By Kerry McCrink
This time of year can prove pretty costly for every parent. The run up to Christmas is always pricey, but throw in half-term holidays, birthdays and Halloween, and you will be wishing you could grow your very own money tree in your back garden.
Fear not, there are ways to still have fun this Halloween half-term without breaking the bank. Even if you’ve managed to save for this time of year, these fun ideas will prove a lifesaver for when half-term boredom hits or the weather is a washout.
Be a bookworm
Take a stroll to the library and search for some scary classics to get you in the mood for Halloween. My three year old’s scary favourites include: Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and Allan and Janet Ahlberg’s comical story, Funnybones. There’s also my own personal favourite, the pop up classic, Haunted House by Jan Pienkowski, a Halloween delight for all ages.
Spooky Halloween dinners
Stir up a spooky treat in the kitchen. These kids’ favourites are easy to knock up and are fun to make:
Eye ball muffin pizza
Cut a muffin in half and spread with tomato paste or passata. Add diced vegetables and sprinkle over some grated mozzarella or cheddar. To create the eyeballs, slice a boiled egg in half and arrange them on top of the pizza to make two eyes and add black olives to the centre of the eyes. Finally, drizzle the eggy eyeballs with a sprinkling of green or red pesto to create blood shot eyes. Grill for 4-5 minutes until the cheese has melted and enjoy!
Ham and cheese pumpkin sandwich with scary ghost cheese slices
Create a fun Halloween lunch with this spooky twist on a kid’s favourite. Simply butter a slice of bread and add a round ham slice. Bread crusted ham is a good option as you can create a fun orange outer layer for the pumpkin. Using square cheese slices, cut a triangle for the pumpkin nose and two smaller triangles for the pumpkin eyes. Then take a carrot and cut it into a thick baton size and cut out a zig zag shape along one side of the baton. Place the cut out cheese triangles on the ham to form the eyes and nose and place the cut out carrot on the ham to create the pumpkin mouth. Finish off the pumpkin by cutting a thin strip of green pepper and add it to the top of the pumpkin to create the pumpkin stem.
To create the scary ghost cheese slices, simply cut out a ghost shape on one of the cheese slices and add two currants to create the scary ghost eyes. Place it next to the pumpkin sandwich on the plate and serve up for a fun-filled lunch.
Pass the time by making your own Halloween themed games!
Simply paint a piece of cardboard orange and cut it into 12 rectangle playing cards. Once the paint is dry, draw a selection of six Halloween themed pictures on each card. Draw each picture again on the rest of the cards to create six pairs. The first person to match all six pairs wins! To save time drawing each picture by hand, find some scary stickers to place on the cards instead. We chose to decorate our cards with Halloween monsters stickers.
Pin the hat on the witch
Using A3 paper, draw and colour in a picture of a witch on a broomstick. On a separate piece of paper draw 10 witches hats and colour them in. Draw the numbers 1 to 10 on each hat and stick some double sided tape on the back of each hat. Using blue tack or tape, place the picture of the witch on the wall and put the witches hats on a piece of square cardboard and place it on a table, along with a blindfold, all ready for Halloween guests to complete this family favourite.
When you are completely tired out, entertain your little monsters with some Halloween DVDs. Favourites include Monsters Inc, Casper and Disney’s Spooky Buddies and older kids will also love Harry Potter, The Nightmare Before Christmas or Hocus Pocus.