Gardening with Children

Family Zone

Our Favourite Spooky Halloween Activities

Date Posted: 13 October 2011

Halloween is on the 31st October and is an ancient Christian Festival to mark the evening before All Hallows Day.  

But even before the days of Christianity, there was a celebration at this time to signify the changing of the season, and the preparations for the winter months ahead. 

The Celts introduced the idea of wearing masks and costumes to ward off evil spirits at this time, and the Romans included the idea of fruit to the festival...which is still seen today with toffee apples and apple bobbing.

It is very traditional to make a lantern with your pumpkin at this time of year, and we will be making ours step by step on the blog so why not take a look.  ...And if you prefer to eat your pumpkin why not cook it in our delicious recipe and then show the children how to make our alternative Jack-o-Lantern.  Details are below.

Our Tasty Witches Warmer - Delicious Pumpkin Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 onions
  • 1 pumpkin (around 1kg of peeled deseeded flesh cut into chunks)
  • 750 ml vegetable stock
  • 120 ml double cream
  • Butter

Healthy Alternative - For a healthier option substitute butter with olive oil.  For a slightly less creamer option milk can be used instead of double cream.

Method

  • Chop the onions and gently fry in a little butter until the onions become soft and clear
  • Add the pumkin chunks and continue to fry for a few minutes longer
  • Add the vegetable stock and simmer for around 20 minutes until the pumpkin is soft
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool a little
  • Blend
  • Return to the heat, add the double cream and if the soup is too thick for your taste just add a little more vegetable stock
  • Heat through gently
  • Serve with crusty bread

 Halloween Tip - For children and those who are young at heart, have fun making spooky faces on your bowl of soup.  Use herbs such as chives and parsley, croutons and pumpkin seeds to make eyes, noses and spooky smiles!

 How To Make A Halloween Jack-O-Lantern

This is a very simple activity for children, and can create a very eye catching display.

  • Take a large glass jam jar or pickle jar
  • Decorate the outside by taking small strips of orange and yellow tissue paper and glueing them to the outside of the jar.  The idea is to cover all of the glass sides for a lovely effect.  For those wanting something a little goulish why not add a spooky face with poster paint
  • Lanterns dotted around the garden or by the front door can create a lovely Halloween effect
Grow Your Own Spook

This is nice indoor gardening club activity in the run up to Halloween.  Ask each of the children to decorate their own small terracotta pot with a ghostly face of their choice.  Once the paint has dried, place some moist compost inside the pot and sow some cress seeds.  Place on a window sill and water carefully.  After a few days your spooky heads will grow hair, then on halloween you can create a scary windowsill display.

Make a Ghostly Scarecrow

Why not make our ghostly scarecrow to frighten your friends! And then when halloween is over save it for scaring away the pigeons when you sow your spring plants.

What To Do

  1. Take 2 wooden poles one around 5 ft long, the second 2 ft long
  2. Make a cross shape with the poles, the cross being about a foot from the top of the longest pole
  3. Stuff a pillow case with newspaper, rags or straw to make a head
  4. Attach to the top with string
  5. Decorate the face with a goulish design
  6. Dress the scarecrow with witches cape and hat, ghostly sheeting etc
  7. Place your scarecrow securely in the ground or tie to a fence post

Happy Halloween!

 

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