The reveal for Modern Warfare 3 makes the 2023 Call of Duty release feel like one of the most anticipated entries in the franchise in a few years. Between the remastered classic MW2 maps and the return of things like Zombies and the red dot mini-map, dedicated CoD fans are really excited about the next release.
This could mean there might be an even bigger wave of players trying to get early access to the game’s open beta before MW3 releases in full on Nov. 10. If you want to get in, there are a few paths you can take.
The most straightforward way of acquiring early access to the MW3 open beta is by pre-ordering the game. Pre-ordering also affords players early access to the campaign plus the Soap Operator pack, which can be immediately used in MW2 and Warzone.
Related: MW3 brings new movement mechanics, After-Market Gunsmith system, classic mini-map, and more
All pre-order customers will be granted early access to the open beta, regardless of which edition of the game they pre-order, and will be available to players who purchase digitally or purchase a physical copy.
If you receive a code, head to the beta redemption page on the Call of Duty website and follow the instructions there.
While Activision Blizzard did not outline any additional methods of acquiring open beta early access, there were various third-party promotions that offered MW2 open beta early access codes last year that could spring up again this year.
Activision Blizzard and Sledgehammer have not confirmed the starting dates for the MW3 open beta as of yet, but that information will be revealed “in the coming weeks” after the MW3 reveal.
The open beta will be “hosted over two consecutive playable weekends.” Players will not be able to transfer their beta progress to the fully launched game.
Negotiations happen every day – at work and at home.
It could be a discussion with your partner about who's cooking dinner or picking up the children from school. Or a conversation with your boss about a pay rise, negotiating the sale of your home, or buying a new car.
Building negotiating prowess is an essential life skill, particularly during times of economic challenge and uncertainty.
So, here are six key tips to help you get what you want:
Negotiations often involve compromise, so it's crucial to identify what really matters.
You want to outline your boundaries. These are your non-negotiables – what you are not willing to sacrifice - and your trade-offs - the items you are comfortable giving up in return for the other party giving you something else that matters more.
As part of this, understand the options and how your proposal could satisfy the other person's needs. Be clear about your needs and what you ask for.
When negotiating, you need to know what's in the scope of the negotiation and what's reasonable to request.
If you are negotiating salary, you'll want to know the market rates in the industry, so you can understand whether your request is above or in line with the market.
Various job websites and LinkedIn provide data on salary ranges for roles and professions. When negotiating, you don't want to go in too high or pitch too low.
Skilful negotiators know their points of leverage.
If you have something someone else wants and there are limited options to access, then you are in a stronger negotiating position. Similarly, if you are willing to walk away from the negotiating table, it can pressure the other party into agreeing to your demands.
When you're desperate to secure something, and the party you are negotiating with knows that, you will often have less bargaining power.
Consider how the negotiation process will unfold and the steps required to secure an agreement. Consider these steps before the discussion and be curious how they may play out.
Where possible, seek to understand the other people involved - their operating style, agenda, needs and what they care about. Be interested in them and their perspectives and ideas.
The more you understand those involved, the more significant insights you'll have into what they are likely to support or reject.
Negotiating is mentally taxing. Your mind will be pushed and pulled in many directions.
It's essential to consider how you will likely think, feel and react throughout the process. If you go in with the perspective: "I'm right. They're wrong" and you’re unwilling to find common ground, you're unlikely to make good progress. It is much more productive to approach the negotiation from a basis of mutual respect.
Don't negotiate when you are tired. If you find your mind racing, focus on breathing deeply. This provides time for you to relax, regroup and your heart rate to slow down, making it easier to reflect and respond calmly.
Step up and into your personal power and have the courage and conviction to back yourself every step of the way. You have the right to express your wants and needs.
Negotiations often take unexpected turns, so be ready for it and have the resolve to see it through.
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Five years ago, with 33 years of experience in the field of education, Mary Pat Donoghue accepted the position of executive director of the Secretariat of Catholic Education for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). She arrived with a distinct accomplishment under her belt: As principal of St. Jerome Academy in Hyattsville, Maryland, she led the effort of transforming the flailing parish school into a thriving institution.
Before that, Donoghue served as a vice principal and classroom teacher, as well as a consultant for the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education. A native of Washington, D.C., she holds a Bachelor of Science in elementary education from the University of Maryland and a master’s degree in education administration from Trinity University, Washington, D.C.
Donoghue sat down with CNA to discuss her vision of Catholic education, trends affecting education across the nation, and the current priorities of the bishops.
