October 24, 2020 7 min read
Over the past few years, Halloween in the UK has gone from something nobody took very much notice of, to something of an annual event. As far as many children are concerned, it’s right up there with Christmas, birthdays, Easter and summer vacations.
All of a sudden, it’s exploded with decorations in every supermarket and adorning every street.
There’s the costumes, the face paints, the pumpkin picking fields, the trick-or-treating, the Halloween parties and the school discos.
And while we have a long way to go before we reach the dizzy extremes of Halloween celebrations in the USA, we’re definitely getting there!
Of course, Halloween 2020 will be a rather different affair. Most of the locally organised Halloween trails have been cancelled, as are discos. The weather is widely predicted to be absolutely dreadful and, (as social distancing couldn’t be assured), trick-or-treating had been cancelled to.
If like me, you have a house full of disappointed children, there are still plenty of activities you can do to try and make up for yet another thing being cancelled because of the pandemic.
So if you’re stuck for inspiration, here are just a few ideas for things you can do with your own little monsters.
Plus, they really do love the things that they make. We usually still have sugar paper bats hanging around when the Elf on the Shelf arrives.
Movie nights can be tricky, particularly if you have children at different ages and stages, but I’ve honestly found that the best way to handle it is to pick something animated (because until the age of 7, anything with real people in it, is for boring grownups) that the younger children will love and the older ones won’t mind.
Older children tend to appreciate the whole family movie-night experience more than little ones with a limited attention span.
Try Hotel Transylvania (any of them), The nightmare before Christmas, Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween movie, or the animated version of The Adam’s Family (2019).
Add giant marshmallows, jelly sweets, popcorn and compulsory red drinks to make it as authentic as possible (it’s only once a year).
Hide eyeball sweeties in cooked spaghetti and let them hunt for them, pin the spider on the spider web, bob for apples, hang doughnuts from the ceiling or a door frame and see who can eat theirs first. Look to Pinterest for inspiration!
And Halloween themed food is pretty easy too. Keep it really easy with a picnic style buffet (because what child doesn’t love eating sat on a blanket on the floor?), or if you have the time, be a little more inventive. Use Halloween cookie cutters to make scary shaped sandwiches and let them eat all those tasty Halloween cakes and cookies you’ve baked.
If you want to go all out, let them make their own costumes.
If you are the kind of person who wants to carefully carve your pumpkin to a work of art that will be the envy of all your neighbours – skip this bit.
Or if you’re looking for an easy option, paint the pumpkins instead!
Pumpkins can be great fun to carve, but they’re not the easiest things to do well. Especially if you have a gaggle of small enthusiastic “helpers”.
The easiest things to do is remove the tough outer skin yourself and then let your children finish it off and remove the gooey insides.
If you want, pop the seeds into a colander or strainer, wash them to remove any pulp and then roast to make a tasty snack.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock yourself, it would be pretty hard to be unaware of the hidden rocks game that has been played by children up and down the UK for a few years now.
The idea is simple. Paint a rock in whatever design you like (bright and simple tends to work best), write your location on the back (ie: Weymouth Bay, UK) and then add the year (2020).
If you want your design to last, apply a layer of varnish with a brush or with spray varnish.
Go on a walk and hide your rock somewhere where it will be found, then go on a scavenger hunt to look for more coloured rocks that other people have hidden. Once found, re-hide.
A lot of areas now have active local Facebook groups where people post a photograph of a rock every time they find one (which is the source of much excitement for the painter of the rock), but it’s not necessary to play the game.
It is a good excuse to get everyone out of the house for some fresh air and it’ll keep them entertained for hours.
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