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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

Have a Happy Halloween at Home

By Denise Morrison Yearian

This year, making crafts and snacks is a great, safe way to get into the spooky spirit.

Crop of Crafts

Jack-o-Lantern Pots Buy various-sized terracotta pots and turn them upside down so the drainage hole is facing up. On yellow construction paper, draw and cut out two eyes, a nose, and a toothy grin—the wackier the better. Apply Mod Podge with a paintbrush under and over the facial features, and then attach them to the pot. Place a short, wide stick out of the hole to resemble a pumpkin stem.

Pumpkin Noisemakers Paint black a 12- by 1/2-inch dowel rod; let dry. Trace and cut out two leaves using green craft foam then cut a small slit in the center of each leaf. Use a black permanent marker to draw a face onto the bottom side of an orange paper plate. Line up the face plate with a second orange plate, rims together and bottoms facing out. Use a hole-punch to create holes 1-inch apart around the perimeter of both plates. Place dried beans and small jingle bells between the two plates. Also put the dowel between the plates, moving a short end of the stick above the facial features to represent the pumpkin stem and a long end below for the handle. Sew plates together by lacing yarn through the holes. Push leaf slits through the short end of the dowel rods and secure with a glue gun.

Seasonal Snacks

Floating Faces Core and peel an apple then cut it in half. Lay one half on the table and use a paring knife to create facial features. Repeat these steps until you have enough apple halves for each family member. Place apples in cider punch bowl. When the cider is labeled, give each person a floating face.

Itsy-Bitsy Caramel Apples Cut lollipop sticks in half. Use a melon baller to scoop little balls out of medium-sized apples, making sure each ball has a section of the apple peel. Push a lollipop stick into the peel of each apple ball. Blot apples dry with a paper towel. Melt a 14-ounce package of caramel candies with 2 tablespoons of water. Have children dip and swirl their apple balls in caramel then roll in crushed Oreo cookies, nuts, sprinkles, nonpareils, or mini-chocolate chips. Place on waxed paper to cool for 15 minutes.

Pumpkin Pancakes Mix dry ingredients: 1 cup flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, 2 teaspoons baking soda, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon cinnamon. Set aside. Separate two eggs. Mix yolks with ½ cup of plain pumpkin puree, 1 cup milk, and 2 tablespoons canola oil. Add dry ingredients. Beat egg whites until fluffy then fold into the batter. Pour ¼ cup of batter onto a greased griddle; flip when bubbles form on top. Kids can make jack-o-lantern faces using raisins, dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips, and whipped cream.

Denise Morrison Yearian is the former editor of two parenting magazines and the mother of three children and six grandchildren.