With Halloween looming around the corner like a ghost in the shadows, it's time to start planning some fright-night fun for your little horrors.
If you don't fancy venturing out into the chilling darkness to go trick-or-treating, host your own haunted house party from the comfort of your own home. IKEA® has all the ghoulish goods you need to make this a Halloween celebration to remember.
Trick or treat temptations
Give little trick-or-treaters a spooky welcome by decorating your windows with these ghostly lights that eerily change colour by themselves. Add a smattering of mini globe lights in black and white and you'll be the most popular haunt on the street.
And you don't want to disappoint any hungry spooks when they come knocking at your door (as you never know what tricks they have up their sleeves) so stock up on the new pick-n-mix range from the IKEA® Swedish food market – sweet enough to melt the heart of even the most ghastly ghoul.
An eerie ambience
Switch that big light off and create a cave-like feel with dark shadows and flickering lights by filling the room with pumpkins, lanterns and candles in blacks and oranges.
Lay on a spooky spread for your hungry little horrors with these devilishly tasty Halloween-themed treats – even more fun if you make them together.
Creepy cupcakes: Bake a batch of cupcakes or biscuits (or both!) and decorate with ghoul faces and spiders using fondant icing cut into shapes with pastry cutters and decorated with sweets.
Marshmallow monster-pops: Fill a metal plant pot with coloured stones. Cut off the bendy bits from a handful of colourful drinking straws and stick in the pot then pop marshmallows on the top, decorated with sweets and chocolate chips to make spooky faces.
TIP: A black tablecloth will transform your dining room quicker than a magic spell. Add a few black and white serving bowls - and don't forget a pumpkin centrepiece for some dramatic up-lighting that will have all your little guests' faces eerily aglow.
Brain digging: Did you know that spaghetti is exactly the same texture as a zombie's worm-riddled brain? Well you do now. Cook a large pan of spaghetti, drain and leave to cool. Place the cold pasta in a large bowl and add six ping-pong balls – three with 'Trick' written on and three with 'Treat'. The kids take turns to dig around in the brains. Whoever pulls out a 'Trick' ball has to do a forfeit (like running around the garden singing) and whoever pulls out a 'Treat' ball gets a sweet treat.
Devilish doodles: Hold your own witch-drawing competition by letting the children loose with a load of felt-tip pens and a large roll of paper. The person who draws the best (ie the ugliest) witch wins a prize.
Apple bobbing with a twist: Place a large bath sheet on the floor, then fill a container full of water and apples. Keeping your hands behind your back, try to pick up the apple using only your mouth. When successful, using the same method (no hands), try to get a sweet out of a plate filled with flour. The first person to eat the sweet is the winner.
Blind as a bat: Fill three serving bowls – one with cold noodles (worms), one with olives (eyeballs) and one with twiglets (fish bones), and drop a treat into each one. Each child must pick a bowl and search through the worms, eyeballs or fish bones to find the treat. Ramp up the fun by making them hunt against the clock, allowing ten seconds per contestant.
Trick or treat yourself
If you are going to venture out into the cold, dark night, for a spot of trick-or-treating, make sure you have something for collecting those treats. This soft handled fruit basket doubles up as a great toy for toddlers - or why not go for a Dickensian ghost feel with these milk-pail style vases that look great filled with flowers as a table centre-piece, when Halloween's over.