Yes, it’s that time again! (comes round quick, doesn’t it?! Or is that just me?).
Here in the UK, we have half term this week and the children are off school for the run up to the official Halloween. Unfortunately, school resumes for most of them on the 31st, so apart from the traditional knocking on doors, I expect there will be parties the weekend before.
But with a week to prepare, why not try a few creative ideas to keep the kids busy?
All things pumpkin:
Pumpkin carving is great fun and even if you make a small one, they look great inside or out and make you feel festive (much like having a tree at Christmas!).
There are kits out there for children so they can carve safely, but don’t think that it’s not safe for them to use a knife. In fact, learning to use a knife safely is the best skill. Didn’t we all have to learn sometime? I read somewhere, ages ago, that it’s actually safer to use a knife with a sharp edge instead of a carving tool because it makes us subconsciously more cautious when using it. We understand the consequences. Let’s face it, you will probably only cut yourself with a knife a few times, but I bet they were when you lost focus for a moment.
Teaching your child how to cut a pumpkin safely is the same as teaching them to use a knife when cooking and the sooner you do it the better it is for them. However, you must feel confident too. You know your child best and the timing has to be right. It’s no good teaching them if you are unsure because it will show.
Anyway, however you decide to carve, have fun! Draw designs (or download our templates in our Free Halloween Pumpkin Pack!) and trace or copy them onto the pumpkin. Work the knife away from fingers and use the whole blade, especially if it is the same width as a drawn line. Work slowly, there’s no rush. Enjoy it and get creative!
Obviously, to carve the pumpkin, you will have emptied it of its contents. When doing this, keep EVERYTHING!
Pumpkin Soup and Seeds are delicious and so easy to make. Our recipes in the FREE Pumpkin Pack are great for after a chilly Halloween trick or treat session! Soup is another child friendly thing to do as they can chop safely and, with support if necessary, put the food into the pan. There is not too much prep and you don’t need to be exact about it, especially as it will be blended! Even the seed prep is easy and child friendly so have some fun bonding time in the kitchen! (P.S. don’t forget to save a few seeds in an old envelope. Keep them until spring and then have your child plant them and nurture them – who knows, next year you might be carving your own home-grown pumpkin! Wouldn’t that be great?! 🎃).
Talking of which, try making some Halloween biscuits for your trick or treat-ers. You could make your own biscuits or decorate some shop-bought ones (digestives are good!). Rolling icing is also a good way to decorate them as it’s just like play dough and can be used in fun ways! There are some good recipes out there that use pumpkin in them too… I found this one which is great for kids and uses your leftover pumpkin: https://www.hubbub.org.uk/pumpkin-cookies but there are lots out there. Learning to make pumpkin puree means you can just about add it to anything!
Let’s get crafty:
Make a Halloween garland to hang up. Use paper, card, fabric or felt to create your own decorations like these I made at a workshop last year. If you don’t think you could draw the template, think again! Just draw a ghost – domed head and think sheet for the body – you can’t go wrong!
Finally, how about creating your own Trick or Treat bag? I know I have a stash of those cotton bags that are given out at different functions, you know the ones – cream or white cotton with the iron on transfer logo… Well they have a side without a logo! Use this side to design and create a Halloween design. Use fabric markers or paint (or even just felt tips if you aren’t going to wash it) to draw it on and away you go! If you want to, you could cover the logo side by gluing on a piece of fabric that will cover it.
And finally, finally, don’t think you need to buy a costume, especially if they contain plastic components, that will probably never see the light of day again. Follow George’s advice from last year: https://www.instagram.com/p/CUS5fmBIqNF/ even using a sheet and getting creative with a ghostly apparition can be a great costume! Encourage individuality 👻🙌
I hope that helps to get you started! We have had a month of Halloween creativity in the Grow A Creative Child Academy this month - Dolly Peg Witches, Pumpkin Pom Poms and more! It’s never too late to join us as all workshops are available for six months. We currently have a SPECIAL AUTUMN OFFER as well which ends on 31/10/22 so there’s never been a better time to come and try us for a couple of months! (don’t forget that also takes you up to Christmas and all the extras that brings – Family Challenge anyone?! 😉😃) Find out more about the academy here or go ahead and sign up here!
Wishing you all a very Happy Halloween week 👻🦇🎃