Halloween is just over a week away and Thomas and I are getting excited.
Pumpkins, Costumes, Decorations and Treats are in all the shops and supermarkets, but if you can make your own I think it is much more fun and it could save you money too. Here are a few ideas if you are celebrating at home or at school.
Now widely available to buy, look for one that is firm with a tough skin and not damaged (they can soon go rotten if their skin is broken, especially if they are kept somewhere warm).
If you have grown your own now is the time to harvest them before any frost, cut them off the plant leaving a long stem then place in a cool greenhouse/polytunnel or windowsill in the sun to ripen, if you want to grow your own next year click on the link below, it not as difficult as you might think and perfect for children to do.
The traditional way to decorate your pumpkin is to carve it and place a light inside to make them glow, click on the link below for a step by step guide.
There are many other ways to decorate your Pumpkin without carving, these are ideal classrorrm activities in schools and nurseries and for young children at home, here are a few suggestions.
Sparkly Pumpkin – Cover your Pumpkin with glue and sprinkle generously or make patterns and shapes using different colours of glitter.
Painted Pumpkin – Simply use paint to decorate your pumpkin, paint on patterns, swirls, spots, stripes, flowers, faces, cats, spiders or use stencils or paper doilies for templates.
Collage Pumpkin – Accessorise your Pumpkin by sticking on sequins, beads, ribbon, string, wool, stars, gems, buttons – make an abstract pattern or a face.
Natural Pumpkin – Collect Autumn leaves of different colours, shapes and sizes and stick them all over your Pumpkin.
FUN AND GAMES
Pin the Nose on the Wicked Witch
Draw a witch on a large piece of card, it can be an outline or more detailed if you wish include its pointed hat, colour in or decorate with spiders and webs, hang your witch on a wall.
Draw and cut out a large crooked nose, place a piece of sticky tack on the back.
In turn, blind fold each child and ask them to stick the nose on the witch, older children/teachers/adults may need to be spun round to make it more difficult, the nearest to the spot wins.
Pass the Pumpkin
A Halloween version of pass the parcel, fill a hollowed out, carved pumpkin with sweets when the music stops whoever is holding the pumpkin picks out a sweet, the winner gets to take the pumpkin home.
Fill a bucket or large cauldron ¾ full with water and add some eating apples, place an old towel or sheet underneath to catch any spills. Try and bite the apples with your hands behind your back, keep a towel handy. For a dry alternative or for those in Halloween make-up hang apples by their stems from doorways or for little ones use marshmallows or mini doughnuts.
If you have carved your own pumpkin use the flesh to make Mini Pumpkin Cakes and toast the seeds for a delicious snack – Sweet or Savoury the method is still the same.
Sweet Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 cup Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 tablespoon Butter melted
- 1 tablespoon Granulated Sugar
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
Savoury Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 cup Pumpkin Seeds
- 1 tablespoon Oil
- 1 teaspoon Worcester Sauce
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Sprinkle of Garlic Salt
What you need to do
- Rinse the seeds and remove as much pulp as possible, dab with kitchen roll to remove most of the moisture.
- Add the seeds to a bowl containing all the remaining ingredients and stir until well mixed and the seeds are completely covered, spread the seeds out on a tray lined with baking parchment.
- Cook in a preheated oven 275 F/135 C for about an hour or until crunchy and golden brown turning occasionally.
- Allow to cool.
Quick and Easy ‘Spook’ Cakes
- Fairy Cakes – shop bought or homemade (plain or flavoured)
- Ready to roll white Icing
- Icing Sugar
- Glace Cherries
- Marmalade or light coloured Jam
- Currants or suitable dark sweets for eyes
What you need to do
- Take the fairy cakes out of their cases and place upside down.
- Melt your jam in the microwave and brush over your fairy cakes.
- Place a cherry on the top of each, and brush with the jam.
- Dust your worktop with icing sugar and roll out the icing thinly.
- Cut out circles of icing using a saucer as a template.
- Re roll the offcuts to make more circles.
- Drape the icing circles over the cakes to create wavy pleats.
- Press your currants/sweets into the icing for the eyes.
Whatever you are doing to celebrate have lots of fun