The witching hour will soon be upon us! With Halloween fast approaching, it’s the perfect theme for your children’s crafty activities over the next couple of weeks. As well as talk of ghosts and ghouls, carving pumpkins and witches and monsters, Halloween is also an occasion where children think a lot about food: particularly sweets. You can use this as the perfect opportunity to explore cooking and the kitchen with your children in a way that seems fun and exciting. Here are two simple Halloween kitchen activities you can enjoy with your toddlers that are so simple you don’t even have to turn on your oven to get involved:

Halloween spiders webIced Pumpkin Biscuits

Children love to help in the kitchen, especially when the results are so tasty! Studies show that children who help out in the kitchen are more likely to have a far better relationship and attitude towards food than those who don’t. Once a child reaches toddling age then they can begin to help you in the kitchen and create some yummy treats of their own. If you’re having a Halloween party or just want to create some sweet treats for toddlers that won’t be ‘trick or treating’ and eating all the associated sweets, why not consider whipping up a batch of simple Halloween themed biscuits? If you love to cook you can make your own biscuit bases, but it’s much simpler to get some shop-bought biscuits for your children to have fun decorating: an easy kitchen activity, without even having to turn on your oven!

You Will Need:
A packet of firm plain biscuits (digestive biscuits work well)
250 g Icing sugar
50 ml water
1 tbsp Natural orange food colouring
A Satsuma
Chocolate buttons
Chocolate sprinkles/glitter/other cake decorations
Flat blunt knifes or plastic glue ‘spreaders’

1. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, then slowly add the water, mixing continuously until you have icing that has a smooth paste-like texture.
2. Add the orange food colouring to the mixture, and keep stirring until the icing has a rich consistent orange colour.
3. Now it’s time for the little people to get involved!  Using their blunt knifes or spreaders let them cover their biscuits in orange icing, turning their biscuits into a pumpkin base. Then they can start creating pumpkin faces!
4. Satsuma pieces make great healthy and happy pumpkin smiles. Chocolate buttons are fantastic as pumpkin smiles. And then the only limit is creativity to what your toddler will choose to do with their sprinkles and other cake decorations.
5. Now the only thing left to do is leave your iced  biscuits to set, then enjoy eating them!

Ghostly Good Sandwiches!

Sandwiches are a lunch time staple of toddlers (and parents) up and down the country, but if you feel your lunch time sandwiches are getting a little boring, here is a great way to give them a Halloween twist. Learning how to make a sandwich is a great skill to teach your toddler at this early stage, and this is a really good way to make this basic lesson seem fun and exciting.

You will need (to make lunch for one child): 

  • 4 slices of white bread
  • Assorted sandwich fillings (choose fillings your children will enjoy!)
  • Butter
  • 2 Pitted black olives
  • Flat blunt knifes or plastic glue ‘spreaders’
  • A ghost shaped cookie cutter OR a sharp knife

Halloween pumpkinMethod

  1. The first step is the trickiest! Using your ghost shaped cookie cutter, cut your four slices of bread. If you don’t have a cookie cutter, then cut your bread into a ghost-type shape using a sharp knife.
  2. Now it’s time for your children to get involved. Ask them to butter their four slices of ghost-shaped bread. Younger children can do this with glue spreaders or plastic knifes, rather than being given real cutlery.
  3. Now it’s time for your children to add all of their favourite fillings to their sandwich: if possible choose (or cut) fillings that will fit inside the bread, so that the lines of the ghostly shape aren’t broken.
  4. Once the sandwiches are made it’s time for the final touch: cut two pitted black olives in half and let your children add them to the top of their sandwiches; these will be the ghosts scary eyes!
  5. Sit back and enjoy a healthy (and spooky) lunch
Credit : Lisa Cave – October 2013