## Haunted House Math Activity

Using holidays like Halloween as a theme for great learning activities is a sure fire hit in my house. My daughter who is 2 is always excited to do any project but my almost 6 year old is a lot more picky. This Halloween math activity was such a hit that when I asked my son to rate it 1-100 he gave it a 100 without hesitation! Better yet it’s pretty easy to make , adapt for various levels and frugal too.

1. Gather your materials. You will need some craft paper , markers , white card stock ( or paper plates !), scissors, painter’s tape and something to attach the house to a wall. I used push pins but more painter’s tape would work too.
2. Cut out simple ghost shapes  from the paper plates / card stock. Add faces and numbers. I did 1-10 but you can write whatever numbers your child is working on.
3. Draw a haunted house on craft paper. Mine took 3 tries the first was so bad I should have taken a picture to make you all laugh. The other ones became coloring paper for my toddler.
4. Write out simple equations , number words or even just numbers to match up. You will see further down that for a toddler like my daughter you don’t even need anything to match. Just play with the numbers on the ghosts.
5. Add painter’s tape to the ghosts and on the haunted house where you will place the equations.
6. Add the equations to the house, put the ghosts next to it ready to be put in the house and call your little mathematician.
7. As soon as my son saw the activity he said it was too easy and it probably was.  I grabbed my iPhone and asked him if he wanted me to time him. His face lit up. I don’t suggest timing children who don’t want to be timed or who will feel negatively pressured . Matching the words with the numbers on the ghosts was an easy task for my son but he has a competitive spirit and timing him made it more fun because it made it challenging.
8. He flew through it. Placing the ghosts on top of the matching words.
9. Next I switched the words on the house to simple equations. These were not going to be as easy and I told him for this time we would not be timing it.  I think that if I’d done the harder task first he would have gotten frustrated when a few of the harder equations didn’t come to him immediately.
10. After my son was done I removed all the tape and equations so the house was clear , and put the ghosts back on the wall. Then invited my daughter who is 2 to come and put the ghosts in the haunted house. It was perfect for her. She grabbed the ghosts and named the numbers she knew and asked me to confirm the numbers she didn’t. She was very specific about where they should be. I was thrilled that they both had fun with math at their own levels of learning!

## Ghosts In The House

Ghosts in the House! by Kazuno Kohara is on my must buy list! A little girl moves into house and soon finds out it is haunted. Luckily she is a witch and knows just what to do. The ghosts in the story seem mischievous but never scary and even when she washes them in the washing machine, they are still smiling. My son loved this book, the text was the perfect length for a 3 year old, short but still descriptive.  I loved the simple  black and orange colors and had to look at the copyright twice because I was certain this was written sometime in the 30s, nope 2008. The simplicity of the book and colors is balanced so well with the little details like the little girl’s constant companion , a white cat that puts on a black costume when the little witch pops on her hat. This detail had my son in stitches, “Cats don’t wear clothes , silly cat!” .  Absolutely a perfect Halloween book for children not yet ready to be scared for fun!

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## Monster Blocks & Memory Game For Halloween

What could be better than a fun and educational game that your kids like and you can also use as Halloween decor? One that you can make really easily and also sparkles! Lucky for you that is exactly what we made and will show you how to make. Thanks to Mod Podge for sending me just what I needed to make these monster blocks. They were a cinch to make and will do double duty working as a fun toy by day and as funky Halloween decorations after my little monsters go to bed.

