Popcorn, Pumpkins and Spiders: Have Some Halloween Fun with Your Grandkids!
Halloween, that spooky holiday favorite is just around the fall corner. What will you do with your grandkids to add some holiday fun? Whether you choose one of the tasty Halloween treats to create together in the kitchen or opt for some simple, but satisfying crafts, you can’t go wrong with these ideas:
Ears of Corn: Help your younger grandkids cut out a corncob shape on brown construction paper. Be sure to include a cob part and a top corn silk section, cut into strips. Pop corn and glue on the bottom section of the paper in rows. For added fun, color some of the popped corn yellow, orange or brown.
Pumpkin Popcorn Balls: Create your own edible pumpkin patch with these fun treats.
5 cups popped corn
1 cup candy corn
1 cup chopped peanuts
½ cup butter
3 cups mini marshmallows
4drops of red and three of yellow food coloring
4 red or black licorice strips cut into thirds
Grease a muffin tin. Mix popcorn, candy corn and peanuts. In a saucepan, melt butter and add marshmallows and food coloring until you get a nice orange color. Pour the liquid over the popcorn mix and toss evenly. Use a greased spoon to fill muffin cups. Insert a licorice piece in each cup to become the stem. Mold the mixture around each stem to hold in place. Let cool and pull out your pumpkins!
Classic Caramel Corn:
Nonstick cooking spray
3 T. oil
¼ cup popcorn kernels
6 T. butter
1/3 cup brown sugar
3 T. corn syrup
1 t. vanilla
¼ t. salt
Set oven to 300 degrees. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray. In a large pan, heat oil, add corn kernels and pop. Transfer to a bowl. In a saucepan combine the butter, sugar and corn syrup. Cook on medium heat until the mixture bubbles and lightens in color. (3-5 min.). Stir in vanilla and salt. Pour the warm mixture over the corn and toss with a rubber spatula. Spread on the baking sheet and bake 30-35 minutes, turning once. Remove from oven and toss again. The corn will become crisp as it cools. Store in an air-tight container.
You’ve already made your pumpkin popcorn balls. Now here’s more pumpkin fun.
Glue It, Don’t Carve It: Kids love to choose their special pumpkin and decorate it. But the job of carving needs to be handed over to an adult. This year you might choose to create a unique pumpkin with no carving at all. Just purchase a good craft glue, gather paper and other art supplies such as ribbon, lace, pipe cleaners and buttons and get creative. Turn those pumpkins into animals such as owls, cats and mice, or foxes. Or make a pirate, a princess or a superhero. Tons of fun and no safety issues.
Yarn-wrapped Pumpkins or Gourds: Kids of all ages can enjoy this craft project because the results are beautiful. Choose small pumpkins or gourds, either real ones or craft store paper versions if you want to keep them forever. Using craft glue, wrap the three dimensional shapes with various yarns or twine and allow the glue to hold the designs as you go. Young children will enjoy a simple round and round wrap, while older kids can create more complicated designs by cutting and gluing various lengths and textures to the shapes. The results are stunning.
Simple Jack-o-lantern Wreath:
Provide orange construction paper and markers. Use a pumpkin pattern or draw the pumpkins free-hand and cut them out. Turn pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns by drawing on different faces. When you have six or eight jack-o-lanterns, attach them to a circle of cardboard or a Styrofoam ring. Hand by a black ribbon or yarn.
Gluey Spider Webs: This one is so simple and kids love it. Provide black construction paper, glue and glitter. If you can find a glue pen, younger children will have more success in drawing their spider web shape on the paper. Have kids use a pencil to draw on the black paper a simple spider web shape. Then carefully “draw” a glue line over each mark. As the glue dries, shake on silver glitter. Let dry. String a garland of spider webs for a fun Halloween decoration.
3-D Paper Plate Spiders: Using heavy paper plates with rims, trace on a true to life spider pattern. Be sure the pattern reaches all the way to the edges of the plate. Cut out the spiders and spray with silver, brown or black spray paint. Dry. These spiders provide very realistic Halloween décor.
Edible Spiders: For some creepy fun make edible spiders. The center may be any edible round shape such as a bon bon, a marshmallow, a soft cookie or a truffle. Make chocolate spider legs by melting chocolate, pouring it into a plastic bag and clipping of one corner. Pipe the spider legs onto a piece of waxed paper, eight bent-shaped legs for each spider. When dry, carefully attach to the body piece.