Posts tagged ‘halloween’

A spooky fruit and gelatin recipe straight from Dracula’s kitchen. Wash your hands before you start! Always have a grown-up in the kitchen with you when you cook. Ages 8 and up.

QUANTITY Makes 3–4 small glasses (tubs)


• 1¼ oz packet unflavored gelatin (enough to set 2½ cups liquid); For a vegetarian version, use agar-agar, following the instructions on packet

• 1½ cups blueberries or blackberries, or any fruit you wish

• 2¼ cups dark red or blue berry juice (e.g. blueberry or cranberry)

• ¼ cups boiling water


• Mixing bowl

• Measuring cup

• Teapot

• Tablespoon

• Containers (for gelatin)


1. Wash the fruit and pat dry with a paper towel.

2. Put the gelatin into the measuring cup. Pour ¼ cup boiling water over the gelatin and stir carefully with a spoon, to dissolve it.

3. Add the berry juice to the dissolved gelatin so that it fills the measuring cup up to 2½ cups.

4. Divide the fruit between the containers and pour the gelatin mixture over the fruit.

5. Put Dracula’s gelatin in the fridge for about 45 minutes to set.

Tip: Add more fruit than gelatin for set fruit.

The recipe shown in the picture is of Cran-Grape juice gelatin with blackberries. Yum! Download this fun Hallowe’en recipe and more here.

Looking for more fun in the kitchen?

Encourage budding chefs to create tasty meals with 40 laminated recipe cards that feature nutritious vegetarian dishes from around the world. Unique recipes ranging from the familiar to the exotic are divided into five color-coded categories to reflect the major food groups. Simple step-by-step instructions put kids in control as they learn that cooking is more than an art — it’s a science! Includes 8-page booklet with information on nutrition, kitchen safety and terminology. This edition has been updated with even tastier recipes.

A craft to make you say “Ahhh!” Bring the friendly monsters from Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail to life with a paper plate mask! While you’re creating your mask, think about a Monster Story for your own monster. How will your monster sound? Is your monster friendly or misunderstood, like Grizzle-Tail? Let your imagination shape your mask and the story to go with it. Ages 5+


  • Paper Plates
  • Scissors
  • Tissue paper cut into small pieces
  • Glue, tape and a stapler
  • A small bowl with some water
  • Construction paper
  • Popsicle stick
  • Any additional art supplies you have


1. Sketch out the monster you’d like to make on a paper plate. Have an adult help you cut out holes for the eyes.

2. Put a small amount of craft glue into a dish and add water in equal parts. Stir together and paint the surface of the plate with the glue mixture. Layer your cut tissue paper onto the wet glue. Secure any loose ends or overlapping pieces with additional glue where necessary. Set aside to dry.

3. Use construction paper to cut out features for your monster, like big eyes, a nose and mouth. Create pointy teeth by cutting out lots of triangles. Add ears and horns to your creature by glueing them on the back of the plate. Use paint, pipe cleaners, puff balls and your imagination to make your monster unique.

4. Glue a popsicle stick to the bottom of your monster and reinforce with tape. Make your mask sturdier by stapling another plate to the back. Have an adult use scissors to make sure you can still see out of the eye-holes.

5. When you’re finished, walk around the house and pretend you’re a monster! Then, share your masks with us @barefootbooks on Instagram!

Ready to scare? Download the activity here.

Check out these Monster Stories perfect for the Hallowe’en season!

Meeting monsters on the page helps children realize that many of the scary things in life are less frightening than they appear — and that monsters can have feelings too! Inspire young readers with these adventures that teach courage, compassion and kindness.

Buy Grim, Grunt and Grizzle-Tail here or get the six book set and save!

From "Tales from Old Ireland" by Malachy Doyle, illustrated by Niamh Sharkey.

You can’t help but wonder at the mystery surrounding All Hallows’ Eve. From Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein to the upcoming Pride and Prejudice and Zombies film, Halloween has inspired popular culture for ages, spreading from Northern Europe to as far as Hong Kong!

But how did Halloween become the holiday we know today?

  • Halloween as we know it evolved from the ancient Celtic tradition of putting out treats for spirits who roamed the streets during a sacred festival that honored the dead, called “Samhain” in Ireland and “Nos Calan Gaeaf” in Wales.
  • Samhain festival-goers started dressing in ghost, witch and goblin costumes to escape the notice of real spirits wandering the streets. To this day, these remain revelers’ most popular Halloween costumes; just ask the spooks from our very own Barefoot Book of Giants, Ghosts and Goblins!
  • Jack o’ Lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep away spirits on the Samhain holiday.

From "Tales from Celtic Lands" by Caitlin Matthews, illustrated by Olwyn Whelan

  • If you’re the last one frolicking about the bonfire on Nos Calan Gaeaf, watch out! According to Welsh legend, the spirits of a giant black sow and headless woman might carry you with them back to the spirit world!
  • According to tradition, if a person wears his or her clothes inside-out and walks backwards on Halloween, he or she will see a witch at midnight.
  • Scottish girls believed they could see images of their future husband if they hung wet sheets in front of the fire on Halloween.

Not so keen on wearing your clothes inside-out or hanging wet sheets by a fire? Celebrate instead with our monstrously fun Halloween craft, spooky recipes or scary-fun books! Befriend a not-so-scary giant (above), gallant heroes, fiendish folk and more in Tales from Old Ireland.

Wishing you and your family a safe and spooktacular Halloween!

Thank you to everyone who left a comment and entered the contest, we loved hearing from you! Congratulations to Maureen Lee, our winner. This contest is now closed, please stay tuned for more!

This week’s podcast comes from Tales of Mystery and Magic and is a West African folktale. In “The Hunter’s Five Sons,” a hunter goes out into the woods to hunt but does not return. A month after his disappearance, his wife and four of his sons slowly begin to forget about him. Be sure to tune in to see what becomes of the hunter and his family, and read on for a chance to win!

Get in the Halloween spirit with these delicious, spooky recipes from the creator of Kids’ Kitchen, Fiona Bird. These simple-to-follow and healthy-to-eat dishes are the perfect treats to serve guests at your Halloween party!

Thank you to everyone who left a comment and entered the contest, we loved hearing from you! Congratulations to Mary Steel, our winner. This contest is now closed, please stay tuned for more!

This week’s podcast comes from The Barefoot Book of Giants, Ghosts and Goblins and is an old story originally told by wandering storytellers from Scotland. In ‘The Lass Who Couldn’t Be Frightened,’ a young woman lives alone in the forest with her dog and cat. Although she has many suitors, she claims she doesn’t need a husband to take care of her because she isn’t afraid of anything. Be sure to tune in to find out what she is secretly frightened of, and read on for a chance to win!