1. Gather your materials. You will need some wood blocks (ours were cut to 2 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ x 1 1/2″), pictures you want to use (download ours here), Mod Podge Washout For Kids, Mod Podge brush applicator, scissors, a wood file or sand paper, some paper plates, and my favorite material: sparkle Mod Podge.
2. Start by cutting your wood blocks. My husband makes a rare appearance and somehow made exactly what I envisioned even though my description was far from exact.
3. File down the sharp edges and sand so they are smooth enough for kids to handle.
4. Cut your monster pictures out, apply a thin layer of Mod Podge on the wood, and apply the picture.
5. Apply another thin layer on top. Let dry overnight.
6. My son couldn’t wait for the final sparkle layer. We played, and he pummeled me at memory before I added the layer of sparkle Mod Podge.
7. Add the sparkle – this dries fast! As soon as I saw how much it sparkled, I started thinking of all the other crafts we can make with this. Expect great things! Let it dry for at least a day before playing. If it gets tacky (ours was not tacky at all) Mod Podge suggests applying a clear acrylic sealer after the Mod Podge cures.
8. Time to play. As soon as I showed my daughter the finished monster blocks, she couldn’t wait to play. I showed her where all the pieces were, flipped them over, and she surprised me with how many she matched up. Her excitement with each match was adorable to watch.  Also, the big blocks were perfect for her hands. Many other match or memory games are on cards, and while she can flip the cards over, sometimes they get tricky and frustration ruins the fun. That didn’t happen with these monster blocks.
I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Mod Podge and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are my own.

## Ghost Bottle Bowling – Halloween Game For Kids

There are a lot of homemade Halloween bowling games but the goal of this one isn’t just to have fun knocking down a few ghosts ( although my son sure has had a blast!) it’s also about building fine motor skills, counting and making something together as siblings.

1. Gather your materials. You will need some empty water bottles , sticky back black foam, scissors, a few packages of cotton balls and a pumpkin ball.
2. Start by filling your bottles with cotton balls. My two year old and I worked together filling her bottle. This was a challenge for her and her fine motor skills. My son had no problem and happily filled his first bottle in a snap.
3. Make it a challenge for fast finishers. I decided to give my son a challenge and asked him to estimate how many cotton balls it takes to fill a bottle, then count to see the difference.
4. While your kids fill the bottles cut some eyes from the foam. This sticky back foam is great for crafts when you don’t want to wait for glue to dry .
5. When all the bottles are filled peel the backing off the eyes ( more fine motor work) and pop them on the bottles.
6. Can you tell which one my daughter made?
7. Now it’s time to bowl. My daughter got frustrated pretty quickly but I am going to try again today when her brother is at school. I don’t thin it was the activity that frustrated her so much as not being able to do it just like her much more coordinated older brother. He had a blast.  On his own he decided to try out different ways to arrange the ghosts. In a horizontal line, diagonal one, a bunch and then in this X. All I know is he was working on gross motor skills while also experimenting with the most basic of a physics lesson.

## Halloween Books

Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters by Jane Yolen is a sweet monster book with minimal text and very rich illustrations by Kelly Murphy.  The story is really about the daily wind down and bedtime for two monsters. You and your child will absolutely relate to them on one page or another ( or all). These little monsters are just like our little monsters resisting bedtime, trying to avoid baths… well you know the daily struggle. My daughter was not into the book but my son liked it even though I’d gear it towards the 2-4 crowd. We chose our favorite monsters on each page and found interesting details like the recipe for tentacle soup on the page where the mom is making dinner . Cute, your child will relate to it and it’s not at all scary!

## Easy Halloween Crafts For Kids

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I see what you are pinning on Pinterest and Halloween pins are everywhere these days. I thought I’d make it easier on you and bring a long list of our favorite easy Halloween crafts for kids together in a Halloween craft round up . We have so many Halloween activities for kids on the site that I already have at least one more round up planned but I will wait a while before posting it .

## Halloween Ghost Crafts &Treats

Of all the Halloween words like ghouls, monsters and jack-o-lantern the search term that has been most common this month for us is ” Ghost Craft” . I aim to please so here are  our ghost crafts, treats and even my failed ghost cookies that tasted really really good. If you weren’t one of the many people searching for “Ghost Craft” I hope you find something fun to do anyway!

Texture Ghost

I think I may re-do this craft with my daughter in the coming days, it’s a fun craft to do with toddlers and preschoolers alike!

Puffy Paint Ghost

Seriously messy, seriously fun and the way the homemade puffy paint dries is seriously awesome!

Flying Ghosts

Great use of cookie cutters and a fun and easy craft for preschoolers.