In Season October 2013

Warm and creative ways to celebrate the month's holidays.

Kristan Morley

Candy Alternatives

Handing out candy on Halloween is tradition, but it isn’t very healthy. Packets of goldfish crackers, small boxes of raisins, and natural fruit snacks are all healthy alternatives to candy and loved by most children. Buying these products in bulk makes them even more affordable and appealing. This year, provide a healthy change in your community.

Trick-or-Treat Dinner

Looking for a fun Halloween dinner that will make the whole family smile? Breadstick Mummy Dogs offer a sure way to get your kids excited for trick-or-treating. Visit www.picky-palate.com for more fun Halloween recipes.

What you’ll need:
•1 package Pillsbury Breadstick dough •12 hot dogs •ketchup and/or mustard

How to make it:
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Unroll the dough, and cut each section into three strips. Wrap each hot dog with the three strips, one at a time, starting at the top of the hot dog. Leave a small space at the top of the hot dog for the “eyes.” After all of the hot dogs are wrapped like mummies, place them onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Let them cool for five minutes, then use two small dots of ketchup and mustard for eyes.

World Teacher’s Day

Celebrate your child’s teacher on October 5 for World Teacher’s Day. This is a day dedicated to those women and men who help develop the minds of children. Send your son or daughter to school with a nice note or small, homemade gift. For more information, head to www.worldteachersday.org.

National Carve A Pumpkin Day

October 31 isn’t only meant for trick-or-treating, it is also National Carve A Pumpkin Day. Take time to carve a pumpkin and get the full Halloween experience. Add National Carve a Pumpkin Day to your list of family traditions this year.

D.I.Y. Dragon

Create a Fire-Breathing Dragon costume for this season’s festivities. For a tutorial with images, check out www.spoonful.com.

Materials:
•Pencil •Scissors •Several large sheets of corrugated cardboard •Acrylic paints and paintbrushes •Clear packing tape •Masking tape •Several sheets of colored cellophane •Small flashlight •Bubble wrap •Ribbon •Child’s belt •Green clothing

How to make it:
From the cardboard, draw and cut out two, 26-by-20-inch pieces for the profile of a dragon’s head. Cut four rows of teeth measuring 11 inches by 2 inches. Cut two strips to connect the two sides of the head. These are placed at the chin and along the length of the top of the head. Cut a strip measuring 30 inches for the tail. Cut four, 4-inch spikes to attach to the top of the tail. Cut one, 13-inch triangle for the tip of the tail. Once all of your cardboard is cut, paint both sides of the teeth strips white. Attach the teeth inside the upper and lower dragon jaws with clear packing tape. Assemble the head by using masking tape to secure the head and chin strips in place between the head pieces. Make sure your child’s head can fit inside this space. Paint the dragon’s head, and the tail pieces with a base coat of green. Paint both sides of the tail spikes. Allow all the pieces to dry, then paint on eyes, nostrils, and scales. Add a fire-breathing effect by wrapping the cellophane around the end of the flashlight and securing it with clear packing tape. Tape the flashlight onto the lower jaw of the head. Use two pieces of 2-by-3-foot bubble wrap to create wings and attach them with the ribbon. Attach the tail spikes to the tail strip. Use clear packing tape to attach the larger triangle to the end of the tail. Have your child dress in green. Finally, set the dragon head on his shoulders and turn on the flashlight.

National Fire Prevention Week

Join forces with your local fire department to educate your children about fires during National Fire Prevention Week, October 6-12. Every year, the National Fire Protection Association focuses on a new topic, and this year it is “Prevent Kitchen Fires.” Help teach important lessons about kitchen fires and how to put them out. More information about getting involved with National Fire Prevention Week may be found at www.nfpa.org.

This column appeared in the October 2013 issue.