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Halloween 2011

Posted on 29th October 2011 in Dhruv Baker/ halloween/ pumpkin carving

Today is pumpkin carving day, I try not to get too involved as I find the smell turns my stomach…. So after much bragging 😉 from @DhruvBaker1 about his pumpkin carving skills we decided to follow suit and buy a kit from @WaitroseUK to ‘aid’ us with the carving process!

While the boys were knee deep in pumpkin guts I decided for the first year ever to try roasting pumpkin seeds. I had a look at some recipes on google an discovered that people seemed to either go for sweet or savoury options. I decided to go for a simple in between version which included butter, brown sugar, salt and ground pepper.

I separated the seeds from the gunk and then rinsed them in water before patting them dry on some kitchen roll.

I mixed the butter, sugar, salt and pepper mixture in the bowl and then added the dried pumpkin seeds. Gave it all a thorough stir and then spread out onto a baking tray.

I then baked it for around 20 mins at 200. I checked it every couple of minutes so that I could stop it at the exact moment when I liked the colour!

They taste not dissimilar to toffee popcorn, light and crunchy with a toffee aftertaste. I think maybe adding chilli to the mix would have made a nice taste too.

Meanwhile, the boys are busy carving their pumpkin templates – finished articles will be shown tomorrow!

Can you guess what they’ll be?

Good stuff huh, and I think we all agree that what we wont do is mention the first batch of pumpkin seeds which I may have left in the oven for too long!

Pumpkin Carving

Posted on 31st October 2010 in halloween/ pumpkin carving

I think it’s reasonably obvious that the children did these themselves……

I also think the fact that they are rotting already (gross) adds a nice touch of halloween authenticity, or something.

Check out some other pumpkins at @mediocremum‘s blog where she is running a pumpkin carving competition.

Halloween Party Games

Posted on 30th October 2010 in cake/ children/ halloween/ party games

Halloween, All Souls Eve, or All Hallows Eve as it has previously been known, seems to date back to the Druids in 700bc when it was believed that the souls of the dead returned to mingle with the living on October 31st – hallowed eve of All Souls Day which was November 1st. People originally began dressing in costumes to disguise themselves from these spirits.*

Now, although the tradition is still more popular in American than in the UK, we celebrate a much more light hearted celebration and the night is purely one of spooky fun!

There are a lot of traditional games associated with Halloween here are some of them for you to try:


Apple Bobbing

Simple and inexpensive, but messy!  All you will need is a large bowl (washing up bowl is ideal) lots of water, some green food colouring and some apples.  Float the apples in the water, add a couple of drops of green colouring to make it more swamp like and then each child has to get an apple out without using their hands…..i.e. by trying to bite the apple with their teeth.  It’s advisable to have towels on standby.


Jelly Hunt

Mix up a jelly in your largest mixing bowl and just before it sets up some ‘prizes’ into it, toy plastic spiders or well wrapped sweets would work well.  If you then place an upturned cardboard box over the mixing bowl that has a hole cut in the top just large enough for a hand, each child will have to place their hand into the cold slimy jelly to reveal their prize.


Spooky Trail

Hide a range of spooky items around your house, and then write a clue sheet to help the children complete the trail.  Be imaginative, put things like ‘take a spider from the web’ where you have some plastic toy spiders suspended from cotton, or  ‘gather some witches hair’ could be some cooked and cooled spaghetti that you’ve dyed green.  Also at this time of year there are quiet often a variety of sweets that you can buy in the shape of vampire teeth, bugs and bats that could be included on your trail.  Rather than doing party bags to hand out at the end of the party, you could give each child a bag to collect their trail items in that you then hand back to them as they leave, maybe after added a couple of extra treats.


Pin The Nose On The Witch

Find yourself a large piece of white card and an artistic friend!  Draw the outline of a traditional looking witch, this can be as simple or as complex as your talent will allow as children are fortunately very kind at recognising things!  Then draw a warty nose on a separate piece of card which the blindfolded children take turns in pining on the witch.  If possible it is a nice touch to make a nose for each child that you write their name on in advance as then everyone can see the finished result at a glance without any claims of cheating!


Make A Mummy

Think of the Andrex Puppy and you wont be far wrong.  Split the children into teams of at least 2 with 1 child being the mummy and the remaining child(ren) armed with toilet rolls ready to wrap around the 1st child – the winning team being the first to make a mummy.


Sleeping Vampires

Bit of an obvious one to have as your last game, a complete take off of sleeping lions and a chance to get your little ones to calm down a bit before they go home.  The Vampire who wakes last from their sleep is the winner.


If you are going to have a Halloween party, don’t forget a spooky cake! Here are 2 that I’ve made. The ghosts on the white cake are just circles of white icing draped over lollies (chupa chups style lollies) or you can use upside down cornets instead. The webbing and spiders I bought in a halloween pack from a supermarket. Very easy to do. The black cake was a little trickier but essentially I drew the witch onto paper first, then cut it up to use as a template to cut out the right pieces from the coloured icing. Give them a try!




*Information taken from the pressroom of Hallmark cards


Do You Trick or Treat?

Posted on 30th October 2010 in children/ fireworks/ halloween/ strangers/ trick or treat

According to my boys I am right now possibly the worst mummy in the world.


Actually loads of reasons but mainly because I won’t let them go trick or treating.

My reasons?

The reason I give them is that they would essentially knocking on complete strangers doors and accepting things from them. We know nothing about the people and we have no idea whether the things they would be giving them had been tampered with in any way. At no other time of the year would I allow them to approach complete strangers and accept things from them.

As a sort of pay off, I have however bought some fireworks for next weekend.

Am I a complete killjoy? Do you allow trick or treating?


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