Boo! Spooky season is officially here. Ghosts, bats, giant spiders and other hair-raising decorations will haunt houses until the end of October, sending shivers up our collective spines.
A little creepy? Certainly – but oh, so much fun.
If you're looking for scary seasonal craft ideas for your care home, you're in the right place. Why not trick (or treat) your residents with a few of these activities this Halloween?
1. Pumpkin carving
Pumpkin carving is a Halloween classic, and its origins go back thousands of years. Turnips used to be the jack-o'-lantern vegetable of choice, but they gave way to gourds when the tradition took off in America (which is a good thing because root veggies are really difficult to carve).
For spooktastic results, follow these pumpkin-carving tips:
- Use the right tools. Pumpkin-carving saws are blunt but effective, so they're easier and safer for care home residents to use. If you can't get hold of a pumpkin-carving kit, try a keyhole saw instead.
- Templates make things simpler. Need pumpkinspiration? Printable templates make carving much more straightforward. Pin your favourite to the pumpkin, poke holes to trace the image and carve away.
- Shave for a two-tone effect. Create extra depth and dimension by peeling the skin off your pumpkin in places rather than cutting all the way through.
- Leave the stem alone. Keeping the pumpkin stem intact can help your jack-o'-lantern last much longer, so try cutting a hole through the back or the bottom of the gourd instead.
- Be inclusive. If you have residents with mobility challenges, try pairing them with other residents or care assistants. People who find carving tools tricky to use might enjoy drawing on pumpkins with permanent markers instead.
If you're feeling extra creative, try carving the Florence logo into a pumpkin – and don't forget to send us a photo of your ghoulish creation!
2. Halloween decorations
Halloween decorations make everything feel a bit spookier, and they're fun to create and put up. At this time of year, shops often stock ready-made decor, but many care home residents enjoy crafting decorations from scratch.
Here are three Halloween craft ideas that work well in a care setting:
- Trick or treat buckets. Halloween boxes or buckets are fun to decorate and even more fun to fill with goodies later on. Get into the creative spirit with tissue paper, glow-in-the-dark paint, holographic stickers and glitter.
- Halloween bunting. Also known as garland, Halloween bunting can be as simple or as complicated as you like. Make things easy with a printable bunting, or break out the sugar paper and googly eyes to shake things up.
- Ghost balloons. To make ghost balloons, you'll need white helium balloons, permanent markers, crepe paper (or party streamers), curling ribbon and tape. WoooOO!
If you're in the mood for a little light-hearted rivalry, why not organise a Halloween door-decorating competition for residents? The creepiest door wins a chilling prize…
3. Monster masks
Halloween wouldn't be Halloween without a bit of dressing up. The finishing touch? Why, a scary mask. Making monster masks is a great activity for the whole community – staff included. To get started, you'll need plain masks, glue and a range of things to apply.
These five "maskgredients" are light, bright and glue on easily:
- Feathers. Watch out – beastly birds about! Dyed feathers can make a mask truly dazzling.
- Paint. Aliens, B-movie monsters and zombies galore: imagination's the limit when it comes to paint.
- Gems. Beyond-the-grave living doesn't have to be boring – add Golden Age glamour to your mask with a few gems.
- Fake fur. Someone has to be a werewolf. It's a Halloween rule.
- Halloween stickers. Quick and easy to use, stickers make a great mask decor option.
Do you plan to throw a Halloween party for residents and family members? If so, use it as an opportunity to show off the masks you've made.
4. Spooky food
Pumpkin might be popular at this time of year, but it's not the only Halloween food out there. In fact, you can make almost any meal a bit scarier this season. Sausage toes, pastry skin, green jelly slime…you get the picture.
Make your Halloween menu a scream with these three recipes:
- Halloween eggs and fingers. Liven up a protein-rich breakfast with this eerie eggy dish.
- Mummy hot dogs. Hot dogs, melted cheese and puff pastry combine in this well-wrapped recipe.
- Halloween monster popcorn. Here's an unsettling treat to go with that spooky black-and-white movie classic.
In the hunt for a food-related Halloween activity idea? Transform royal icing into green goo (or worse) with a drop of food colouring and treat residents to a cookie decorating bonanza this year.
Happy Halloween! We hope you have fun with these fearsome activities. Don't forget to send us pictures of your creations, and remember to tag us on social media.
Twitter: @WeAreFlorence | Instagram: @Florencecares
Florence can help you schedule existing staff, find flexible nurses and carers to fill gaps in your rota, and provide essential training. Find out more and get started today.
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