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Honey, Don’t Freak Out The Kids!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

A fun weekend will keep your children buzzing with excitement for days to come after Halloween. Dev Goswami & Yamini Walia have a few ideas to get you started

R egardless of how you feel about the holiday, Halloween is   one of the most exciting occasions for children. They are going to grow up with fond memories of all the fun they have, whether it’s of the seemingly unlimited amounts of candy (little do they know that you’re keeping a strict tab! on how much they’re eating), the creative costumes and the general festivities in the air, which makes this time of year truly special for your children, even though trick or treating is probably not a good idea in Mumbai! We’ve got a few good ideas to help you get started, begin with the costumes they can sport on Saturday, before taking them to the kitchen to whip up a few easy treats and finally, get them busy with a few craft projects, which will come in handy as home décor items if you’re planning a Halloween party later that night. (Read our issue tomorrow
for tips!)

DIY COSTUMES

Nothing looks more adorable than a child in a Halloween costume. Here are a few easy ones that you can make at home. 

Bwok Bwok Bwok

  •  Sew together two long-sleeved onesies (two sizes bigger than what your child usually wears) and stuff them with cotton balls or foam to make your child look plumper. This is the body of the chicken suit
  •  Then, take two six-inch, white feather boas and tack them all around the body of the onesies.
  •  To make the legs and feet, sew yellow rubber cleaning gloves to a pair of yellow trousers.
  •  Finally, use an old t-shirt, a few chunks of felt and black buttons to make the hat.

Little ladybugs

  •  To make the wings, draw a semicircle on a sheet of stiff red felt. You can attach a 12-inch piece (shorter if the sheet is not big enough) of string to a pencil and, holding the end of the string at the centre of one edge of the sheet, swing the pencil in an arc to draw a semicircle.
  •  To make the yoke, fold a black felt piece in half. At the centre of the folded edge, cut a neck opening. Curve the outer edges of the yoke and cut the centre open.
  •  Attach the top of the wings to the back of the yoke with glue or with needle and thread. Add hook-and-loop buttons to either side of the yoke opening. Sew or glue large chenille pipe cleaners to the outside, between the yoke and the wings. These will act as the bug’s extra legs.
  •  Use a paper cutter to trace seven black dots from the black felt paper. Stick these on to the wings.
  •  Glue the centre of a black pipe cleaner to the centre of the headband. Reinforce it with a strip of black stick-on felt. Curl the ends of the pipe cleaner up to complete the antennae.

Counting sheep

  •  Cut the sleeves off an old sweatshirt and paste cotton balls generously all over it.  Do the same for the white hat.
  •  Cut two ear-shaped pieces of felt and attach them to the hat.
  •  Make your child wear black shirt/tights under the cotton-covered sweatshirt, along with the hat.

So witchy!

  •  Draw a quarter of a circle on a large piece of thin, strong cardboard. Draw a line around the curved edge, about 2.5cm/1 inch away from the edge.
  •  Cut slits along each of the marked lines. These slits will be glued on to the brim.
  •  Now, make a circle with a diameter of 37cm/14.5 inches, on to another piece of cardboard.
  •  Draw an oval in the centre of this circle, leaving plenty of space on all sides.
  •   Cut out the outer edge, then the inner circle.
  •  Attach the brim to the hat. Roll the quarter circle into a cone shape. Tape or staple the edges together.
  •  Bend a slit at the end of the cone and glue it to the underside of the brim.

Like a lion

  •  Simply buy a mop (the stringy kind).
  •  Remove the top, and attach it to a cream coloured hat to make the mane.
  •   Dress your child in a cream outfit, paint whiskers on his face and voila! You’ve got yourself a baby lion.

GETTING CRAFTY

Halloween craft projects are a fun way to keep your children engaged over the next few days. Here are some easy projects that you can have them help you in the kitchen with.