First, tell me more about your tenure at St. Jerome’s and what you brought from that experience into your current position at the USCCB.
I started as a teacher at St. Jerome’s, and when I became principal, the school — like many, many Catholic schools — was confronting declining enrollment and rising debt. The question of whether the school had a future was very much an open question. While we had a vibrant, growing parish community, most families were in home-schooling co-ops. When the Archdiocese of Washington called St. Jerome’s into a process called “consultation” — which is just what it sounds like: bringing the community together and consulting them on whether the school should remain — those folks came in large numbers, and they said, unequivocally, we would love to see a Catholic school here. We would support this. But we don’t like it in its current iteration, and we would invite the pastor and principal to reimagine it.
So we spoke with folks, including Dr. Michael Hanby from the John Paul II Institute … and he wrote something of a manifesto on what Catholic education should look like, and I loved it. My pastor, Father James Stack, loved it. And so we said, “Let’s go for it.”
It was a moment of conversion for me; not so much a religious faith conversion — I’m a cradle Catholic and had an adult reconversion in my 20s, so I felt very firm in the faith — but I had no idea that Catholic education is, in its essence, a really distinct and different animal. Up to that point, my image of it was to take all the best practices of current education and add a robust faith-formation program and voilà, you have a good Catholic school.
What I discovered, though, is that the philosophy that undergirds American education writ large is utterly antithetical to what the Church teaches.
You think about your Deweys and other philosophers, 120 years ago now, who were atheists, who denied the presence of a Logos, let alone the recognition that that is Jesus Christ, and who thought that education should not be about asking the bigger questions, but should be a very transactional process of equipping students with the skills for the work force — period, end of story.
So that was an eye-opener, and I began to see that the Church has a unique vision for Catholic schools. I’m happy to say that not only did St. Jerome’s not close, but today it’s thriving. We added a Montessori preschool, the student body this coming year will be over 500, and it’s just really doing super well.
But when I left St. Jerome’s, I felt very much called by the Holy Spirit to bring this experience to others, this vision and this new way of seeing that I had been given. So I worked for the Institute for Catholic Liberal Education for two years and traveled all over the country. I talked to everyone, from bishops to superintendents to principals, teachers, parents, you name it, sharing this idea.
And then five years ago, I came to work at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and my main work here is to provide staff support to the chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education and the bishops that comprise that committee. My current boss is Bishop Thomas Daly of Spokane, Washington, a wonderful man with a tremendous vision, a love of truth, a lot of courage, and willing to stand up for Catholic schools, but especially for the truth.
You speak of being transformed in your understanding of what Catholic education is. Can you articulate that in greater detail?
Catholic education starts with the recognition that Jesus Christ is Logos and that the entire creation is an ordered whole in him and through him. So all knowledge coheres in him. In other words, there isn’t a separation or division between my study of science or math and my pursuit of Jesus Christ himself.
Although we understand theology to enjoy that status as “queen of the sciences,” what we have come to realize is that when you recognize Christ as Logos, then other things flow from that, too, like the proper understanding of the human person. You will not arrive at a proper Christian anthropology following what secular curricula or textbooks present because they’re not based properly in that.
Catholic education is a formative process that seeks to do a couple of things: One is to nurture in young children the habits of the mind, already given by their Creator, that lead to lifelong learning and that also help children to grow to be the person God made them to be. So to wonder, and to love, and to choose, and to think, and to sort and classify — all of these things that are human faculties that need to be developed.
The other piece is that Catholic education also needs to be concerned with the transmission of an entire culture and an entire way of seeing. And I do think that this kind of formation has to happen in order for the large, beautiful truths of the faith to really become embedded and then connected.
We have a huge problem, obviously, with disaffiliation, and we know the Pew survey and the lack of belief in the Real Presence, and my sense about that is we have to care for the minds and the hearts and souls of children in such a way that they see a sacramental world, that they understand the world to be imbued with both natural and supernatural elements. And the problem, if we don’t do that, if we follow the more secular model — and remember, it’s authored by people who deny a Creator and transcendence — is that things are only true if they can be observed or measured.
This creates a problem for kids because we’re always seeking harmony in our own minds. And if you think about what that must be like for a child, easily the thing to let go of is the one that doesn’t fit, which is the sacramental reality. So this is a focus for the Committee on Catholic Education and myself for the next couple of years.
