Half-term Halloween Fun At Strumpshaw Fen In Norfolk.

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Did you know owls eat their prey whole and then cough up the bits of bone and fur as pellets? Hope you aren’t eating your breakfast! It’s just one of the slightly gory but interesting facts we discovered while following the Halloween trail at the RSPB’s Strumpshaw Fen Reserve.

Freya was hooked before we even entered the woodland when the words “you need to collect six stamps” were mentioned but the self-guided nature trail included loads of fun activities, including the chance to make a boggart (a mischievous goblin-like entity).

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Here’s our attempt at a boggart.

As if that wasn’t enough, completing all the challenges earns a small trick or treat prize at the end.

We’ve been to several events at the reserve and always enjoy them. I think this one was even more fun for Freya because she went in her Halloween costume (and wellies).

What I loved is that it takes you into the beautiful woodland, which had been decked out with pumpkins and lanterns, and is a great way to get young children (and adults) to interact with nature. It was also a lovely day and the light made everything look just that little bit more magical.

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If you’re looking for a half-term activity in Norfolk this week, it comes highly recommended.

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Please click here to go to the Strumpshaw website where all the dates and times, plus prices are listed.

 

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Two Easy Halloween Crafts To Do With A Child Sent Home From School Poorly (But Not All That Ill). 

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After being sent home from school poorly yesterday, I made Freya a snuggly bed on the sofa, gave her the iPad and expected her to rest. 

And she did.

For five minutes. 

Literally.

“I think we should go outside and play football, the fresh air will do me good,” she said.

It was a nice try, she’s definitely learning how to push my buttons but, on this occasion, it was a no. I wanted her to be aware that being sent home from school was a serious thing, not just an excuse to play all afternoon.

She definitely wasn’t herself, had a slight temperature and was losing her voice but there was no way she was going to just lie on the sofa, which is what I’d like to do if I was ill, so I went for the middle ground – and got the craft stuff out.

October is Freya’s second favourite month because it has Halloween in it, which she loves even more than Christmas. She suggested we could decorate the house this year but is frightened of all the decorations in the shops (plus I refuse to buy them anyway). Luckily I had some ideas and Pinterest helped with the rest.

Spooky/Autumnal Jam Jars.

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You will need:

Jam jars.

Masking tape.

Paints.

Scissors.

Black pen.

Pencil.

LCD candle.

If you’ve been reading for a while, you will know I have a ‘thing’ for jam jars. I’ve managed to give a few away but keep a stockpile, just in case. 

Obviously, as they are glass, this craft might not be suitable for younger children.  Freya  quite often paints vases and I thought they would make a cool spooky fake candle holder along with a more autumnal one. The plan was to make two but then Freya came up with the idea of making a fox. I was a bit worried it looked more like a pumpkin but either worked.

Step 1.

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I asked Freya to write a list of things she associates with Halloween. I then did my best to draw some of them on to masking tape.

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Step 2.

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While Freya is a dab hand with scissors now, it’s a bit fiddly with sticky tape so I cut the shapes out and handed them to her to stick on.

Step 3.

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Paint the jars. Yes, she is wearing a witches hat and using two brushes. Whatever floats your boat, right?

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Step 4.

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After they have dried, carefully (or not in Freya’s case) peel off the tape. This can be the end but I used a marker pen to define them. I think it works well. If I was feeling really fancy I might put some ribbon around the top to make it look a bit more appealing. It’s quite hard to take photos in the dark but you get the idea.

Top tip: If you use washable paint you can clean the jam jars after a suitable period and reuse them for more painting fun.

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Toilet Roll Halloween Decorations.

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You will need:

Toilet rolls.

Card and paper.

Googly eyes.

Pipe cleaners.

Scissors.

Double sided tape.

Glue.

One of the things I ponder quite regularly is how we as a family of three go through so many toilet rolls – I’m seriously thinking of rationing paper.

On the plus side it means I did have a supply in the recycling bin to use for this craft.

Freya is a huge fan of the Hotel Transylvania films and was keen to make the entire cast. We settled on Drac with the promise to make more at a later date. I’m sure you can work out how to do this yourself but just in case…

Step 1.

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Roll the toilet roll in card or crepe paper.

Step 2.

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Decorate as desired. There a huge selection of things to make on Pinterest (I’ve made a board). I had a look at what craft stuff we had (a severe shortage of black card) and, along with Drac, the cat and pumpkin fit best.

Step 3.

Hang them up. It’s a bit too early for that at the moment but my plan is to hang them around the living room nearer Halloween.

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So there you go, that’s how we spent some of Freya’s afternoon off school. Hopefully she will be heading back today, if she’s well enough – otherwise it might be time to start on the Christmas decorations!

My Sunday Photo – October 29th, 2017.

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If you’ve already read my crafting post you will have seen these photos before, sorry. I couldn’t resist using them again as it is almost Halloween. Freya is a huge fan of the occasion and we made these mini top hat fascinators for her to wear as the hats you can buy always drown her.

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Have you got any plans for Halloween? I don’t like trick or treating but I might make Freya some creepy cakes for after school.

To see what other people have submitted for the My Sunday Photo link please click on the camera below.

Photalife