It’s officially ‘Spooky Season’, which means a month of horror movie marathons, telling scary stories, shopping for costumes and indulging in everything pumpkin spice flavoured in the build-up to Halloween on October 31.
Although the holiday originated in the United States, all the festive fun has trickled over into other parts of the world, including here in South Africa.
From themed meals at restaurants to fancy dress parties and trick or treating, there are so many ways to celebrate.
Halloween themed treats
A big part of Halloween is definitely the food – especially if you prefer treats over tricks. Getting creative in the kitchen with spooky-themed dishes is a super fun way for children and parents to participate in the action. Try out these nifty tricks for transforming ordinary dishes into something a little more festive.
From hot dogs to cookies and even pretzel sticks, practically any food can take on a super scary mummy look with a little DIY skill. For sweet treats, fill a piping bag with either melted down white chocolate or buttercream frosting. Ice your treats using a zig-zag motion to create the illusion of a bandaged mummy. For savouries, like hot dogs or veggies, use thin strips of pastry for the wrapping and bake.
Raspberry jam and berry coulis have an intensely red colour that perfectly mimics blood. Use the condiments to splash over baked goods like cupcakes and doughnuts for an extra gory finish. As a bonus, berries pair well with a variety of flavours, cutting the richness of vanilla, chocolate and butter, helping uplift all your sweet treats with a fresh fruity flavour. For savouries, you can’t go wrong with tomato sauce.
Bring your creations to life with edible eyes. These can be purchased at bake ware stores, but if you prefer to get creative, make your own with icing or fondant, you can be even more elaborate with the detail.Pipe your eyeballs onto cupcakes, cookies, chocolate-dipped strawberries to see how they transform each dish. Not every Halloween treat needs two eyeballs. Just use one to create the illusion of a one-eyed monster.
Like with most other holidays, getting your home decorated is all part of the festivities. Bring colour, life and vibrancy into your home with these step-by-step DIY decor activities the kids will absolutely love.
Pumpkin carving is a huge part of the Halloween festivities. However, not super safe for younger children. So, why not try pumpkin painting instead?
WHAT YOU NEED
Use markers to draw patterns and designs on your pumpkins.
Use paints to colour in your drawings.
Add stickers and glitter for added colour and decor.
Display your pumpkin art in your home.
Toilet paper roll characters
This Halloween craft may seem a little batty, but your kids will absolutely love it. Using the inners of toilet paper rolls, you can bring these spooky bats to life with some DIY creativity.
WHAT YOU NEED
Googly eye stickers
Toilet paper rolls (used)
White paper or paint (for the fangs)
Draw and cut out some bat wings with black cardboard.
Glue the toilet roll to the wings in the centre and paint it black.
Once the cardboard dries, stick on two googly eyes.
Add two little fangs beneath the eyes using triangle pieces of paper cut out or white paint.
Place the bats all around the house for some festive fun.
The tassel garlands are a fun way to add some festive decor to the home.
WHAT YOU NEED
Ball of wool
Black permanent marker
A rectangular piece of stiff cardboard
Start by placing a piece of wool across the width of a rectangular piece of stiff cardboard. If you want longer tassels, a bigger piece of cardboard will be needed.
To create the ghost tassels, start winding the wool around the length of the cardboard and over the piece of wool you placed earlier. Lots of wool will create a fuller ghost, so keep going until you are happy with the size.
When you are ready, take the piece of wool you initially placed across the width and use it to tie a tight double knot around the wound wool.
Next, use scissors to cut through all the wool that is on the opposite side of where you just made the knot. The tassels will be held together by the knot as you pull them off the cardboard.
To make the ghost’s head, tie another knot a few centimetres away from the first knot and pull tight to form a bubble.
Use googly eyes, stickers or a marker to draw on eyes and then draw on a mouth.
Snip away the tassels from the initial knot.
Repeat the above steps until you are happy with the number of ghosts you have accumulated.
Use a needle and thread to link the ghosts together onto one piece of thread by piercing through the heads of the woolly ghosts. The finer the thread, the less you’ll be able to see it from afar, and the ghosts will appear to be floating.
Hang your ghost garland above the fireplace or entryway for display.
Keep kids entertained with some Halloween themed activities you can put together at home with just a little creativity.
Gooey and colourful, slime is every kid’s favourite craze. But did you know the textures are also great for sensory play? This Halloween slime recipe is perfectly on theme for the holiday and will provide your kid with hours of fun, just be sure to monitor them while they play.
WHAT YOU NEED
142 g white wood glue
½ cup water
Food colouring (optional)
½ tsp baking soda
1 tbsp saline solution
Halloween beads (mini bones, gravestones, eyeballs, ghosts)
Purple and orange confetti
In a small bowl, pour out 142 g white glue.
Add ½ cup of water and stir until the glue and water are fully mixed together.
Add a few drops of food colouring for colour: red, orange or green would be great for Halloween.
Add ½ tsp baking soda and stir.
Add 1 tbsp of saline solution. Stir quickly. The slime will begin to form and pull away from the sides of the bowl. The saline solution will determine your slime’s stickiness.
Once the slime separates from the sides of the bowl, knead it for a few minutes. It will still be sticky at first.
Add decorations and store in an airtight container until use.
Popsicle stick puzzle
WHAT YOU NEED
7 popsicle sticks per puzzle (can be recycled or bought from a craft store)
Colouring in crayons or paint
Line up the popsicle sticks and number them 1 to 7 in the top corner
Draw Halloween themed pictures onto the sticks while they are lined up on a flat surface (you can use tape to keep them from moving if you like). A jack-o-lantern, witch hat, bats in the night sky or a spider on a web are easy to draw and on bran brand for the spooky season.
Get your child to colour in the picture using either crayons or paints.
Once dry, muddle up the sticks and have them rearrange the sticks to complete the picture.