Autumn Appreciation & Cosy Crafts

I don’t usually make much of Halloween, but I’m looking for any excuse for celebration this year. I decided my kids need it as much as I do after all the restrictions placed on us all year, so I went to Home Bargains and got some cheap decorations for Halloween displays. There is a house around the corner from ours with some pumpkin fairy lights and a ghost outside the front door, and in a strange way it brings some cheer to the area πŸ™‚

I put up some spiders on a string and some skull lights, a little lantern and ghost display under the stairs, got out my knitted pumpkins I got at a craft fair a couple of years ago and put up some pumpkin bunting. It was the first thing the kids commented on when they got home from school and it felt like a prelude to Christmas.

I’m going to throw a party of three for the kids and myself, so before Halloween arrives, I’ve decided to collect some games and activities to keep the kids’ busy over the holidays, especially since I’m preparing myself for an extended half-term holiday. Usually when we have a “party” in the house, I make some games for free, drawing my own “pin the … on the …” and use one of my scarves as a blindfold. It’s funny how something as simple as that is always a hit. I will probably do a pass the parcel with sweets inside and plastic Halloween ornaments hidden in each layer πŸ™‚

We started with some of our autumnal crafts this weekend. We collected some yellow and red leaves, some pine cones and rocks to create a little table display. I found a cute little squash that looks like a tiny pumpkin and added it too. The girls made some sparkly pine cones, using PVA glue and sprinkling glitter over them. We chose autumn colours, like gold, orange and yellow. Then we painted some rocks with autumn-themed pictures too, like trees shedding leaves and pumpkins. I just gave the girls some of my acrylic paints in seasonal colours and let them paint whatever they wanted. After they had dried, we assembled them in the centre of the table and added a candle for dinner time. I might look out for a dish to put them on too. I like having little projects like that to change around small things in the house – ones that don’t involve DIY at least!

I also used the day to do some cooking for throughout the week. I made vegetable soup, which I’m always surprised to see my kids happily eating, with their aversion to most vegetables! I used up some black bananas by making two-ingredient breakfast cookies. You just add one cup of oats per mashed banana, mix and you can add in any extras you like. Then, you just cook them in the oven for fifteen minutes. I added chocolate chips to ours and the kids did the banana mashing and hovering, waiting for chocolate rewards πŸ™‚

We have been spending our free time at the farm and Rowallane. I baked some brownies and took them with us and both kids loved them. I was surprised since they contained cacao powder instead of chocolate. I might have finally found a treat they will both eat πŸ™‚ We fed the animals, the kids spent ages on the go-carts and we dodged rain showers between barns πŸ™‚ The trees at Rowallane seemed to have changed colour, even since last week. There were beautiful jewel colours everywhere and they had added a Halloween trail for kids. We spent hours exploring the whole estate and ended it with the obligatory ice-cream stop at the cafe. I spotted some purple flowers that stood out to me and wondered what they were called. Funnily enough, I saw the same flowers in a magazine the next day and found out they were called Michaelmas daisies πŸ™‚

I’ve come to really appreciate the month of October. If you stop to look at the seasonal changes around you and enjoy the cosiness of the nights closing in, it feels like a treat in itself and you don’t mourn the loss of Summer πŸ™‚

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