The mid-term falls early this year and with the schools pretty much off from the 27th October to the 6th of November, that’s a 9-day break in which you’ll want to keep your kids occupied.
Luckily the best seasonal games involve seasonal produce!
Apples are in season at the moment and the Oakland apples have never tasted better. If you can bear to set some to one side for a traditional game of apple bobbing, make sure to keep a dry towel to one side to mop up any spills of water. Apple bobbing is where you fill up a basin with water, float the apples on top, and the challenge is to catch the apple with your teeth and your hands held firmly behind your back.
If you have a child who is averse to putting their face in the water (we’ve all been there), why not try a game of pass-the-apple instead. Once again hands are held behind your back but put the children in a circle. The aim is to pass the apple from person to person using only your chin. If you drop the apple you must share your Halloween loot!
We’ve all heard of pumpkin carving, more on that next week, but have you heard of turnip carving? Turnip jack-o-lanterns are more traditional in Ireland than pumpkins. They’re also far more difficult and time consuming to do. It’s a good past time to set idle hands to. If your kids aren’t all that bothered, tell them to look up the oldest turnip carving in the world, and see if they can pinpoint where it can be found. It’s in the Museum of Country Life in Castlebar, Co Mayo no less!
Do you have a prankster in the family? They might like to peel an onion, stick it on a lollipop stick, then coat in Fin Carré milk chocolate, only €0.69! It makes for a very convincing fake toffee apple, but make sure you have breath mints to hand to deal with the consequences!
Upcycling your waste packaging
Traditionally at this time of the year the weather can be a bit inclement. Okay that’s an understatement, it can be dire! Which creates its own challenges when you’ve got a household full of kids who are easily bored.
For the weeks leading up to midterm I stash away empty cardboard cylinders from toilet roll, kitchen roll, and even crisp tubes. Then there’s the empty cereal boxes and any other boxes that have come into the house. Then I invest in some poster paints.
I layer up my old Lidl newsletters on the floor and table to protect my surfaces, then let the kids paint up the cardboard in a riot of colours.
Finally, we use the painted cardboard boxes/pieces to assemble a robot which we can either hold together with sellotape and string, or if you can fit the boxes around your child, it’s the perfect homemade costume for Halloween night. This is guaranteed to take up HOURS of their time and it’ll be time well spent.