Witch’s Hat – Halloween Food Craft

 

This is one of my favorite Christmas party crafts we did ages ago adapted for Halloween. As my son pointed out it would also be fun for a Harry Potter party as it makes a great sorting hat craft. It’s a fun way to make something edible without baking.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some one sugar cone, some black icing, halloween sprinkles ( ours are just orange and back non pareils), some gummy worms or other gross candy, a cupcake liner and spoon.  I normally have my son help mix the food coloring if we are using it but black food color is notoriously stubborn to get out of anything ( like my hands… hours later) but by premixing it the mess with my son was minimal.
  2. Start by using the icing to “glue” the cone to the liner.
  3. Now cover the cone and liner with black icing. Have diaper wipes on hand I swear they have magic food coloring erasers, nothing wipes it up like wipes!  Oh and see his lips… if you are doing this with a group give them individial cups of icing or there will be a lot of germ sharing.
  4. Add the sparkles.. I mean sprinkles, it’s habit to type sparkles !
  5. Add worms… eat one more than you were supposed to.  See that little hand ? Baby girl was aching to have some sugar but she will have to wait til next year. Bummer.
  6. That’s it – super easy right?! It’s perfect for a fun Halloween party where kids are busy running around and don’t want to sit for too long to make something.

 

Halloween Books

I was going to link to some books I have previously reviewed since we have not made it to the library lately but my friend Amy Kraft from Media Macaroni just posted a wonderful post about new Halloween Books - so run over there and see what’s new. I was giddy to see a new Todd Parr book!

Toddler Friendly Pumpkin Glittering

Craving a pumpkin with a toddler is not my idea of fun , especially without another adult handy for supervising the littles when you are doing the actual carving. I will leave the slimy insides ( that make my son gag – also not fun) and sharp knives for the weekend when my husband is handy, but that doesn’t mean we can’t decorate a pumpkin! I was just going to do this with my daughter who is 16 months old but my son came running to the playroom asking to join in. They had a great time and my foyer is all blinged out for halloween now!

  1. Gather your materials. You will want a drop cloth for this, white glue, glitter, paint brushes, a plate and a small stool, box or something else you don’t mind getting glitter on to hold the pumpkin at your toddler’s level so they can stand and move around as they create.
  2. Pour the glue onto a plate.
  3. Paint on the glue.
  4. “Wait for me I want to do it too Mom!” <— music to my ears!
  5. Shake the glitter on.
  6. Change glitter colors and keep shaking.
  7. Let dry overnight, gently shake any loose glitter off.
  8. Display!

Halloween Math – Count and Fill Frankenstein

My husband loves math the way that I love art . When he talks about numbers his voices changes just a little bit the same way mine does when I start telling someone about the first time I saw a favorite painting in person. Well my son seems to be gearing more towards that side of things so I have been trying to come up with math activities that fit themes , have an art element if he wants to help me make them and most importantly are fun.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a paper towel roll or two, some green painters tape , a black markers( one permenant and a regular washable one), drinking straws, stationary labels and scissors.
  2. Start by cutting your paper towel rolls into smaller tubes.
  3. Next color the top of the roll black.  Just use a regular old marker.
  4. Next wrap green painters tape around the bottom of the rolls. Add faces with permenant marker, regular marker will smudge.
  5. Now cut the drinking straws into smaller pieces. Make sure they are long enough to be seen and grabbed above the rolls.
  6. Write numbers on the stationary labels. Make sure you write some numbers that are “easy” and many that are a challenge for them too. The balance of challenge and success builds their self confidence.
  7. Place the Frankensteins on the table with the labels infront. This do not stick to my table but I don’t want to be responsible for wrecking yours, so if you are worried pop down a placemat before the labels. If it’s too late try goo-gone that stuff is a preschool teacher’s secret weapon.
  8. Give your child the straws and let them count and fill! My son loved that he was putting brains into Frankenstein… nice eh?
  9. It was during this lesson that I introduced my son to double checking his work. Here he is counting a 2nd time.
  10. Peel the stickers off and put new ones on. Count and re-fill .