Some would say there’s a big gap between that vision and the reality of what we find at many Catholic schools. How do we close that gap?
I think we, first of all, have to approach everything as the Lord reminds us to: Speak the truth, but do it in charity. And first, to love all that is already good in Catholic schools and Catholic education. There are wonderful, faithful, holy people [out there] working.
I’m a perfect example of how this can kind of go wrong. … I went to the University of Maryland and got my bachelor’s in elementary education; and, unbeknownst to me, I was steeped and formed in a secular progressive ideology, which is very oriented to “doing” instead of “being” and this idea of education being broken down into a measurable checklist. You know, the idea that kids should be active all the time. … I remember that very well from my college years … no talking or drawing kids out; they have to have projects; the world will end if we don’t have dioramas and glue everywhere.
So I didn’t know any better, and I think most people don’t. We have all been cut off to some degree from our own patrimony.
There are a lot of superintendents and many bishops who are beginning to see this and are coming together — but this is an apostolic process more than it is an institutional one. And that means it’s relational and person-to-person.
Would you say this is among the highest priorities of the bishops right now, when it comes to education? And what are their current priorities?
I’ll distinguish this in a couple of ways. The bishops are almost all united in saying we want our schools to be faithful and robust and to produce young people who are alive in their faith. So I think they share that priority. This idea of examining for the first time — what is education? What is Catholic education? What does that mean for our curriculum and pedagogy? That’s a new thing. So, for me, it’s sort of taking an existing priority and finding a new way to think about it.
Secondly, the bishops recently voted on reissuing a pastoral letter on serving people with disabilities and mental health issues. Catholic education will have an important role to play in that. We have to expand our capacity to receive and to form children who have diverse learning needs or intellectual disabilities. I see this very much as a post-Dobbs, pro-life impetus for us, and it’s of high importance. So in the coming year we’ll see a lot of working with some of the best experts on inclusion.
This seems like a no-brainer for Catholic schools, given their mission. And yet we seem to have lagged way behind in that.
It’s a cultural mindset that has to change for Catholic educators. I can remember very clearly, as a young teacher, we all had this idea that public schools handle those things because they have the resources and they are better equipped. Where I would now see that as flawed thinking is, first of all, it’s a flawed ideology of the human person — we have the true picture, so that positions us better; but also the reality and the growth in understanding of how to serve those kids has changed so much. You don’t need huge amounts of money to do this; you need people who have the will to do it. You certainly need some resources; I’m not going to say it’s without any cost, but there are lots of different innovative ways I’ve seen Catholic educators do it. It can be done. But it’s a mindset shift. There are growing numbers of organizations out there to support Catholic schools that want to do this. I’ll be looking forward to working on that project.
You’re always looking at the whole landscape, at trends, and trying to adjust to them. What are the successes you’re seeing right now?
I think a lot of it has to do with being willing to think and imagine Catholic education a little bit differently. One of my favorite books this year has been the University of Mary’s From Christendom to Apostolic Engagement, a fabulous book, and it really describes what the Church is living through. A hundred years ago, a bishop said, “We want to build a Catholic school in every parish”; and while they didn’t quite succeed in that, we certainly saw a huge system of schools. And now we’re seeing the decline. Every year. we lose schools; and we have lost something like 65% of enrollment from 1965 to now.
What I think is successful are the people willing to reimagine this, such as micro-schools or smaller co-op schools; or in places like the Southwest, where there isn’t infrastructure, pastors who are willing to offer hybrids where kids can come to the parish and do some of their work online and then have a catechist present and an art and music teacher present, so there’s an attempt to give a robust experience.
I think that’s going to be the way it goes in an apostolic age. It’s just too costly to do brick-and-mortar schools if you don’t have the infrastructure. And even if you do, trying to run them and keep them up can be challenging, so looking for those new innovative ways is key.
I will also say that schools that have recognized, as St. Jerome’s did, that the Church has a beautiful vision and adopted it, those schools are thriving, and they’re growing. I think that’s a great success story. And I would also applaud the schools that are open and welcoming to kids with diverse learning needs and diverse intellectual abilities.
We’ve seen the studies and reports of how the pandemic has affected children. Where would you say we are right now post-pandemic in terms of Catholic students’ academic success and development?
I wholeheartedly concur that many of the measures in response to the pandemic have resulted in, really, almost trauma for children. There are emotional issues; there’s isolation, which has led to an increase in psychological disturbance. Suicide rates have gone through the roof. I think that’s a call for us, and particularly our government officials and health officials, to remember that the human person is more than just subject to disease. We have emotional, psychological and relational needs as well, and those cannot be ignored.
