Are you ready to be spooked? It's almost Halloween!
Whoooowhoooo!!! Halloween is almost upon us!
I love this time of year....the excitement of Halloween, picking costumes and carving pumpkins, trick or treating, fireworks displays and sparklers. It's no surprise that my favourite stories growing up were The Worst Witch series! I am, it is fair to say, a total child at heart.
But much as I love this time of year with my children, I remember only too well that just a few years ago they were too little to share in the fun of trick or treating. They got too tried and cold, or scared by other ghosts and ghouls out in the street. It was all just a bit beyond them.
Have yourselves a Halloween Party!
BUT...that doesn't mean to say we didn't have a whole load of Halloween fun. We just found our own way of creating the Halloween party spirit indoors!
In fact, even now my children are old enough to trick or treat, we extend what is a fairly short-lived exercise with a little Halloween party. (Let's face it, trick or treating takes
at least a week in the build up, but the event itself is over in an hour...there are only so many doors you can knock on!) And for this, often rainy, half-term holiday, there's nothing
better than filling the days with some halloween arts and crafts to prepare for your party!
So here are some of our favourite tips for halloween crafts, fun and parties...we hope you enjoy them! (Some of our inspiration comes from the ever-creative website www.lecraftyfrog.co.uk , for which we offer our thanks. However, the efforts shown below are all our own...as you will see they carry all the enthusiasm, but a little less professionalism, when compared to lecrafty's efforts!
Fun Halloween arts and crafts
1) Create great Halloween decor
We had LOADS of fun last year making halloween pom-pom bats, Oreo cookie spiders and lollipop ghosts. All are pretty simple, although clearly making the pom-poms takes a bit of preparation.
For the bats, simply make a number of small pom-poms using brown, black or purple wool. Then create some bat wing shapes on cardboard, paint them black, and stick or tie the pom-poms to them. Add some googley eyes (or just colour some cardboard circles and glue them on with some all-purpose glue as we did), and you'll have bats swinging from the ceiling in no time!
Oreo cookie spiders are really simple once you get the hang of them. The biggest trick is to TWIST the cookies to separate them.
Once you've done this, lay your spider legs (made from liquorice strings, or just short lengths of brown wool as in our picture) on the half of the biscuit that still has the white filling inside. Add a dollop of thick sugar icing on top of the legs (a bit fiddly) and stick the top of the biscuit back on.
You can clean around the edges of the biscuit if the icing all comes oozing out!
Then make some eyes out of little round icing balls and add a drop of something for eyeballs....food colouring, a tiny bit of string again, or any other cake decorating bits you have lying
around. Stick them to the top of the cookie, and hey presto you'll have an army of spiders about to invade!
The lollipop ghosts are the simplest of all, and even the really little people can help here.
Get 15 or so lollipops and an equal number of pieces of toilet roll (you only need one toilet roll sheet per lollipop). Wrap the lollipop in the toilet roll and tie a little piece of string around the base of the lollipop. Add some eyes using a felt pen. They look remarkably like little ghosts! If you want to really create an effect, use a skewer or sharp knife to puncture holes in a pumpkin. Stick the lollipops into the the pumpkin and you'll have the effect of a hill covered in ghosts! Brilliant!
If you want more detailed instructions for any of the above, search the archives at lecraftyfrog, where all of the above inspiration comes from.
Halloween Party Ideas
2) Have a Halloween disco
Kids love this one. Get hold of a cheap disco light (you can get them from around £15 at Argos), draw the curtains, and download a Halloween kids disco album (I'd recommend the Halloween Party Album by Halloween Party Players which you can download from ITunes). Add in some face paint if you're game, and off they go. Kids love nothing better than loud music in a dark room!
3) Movie and popcorn / ice-cream
Once the disco has exhausted them, stick on a Halloween movie and let them nibble on some popcorn or a bowl of ghoulish ice-cream. We always go for non-scary films, and have found good Halloween options are the Winnie the Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie, Tom and Jerry's Halloween film, and Scooby Doo. It's not worth sending friends home scared, or facing nights of upset at bedtime yourself.
Adding popcorn makes this extra fun, and you can create these fun ghost-like popcorn holders from a bit of paper very easily....or you could get the kids to decorate them as part of the party fun. If you don't want them to eat too much, stuff some kitchen roll in the bottom of the paper holder.
If you prefer ice cream to pop corn, try spooking up the ice-cream with little ghost or spider web wafers - again the kids could have loads of fun creating their own. You could even use marshmellowsand food colouring to create ghoulish eyeballs to drop in icecream bowls!
4) Use a treasure hunt as a safe alternative to trick or treating
I won't labour the point, but if trick or treating is out for reasons of weather, age, or just personal preference (it's not always comfortable knocking on doors for sweets), then why not use a treasure hunt like Gotrovo as an alternative, and hide a treat along each section of the trail? You can still dress up and have just as much fun...and you don't have to stand outside freezing in the process!
5) Play Halloween games
There are loads of these and plenty of inspiration on the Internet, but those we've enjoyed the most, or indeed created as a twist on original ideas are:
Hanging mini donuts from a broomstick, with each donut suspended on a piece of string. Get the adults to hold the broomsticks, line the kids up in teams, and get them to eat their way through the donuts (which naturally the adults are swinging and bobbing about) with their hands behind their backs. It's an hilarious relay race!
Hiding gold coins or other treasures in a shallow tray of flour and getting the children to sift them out with their teeth...be careful of chocking though so don't try this with little ones. You might like to hide treasures in a sand bucket for them instead.
Musical statue ghosts and Pin the ghost to the castle turret or similar....they all provide the usual fun.
Games that haven't worked so well are apple bobbing (just too wet...no point having kids in tears!) and getting kids to stick their hands into bowls of concealed goo (really freaked them out when we tried this and had one child almost retching....not something I'll repeat and it took a lot of work to organise only to get that response! Forewarned is forearmed!)
So there's plenty to be planning....I'd better get shopping for Oreos and brown wool!
Whatever you do, no matter how big or little you are, have fun!
And if you do have a Halloween Gotrovo treasure hunt, remember to post your pictures or videos online with the #GotrovoFun for the chance to win prizes!
*Remember to keep children safe and away from naked flames at all times. Battery operated candles are a great, safe alternative.