Halloween Counting Book

10 Trick-or-Treaters by Janet Schulman is one of my favorite Halloween books and both my children love it. We’ve been reading it daily for a few weeks. The premise is simple, a group of trick or treaters are pegged off one by one as they are scared by some Halloween creature.  Readers count down from 10 – 0 and  enjoy the bright detailed illustrations as they do. I particularly like the cute costumes and the final page which has another countdown with candy – always fun to count candy right?

Marshmallow Skull Craft

If you are a long time reader you know I love these marshmallow crafts. For good reason, my son who you may know has done a lot of crafts is still very enthusiastic to do these.  I like them because I add in drawing, counting and fine motor skills while he just thinks he’s having fun.  Last year we made a ghost, this year we got a little more complicated because he’s older and able! Always make sure that you are in that sweet spot where a project interests and offers some challenge but doesn’t frustrate because it’s too hard.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some mini marshmallows, white glue and a white crayon.
  2. Start by drawing an outline of the skull. I did this for my son but if your child wants to have them do it.
  3. I did encourage him to draw the eyes nose and mouth and was happy that he was eagerly doing it. I am glad I started it off for him by doing the outline, I am not sure he’d be as eager to draw the face if I’d given him a blank page and said draw your skull. Your child might so do what works for yours.
  4. Time to add glue. This is great for hand eye coordination.
  5. Marshmallow Time! Before you ask, yes my son ate marshmallows but we have a system.
  6. He has to count to a certain number before he gets to eat one from the bowl.
  7. More counting…a little more eating and then let dry.

Books About Bones!

Dem Bones by Bob Barner is sort of two books in one. The superficial layer uses the words of the ever popular old time spiritual with fun Halloween inspired skelleton illustrations. There is also a second layer that has longer text for older children that goes into the anatomy of the bones the song sings about. Great way to keep a Halloween theme strong while teaching about the human body!

Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Cuyler is a silly book about a skelleton who can not get rid of the hiccups. He tries all the old tricks , which probably won’t be old to your kids… I spent a lot of time explaining them to my son while we read . The story is simple and parents will find it predictable but kids find it silly and fun, and that is what matters.

Spider Web Gross Motor Activity

gross motor activity for kids

Finding fun spooky games to play that won’t scare the pants of little guys is not always a simple task . This game is simple, spooky but not at all frightening.  As I was making it I wasn’t so sure of how we’d play but the rules evolved and we’ve been playing it all weekend . The giggles were epic and the only screams were  when I forgot the spiders are fake and walked  into the living room and saw them on the floor. This activity works on balance , problem solving and can be adapted for various levels.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some painters tape, plastic spiders, a prize for the end like a glow stick and if the simple version ( explained below) is too easy have some other obstacles like these ghosts ready to make it a challenge.
  2. Start by making a web with tape on your floor. You can do a full web or if like me space is limited just do a half.
  3. Make an obvious start and finish. We call our finish home base.
  4. Add some spiders around the web and the prize ( glowstick) in the center. After the first go I let my son scatter the spiders himself.
  5. Time to play. So the object of this web walking game is to stay on the web and pick up all the spiders then the prize ( glow stick) without falling off the web . Now this can be made very difficult by requiring tippy toes or much easier by only counting a fall onto the floor as a true fall. For us he was out and had to start again if he took a step off the tape.
  6. It was not a big enough challenge so we added ghosts!  He could step over them but if his foot touched one he was out.  Another way to make it much more of a challenge for older kids is to turn it into a timed challenge with a stop watch. 
  7. When he did step off I’d make a cackling witchy laugh and proclaim ” You fell into the goo, ew, ew, ew ! ” He’d laugh and start again

Spooky … a little but definitely not scary! I think this game will be coming out every October for years to come.

Song

You may know the song ” One Elephant” This is a Halloween version that fits this activity perfectly. In my class I used to sing this with me starting at one side of the circle time rug calling each child over. My assistant teacher would be last. I have had so many requests for songs, I couldn’t ignore this perfect match of song and activity.

One little ghost went out to play upon a spider’s web one day
He had such enormous fun that he called for another little ghost to come.
Two little ghosts went out to play upon a spider’s web one day
They had such enormous fun that they called for another little ghost to come.

and so on and so on…