Not sure how to occupy your little ones through mid-term break and the long wait until Halloween? We've got you covered with at-home Halloween-themed activities.
Between the rainy weather, yet another bank holiday spent at home and Halloween still well over a week away, it can be difficult to sate the kid’s chocolate-craved appetites to dress up and go knocking on neighbours doors.
However, there are plenty of ways to celebrate the spooky season ahead of the big day. You could visit a pumpkin patch (an actual thingin Ireland now, promise) or go bobbing for apples – although maybe not the most hygienic idea post-Covid. Here are a few more indoor ideas to fill the rainy mid-term break and ensure your little ones max out on Halloween festivities without overdoing it on the chocolate front.
1. Window Drawing
If your smallies are too small for pumpkin carving, why not invest in some eco-friendly paint and paint their pumpkins instead? Or better yet, try these hard paint pencils.
They give strong, vibrant colours that can be easily wiped off again so they can create their own pumpkin or even help with the decorating by doodling some spooky dudes on the windows.
2. Printable masks
If you haven’t had the time or the budget to go for full-on Halloween costumes this year, why not encourage the kids to get creative and make their own.
You can keep things simple by starting with a mask. Mr Printables has six Halloween masks that can either be printed off in full colour or left for little ones to colour in themselves.
Once they’ve worked on their mask, they can search the house for items to wear, from orange t-shirts stuffed with a pillow for a pumpkin to black tights and woolly gloves for a spider.
3. Make Slime
Slime can be made from ingredients loitering in the kitchen cupboard – no need for glue and saline solution, which isn’t great for the environment or sensitive skin. This one has very few ingredients and is completely edible (although probably won’t taste nice!).
Put a few tablespoons of cornflour (or custard powder) in a bowl. In a jug, mix water and your food colouring of choice. Slowly add the water mixture to the cornflour by adding a spoonful at a time and then mixing until you have the right consistency.
You will know it’s ready when you poke it softly and it seems like a liquid but when you jab it, it feels solid. If you stir it really quickly and then move it around in your hands it will stay fairly solid but once you stop, it’ll return to liquid again.
It’s known as a neo-Newtonian fluid and is tons of fun but will almost definitely be messy. Best to set it up somewhere where the food dye won’t stain.
4. Bat Decorations
You can still decorate for a party even it’s only going to be the family. Sostrene Green has a very simple bat creation, made using a cardboard toilet roll centre, black paint, black paper and some glue.
Click here for the how-to video and to download the template.
5. Haunted Gingerbread Houses
This is definitely something you can knock a few days out of. If you don’t fancy the assembly job, stick with the basic gingerbread men. Any good gingerbread recipe should see you through this.
Using a flat-edged nozzle with some simple white icing (icing sugar and water) create folds across your cookie for the perfect zombie, or paint them green for an evil Frankenstein. If you don’t fancy making individual icing colours, most supermarkets will carry a pack of four icing colours with nozzles so you can get decorating straight away.
If you do want to create a haunted house, complete with spiders’ webs (candy floss), gingerbread gravestones and whatever else tickles your fancy, you will find a simple template for cutting out the house here. Using black, green and orange icing for a spooky effect.
6. Frozen banana ghosts
For something a little less complex, BBC Good Food has a straightforward frozen banana recipe that requires some white chocolate, desiccated coconut and dark chocolate buttons.
7. Sensory games
This can be a lot of fun and the more creative you can be, the better. These don’t need to look the part as the kids will be sticking their hands in without seeing them, they just need to feel, well, gross.
Cut littles square out for a piece of cardboard, big enough to fit a tiny hand, and then tape some paper or napkins over the hole so they can’t peek inside. Set up different bowls at different gaps and label them. Broken up jelly can be brains, warm water with some cornflour and red food dye for blood, peeled hard-boiled eggs for eyeballs… you get the picture.
8. Halloween dance party
There are a ton of child-friendly Halloween playlists in Spotify like this one. It’s a great way to keep kids moving while staying inside and the music can really help carry the evening’s theme.
Put a spooky spin on musical statues and play musical Zombies, pausing the music and the first one to move is out until a champion zombie is crowned.
9. Pin the spider in the web
Another Halloween take on a classic party game, tape together a few A4 pages and draw a large spider web. Kids can make and decorate their own spiders with their names so they know who is who. Loop some sticky tape on the back of each and give each little one a spin (preferably before they tuck into all the chocolate) and see who gets closest to the centre of the web.