In latest months, we have had the news about the National Assessment of Education Progress, the NAPE scores, which are often referred to as the “Nation’s Report Card”; and Catholic schools have consistently done better than their public-school counterparts on those NAPE scores, which indicates to us a couple of things. First, generally speaking, Catholic schools came back first, and earlier, in the pandemic; they simply had to, as we cannot function without having kids in person, and I like to say that's because we recognize education is incarnational and has to happen in the flesh. It’s relational. It’s the relationship between parent, teacher and student. And if we’re going to talk about essential functions, that is essential.
So I think Catholic schools not having lost so much time; the fact that they have a sense for the essence and the importance of the mission produced a result where our schools have done better largely on the NAPE. But I still think we need to contend with what is really the essence of what we’re set out to do.
Let’s talk about tech in the classroom. Clearly during the pandemic, it allowed for some level of connection and academic progress. But there’s a big question about how good it is for the long run. Also, the latest neuroscience shows that screen time and tech are bad for young minds. What is your understanding of the place of technology in the Catholic educational setting right now?
I think we’ve reached a point where we have to be willing to actually step back and evaluate its appropriate use, given that we need to be about the business of formation, forming the mind to think properly, to think well, and speak well, and all of those things.
In the beginning, there was a sense of what a marvel it all was, all we could do. But what we have come to see — and I think we have to be honest about this — is that technology actually undermines the entire process of formation because we learn and we engage the world through our senses; to experience it ourselves is what gives it meaning. The screen adds a layer, and it’s often passive.
There is a place, I think, for technology in the hands of teachers; say if a teacher wants to project for her class the disputation of the Holy Sacrament as a piece of art, they can do that; they can quickly bring that up. Or if they want to look at birds and to contrast a cardinal and an oriole, they can do that. So there’s some use to it in the hands of a teacher. But in the hands of students, I think it has mostly been a disaster for American education.
There has been a movement in latest years towards classical education and an interest in alternative ways of educating kids. How are you responding to this at the level of the bishops’ conference? Are there studies that help us understand these needs better, and how do you see this influencing Catholic education?
The ICLE [Institute for Classical Liberal Education] has done some studies and data collection on their member schools. Classical education has become a kind of shorthand for what is the larger understanding of what Catholic education is. There has always been a preference for “classical approaches” within that because they are time-tested and consistent with the way the human person learns. “Classical” has become kind of a buzzword. My sense is that we are often calling something classical when really what we’re talking about is the original formula of education, which is consistent with how humans have always learned and has formed the greatest saints and the greatest thinkers over time. … My concern is for us to rediscover the Church’s own vision; that’s what we want to encourage people to do.
Where do parents fit into how you envision Catholic education? And what are some of the ways parents and teachers can be allies in this model?
First and foremost, the idea of the primacy of the parent as teacher, which comes to us from Church teaching, is a guiding principle. And one of the things that has happened in education in general — not just Catholic but public school — has been this big separation, where the school is its own entity and the school and the parents are two different things.
Part of rediscovering our own vision and philosophy of what it means to educate is recognizing the importance of the life of the family in the school and the school in the life of the family.
In a very policy-oriented way, one way we express this is in support for parental-choice laws that are growing across the states, which comes to us from Gravissimum Educationis [the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on Christian Education], is that the state must provide the liberty of choice to parents. We support this fully, that families — not systems — should be funded.
Within the setting of education itself, it really is about reimagining that partnership, really thinking about how to bring the two together. At St. Jerome’s, we wanted to bring parents in so we started doing family field trips where a parent might organize a trip to the U.S. Botanical Garden on a Saturday and invite everyone in the class to come. The idea was to develop fellowship together and take something from the curriculum and experience it together as families. That’s one concrete example, but we definitely need to rethink the partnership.
What do you do in your role at the bishops’ conference to make all this happen?
A lot of it is relational. I’ll take calls from bishops, superintendents, etc. There’s a monthly superintendents’ gathering; I’ll be speaking to them in just a couple of weeks. I’ll be attending the Catholic Leaders Summit sponsored by the NCEA [National Catholic Educational Association] at the end of October. I am also looking at ways to offer support more concisely. I am involved with mission implementation and advocating for parental choice. My office also handles higher education, so facilitating relationships between bishops and university and college presidents is something we work on, along with campus ministry. We are also providing resources to schools for the Eucharistic Revival, and we will be working on the pastoral plan for serving students with disabilities. So this is a little bit of what’s in my orbit.
