Great ideas to make the most of Halloween this year

What are your trick-or-treat plans for 2020? We all know that there is not going to be a lot of trick-or-treating this year, if any, give the current circumstances we find ourselves in.

But that doesn’t mean that Halloween, (Charlie’s favourite day of the year after Christmas!) has to be a complete wash out - we just need to get our thinking (witches) hats on and come up with some ideas.

No, don’t worry your (severed) head. I’ve already come up with some spooktacular ideas! Along with my trusty followers (can’t take the credit for all of these ..!), I’ve compiled a list of things we can all do in our (haunted) homes, within the guidelines, that don’t involve trick or treating!

Let’s create some new traditions!

Costumes

Why not let the kids get dressed up as normal and spend the whole day in their costumes? Over mid-term, you can spend some time creating your costumes (as you won’t be able to go anywhere else). Here are some sites for inspiration:

Dream a Little Bigger

Costume Works

Good Housekeeping I like “Green with Envy” or “Bread winner”!

Make up

Ditto with makeup. Spend some time perfecting your Halloween make-up during the week or on the day itself. Hours of fun are had in this house with makeup, mostly the girls in fairness, but Halloween allows everyone to experiment.

I’ve read that Halloween masks for kids are not to be encouraged this year so make-up it is - unless you can find some cool Halloween themed facemasks…. (yep, I found some here ).

Stock up on some face paints (we use Snazaroo - available here from the Art and Hobby shop. And Snazaroo have some great ideas on how to paint faces and inspiration for Halloween faces if you want to check out their website. I know their face paint is expensive but I’ve always found it much better than the cheaper varieties.

Pumpkins (part 1).

Well, I’m sure you’ll be using your kiddies food kutter (the safe knife for kids) to carve your pumpkins but if you don’t have one, here’s where to get it.

Buy lots of different sized and shaped pumpkins to create a pumpkin family all of your own.

There’s loads of different Youtube videos and tutorials on how to carve your pumpkin. And I’ve also found some templates that might be useful - here.

Some other things you can do with your pumpkins (to fill the day)

  • paint it (use masking tape to create a pattern)
  • cut out shapes with a cookie cutter
  • simply draw the design on your pumpkin
  • use it as a diorama (your kids will know what this is if you don’t)
  • cover it in bandages and add some eyes

Pumpkins (part 2)

Don’t throw out all the innards of your pumpkin - it’s for soup making and seed saving!

You can try this recipe here from Good Food Ireland or if you don’t want to use chilli, try replacing it with some curry powder. Delish. And top it with toasted pumpkin seeds!

If you have some seeds from a supermarket (they will be green in colour as opposed to the white ones you’ll get out of your pumpkin), then toast them on a dry pan for a couple of minutes and the taste will be 100,000% better than just raw.

You will need to rinse and dry the pumpkin seeds you get from inside your pumpkin, ideally overnight before you roast them. These pumpkin seeds still have the shell on them but you can eat it. Once dry, add a little bit of salt and oil, bake for about 45 minutes at a low temperature, turning a few times and enjoy.

Ok, so you’ve your costumes on, your faces painted, your house looks like a scene from Coraline, you’ve eaten your fill of pumpkin soup … what next?

In the evening, instead of calling from door to door, here’s some alternative ways to spend your Halloween night:

  • Halloween hunt around the house. Turn the lights down low, hide some treats and make some simple clues so the kids can find them
  • Halloween hunt outside - if your kids are a bit older (mine would love this), then head to the nearest wood or park and do a spooky hunt. Hide some treats in advance and send them off with some clues (eg. where the road forks right walk 6 paces and look under the largest stone). Obviously, high vis and parental supervision required so you don’t lose a child.
  • Halloween party at home - do some Halloween baking, you’ll be in your costumes with your pumpkins all lit, get the spooky music on and tuck in.
  • Head out around your area and look for Halloween houses - for every one you spot, you can give the kids a treat.
  • Get your back garden spruced up for Halloween. All the decorations you normally put out the front, bring round to the back where you can see them. Or just bring them indoors if you haven’t a garden.
  • Have a socially distanced costume parade around your neighbourhood. Let the kids get all dressed up, organise the neighbours together and let the kids show off their costumes! Then everyone can head to their own home and party.
  • Hide some numbered treats on your local green, give all the kids on your road a time slot and they have to head out in their costumes and find the treat with their door number on it. Someone can play spooky music and decorate the area with Halloween cobwebs and pumpkins.
  • Watch Halloween movie
  • Wake the kids up in the middle of the night (the level of fright you give them will depend on their age!) and have a midnight feast by candlelight! I think this one is for my lot - they will love this.

What will you do for Halloween, this strangest of years?

As a mum of 3, I know how difficult, challenging and difficult (worth saying twice!) it can be, feeding them a healthy, balanced diet. A couple of years ago, I left my full-time job and retrained as a Health and Nutrition Coach - much to the disgust of my children. My goal is to teach children about the joys of healthy eating (so yes, I know how difficult it is!) through my business, The Cool Food School (www.thecoolfoodschool.ie). I also like to run, drink coffee and ignore the housework.

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