Getting into the Halloween Spirit with a Toddlerby Lauren Schaefer
I don’t know about you, but the reality of having a child really makes you think back to your own childhood. I can remember oodles of seasonal events such as Halloween and Christmas, and the fun I had along with them. For some reason, my head has skipped forward to this stage when I imagine how these holidays are going to go with my own daughter, and I never really gave much thought about what would actually be possible with an almost-two-year-old. She can’t stay up to see in the new year, and now that we are in October I’ve only just realised that we are not going to be going ‘Trick or Treating’ either. However, that doesn’t mean to say that I have to lose out on Halloween this year. My brain has already planned out some spooktacular activities to make the day special for the two of us.
If you can’t go out ‘Trick or Treating’ with a toddler, then this is what you can do instead...
Spooky Apple frogs and swamp custard
This is the first official Halloween recipe I ever made with my mum (I think in the year 1995) and it came from a Roald Dahl cookbook. The idea is that you take a green apple, cut in half for the body, take a trace of a flat frog silhouette to cut around a puff pastry roll and pop it in the oven. You can then make a cool green swamp-like custard with some normal custard and add green food colouring! You can use currants for the eyes too- it’s such a simple, creative way to get those little minds working and baking!
Cotton wool cobwebs
Even simpler (and cheaper) is to make some homemade cobwebs using cotton wool. You can find the fake web packets in most supermarkets throughout October, so why not scatter a few around the corners of the house to make light of any spider phobias. My daughter loves going around and finding eight-legged friends to say hello to, she even blows a kiss to them as well!
Spooky flick and popcorn
If you’re stuck trying to think of a spooky but appropriate movie to watch with your little one his Halloween, why not try Scooby-Doo? In the first ten minutes, there is a howling wolf, a Luna Ghost, and then the gang jet off to Spooky Island to solve a mystery. I found that my girl was hooked on the light-hearted flick, she loved Scooby as well as the monsters and we watched the movie three times in one day. I now need to go to the shops and stock up on more popcorn though!
Pumpkin soup is the dish I actually made on the day I went into labour back in 2017. It was mid-October and I was working on some Halloween content early, and as my contractions came fairly weak for the most part of the day, I busied myself and cooked a yummy lunch before we headed to the hospital to have her. Soup is so easy to make if you have a stove, a big pot and a blender. For pumpkin soup, all you need is a pumpkin, a potato, a stock cube and some double cream.
Halloween Hide n Seek with Treats that aren’t sweets
I’m not a fan of sweets personally in any shape or form, so I don’t keep them in the house. The same cannot be said for my chocolate stash however, but the whole premise of ‘Trick or Treating’ and coming back with a sack full of sugar really doesn’t appeal to me. I would much rather show my daughter a good time by creating a game of 'hide and seek' at home with a different type of reward. This Halloween I am planning on hiding objects like a witch hat, a toy spider or a ghostly book for her to find throughout the day.
Paint a pumpkin
If the thought of knives around your mini human sends shivers down your spine, why not paint a pumpkin instead? I’m sure all kids love a session of arts and crafts, so getting them to paint something like pumpkin will really make things interesting. You can then let your pumpkin dry and have a lovely, handmade centrepiece that is unique and special this Halloween on your dining room table.
I’m sure there are hundreds of other ways to bring a little fright into your night. Getting into the Halloween spirit with your toddler should be a piece of pumpkin-spiced latte if you start thinking now!