Halloween is considered one of the best holidays of the year for most of our little ones. It is the day that they can dress up as their favorite characters and go trick-or-treating around their neighborhood. For children with autism, however, Halloween may not be that fun after all, since most children with autism do not understand the concept of pretend-play or make-believe. Thus, asking them to wear a Halloween costume made up of a rough fabric or accessories that they are not used to wearing becomes problematic.
Therefore, for this Halloween, we have come up with different arts and crafts ideas as well as simple recipes that you can create with your child during this holiday. After all, Halloween is a traditional holiday that you want your child to enjoy too.
Arts & Crafts:
–Pumpkin Carving: A Halloween classic!!! Can’t let Halloween be over without doing your own!
Materials: A pumpkin, carving tool kit, a candle, and a design.
How to do it: 1) Start by creating a lid in the top of the pumpkin with a knife. 2) Remove most of the seeds and strings with your hand. Then use a scoop tool or big spoon to scrape the inner walls of the pumpkin to about 1″ thick where the design will be. 3) Tape the design securely to the pumpkin. 4) Using a poker tool or push pin, poke holes along the lines of the pattern. 5) Begin sawing (up and down motion) following the lines of your design until complete. 6) To keep the design from shriveling, coat the edges with Vaseline to seal in the pumpkin’s moisture. 7) Light a small candle and place it inside your pumpkin. Using a glass candle holder will make it safer and prevent the flame from blowing out. To keep things extra safe, consider battery powered lights, which come in a variety of colors.
-Handprint Spiders and Ghosts: Make beautiful spiders and ghosts with your child’s handprints.
Materials: White card stock paper, a paintbrush, black and white paint, and a string.
How to do Spiders: 1) Paint your child’s left hand (excluding the thumb) with the black paint and place it on the white paper. 2) Repeat Step 1 with the right hand. 3) Once dry, paint the spider’s eyes and mouth. 4) Cut out your child’s spider and apply the string behind it so that you can hang it wherever you desire.
How to do Ghosts: 1) Paint your child’s hand with white paint. 2) Place your child’s painted handprint on the black paper and wait for it to dry. 3) Apply black paint on a paintbrush and paint the ghost’s eyes and mouth with the black paint. 4) Once dry, cut out your child’s handprint ghost and apply the string behind it so that you can hang it wherever you desire.
*You can do the same to create beautiful pumpkins, witches, skeletons, or any inspired Halloween craft. Handprints are just a great way for us to look back and see how the kids have grown through the years. Just remember to always have fun!
-Frankenstein Pudding Cups: A simple recipe that makes a great addition to your party and creativity!
Ingredients: 1 box vanilla pudding (prepare as directed), Green food coloring, clear plastic cups, crushed Oreos, black sharpie marker
How to make it: 1) Using the black sharpie, have your child decorate the outside of the cups with “Frankenstein’s face” (as shown on the picture). 2) Mix vanilla pudding as directed, adding in 5-9 drops of green food coloring – to your liking. 3) Add about 1 cup of green pudding to each cup before it sets. 4) Put in the refrigerator. 4) When pudding is ready and before serving, add crushed Oreo cookies on top to create “Frankenstein’s hair”. 5) Enjoy! (Approx. time: 10 minutes)
– Orange Witches’ Punch: Add a festive touch with this tasty drink by serving it in a glass pumpkin bowl.
Ingredients: 1 package (6 ounces) orange gelatin, 1/2 to 1 cup sugar, 2 cups boiling water, 1 can (46 ounces) apricot nectar, 1 can (46 ounces) pineapple juice, 3/4 cup lemon juice, 4 liters ginger ale, chilled
How to make it: 1) In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin and sugar in water. Stir in the apricot nectar, pineapple juice, and lemon juice. Freeze in two 2-quart freezer containers. Remove from the freezer 2-3 hours before serving; 2) Place contents of one container in a punch bowl; mash with potato masher. Stir in ginger ale just before serving. (Approx. time: 10 minutes)
-Mousse-Filled Witches’ Hats: Prepare these for your little witches this Halloween!
Ingredients: 1 3/4 cups heavy whipping cream, 1 cup milk chocolate chips, 4 squares chopped semisweet chocolate, 1 package (4 3/4 ounces) chocolate ice cream sugar cones, Halloween sprinkles, and 12 thin chocolate wafers (2 1/4-inch diameter).
How to make it: 1) For mousse, in a small saucepan, bring 1/2 cup cream to a boil; remove from the heat. Stir in chocolate chips until smooth. Transfer to a bowl. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally. 2) In a small mixing bowl, beat the remaining cream until stiff peaks form. Fold into the chocolate mixture. Cover and refrigerate. 3) In a microwave-safe bowl, melt semisweet chocolate and shortening and then stir until smooth. Dip pointed tips of ice cream cones a third of the way into melted chocolate; roll in sprinkles. Refrigerate until set. 4) Just before serving, spoon mousse into cones. Top each with a chocolate wafer. Invert onto a serving platter. Serves 12. (Approx. time: 25 minutes)
Also, make sure to check our other blog post titled: “Getting ready for Halloween“ to see our helpful tips about Halloween costumes.