What makes a Catholic school successful?
John Paul II talked about Catholic education’s mission to transmit a convincing and coherent vision of life contained in this understanding of truth, the kind of truth that liberates and the true meaning of human freedom. That concept of transmitting a vision is really important. Really, we want to draw [students] into a way of living, a vision of life, a Christian Catholic understanding of how to live your life that is convincing, that they will choose, that they have the opportunity to probe and question and kick the tires a little bit in school and find it to be a better way to live. That, to me, is ultimately what we would define as success in a Catholic school.
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Trick-or-treating time is almost upon us—and in your efforts to make this year’s celebration the most epic one yet, don’t stop at ringing doorbells for candy. There are plenty of other ways to commemorate All Hallows’ Eve, from visiting pumpkin patches to apple picking and of course, going to haunted houses.
For families who’d rather keep things low-key, there’s plenty to do too—including getting all gussied up for the spooky occasion. You can get crafty by creating your own family costumes (hey, we love a good Insta opp) or making a ghost garland. If you want a more active night, try a game of Halloween charades, mummy racing or playing in a Halloween-themed obstacle course of your own making. (Psst: We’ve got all the Halloween games you need here.) Whatever you’re in the mood for and however old your children are, check out this list of 50 Halloween activities for kids for all your spooky season inspiration.
75 Creative Halloween Costumes That Will Help You Win Fright Night
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Order a bag of orange balloons online, then fill each one with a Halloween-themed surprise (think candy or a silly trinket like a spider ring). From there, take construction paper and craft green leaves that you can attach to the spot where you tie the balloon. Then, game on: All your kids have to do is stomp the balloons to collect their prize. (Read the full tutorial over at Delia Creates.)
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Let each kid choose their favorite candy to include in individual goody bags (Ziploc works well here), then race to see who can assemble the most bags in the shortest amount of time. Suddenly, the chore becomes a game…and you’re not up all night on the 30th assembling treats for Jake’s class party the next morning.
There’s nothing wrong with a store-bought costume, but if you want to make figuring out what everyone will be more of an event, challenge your fam to find one item at home and build a costume from there (perhaps supplementing with items bought at a store or crafted). Grab some sheets and dress up as a ghost—classic. Or raid the depths of your closet and get a little more creative. (Some ideas here.) It’s a way everyone can get a little more creative—and potentially save some money in the process.
That one story that your brother used to creep you out with when you were younger will come in handy for this activity. You can also opt to make one up on the fly, pull another one from your childhood or recite one of these tried-and-true kid-friendly Halloween tales.
Kenneth Brown / EyeEm/Getty Images
Is it even Halloween without a trip to a haunted house or haunted town? Get that adrenaline pumping with a jaunt to a place rumored to be occupied by the undead (or, you know, neighbors in costumes).
Candy corn is no one’s first pick, but that doesn’t mean we can’t put it to use. You can totally create your own version of ‘Minute to Win It’. Here’s how to play: Each kid will need a stack of candy corn, a bowl and a pair of chopsticks. You’ll need a timer set to 60 seconds. The goal of the game is to see who can transfer the most candy corn to the bowl using only chopsticks.
Speaking of candy corn, Bingo is a crowd-pleaser—no matter the age. But here’s where it gets Halloween-y: First, you need a Bingo card featuring Halloween-themed objects like this one from Studio DIY. Next, swap traditional chips with candy corn as markers. (Just don’t be surprised if your kids eat all the game pieces.)
Kevin Trimmer/Getty Images
Your kids will love the spooky, special edition of this family favorite. To pull it off, simply cover the game boards you already own with faux cobwebs and use DIY spider-painted bean bags instead of the usual ones you toss.
Imgorthand/ Getty Images
Deck the halls with spooky decor, then send your kids on a scavenger hunt to track down all the on-theme items they see. (You can also walk around the neighborhood scouting as a family.) Up the stakes by downloading a free printable (like this one from Over the Big Moon) outlining what they should be on the lookout for.
You know the drill: Gather the family to go ‘round and ‘round a group of chairs in costume while playing the spookiest music you can find. But when the music stops, it’s every kid for themselves as they grab a seat. Remove one chair every round.
