How to have a ghoulishly good Halloween… with toddlers!
If you're not quite ready to admit Christmas is just around the corner (it’s just nine weeks away, in case you were wondering), there’s still one festivity you can distract yourself - and your children - with… Halloween. And whilst Halloween didn't really rank on our radar growing up, these days it can be quite the party.
With two young toddlers in my own household, this will be the first year we’ve actively celebrated 'All Saints’ Eve'. Even last year I was still intercepting trick or treaters with lollies in our front driveway, fearful their unanticipated knocks on the door would wake our sleeping babies! Fast forward 12 months, however, and the youngest members of the household are full of excitement when it comes to this most ghoulish of good times. And whilst they may be still too young to take part in the traditional ‘trick or treating’ – or indeed fully understand the cultural significance of Halloween – we still have a few tricks up our sleeves to ensure they can participate in the early hours of the evening.
1. The perfect excuse to dress up
Whether or not your children are going to be knocking on their neighours’ doors, there’s no reason not to dress up this Halloween. And you don’t need to fork out on a costume, either – making one is just as fun, especially when you involve your little ones.
If your craft box is stocked up with felt and ribbon, you can easily turn a headband into devil horns or cat’s ears; a large piece of paper rolled into a cone makes the perfect wizard or witch’s hat (just add a brim for the latter); and a hole cut in an old bedsheet can transform your toddler into the cutest of ghosts.
2. Create your Jack O’ Lantern
Halloween wouldn’t be the same without a pumpkin, and at this time of year you’ll find plenty in your local supermarket. Placed in your window or on your front porch, the Lantern will signal to trick or treaters you’re armed with treats and accepting visitors.
Whilst it will come down to you to carve the top from the pumpkin, toddlers are pretty handy when it comes to scooping out the pips from the inside and, armed with a black texta and Kiddikutters (kiddikutter.com.au), can have great fun carving the eyes, nose and teeth. Another great idea is to use an orange as a pumpkin – you can even fill it with nuts, raisins and other treats when you’re finished.
3. Cook up some tasty treats
If you don’t want any nasty surprises you’ll need plenty of treats to fill up your visitor’s buckets. And if you don’t want to buy lollies, try cooking up some treats with your toddlers. Strawberries dipped in melted white chocolate make great looking ghosts – you can use chocolate chips or piped chocolate icing to create the faces – and take a look in your cookie cutter collection for anything you can turn into a spooky theme. We found an owl shape cutter and created these night-owl biscuits in no time.
4. Party Games
If you’re hosting a party, you’ll need a few spook-inspired games to keep your little ones entertained. Apple bobbing is a traditional Halloween activity – not to mention a healthy one – and can be easily set up with a punnet of apples and a tub of water. You’ll need a good few rolls of toilet paper, but toilet paper mummies will have your little ones in stitches and make some great memories for the photo albums, too. Lastly, for a round of Halloween bowling, you can turn simple white paper cups into ghosts with the help of a black texta, stack them in a pyramid and use an orange or mandarin disguised as a Jack O’ Lantern to bowl them over.
Whatever you do this Halloween, we’d love to see your little ones having fun. Share your photos with us by tagging #mybestgift on Instagram!