Halloween garland
This one is extremely simple and looks great too! In fact, we think that instead of getting coloured paper, you should just get plain white card paper and let your children paint it, to keep things interesting. You can leave them to their own devices for the most part — just make sure that you’re around when they are handling the scissors. All they need to do is sketch out the letters that spell Halloween in block font, paint each letter alternatively in orange and black, and then cut them out. Then, give them a few clothespins to attach the letters to a string, and you’re done!

Spooky oranges
Another easy project, you need to source baby oranges for this one — but if you can’t find them, medium sized ones will do. Then, give your children food colour so that they can draw a pair of eyes, a nose and a mouth on the fruit to recreate a Jack-o’-Lantern lookalike, which you can then place around your home to give it a Halloween-themed look.

Make a mummy inspired can
We especially love this project — it’s offbeat, but easy to create. You will need a few empty food cans, a few rolls of gauze, glue and button eyes. First, stick the eyes near the top of the can, then apply glue all over the can, and wrap it up completely with gauze, making sure not to cover the eyes. Before the glue dries, quickly separate the gauze to create an opening a few inches below the eyes, where the mouth should be. Use black paint to create the silhouette of a pair of lips and colour the exposed area around the eyes in black as well. Not only can you use these as part of your Halloween home décor by storing candy and chocolates in them, your children can also use them as pen stands later!

Avoid the heebie-jeebies
Horror films sound like the perfect way to round off a Halloween weekend. But, if the film marathon is going to involve your children, The Exorcist or The Texas Chain Saw Massacre are probably not the titles you were looking for. Here’s a list of not-so-scary films that you can enjoy with your children over the weekend:

  •   Casper’s Scare School
  •   Monsters Inc
  •   Monster House
  •   The Nightmare Before Christmas
  •   Ghostbusters

HALLOWEEN RECIPES
If you’re planning a themed Halloween dinner for Saturday, here are a few recipes that you can get your children to help you out with.

Monster cake pops
Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal, owner of APB Cook Studio, helps us out with a fun cake pops recipe.

Ingredients
1 plain sponge cake (vanilla, chocolate or red velvet), buttercream frosting, 500g dark chocolate (chopped), 500g white fondant, 200g chocolate sprinkles, 1 cup black liquorice

Method

  •  Break the cake into chunks and blitz in a food processor till the cake achieves the consistency of bread crumbs.
  •  Use a spatula to gently fold the buttercream frosting into the cake crumbs to bind it together. (Be careful not to turn it into a paste).
  •  The mixture should resemble a coarse cookie dough texture.
  •  Scoop some of the mixture into your palm and shape into a ball the size of a golf ball.
  •  Place the mix on a tray and freeze overnight.
  •  Over a double boiler or in a microwavable glass bowl, gently melt the dark chocolate till it reaches a pouring consistency.
  •  Dip one end of a lollipop stick into the melted chocolate and then push gently but firmly into one end of a cake ball till it reaches the other end.
  •  The chocolate will dry up and bind the cake pop to the lollipop stick.
  •  Once the cake pops are ready, you can customise how they look.

Gooey Chocolate Brownie
Brownies are delicious, and a child favourite. You can prepare the monster cake pops and stick them on to the brownies for a special Halloween treat. Or, you know, just pop them in your mouth and enjoy them! Here’s an easy recipe from chef Rakhee Vaswani of Palate Culinary Studio. 

Ingredients
110g flour, 250g caster sugar, 180g chocolate, 180g butter, 3 eggs, 1tsp vanilla, 150g walnut

Method

  •  Melt the butter and chocolate on a double boiler or in a microwave.
  •  In another bowl, cream the eggs, vanilla and sugar till the mixture is light and fluffy!
  •  Add the melted butter and chocolate to the mixture.
  •  Add the flour and mix it in a figure of eight motion.
  •  Add in the walnuts. Pour the mixture into a foil line and greased tin.
  •  Bake at 160°C for 25-30 minutes and enjoy!
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