For this Halloween activity, all you need is a set of plastic pins (like this one) and a couple of rolls of toilet paper. From there, wrap the pins with TP, add googly eyes and voila: They’ve been mummified. Bonus points? Wrap the bowling balls, too. (A full tutorial is available on Giggles Galore.)
$47 at Amazon
Elva Etienne/Getty Images
You’ll need more toilet paper for this game. Split up into teams and pick one person to be the mummy. Then, it’s up to the rest of the group to wrap them in TP until they, well, actually look like a mummy. The group that mummifies the fastest wins!
Jodie Griggs/Getty Images
Keep the fun going by (carefully) racing to a designated spot after the mummifying. Losing team has to eat candy corn!
A Girl and a Glue Gun
Calling all expert pumpkin carvers: This game requires you to create a jack o’-lantern with a mouth large enough to putt golf balls into. From there, you’ll need a toy golf set (like this one) and a red felt runway that doubles a putting green. Think of it as mini-golf with a theme. (Full tutorial can be found over at A Girl and a Glue Gun.)
$26 at Amazon
The prerequisite for this Halloween event? As much glow-in-the-dark décor as possible. Think: stars, balloons, glow sticks and more. Turn out the lights and let the Spooktacular evening begin. (Visit a Pumpkin and a Princess for inspo.)
This germ-free Halloween activity requires two things: string and donuts. From there, all you have to do is hang donuts from tree branches and invite your kids to eat theirs hands-free. (Yep, their hands should be tied behind their back the whole time.)
No Time for Flashcards
You’ll need painter’s tape and a bunch of those plastic spiders you can typically find come Halloween at the dollar store. Next, use the tape to lay out a spider web. Create a “start” and “finish” line, then instruct kids to walk the web without straying from the lines. The catch? They have to pick up the plastic spiders you’ve scattered about without losing their footing. Muahaha. (More details can be found over at No Time for Flashcards.)
Still Playing School
About those plastic spiders you got at the dollar store? You’ll love this tutorial from Still Playing School. Grab a couple of straws and set up a start and finish line on the kitchen table. The goal? To blow through the straws and race. The first kid to cross the finish line with their eight-legged bug wins.
The best way to entice the kiddos to your front door to trick or treat? A wreath made of candy, of course. Let your kids help you build it by choosing the candy selection you place on the cardboard platform. Hot glue gun required.
You’ll need to hit up the local farmers’ market for the squash, but once you’ve got that, all you need are plastic rings. Bonus points if you decorate the squash with spooky faces before you play.
$11 at Amazon
CAVAN IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES
This Halloween activity is a favorite for a reason. Pick what you can eat, then make a plan to treat yourself to warm cider—which is almost always served on-site—when you’re done.
Elva Etienne/Getty Images
So maybe you got over-excited and picked way too many apples. You’ve already eaten some and baked all the pies you can. Before the rest go bad, have them as the main attraction in a classic game of Bob for Apples. Simply fill a wide-mouth bucket (or bowl) with enough water so the apples can float. Then, with the kiddos’ hands behind their backs, have them attempt to retrieve the apples with just their mouths. Whoever is able to get the most apples within a minute wins.
It’s loads of family fun, plus you can make a night of it by carving them when you get home.
Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images
This should take place before you carve, but here’s the idea: After you’ve picked your pumpkin, supply your kids with a soapy bucket of water and sponges. Then, let them do the dirty work to scrub their pumpkins clean. Kids love a good washing station and it saves you a step before you cut into ‘em.
Pink Stripey Socks
This requires some expert folding work, but the finished result is beautiful—and something you’ll want to save for years. (Get the directions over at Pink Stripey Socks.)
Smashed Peas and Carrots
For this to feel Halloween-y, the devil is in the details. In other words, the game pieces are what make it on-theme. You can use Washi Tape to map out the board, but then get creative, like painting rocks to look like ghosts, Frankenstein or candy corn. Then, get your game on. (Read all about it on Smashed Peas and Carrots.)
It’s the perfect way to build up excitement ahead of trick or treating. Choose a selection of titles—whether that’s Spooky Pookie by Sandra Boynton or Harry Potter—and read them aloud.
Elena Vafina/Getty Images
To start, you’ll need to send the kids outside to gather leaves in your backyard. Next, paint the leaves white, then take a Sharpie and add two eyes. To turn it into a garland, all you’ll need is a hole punch (although you can probably puncture each leaf carefully with a pin) and some string.
