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Family-Friendly Halloween Ideas

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Costumes, sweet treats, fake blood and fangs! It’s no wonder Aussies are increasingly embracing the long-cherished American tradition of Halloween and bringing the fun Down Under. Originally a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter, it was believed that on this night the souls of the dead would visit homes. As such, poor old 31st of October was branded with a sinister significance as demons, black cats, goblins, witches and ghosts roamed the streets… or so the legend goes 😱🔪 Whether you’re a diehard Halloween fiend or simply looking for some fun activities to do with the kids, we’ve got 5 family-friendly Halloween ideas your little ghouls will adore.

🎃 1 Set a spooky scene

An easy way to get the spooky vibe and have a heap of fun with the kids, decorate the house in cobwebs, spiders, zombies, pumpkins and bats. These items are really cheap and available in low-cost department stores and even some supermarkets. Stretch spiderwebs across dining tables, chairs and doorways. Place a strategic fake spider in the powder room to scare your guests! This Halloween scene created by @our.mountain.life is both spooky and stylish. (Pictured with the Provincial Oak Table and Cross Back Chairs)

Spooktacular halloween ideas
Spooktacular halloween ideas

🎃 2 Bake witch finger biscuits

Ingredients
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
28 large sliced almonds
Method
1. Preheat the oven to 165ºC.
2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
3. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy for about 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Beat in the egg and vanilla until smooth.
5. Add in the flour mixture, beating until a dough forms.
6. Separate the dough into 28 portions.
7. Roll each portion of dough between your palms into ‘fingers’.
8. Press a sliced almond into the end of each finger to make ‘fingernails’.
9. Make several horizontal cuts in the centre of each finger to make ‘knuckles’.
10. Press the dough on either side of the cuts to shape the knuckles.
11. Arrange the fingers on the baking sheet and cook for approximately 15 minutes, until light golden.

🎃 3 Carve jack-o’-lanterns

The Jack O’Lantern legend goes back hundreds of years, hailing from Ireland. There once was a miserable man called Stingy Jack who died and was rejected by both heaven and hell. As such, he began wandering the earth with nowhere to go, forever in the dark Netherworld. Traditionally, on Halloween the Irish would hollow out a pumpkin and place a light inside to ward off evil spirits and keep Stingy Jack away. You can make your own jack-o’-lanterns with the kids and fit them with tea lights. Of course, the slicing part is best left to an adult or older kids, but there’s still plenty the little ones can do.

(These resourceful teens carved up a watermelon and blended up the ‘brains’ to make delicious fruit smoothies!)

Steps
1. Any pumpkin will do the trick, but the traditional golden-nugget pumpkin is bright orange and easy to cut.
2. Slice off the crown of the pumpkin and set aside.
3. Use a big serving spoon to scoop out the seeds. The little ones can do this!
4. With a black marker, draw an outline of a ‘face’ onto the pumpkin. Again, the little kids will love this part. It could be a traditional jack-o’-lantern face, something spooky, something funny… even a Disney character!
5. Carefully cut out the nose, eyes and mouth with a small sharp knife.
6. Pop a tea light inside and pop the crown back on.
7. Put your jack-o’-lantern on the mantle or by the front door to let trick-or-treaters know you’re open for business!

(These spooky jack-o’-lanterns by @our.mountain.life are pictured with the Provincial Oak Mantel)

Spooktacular Halloween Ideas

🎃 4 Make voodoo dolls

An awesome crafting idea that can be achieved with old scraps of fabric and rogue buttons from the sewing box, this spooky task will keep the kiddies occupied all afternoon, while also teaching them some precious sewing skills. Set a theme, such as The Corpse Bride or Freddy Krueger. Or let their imaginations run wild!

Steps
1. Draw a simple outline of a ‘body’ (example above) that’s about 15cm tall on a piece of paper to make a template, then cut it out.
2. Fold a piece of felt fabric in half and pin your template to it.
3. Cut the felt using the template as a guide to create the front and back pieces of your doll. Remove the pins and template.
4. With black thread, stitch in the button eyes, or make eyes by sewing an X with the thread.
5. Continue with the black thread to stitch in a mouth.
6. Sew the 2 pieces of fabric together with black or white thread, leaving a small hole for stuffing.
7. Stuff your doll with polyester stuffing, cotton balls or rice, then stitch up the hole.
8. Use wool to stitch in hair and any fabric scraps for the clothing.
9. Top it off with a hat, bridal veil, shoes, pinhead, etc., to get the final spooky touches!
5 Family-Friendly Halloween Ideas

🎃 5 Tell scary stories

After the little kids have gone to bed, you can take the bigger ones outside to curl up under the moon and tell some good old-fashioned creepy campfire stories, like ‘The Vanishing Hitchhiker’, ‘The Bloody Hook’ or ‘Doggy Lick’. Who doesn’t love a good ghost story to get the heart pumping? Here’s one to get you started:

The Clown

One night, a babysitter came to watch two children for the night. The parents had requested that, after she puts the kids to bed, she watches TV upstairs in their bedroom, as the kids had been having nightmares lately.

She put the kids to bed and then settled in the parents’ room to watch TV. But in the corner of the room there was a large, creepy clown statue. She tried to ignore it, but it was just too creepy. Finally, she phoned the father to ask if she could watch TV downstairs instead.

“Okay, but why?” he asks.

She tells him that the clown statue is just creeping her out.

There’s a pause. “Get the children and leave the house,” the dad said. “We don’t have a clown statue!”

5 Family-Friendly Halloween Ideas with the Woven

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 👻

Pictured above: Woven Wicker chair, Cosmic mirror and Gold Trim Moon mirror.

Check out more of @our.mountain.life‘s modern farmhouse in the mountains.

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