7 Fun Fall Recipes and Crafts for the Family

Fall might just be the most creative time of year. From carving pumpkins and crafting costumes to whipping up delicious seasonal dishes, there’s something about the changing of the seasons that makes DIY extra fun. Here are a few fun and kid-friendly recipes and crafts that you and your kids can do together in this festive season! All of these activities come from SPIDER (ages 6-9) or CRICKET (ages 9-12), two kids’ magazines packed with stories, poetry, creative activities, and more!

Nocturnal Nibbles (From SPIDER Magazine)

This recipe is actually three different snacks in one! Inspired by nocturnal animals of North America, these are just right for a midnight snack. Create an oaty apple owl, a pretzel stick porcupine, or even a fruity fruit bat!

Oaty Apple Owl

What You’ll Need:

  • oatmeal cookie
  • rice cake
  • apple
  • 2 chocolate chips
  • piece of cheese
  • plate
  • knife (for adult use)
  • spoon

What To Do:

  1. Set the cookie above the rice cake on the plate
  2. Ask an adult to slice the apple into half-circles for the wings. Place the wings on the edges of the rice cake.
  3. Ask an adult to cut two more thin apple slices. Use the edge of the spoon to carve out circles for eyes. Place the eyes on the cookie.
  4. Place chocolate chips on the apple circles
  5. Tear off a corner of the cheese for the triangle-shaped beak. Place the beak on the cookie.

Whoooo wants a snack?

Pretzel Stick Porcupine

What You’ll Need:

  • slice of bread
  • pretzel sticks
  • peanut butter, soy butter, or chocolate spread
  • chocolate chip
  • cup
  • plate
  • knife

What To Do:

  1. Press a cup on the slice of bread to cut out a circle. Place the bread circle on the plate.
  2. Tear off a triangle corner of the leftover bread for the face. Place the triangle face next to the circle.
  3. Spread the peanut butter, soy butter, or chocolate spread on the bread, including the triangle face
  4. Dip one end of each pretzel stick in the remaining butter or spread. Attach each stick to the body of the porcupine, starting at the back and moving forward.
  5. Add the chocolate chip eye

This is one sharp snack!

Banana Fruit Bat

What You’ll Need:

  • banana
  • fruit leather
  • 2 almonds or raisins
  • 3 chocolate chips
  • 2 pretzel sticks
  • plate
  • butter knife

What To Do:

  1. Cut or tear the fruit leather diagonally. Place one triangle on the plate with the corner pointing down.
  2. Peel the banana. With an adult’s help, cut the banana in half midway, then again lengthwise. Lay the flat side of one piece on the fruit leather. The narrow end of the banana should be above the flat edge of the fruit leather.
  3. Stick the almonds or raisins in the narrow end of the banana for ears.
  4. Add the chocolate chips for the eyes and mouth.
  5. Stick the pretzel sticks into the cut end of the banana for legs.

If you make this bat during the day, fold its wings and eat it upside down!

These recipes were created by Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan with art by Sarah Lowe for SPIDER Magazine. Download the recipes here!

Creepy Peepers (from SPIDER Magazine)

Recycle empty toilet paper rolls to create this easy Halloween decoration for your home this year! Make your bushes look like they’re full of spooky glowing eyes!

What You’ll Need:

  • empty toilet paper rolls
  • pen or marker
  • small scissors
  • 4 inch glow stick or flexible glow bracelet
  • duct tape

What To Do:

  1. Draw two creepy eyes on toilet paper roll, as close to the same size as possible. Leave small notches on the bottom for pupils.
  2. Cut out the eye shapes, including the pupils. You may need to pinch the paper roll to start your snipping.
  3. Cover one end of the roll with duct tape.
  4. When it gets dark, crack glow stick and place it in the roll through the open end. Cover this end with duct tape.
  5. Place your creepy eyes outside in a tree or bush to thrill trick-or-treaters, or hide somewhere in your house to give your family a spooky surprise!
Art by Lauren Minco

Harvest Muffins (from CRICKET Magazine)

These delicious, hearty muffins from CRICKET Magazine are the perfect breakfast or treat for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or any fall day! They’re full of fruit, veggies, spices, and even a little bit of chocolate! This recipe is great to make together with the whole family, as it’s a little advanced for younger kids to do on their own.

What You’ll Need

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cooking oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup applesauce
  • Medium-sized apple, peeled and chopped into pieces
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Large carrot, grated
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips

What To Do

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tin.
  2. Beat eggs together, then stir in oil, sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Mix in applesauce, apple, and carrot
  4. Add flour, baking soda, and cinnamon, stirring briefly.
  5. Gently stir in raisins and chocolate chips
  6. Spoon into muffin cups, filling each cup about 3⁄4 full
  7. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown

This delightful recipe was created by Leslie Kimmelman with art by Bonnie Gordon-Lucas. Download it here!

Pumpkin Hat (from SPIDER Magazine)

This cute accessory will help you get into the fall spirit! Wear it to a casual Halloween party along with an orange t-shirt and go as a pumpkin, or simply pop it on while running errands to show your love for the season!

What You’ll Need:

  • paper bowl
  • elastic cord
  • cork
  • orange and green acrylic paints
  • hole punch
  • foam brush
  • green construction paper
  • glue
  • scissors
  • green pipe cleaner

What To Do:

  1. Paint the outside of the bowl orange and the cork green. Leave them to dry.
  2. Cut a leaf out of green construction paper. Once the paint is dry, glue the leaf to the top of the bowl. Then, glue the green cork on to make the stem.
  3. When glue is dry, wrap the pipe cleaner around the cork and twirl the ends with your fingers to make a springy vine.
  4. Punch a hole on each side of the bowl. With an adult’s help, measure and cut a piece of elastic cord to fit under your chin. Tie each end of the elastic to a hole. Put on your hat and take a bow!

This activity was part of the Ophelia’s Last Word section in SPIDER! Download it here.

Pumpkin Pockets (from SPIDER Magazine)

These festive desserts are like having a little pumpkin pie all to yourself! This is another recipe that requires a little more help for grown-ups, but it’s fun to make individual desserts that the family can eat together.

What You’ll Need:

  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • pinch of salt
  • chilled, prepared pie dough
  • ice water
  • sugar

What To Do:

  1. Put raisins in a cup with 2 tablespoons tap water to soak for ½ hour.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Drain raisins and mix with the pumpkin, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and salt in a saucepan. Ask an adult to cook mixture over low heat, stirring all the time until the brown sugar melts completely, there are no more lumps, and the mixture just begins to bubble.
  4. Using a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass, cut 3-inch circles in the pie dough as close together as possible.
  5. With an adult’s help, put a small spoonful of filling in the middle of each circle.
  6. Dip your finger in ice water and run it around the edge of each circle.
  7. Fold each circle in half to make a pocket and pinch the edges to seal them. Make sure there are no holes in the seal or the filling will ooze out.
  8. Bake the pockets on ungreased cookie sheets for 15 to 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  9. As soon as an adult removes the pockets from the oven, sprinkle sugar on top of each of them
  10. Let the pumpkin pockets cool and enjoy!

Gordy Carver created this recipe for SPIDER Magazine, accompanied by art by John Kastner. Download it here!