Halloween

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It is almost October 31st and you know what that means.

Halloween.

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Traditionally, thought to be associated with harvest festivals, these days, Halloween is a time of fun and excitement joining the ranks of Christmas, Easter and Australia day.

It also happens to be one of the Professor in the Hawaiian shirt (Our Managing director’s alter ego!) favorite times of the year.

He has already started getting in on the action and has been trying on new costumes all week.

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Not to mention practicing his decorating skills, much to the concern of our neighbours…

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So here are some exciting activities that you may want to include in social calendar in the lead up to Halloween, not to mention some awesome programs that are available with Hale & Fun perfectly suited for this time of the year…

But first….

A new initiative

Hale & Fun is also planning on trailing a new initiative this year. As you may be aware every year more and more children take part in a traditional Halloween activity of Trick or Treat. Obviously, having children wandering the streets and taking candy from strangers has all sorts of dangers, which is shame because Halloween is a lot of fun both for the children and the people who they visit. So this year, we at Hale & Fun are working with community groups and the schools in the Sydney area to come up with an alternative…

….and we think we have hit Gold!

Why not incorporate the retirement villages and nursing homes?

The children could come to the homes, get dressed up and visit each of the apartments of the residents for trick or treat – a great intergenerational activity.

We could even combine it with the card marking (below) to have specific “invitations” sent to the children.

If you think your residents might be interested in such a program please contact me (Daniel@haleandfun.com.au, ph:8034 6945) and we can have a chat about some possibilities.

 

And now onto the activities…

Greeting Card Making

Making custom greeting cards can be part of almost any holiday and Halloween is no exception. Forget about Facebook and Twitter, there is nothing like receiving a handmade card through good old-fashioned mail!

All you need to do is provide the supplies to make Halloween-themed cards and then help your residents work on a card or two for their relatives and friends.

For Halloween try using orange and black paper. Have plenty of white crayons on hand to write on black paper and then often other items to adorn the cards.

Foam stickers work really well for this type of project because they are usable even for people who have arthritis or other difficulties with their hands can use easily. Foam stickers also compress well, making them perfect for mailing.

Have a few other embellishments for the cards, such as ghost or spider cut-outs and let your residents spend an afternoon making cards.

Small Pumpkin Painting

 

Pumpkin carving typically isn’t a good idea in homes for seniors. The dexterity and strength required to carve a pumpkin can prove problematic – and even dangerous. Instead allow the residents to paint pumpkins. By getting a range of pumpkin sizes, you can put out disposable plates with various colours of acrylic paints and sizes of paintbrushes. Let everyone paint a pumpkin and then use them to adorn the cafeteria tables and common areas throughout the month of October. Pumpkins last really well, so this craft is one that residents can enjoy for several weeks.

Food & Drink

What’s a Halloween party without some delicious food and drinks, as well as some fun entertainment? Halloween is the perfect time to have some fun when it comes to making imaginative foods and drinks that everyone can enjoy.

The following are a few great food, drink and entertainment ideas that can help make a Halloween Party one that won’t soon be forgotten.

Food:

  • Bloody Worms – Spaghetti and Meatballs
  • Mummy Dogs – Pigs in a Blanket (leave one end of hot dog showing, then put 2 dots of mustard on it for the eyes)
  • Fingers – String Cheese & Almond (use almond for fingernail)

Drinks:

  • Vampire Blood Cocktail – Use Tomato Juice
  • Rotten Apple Punch – Add Gummy Worms
  • Bloody Punch w/Floating Hand- Cranberry, Apple & Grape Juice w/Seltzer (for hand, pour 2 drops of food colouring into 2 cups of punch and pour into latex glove to freeze)

 

Why not invite a facilitator in from Hale & Fun to talk?

We have a huge number of different courses, which can be both given as one off events or as part of a larger program perfectly suited for Halloween. Some of these include:

Things That Go Bump in the Night: A History of the Gothic Genre

Seen way too many bad vampire impersonations? Want to know why this whole Twilight thing is so popular? Then this could be the course for you! We’ll look at the history and origins of one of the most popular and influential literary genres of all time – the Gothic. From its beginnings in eighteenth-century novels to its modern formulations (some might say perversions!) in horror film, popular culture and even advertising, this course will take you through centuries of dark and stormy nights, exploring such questions as: why do vampires suck blood? How is the Gothic related to the modern detective novel? And is the Gothic really always about sex?  To do this, we will look at a diverse range of literary and filmic texts by a variety of authors, from masters of the genre such as Poe to lesser-known authors like the Australian Ken Cook, and try to reach an understanding of what the Gothic is as a genre, what contextual influences have shaped it, and how and why it keeps evolving. No prior knowledge necessary and there are no wrong answers – we’ll be looking at your collected opinions and ideas to form our own literary theories!

Ghost tales

Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong

“You’ll never take me alive,” said he

And his ghost may be heard as you’re passing by that billabong

You’ll come a waltzing Matilda with me

 

Everyone has heard tales of ghosts, spirits and the unknown. Almost every town and city you can point to have their own legend and Sydney is no different. In fact, Sydney with its turbulent past from colonial days and “novel” characters populating such places as the Rocks and Kings Cross has had more than its fair share of the supernatural haunting. Why do ghost tales persist in this era of enlightenment? What is their appeal? And how do people study their occurrence? In this course, we will explore not only some of the classical ghosts’ tales of Sydney but also look at the science of paranormal investigation. This course is not for the faint hearted but definitely worthwhile for those with a little spirit.

 

Where Biology meets fantasy

Every wondered what that was that went bump in the night? Have you seen something out of the corner of your eye and no one believes you? Don’t worry you are not alone.

Many people may laugh when they hear stories of the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot but did you know there is an entire scientific discipline devoted to the study of these creatures, animals whose existence has not yet been proven? Some of the creatures, called cryptids, are obviously fantastical, but cryptozoology studies all manner of suspected cryptids. This multi-discipline approach to the fringe science of cryptozoology will draw upon psychology, history, popular culture and biology to bring these animals, the people who chase them and why they fascinate us to light.

A look at our most iconic myths throughout the ages: UFOs, Zombies, vampires, werewolves and witches

Science, Sociology, History, Anthropology, Psychology and Mythology all combine as we venture into the world of some of humanity’s most enduring myths and legends.

Vampires were once ghouls who haunted graveyards, yet now they sparkle in the daylight. How did this happen?

Witches were once renounced and burned at the stake, yet Wicca and Witchcraft are now recognised as valid religions and lifestyle choices.

Why in this modern era are the icons of past centuries still popular? This course takes a look at some of our most enduring myths or legends. Each session will look at how they have adapted as the world changes around them and what they represent to us. However, this is not just a course looking at the myths and legends, this course draws on history, specific case studies, as well as the psychology and science involved. Prepare for a journey into the world of some of our most famous legends looking at their occurrences, case studies, psychological underpinnings and possible scientific explanations for the mania surrounding them.

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