Halloween Activity: Paper Plate Skeleton
This is another craft I read about as a teenager (which means it was probably a Dian Thomas idea) and finally tried with our little kids. Basically just cut the shapes out of paper plates and tie them together with yarn. We usually tape it to the front door. (If you want more directions, there’s another example here.)

Halloween Treat: Sugar Cookies
You can’t have Halloween without filling up on cookie pumpkins and ghosts! Here’s the recipe we like:
Our Favorite Sugar Cookie (aka Santa Claus Cookies)
4 cups sifted flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine dry ingredients and set aside. Cream butter until smooth. Gradually add and beat in the sugar and continue beating until light. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Sift and add the dry ingredients in fourths and stir after each addition to blend well. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours.

Set the oven to 350°. Grease the cookie sheets lightly. Roll out the dough, a little at a time, on a lightly floured pastry cloth or board, to a thickness of ¼ inch. Cut with a floured cookie cutter. Carefully transfer cut-outs to the cookie sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove and cool, then decorate with frosting. About 4 dozen.

(Since this is also an important Christmas tradition, I often make enough cookie dough now to freeze some for the busy December days.)