It's coming! As the nights draw in and there's that unmistakable chill in the air, my attention always turns towards the next main event on the horizon... not quite Christmas (a little too early yet for my liking!) but Halloween.
Halloween wasn't something that was part of my childhood, it hadn't quite completed its Atlantic crossing yet I think! But Halloween in Croydon, closely followed by the Bonfire celebrations in so many locations across the Borough, have definitely taken hold and captured my imagination!
There are so many ways to make your Halloween celebrations a heap of spooky fun. My first port of call is keeping the kids happy with costumes to rival the BBC costume department... maybe not - but we do always try to make our own and have lots of fun doing it! Fake blood to hand and lots of imagination always does the trick.
One of my recent favourites was just 6 bandages which we dribbled generously with fake blood, expertly wrapped my daughter up and voila - a beastly mummy! I think this year we're going to try making a head of mini beasts. This involves spraying hair green and then just adding an array down the head and body of those mini beast plastic toys that can be found in any toy shop. Easy but very effective. Making your own is so much more rewarding than just buying from the local supermarket so have a look online for some great ideas.
Next is getting the house ready! And this begins with the carving of the pumpkin. I wouldn't claim to be an expert but it's always good fun to get the children involved, have them design a face and have a good go at carving it out. Last year, I even toasted the seeds in the oven - surprisingly delicious and nutty. Why stop at one?! Have a go at lots of different designs and create your very own pumpkin family. It makes a great walkway up to the house for those trick or treaters too.
And then you can go to town on the house. Spider webs, bats wings and witches brooms are a given - but have a look for some extra added fun to give your house the edge. Some ideas I've seen recently are black wreaths made of snakes, a spider egg sack and potions in specimen jars. There are so many inspirational ideas out there (and I do think the Americans are far more practiced at this than we are!) so get searching online and let your imagination run wild!
If you have any great Halloween ideas, please do share them with us and we'll get Croydon creepy this Halloween!
Image courtesy of Adam Jones photostream on flickr.com.
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