A Halloween approaches our thoughts are turning to The Spooky Badge. We love Halloween, and we always spend the month of October preparing for the big night. We get fully into the crafts, the bakes and the dressing up.
Ghost Bakes and Crafts
Halloween themed recipes and crafts are prevalent in Autumn for children and adults alike. I’m a big fan of the aesthetic, but for this post, I felt it would be a good idea to narrow the scope a little and stick to ghosts since it is a ‘ghost’ that puts the spook into Spooky Badge. I scoured Pinterest and found some ideas for bakes and crafts that are achievable with pre-school aged kids.
I tried out two of these ghost bakes with the kids. The first was ghost biscuits which we created by simply using white icing to cover biscotti and adding chocolate drops for the eyes. In all honesty, I didn’t make the biscuits. Biscotti isn’t incredibly difficult to make. However, I knew that by cheating and buying some baby biscotti, they would have lower sugar content. Since I was basically covering them in tooth rot, I felt it felt like a good idea to make savings where I could. Also, baking with kids is stressful, and this was a lot easier.
I made the ghost biscuits with both children which meant that inevitably there was an argument. On this occasion, they both wanted to sieve the icing sugar. They did it together with messy consequences.
They wouldn’t win any prizes for presentation, but they turned out pretty well, and the kids enjoyed eating them.
I didn’t cheat with the ghost cakes other than asking Mr FCB to whip up the cakes with our three-year-olds help. This time the smaller child had the icing to herself. I put the faces on the marshmallows as icing pens can be a bit fiddly, but she instructed me with the expressions she required. She was happy to be allowed to but the marshmallows on the cakes and excited when we ran out of white ones, and the ghosts turned pink.
For the full recipes check out:
- Ghost Cupcakes by Kitchen Fun with My 3 Sons – marshmallow cupcakes, similar to the ones we made.
- Carrot Cake Ghost Cupcakes by Everyday Southwest – the icing ghosts on these are fairly easy to achieve.
- Halloween Ghost Biscuits from Good to Know – finger ghosts biscuits like the ones we made but with a recipe for the biscuits too.
- BooBerry Biscuits by Slim Pickins Kitchen – these ghost biscuits use a ghost cookie cutter.
For a healthier, but no less yummy spooky snack, try these Boo-nanas on the Toucan Box Blog. If you’re interested in signing up for a Toucan Box full of kids crafts and activities then use code LIONA-IF2U to get your first box half price (and I will get a half-price box too).
Halloween recipes also turn up in many kids cookbooks. Here are some of my favourites:
- Baking with Tiny Tot’s Pumpkin Heads is an easy baking recipe (the easiest) with a slightly more difficult decoration that kids can get creative with.
- The Room on a Broom Cookbook is full of witch’s brews and bakes.
Making ghostly handprints was a surprise kid craft hit. All I needed to set this up was white poster paint and some black paper. I get a bit stressed when the kids get near paint but we didn’t get too messy. Once they had created their paintings they were happy to put them to one side and excited to come back the next day and colour them in.
Here are some more of my favourite ghost crafts from Pinterest:
- Ghost Hand Prints by Simple Everyday Mom – tutorial for the craft activity that we did.
- Ghost Leaves by Growing a Jeweled Rose – another ghost painting activity, using autumn leaves.
Solve a Mystery
From costumes to music to themes the Spooky Badge is heavily inspired by Scooby Doo. Even the plot follows the structure of one of the Scooby Gang’s mysteries.
Here’s one way to have your own Squirrel inspired Scooby Doo mystery at home:
- Dressing Up – I don’t know if many pre-school children in 2020 would know what you were talking about if you suggested they dress up as characters from Scooby Doo. My two certainly wouldn’t. If you do want to go that route, I have seen some adorable babies in Scooby onesies on the internet. Alternatively, you could dress up like detectives with a magnifying glass, notebook and deerstalker. Obviously, the hat is another reference the kids won’t get, but they’ll look amusing.
- Follow the footprints – children love the adventure of following footprints. There are lots of different ways to make a footprint trail. If your mystery is taking place indoors then cutting a few prints out of paper is probably the easiest option. You can do this outside too if it’s not to breezy. Alterantively you can use a template and some paint to get creative outside. I’ve used line paint to make trails on the grass. Chalk also works for paths.
- Cross the stepping stones – it should be easy to find an alternative to Mr and Mr Crab as stepping stones. Inside my children are fond of cushions. Outside aything from actual stones, logs or pieces of cardboard from the recycling get utilised. Just beware, they could be slippy.
- Go around the wall – After the stepping stones, the Squirrel encountered a wall. Inside you could use a chair, this has a helpful hole like the one that Norrie discovers in the story. A chair can be used outside too if you don’t have a wall with a hole in it handy.
- Be chased by a ghost – this is the fun bit. When the children get to the end of their trail, you’ll be there dressed a ghost and ready to chase them round and eventually reveal that they have solved the mystery.
Help with the Washing
Kids love helping with chores, but they’re not very good at them, so my reaction has usually been to deflect their good intentions into something else. I know that really should be encouraging them to help because they won’t always want to, but it is hard work. Just like Duggee, every now and then I let them help with the laundry. They are especially keen on hanging the clean washing on the line, although they struggle to reach.
The Spooky Badge is heavily atmospheric. The colour palette gives off strong late October vibes. The Squirrels spend their time in this episode running around with costumes on. This isn’t an unusual activity for us during October half term. Equally, we might also be inclined to wrap up a little warmer for an Autumnal walk if there is a nip in the air. Kicking up autumn leaves and looking at the colours of the season is the absolute best thing you can do this time of year.
It’s not really necessary, but if you want an activity guide there are lots of options out there. Here are some we tried out:
- The Gruffalo Autumn and Winter Nature Trail book has many seasonally appropriate activities including a sticker page for your Squirrels to design their own pumpkins. An activity my five-year-old took to a weird place.
- Mud and Bloom Boxes have some easy and fun seasonal activities using nature.
Duggee Spooky Badge Resources
- The Spooky Badge App is a free App that will keep kids amused for a while.