Great for the toddler set, all you need is a shallow laundry basket, some string and some spooky trinkets. (Cue those plastic spiders again.) Next, weave the string in and out to make a web and put all the spiders at the bottom. The challenge? They have to fish out all the spiders while reaching around the string. (Here’s an example of this game from Lovevery.)
Elva Etienne/Getty Images
This party game takes a bit of effort, but it works like this: You’ve got a ball of yarn with a prize attached to the end of it. (Candy, perhaps?) Now, use the string to create a room-size web and weave the yarn all around the playroom, following the string to find your prize. But here’s the catch: There’s one strand per kid, so it’s pretty complex to untangle. (More details available at Party Game Ideas.)
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At first sight, it seems gross, but your kids will want to play with it for hours. A Halloween gift! (Recipe available at I Heart Arts & Crafts.)
The more inventive the better. Check out our Halloween cookie roundup featuring a sweet for everyone in your coven, whether you’re looking for something spooky-chic or covered in googly eyes.
See Vanessa Craft
Trace your child’s hand, then paint it white. After that, you flip it upside down (so the palm is the ghost’s head), then add googly eyes. String them up around the house for décor that doubles as a memento for when those little hands get a lot bigger. (Full tutorial is available at See Vanessa Craft.)
Happily Ever Mom
You’ll need a booklet of Halloween stickers to start. Next, trace the outlines of each one—say, the pumpkin or the ghost—onto a piece of paper. Task your kids with matching the stickers to the spot you’ve outlined for them. The more you trace, the longer it holds their interest. (More details at Happily Ever Mom.)
Oh Happy Day
This tutorial from Oh Happy Day results in a piñata so adorable you won’t want to break it apart. You’ve been warned.
Kevin Reid/Getty Images
The goal is to spread a little spirit by delivering a bag of Halloween goodies to your neighbor’s (or loved one’s) doorstep as a surprise. How do they know it was you? Leave a note that says: “You’ve been spooked!” (Download a free printable over at Tater Tots and Jello.)
JOSE LUIS PELAEZ/GETTY IMAGES
Hocus Pocus! Ghostbusters! The Nightmare Before Christmas! Cook up a bucket of popcorn and watch a classic with your kids.
My Home Based Life
More decor for your Halloween-themed mantle! All you need is a package of pom-poms, popsicle sticks and some googly eyes. (The full tutorial can be found at My Home Based Life.)
Coloring projects can be the best way to spark creativity in your kiddos. Instead of buying Halloween masks at the store this year, challenge your children to make their own. (The good news is that there are loads of free printables—like these from It’s Always Autumn—online.)
Ella Claire Inspired
This pivot on Pin the Tail on the Donkey is just as fun. Plus, there are free printables (like this one from Ella Claire Inspired) that make it a cinch to pull off.
Stefan Cristian Cioata/Getty Images
It sounds harder than it is—one idea is to lay out pumpkins in a zigzag configuration in the hallway. At the end of the tunnel, place a few ghost balloons with strings hanging down. The goal? Your kids have to leap to “catch” a ghost after zigging and zagging through the “pumpkin patch.” It’s silly and fun, but it’s also guaranteed to tucker them out. (More details at Laly Mom.)
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…On someone who would appreciate the cleverness, of course. Maybe help them TP their dad’s car or ding-dong dash at the grandparents’ house. Minor pranks to bring the “trick” in trick-or-treat.
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If you have been slowly indoctrinating your now-teenagers into liking Halloween movies since they were wee tots (*ahem* same), those years of Halloween movie marathons and extravagant costume design will seriously pay off in this game. Gather the family and play this wild guessing game featuring classic titles, from The Birds to Hocus Pocus, as well as renowned characters such as Morticia Adams and Freddie Krueger.
$27 at Amazon
Here’s another way to incorporate your love for spooky flicks into All Hallows’ Eve. After screening their favorite Halloween movie, come up with trivia questions to ask your kids. You can make them as simple or tricky as you want. Winner gets half of everyone’s candy…?
You’ll need some white cardstock, a marker and a blacklight (or your phone) to pull off this super fun game. After you’ve crafted your spooky ghosts and attached them to the candy, sprinkle them around your yard or inside your home. Once it’s dark out, hand over the black light and let the kiddos get to hunting.
Get the tutorial
Kids Craft Room
Those who find pumpkin picking and carving a bit tasking (and messy) can opt for a lower-lift DIY option. All you need are orange paper bags, newspaper, cardstock, pipe cleaners and tons of glue and you can create a craft even your littlest tots can get in on.
