family bonding and friendship. Have your children help you make some sweet Halloween treats (such as chocolate witch hats and deliver them to friends and family. If you wish, you can have your kids put their costumes on when you go on your delivery runs. Might as well get as much mileage out of those costumes as you can, right?



By doing these activities and others like them, Halloween can be a season of service that just adds to the fun.


 Emma Rae Curtis loves to research and write about all things Halloween, including kid costumes, makeup, parties, and parenting.


  1. So, I have heard bad and good things about unicef. I checked out and though it has a .90 cent giving to charity per dollar, the reviews written by people not associated with charitynavigator, are harsh. How do I know if unicef, or other charities are not going to cause a stir if I take my children out? I would really like to trick or treat for unicef, and my boys are excited, I just also want to make sure we aren’t going to be scared away by citizens angry at Unicef. Thanks!

  2. I was part of a service organization in college, and we dressed up and went trick-or-treating for canned goods. Instead of asking for candy, we asked for non-perishable food items which we later donated to the community food bank. We had a lot of fun doing it and got a great response from the community!

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