Halloween falls just after half term this year, which makes the autumn break pleasingly easy to plan for. What better opportunity to spend a little time making Halloween costumes and spooky decorations together?
Ready to roll up your sleeves and have some big half term fun with your little monsters, witches and vampires? Here are five of our favourite Halloween-themed activities to entertain your grandchildren this half term...
1. Carve pumpkins
Halloween falls on the Wednesday after Autumn half term, which makes this school holiday the ideal time to turn vegetables into terrifying ghouls and other spooky creations. Some parts of pumpkin carving aren’t quite suitable for smaller people, as they involve sharp knives, however there are plenty of pumpkin tasks kids can join in with.
Get your youngsters to scoop out the insides of the pumpkin with spoons and draw their pumpkin designs on paper. Then they can cut out or trace their designs onto their pumpkin before you take care of the knife-wielding part. If they need a little inspiration, there are loads of inspiring ideas online. Make sure you keep hold of the pumpkin “innards” so that you can…
2. Make tasty pumpkin treats
Scooping out all of that pumpkin flesh can feel like a big waste. Fortunately, there are loads of different yummy things you can make using leftover pumpkin! Find some aprons for your youngsters and do some pumpkin-based baking this half term. Why not make…
- Pumpkin scones (called biscuits in this American recipe)
- Pumpkin & caramel cake
- Halloween pumpkin cake
- Pumpkin pie
Baking is a brilliant activity to try with your grandchildren, which will help them learn lots of useful skills; from weighing out ingredients to following recipes. The best part of all? Licking the bowl afterwards!
3. Collect and play conkers
If we’re lucky enough to enjoy some dry days this half term, heading out to forage in the great outdoors can be great fun. Your grandchildren might roll their eyes at the suggestion of a walk, but heading out foraging for things sounds like much more fun! Conkers are a great choice because they’re really fun to collect (who can find the biggest?) and you can play a game with your haul once you get home!
Setting up the conkers is a job best done by an adult (you need to skewer or drill through the fallen seeds before threading them), but once the hole has been made it’s time for some serious conker playing.
Supervision is a good idea as conkers can hurt if they’re swung too hard. It’s also a good idea to play while wearing thick sleeves so that rebounding doesn’t leave anybody’s arms smarting. But a little risk only makes things more fun for adventurous kids. Here are the rules of the game and good luck!
4. Make Halloween games
Do your grandchildren live in an area frequented by trick and treaters on Halloween? Why not help them create some games they can play with little spooks who come to the door (just make sure an adult will be supervising and other parents are happy for their kids to join in first!).
Whether you choose a classic like apple bobbing (it always gets a laugh - especially if you add an icing sugar round right after the water round!), or try something a little newer like making a ghost pinata or creating a game of “mummy bowling”, there are loads of fun games you can spend half term designing ready for the scariest night of the year!
5. Make leaf wreaths
Here’s another fab foraging project you can try with your grandchildren this October half term, perfect for when the leaves are dry, golden and crisp on the ground. Leaf wreaths are really easy to make and look gorgeous in homes during the Autumn. Your grandkids can give their creations to parents, friends, aunties and uncles.
There are tonnes of different tutorials you can check out online (including some using paper leaves if the real thing is a bit too soggy!). We especially like this version, which you can also spray with metallic paint for a glitzier look.
If the unpredictable Great British weather decides to shine on us this half term and it’s not as autumnal this week, you could even explore our summer holiday activity list too!
Are you planning a getaway this half term? Travel can be fantastic for opening kids’ eyes to the world beyond their doorsteps - and keeping them completely absorbed over a longer period. Our guide to booking holidays could help you get started with planning your half term adventure!
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