Get the tutorial
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Halloween unleashes a lot of things, and a key one of them is creativity. Instead of buying a mask with your kid’s Halloween costume, try experimenting with Halloween makeup at home. If you’re feeling brave, you can totally allow them to paint each other’s faces, otherwise, you may want to stick around and draw all the butterflies, spider webs and ghost faces on yourself. Here is a tutorial of four simple Halloween makeup looks you can replicate in a pinch.
Keith Getter/Getty Images
Not sure what else to do with those carved-out pumpkins? Well, the ones on the smaller side can be used to put a Halloween spin on this classic pastime. Instead of inputting your regular X’s and O’s, use the pumpkins to make your move.
Museum of Illusions
Kids too young to handle a haunted house? No problem—just lean into the magical aspect of Halloween with a visit to the Museum of Illusions, a privately-held museum chain with over 24 locations across the country, and you’ll be treated to a host of mind-boggling surprises that disarm and enthrall, but never scare. (Bonus: Historically, the franchise is quite eager on Halloween, so you can expect the exhibits to feature an oh-so festive makeover, too.)
Bashar Shglila/Getty Images
If there’s no Museum of Illusion near you, make some magic of your own by learning a few simple tricks with your kid that are sure to wow a crowd. There are excellent virtual magic classes to be found and a whole host of magic sets on the market that include all the materials and instructions you need to master the art of homegrown hocus pocus.
THE 81 BEST HALLOWEEN MOVIES OF ALL TIME
The opening game of the 2023-24 season sees an intriguing master vs. apprentice encounter, as defending champs Manchester City travel to Turf Moor to take on newly promoted Burnley.
Burnley boss Vincent Kompany is nothing less than a Sky Blues legend, having appeared 265 times in the Premier League for Man City. The Belgian certainly appears to have learned plenty while under the stewardship of his opposite number this evening, having led the Clarets to promotion back to the Premier League last season in a manner that Pep Guardiola would have been proud of.
The visitors have seen some key players leave during the summer, with Ilkay Gündogan and Riyad Mahrez, having both moved on during the summer. However Croatia center-back Josko Gvardiol is available for his first appearance after joining from RB Leipzig for £77m.
Below, we'll outline the best live TV streaming services to use to watch all of the action live wherever you are in the world.
Burnley host Man City at Turf Moor on Friday, Aug. 11. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. BST (3 p.m. ET, 12 p.m PT).
If you find yourself unable to view the game locally, you may need a different way to watch the game -- that's where using a VPN can come in handy. A VPN is also the best way to stop your ISP from throttling your speeds on game day by encrypting your traffic, and it's also a great idea if you're traveling and find yourself connected to a Wi-Fi network, and you want to add an extra layer of privacy for your devices and logins.
With a VPN, you're able to virtually change your location on your phone, tablet or laptop to get access to the game. So if your internet provider or mobile carrier has stuck you with an IP address that incorrectly shows your location in a blackout zone, a VPN can correct that problem by giving you an IP address in your correct, non-blackout area. Most VPNs, like our Editors' Choice, ExpressVPN, make it really easy to do this.
Using a VPN to watch or stream sports is legal in any country where VPNs are legal, including the US, UK and Canada, as long as you have a legitimate subscription to the service you're streaming. You should be sure your VPN is set up correctly to prevent leaks: Even where VPNs are legal, the streaming service may terminate the account of anyone it deems to be circumventing correctly applied blackout restrictions.
Looking for other options? Be sure to check out some of the other great VPN deals taking place right now.
Friday's Burnley-Man City match is on USA Network, which you can access as part of your cable package or at the NBC Sports website with a valid login, and can be streamed via Sling TV and other more expensive streaming TV services.
Premier League rights in the UK are split between Sky Sports, Amazon Prime Video and TNT Sports (previously known as BT Sport). The Burnley-Man City game is exclusive to Sky Sports -- showing on its Sky Sports Main Event, Premier League and Ultra channels. If you already have Sky Sports as part of your TV package, you can stream the game via its Sky Go app, but cord-cutters will want to get set up with a Now account and a Now Sports membership to stream the game.
If you want to stream Burnley vs. Man City live in Canada, you'll need to subscribe to FuboTV Canada. The service has exclusive rights for this Premier League season.
Football fans Down Under can watch this EPL fixture on streaming service Optus Sport, which is showing every single Premier League game live in Australia this season.