It’s scary season. In so many ways. The weather has taken a nose dive into dark nights and mornings, rain storms and cold to the bone winds. Everyone has finally figured out that summer is over – which means that work is all about the mad rush to complete year-end goals . But perhaps most importantly, at least to the three mini people in our world, it’s almost Halloween. Wahoo!
I find it kind of easy this time of year to hibernate. Catching up on work with laptop, catching up on new TV shows with my hubby, catching up on cooking/baking/making … it’s not a time of year that I associate with a lot of celebration – it’s a hunker-down and get school/work/house projects done time of year … so we have to make sure we build in the fun. Our kids love that random Wednesdays are special days. So regardless of our mid-week insanity and the cold tiredness that sets in for both of us this time of year… we make Tuesdays, Wednesdays (and other days too) as much of a celebration as possible. Our top five Halloween prep mid-week celebrations?
1. paper-mache pumpkins. This one is not expensive at all, and takes a good 45 minutes. It’s a bit messy – so haul out the newspaper or a plastic table cloth – but super fun. Made using a basic Michaels cardboard pumpkin with orange tissue paper cut into small pieces and kid’s glue that I added water to with foam brushes from the dollar store. The girls had a blast pasting their way to a creative pumpkin. They refused help and both had their own style to get to the finished product… and those pumpkins have been front and centre on our table every night since they were so lovingly made.
2. cupcakes. the mini cake. and for our kids ‘the vessel from which i lick off all the icing and leave the cake as a gift for daddy’. This year we made spiders with some fun candy eyes I found and also some owl cupcakes thanks to a fun article in Family Circle magazine. Both were super easy to make and really easy to get the kids involved in.
3. cookies. Related to cupcakes but not exactly the same… We made 3 batches of pumpkin sugar cookies this month. They are great for a quick activity when friends are over, and for a time-user when you need to clean up after dinner and not referee kid battles. I made the basic dough and froze it in batches to bring out throughout the month. The icing faces got scarier and more elaborate as the month went on… and by that I mean there was more icing used because they wised up to the fact that the more they decorated, the more icing they got to lick off the cookie before giving the rest to daddy as a special gift.
4. Mr (and Misses) dress-up. Remember that show? So good. A good post-dinner energy expend-er now that the rains have us inside more has been the mad costume-dress up game. It’s just so exciting to see what you can be by pulling on a wig or a cape … or a hamburger (thank you Nicola!)
5. pumpkin patching, picking, drawing and carving. over all this is the most over-rated of the top five activities on our list, I’d contend – but a necessary journey on the Halloween adventure. I think Cam might agree. The patch is cold, and the pumpkins are unwieldy when you are also having to coral three goat/pig/rabbit/chicken loving kids who want to visit all the animals on the farm (again), and by the end your kids are all wet and dirty, cold and hungry and they would like to put a light in their pumpkin… now. At the ages of our kids, they don’t really get the whole carving thing, and how long it takes to scoop out the pumpkin and prep it for the masterpiece, and then the three-year-old vision is really pretty tough to bring to life using a knife and a crayola marker. But that is not acceptable – so a pumpkin induced (oscar worthy) cry erupts at some point in the process. But at the end of the day – it’s a tradition that signifies we’re almost at the most exciting night of candy consumption of the year … so I think the excitement over the carved pumpkins is well worth the sometimes slightly painful journey.
Almost at Halloween… and we hope you’re enjoying the scary prep and having a great time