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Tis the season to be scary and as we count down to the school holidays, we’re here with some Halloween decorating ideas, Halloween recipes and October half term ideas to help you get into the spirit of things.

Halloween decorating ideas

Halloween is fast becoming one of our favourite holidays and the term “Halloween decorations” is the subject of 24,000 online searches in the UK every day.

So if your children are keen to transform your home into a spooky haunted house this year, we have ideas for how to make Halloween decorations your little ghouls will love.

Why not create your own Halloween garlands from paper? You can use coloured card or felt and ‘vamp’ it up with some fangtastic eco-friendly alternatives to glitter.  First, make a template design on paper. Next, trace or cut around the template on your chosen material to ensure each item has a uniform shape and repeat as many times as you like. Ghosts, pumpkins and witches’ hats all make great adornments for garlands and are simple shapes for children to practise their cutting skills. Decorate your shapes, punch a small hole and thread them onto wool, thick cotton or string.

If you’re wondering how to make spider decorations for Halloween, you can create a naturally inspired web using foraged items from your garden, local park or woodland. For a simple spider’s web, collect three similar length thin sticks and lay them across each other as if they were spokes in a wheel. Tie in the middle and then weave around white or coloured wool from the centre out, looping around each stick until you have lots of circles to create a web like pattern. For your scary spider centrepiece, use black wool to create a pom pom by winding your wool around a cardboard disk. Then add pipe cleaner legs and cardboard googly eyes to finish. 

Children will also love creating their own Halloween masks to scare their friends. Netmums has a great selection of masks you can print out at home to colour in or paint.

Halloween recipes and bonfire night bakes

Whether you’re hosting a Halloween party or just inviting friends around for a cosy bonfire night gathering, autumn conjures up a desire for warm and comforting food.

One pan cooking is great for a dinner party and BBC Good Food has some fabulous single pot recipes to see you through the colder months. One of favourites is Sophie Godwin’s Sausage, kale & gnocchi one-pot recipe – with British bangers and a hint of chilli heat, it’s a great bonfire night recipe. Just fry the sausage meat out of their skins in a pan with chilli flakes and fennel seeds. Remove and cook the gnocchi in the same pan for a minute, before adding chicken stock, kale, parmesan and black pepper. Return the sausage meat to the pan and serve.

If you’re looking online for Halloween baking ideas for kids then Tesco has some devilishly delicious recipes. Children will love getting messy decorating these blood splattered gingerbread biscuits. Get creative with your shapes and let the kids loose with bright red icing. 

Or impress your guests with a hideously satisfying chocolate slime tart. For the base combine crushed Oreo cookies with melted unsalted butter. For your layer of slime mix ready-made custard and green food colouring and for the chocolate topping, mix equal measures of milk chocolate and dark chocolate with double cream and unsalted butter. Decorate the top in frightening fashion with circles of melted white chocolate and drag through a cocktail stick to create a spider’s web design.

October half term ideas

When you’ve had enough of crafting and cooking, you may want to get out of the house to (hopefully) enjoy some autumn sunshine. 

Many local venues host spooktacular events for Halloween, from pumpkin picking to scary walking trails or visit the National Trust website to discover a host of family-friendly activities staged at its sites around the UK. Some of the larger Halloween events in the UK include Scarefest at Alton Towers in Staffordshire, Manchester’s Halloween Festival and the Haunted Castle tour at Warwick Castle, Warwickshire. 

If you’re looking for a slightly slower pace, we’ve previously brought you some of our favourite local walks and parks.

We’ve also got some great tips for making the most of your garden during autumn as well as advice on gardening for wildlife, which is a great way to encourage your children to develop green fingers. 

With hibernation fast approaching for many small mammals, you can keep the children busy mixing up a hedgehog feast from unsalted peanuts, raisins and mealworms to leave outside alongside a bowl of fresh water.

And by leaving an area of your garden a bit wilder – with brambles, log piles, leaf piles and long grass or scrub – you can provide the perfect place for hedgehogs to make a cosy hibernation nest. 

Our partners at The Wildlife Trusts have lots of advice for how you can support hedgehogs this autumn in this booklet

Inspire children to discover more about the native wildlife by creating an animal footprint tracker so you can turn detective and discover which creatures are active in your garden. Fill an old baking tray with damp sand and level off with a long ruler. Place your hedgehog feast or some meaty cat or dog food in a low sided dish in the centre and leave overnight. Then check for tracks in the morning!

Whatever you’re up to this half term, we’d love to see your photos so tag us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  

Competition time!

We have £200 John Lewis vouchers up for grabs and all you have to do is show us in the comments across how you're getting into the Halloween spirit and don't forget to tag us in your shots with #RedrowCompetition 

Head over to any of our social channels now to enter - Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

*Competition closes Sunday 31st October 23:59pm*

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