As the Autumn nights draw in and the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness comes upon us I really start to look forward to Halloween. I like the fact that it celebrates the change of the seasons, and planning some spooky fun takes my mind off the cold winter to come. So, I have been busy getting some inspiration and planning some fantastic Halloween fun for my children. I've also been lucky enough to review some of the wonderful Halloween range by Party Pieces which will make any Halloween celebration extra special.
Children love the spookiness of Halloween. It really captures their imagination and there are loads of fun activities to do with them. Here are some Halloween crafts that are cheap, easy to prepare and fun to make.
Toilet Roll Bats
We love toilet rolls in our house and keep a large pile of them stashed away for crafty fun. As a parent you learn that you can make nearly anything out of a toilet roll and this cute vampire bat is one of them. You simply need a toilet roll, some black and grey paint, some card and some string. Paint your toilet roll black, cut out some bat wings and paint them grey. When they are dry glue or tape them onto each side of the roll. Add in some googly eyes (or draw on eyes) and some fangs. You can tie some string to them to to make some party decorations. I think they are very cute!
This is a very simple and easy craft. You just need some orange or white balloons and a black marker pen. Give the children a blown up balloon and a marker and they can draw on their own ghoulish face on them. This is also nice because they can take the balloon home as a gift at the end of the party.
Mini Monster Pots
As well as toilet rolls we also love yogurt pots. These spooky creatures are very cute. Paint the yogurt pots with a mixture of paint and glue. Stick a pom-pom on the top and add some eyes and away you go. You can really use whatever you have in for this craft. Pipecleaners for bendy legs and arms, glitter for sparkle, extra eyes and even glow in the dark paint - the possibilities are limitless.
Pumpkin Glitter Garlands
My daughter really enjoyed making these as we went on an outdoor "treasure hunt" to find leaves and conkers to stick on these wall garlands. You could also make them on circular card for a Halloween wreath. Cut out some pumpkin shapes and glue on to a long piece of card, then stick on leaves, acorns, straw and conkers. Add some sparkle with gold and red glitter glue. Tie on a ribbon and hang them up around the house.
SlimeOf course you can't have Halloween without good old slime! There are a number of ways to make this. Using lime jelly is a quick and easy solution but for a bit of wow factor here is a glow in the dark slime recipe:
Glow in the dark paint
1 teaspoon soluble fibre (you can get this in health food shops)
Put the water and fibre into a bowl and microwave for 3 mins. Stir in the glow in the dark paint or food colouring and your ectoplasm is ready!
OK please forgive the pun but I do love pinatas as I think they look great as a decorative centrepiece and the children love the fun and anticipation of seeing what will come out (as do the adults!). I think this vampire pinata is fangtastic (sorry!). It also comes with strings to pull to release the sweets so you don't have to worry about wielding a stick indoors! I think for a full effect you should fill it with jelly worms and spiders. You can also get pumpkin and witch shapes too!
Pass the Pumpkin
Scoop out a small pumpkin and pat the inside dry with some kitchen towel. Line with some clingfilm and them some orange or black tissue paper. Fill with Halloween themed sweets and pass it around the circle of children when then music stops they get to take a sweet.
Halloween Fun Pack
If you are stuck for party games inspiration this Halloween fun pack has everything you need for some great Halloween themed games. It includes pin the nose on the witch, bobbin for balloons, and a great ghost hunt as well as instruction for 3 other games.
I think that these little orange jelly pumpkins look so sweet. simply cut off the top of an orange and pour in orange jelly. Once it has set use cloves to make a jack o lantern face. you could also use lime jelly to make the pumpkin look like it is filled with "slime" instead.
Cheese and Pineapple Spider
A spooky take on a kitch classic party food. Cover an orange or grapefruit in black tissue paper sellotaping it at the bottom. Then stick on 8 black pipecleaners as spider legs and add chunks of cheese and pineapple on cocktail sticks (you can buy black ones online). Eat if you dare.
Magic Potion Punch
Very easy to make but really effective. Freeze cubes of water with food colouring added to them. Then just add a few drops of blue or green food colouring to some lemonade or sparkling water for a magical potion and pour in the coloured ice cubes.
Autumn Cider Warmer.
Of course adults need something to warm us up on a winters evening too and this spiced cider recipe is delicious and was very popular with my husband!
1 litre dry cider
4 allspice berries
2 cinnamon sticks
6 tsp dark rum
Simple heat all the ingredients and serve in warmed mugs with a cinnamon stick for decoration.
And don't forget to make your Halloween table look really festive with some terrifying tableware. This little monsters tableware pack from Party Pieces has a cute mini monster theme and includes a plastic tablecloth, 8 cups, 8 plates and 16 napkins.
There are two lovely books that I always get out for the children at Halloween. These are great to read at the end of a Halloween party or snuggled up on the sofa with a hot drink on a cold Autumn's eve.
The first one is Pumpkin Soup a beautifully illustrated story of a group of three animal friends who make a wonderful pumpkin soup. All the animals have a role to play in making the soup. However when the duck decides he wants to stir the soup instead of adding the salt the cat and squirrel are not happy at all...
We also love What's in the Witches Kitchen? by Nick Sharratt. This clever and interactive book lets children explore the different items in the witches kitchen - sometimes they are nice....and sometimes they are nasty!
Of course no Halloween is complete without pumpkin soup so you may want to try this spicy recipe!
So hopefully this has given you some ideas for a spooktacular Halloween!
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