Halloween: Spookily good craft and cooking ideasPublished:
When you’re looking for inspiration to keep children entertained any help is welcome. Having a theme is a great way to channel some creative inspiration so get cosy inside with some Halloween ideas to get you started…
Cotton Bud Skeletons
All you need is some cotton buds, glue, scissors, white paper and black card for dramatic effect (or any paper or card will do). We found instructions here.
Arrange the buds into the bones of a skeleton, cutting some to make smaller pieces and arranging them anatomically correctly (there’s a science lesson to be had there) or haphazardly as you wish. Make your skeleton spooky or sweet, dancing or dead.
Soundtrack: Dem Bones, Delta Rhythm Boys
Paper Plate Spiders
You need: paper plates, glue, pipe cleaners, string, googly eyes optional.
Take a paper plate and colour it to make a spider body. Go with traditional black or give your spider a glow up with colour and glitter. Attach 4 pipe cleaners on opposing sides for the legs, give it some eyes and make a small hole in the top to tie a piece of string through so you can hang it up to frighten fragile family members. More spidery ideas here.
Soundtrack: Incy Wincy Spider, traditional
Cute Paper Pumpkins
We love the look of this sweet pumpkin and it’s a whole lot easier for little fingers than carving out a real one.
You need: orange card, green card, scissors, a black felt tip, a split pin.
Simple instructions can be found here but basically you cut the orange card into 8 lengths of the same size. Attach the strips together with a split pin. Then gather the other end of the strips together and attach them, along with a length of green card to be the leaf, with a second split pin. Give it some character with eyes and a smile.
Soundtrack: Maybe something by Smashing Pumpkins. Parental Advisory…
A sensory delight (well, kind of), slime has enjoyed its moment in the spotlight in recent years with slime production becoming a thing in many households. It’s perfect for Halloween especially with the addition of some plastic eyeballs or spiders to squelch your fingers into. There’s a simple recipe here.
Soundtrack: Monster Mash, Bobby Pickett
If spooky and scary is not your bag why not create a beautiful rainbow of autumn leaves? It’s a great excuse to get out for a good walk, collect as many leaves of different hues as you can then back home for hot chocolate while you arrange your leaves in shade order to create a rainbow as seen here.
Soundtrack: California Dreamin’, The Mamas & the Papas
Baker Ross is a good source of affordable themed crafts with lots of Halloween ideas.
When you’re worn out from all that crafting curl up for a story with an absolute classic: Funnybones by Janet and Allan Ahlberg.
This is just the season for retreating into a warm kitchen: don your apron for some Halloween themed culinary delights.
Have fun sourcing creepy cookie cutters (nobody does Halloween quite like the Americans so check out US sites for a wealth of designs) or make your own templates by cutting out cardboard shapes. Use a classic biscuit recipe, cut your shapes and then go to town with the decoration using coloured icing, edible eyeballs, jelly snakes or whatever takes your fancy. Edible ink pens (or cake pens) are widely available from most supermarkets and even little hands can wield them quite easily. However, this is one time when it doesn’t matter how messy the end result gets. Toddler gone overboard with the black and green icing? The gorier the better!
The OG Domestic Goddess Nigella has a great Halloween chapter in her book Feast which features such gruesome gourmet delights as Slime Soup, Blood and Guts Potatoes, Witches Hair, and Pus, so you can really make a meal of it.
For something that the children will love but will also provide the perfect accessory to a strong coffee for the adults, try your (severed) hand at these Halloween Blondies. Decorated with melted marshmallow cobwebs, they will deliver the requisite sugar rush with the touch of sophistication that a gingerbread skeleton doesn’t quite muster.
Filling children up with a bit of stealth health before the onslaught of sweets is always a good idea. These Spooky Stuffed Peppers from Annabel Karmel are a feast for the eyes as well as the tummy. Tweak the ingredients to suit your childrens’ tastes.
For some fabulous fun inspiration check out (son of the more famous Jamie) Buddy Oliver’s Halloween Treats tutorial. Children love watching kids cooking and it may just inspire their own creepy creations. It’s a good watch, complete with comedy sound effects, for all ages and is full of really good ideas.
Wash it all down with this non-alcoholic Halloween punch recipe - much more exciting than the usual squash or water.
Looking to get out and about around Cirencester this Halloween? Check out our spooky half term activties HERE.