We don't get into Halloween as much as Americans for obvious reason but I love it! I have great memories of trick or treating when i was young but here in Australia a lot of old fogies don't like the concept of Halloween and refuse to answer their doors for trickers going around. I clearly remember when I was 12 we did our usual knock - knock trick or treat and an old lady screamed violent abusive language from her rocking chair, banging her walking stick on the wall and yelling that she wasn't American and doesn't believe in it.... Fair enough but Geez, we avoided any house from there on in that we knew had elderly persons living there. Besides that incident, I love the spirit of Halloween and think it is one of the funniest Holidays of the year BUT my son is not yet 3 yrs old and a little young so I thought of some more appropriate ways to teach him & get him involved in the tradition.
So What do you do with children who are too Young to go trick or treating, or in the example above for younger Australian kids who you want to shield from such negative reactions and for those who are too young to understand the concept of Hallows eve?
Well here are some ideas we came up with.......
Surprise Trick or Treat at family & friends houses:We will still go trick or treating but more as an excuse to visit family & friends in dress up (Shhhhh they dont know this yet & will be completely un-suspecting of who the little trick or treater knocking on their door really is).
We plan to visit grandparents, Aunts uncles & close friends, of course Mummy will probably be dragged to every door for the surprise but it will be a nice surprise for our loved ones and it gives us a chance to stop in for a chat, S gets to dress up and join in the fun, we get to take some family pictures along the way & all in all it will be a fun learning experience that will provide some good laughs in the future & maybe some embarrassing 21st photos to hold on to for when my little one is all grown up ;-D
Halloween Decorations:Great for FUN, great for Guests, parties or to Welcome trick or treating children.
(Most of them didn't know what to do when i asked for their Trick, they just looked at me blankly as if to ask where the lollies were)
We especially did the entrance, this big web & spider was on the door.
I used a non stick tack dot to stick the streamers up so that they wouldn't wreck the paint & hung fake spiders/scorpions and Bats through the web. Most toy shops have an abundance of supplies that will give you some great ideas.
Most of it got run through ripped and torn down by the end of the evening but my little man & his guest did enjoy it, maybe a little too much!
I also used non-stick reusable stickers of spiders and webs that i got from the local bargain shop. These will stay on the walls also in case some older kids come door knocking on Halloween.
Food ideas & Recipes:
Bat shaped Sandwiches (I used a Bat cookie cutter You can also get pumpkin or ghost shaped ones that would work just as good) Nothing spectacular but they were gobbled up first, we just had Vegemite ones and Devon/sauce ones seen as it was only ourselves and another close friend.
Eye balls on Slime
These are canned, pitted Lychee's stuffed with strawberries on blue jelly. I hadn't tried my little one with lychee's before and seen as our kids are so young and sometimes fussy I did this more for the cool look, they were intrigued and picked a little but i am unsure if they actually ate a full one. My mates little angel loved the slime (jelly) and thought they were pretty weird looking so I succeeded in that department!
They would look great stuffed with green Olives also.
Mummies dipped in blood
Continental Frankfurt's mummified in thin strips of puff pastry & baked, served with tomato sauce.
Gruesome Floating hand Punch
In a doctors glove, or a clean un-dusted plastic glove fill it up with water and add a drop of food colour, tie the top up then freeze it for at least 12 hours.
Then as your guests arrive make the punch. Because our ones are still babies we used a natural fruit juice (apple & guava) diluted with water. I also had a ice tray of star shapes so i did some black stars.
You could put fruit in as well or normal ice cubes.
At the last minute get your frozen hand & cut it from the glove, make sure there is no plastic left on it & be careful not to break the fingers off (like i did).
There you have a floating hand. The colours do drift into the juice quiet quickly as it melts so it is better to use high contrast colours & place it in quickly to that it isn't left melting in the glove as you hold it :)
Other ideas I had -
Witches fingers in green snot (aka cabonossi, bread sticks, carrot & cheese slices in avocado dip)
Bowl of watermelon balls.
Bowl of pineapple pieces
Chocolate Spiders (chow mien noodles in melted chocolate & cooled on baking paper in fridge
Snakes or spiders in jelly (mix your jelly & as it is setting add some plastic bugs, snakes or spiders)
Marshmallow ghosts (marshmallows with icing drawn ghost faces
goblin eyes in spaghetti (Meatballs with an olive in the centre in spaghetti & sauce)
If you were hosting a party or making a day of it with friends there are plenty of things you could do.
I had printed some Halloween themed stencils out so they could colour & draw
You could make our foam-bags-to-learn-about-colour-mixing in a Halloween theme as we did before
You could have a monster sensory box to play in click here
You could make spiders like what we did here
You can google the meaning of Halloween and teach older kids where it derived from
You could make goody bags.
This was our first Halloween theme and seen as there were only two 2 year old kiddies to amuse we didn't go all out. They shared a treat with each other & that was enough.
They got a plastic see-through cup each for the gruesome hand punch
A glow stick bangle
A glow in the dark scorpion & a Black bat
A fake spider in some web
A little devil mask
& some appropriate lollies to take home