Frankenstein Halloween Craft

I get asked for craft ideas for older kids from time to time especially around holidays and special occasions like Halloween. When I picked up some sparkly sticky back foam I immediately knew I had to use it to make some kind of Frankenstein!   I decided on a magnet because it can be used at home in the kitchen ( yay, no tape or push pins in the wall) , in a locker at school or wherever else you choose. It’s a fast craft for older kids and would work great as a Halloween party activity too.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some green and black sparkly sticky back foam, scissors, 2 wiggly eyes, glue and a magnet. I recycle the free magnets we get as promotions for things like furnace repair and pizza parlors.
  2. Start by cutting out a face shape in the green foam. Remember to make the top flat.
  3. Glue the magnet on the back and set aside to dry.
  4. While that is drying cut the black foam into a rectangle as wide as the top of the head. Make cuts on one side to make spiky hair.
  5. Cut a long strip ( almost as wide as the chin of the monster) out of the black, and several smaller strips.
  6. Cut two triangles out of the black as well , snip the top point off.
  7. Start peeling the backings off. Only peel off as much as will be touching the green foam. Start with the hair add it to the face ( the glue should be dry enough to turn the face over without the magnet falling off, if it does pop it back on and wait.
  8. Next add the long strip ( the mouth) and the small strips across it. 
  9. Add the ears ( well really they are bolts, but they are about where people’s ears are). Again only peel back the backing for the part that is touching the green foam.
  10. Glue on the eyes. Let dry completely.

Your little ghoul too young for this craft? Try our preschooler friendly Paper Roll Frankenstein instead.

Monster Books

Monster Mess! by Margery Cuyler is a silly rhyming book about a monster who isn’t interested in scaring you, but rather cleaning up your messes. Readers follow along as the monster creeps through the house finding messes and tidying up. I personally loved it when the monster stepped on blocks, who reading this with kids hasn’t stepped on toys like Lego and screamed in pain?! I know I do, a lot so that part resonated with me . The illustrations by S.D. Schindler are done at funky angles and perspectives and adds a lot to the text. It’s not scary at all and a great monster choice for more fearful kids.

Molly’s Monsters by Teddy Slater is a counting book in monster’s clothes. The book is about a little girl named Molly who is just trying to sleep when her room is flooded with monsters. They come in progressively larger groups and my son liked  counting to make sure the text was correct. My favorite part was that the first monster to arrive and the last to leave , never does leave and instead snuggles into bed with Molly. I also like that to get these pesky visitors to leave she turns on the light and makes a scary face and scares them. Clever.

When a Monster Is Born by Sean Taylor is funny, my son didn’t find it as funny as I did but he still laughed and didn’t seem scared any of it. The story is about a monster and all the life changing choices he faces every day like whether to eat a principal or run through a wall of a school. This book feels like a choose your own adventure book, it’s fun , repetitive and silly. There is quite a bit of talk about monsters eating people , though nothing too gory.

Frozen Banana Ghost Treats

When I was going through past posts for my Letter B Theme post last week I saw my frozen banana treats tutorial and got an idea to make them into ghosts for a healthy-ish Halloween treat. They were super easy to make. Please note that the jelly beans especially when frozen can be a choking hazard , please take off and let thaw before serving it to a child.

  1. Gather your materials ( or rather ingredients). You will need bananas ( 3 medium cut in half), 3/4 lb of white chocolate chips, table spoon of butter, 6 popsicle sticks, microwavable bowl, baking dish and 12 black jelly beans. Also you will need wax paper for the dish, I was out and my baby was sleeping so I used non stick spray and it worked but wax paper would be better.
  2. Start by cutting the bananas in 2 .
  3. Push a popsicle stick into the bananas.
  4. Pour your chips into a microwavable bowl, add the butter and melt. What worked for me was to do 30 seconds, stir, 30 seconds, stir, 20 seconds and stir. Watch it carefully it burns easily.
  5. Dip and cover the bananas with the white chocolate.
  6. Place in the pan ( on wax paper or non stick spray), and add the jelly beans for eyes.
  7. Freeze .2 hours was perfect for us, bananas weren’t rock hard.
  8. Serve. Don’t forget about the jelly beans, pop them off and let thaw before eating.

Ghost Craft Tutorial

Sometimes when I make a craft I get inspired but I am not sure where from. I made this ghost craft and couldn’t remember where the inspiration came from until I was reading  I Can Teach My Child and remembered this project. You can see the similarities! So yes my inspiration comes from all over . This is a parent and tot craft , there are many steps that are tricky for little ones. But my son loves the final product, he runs into the foyer looks at the ghosts and  screams ” I am frightened, ahhh!” then burst out in giggles daily. So I would say it’s a hit.  I will be packing these up and taking them out every year with my Easy Halloween Wreath .

  1. Gather your materials. You will need clear contact paper, black construction paper, white tissue paper or party streamers ( or any white paper) , Scissors ( kid and adult), and black sticky back foam.
  2. Start by drawing a ghost and cutting out many frames. I used the insides for fun fast activities and let my son color them with chalk .
  3. Have your child cut the tissue paper – if you use a streamer I find it’s easier for beginning cutters to handle and cut independently. Tissue paper is flimsy. My son still only cut a few – another tip, make sure kid scissors are clean ours had something sticky on them and weren’t cutting well, by the time I cleaned them he was over it. Learn from my oops.
  4. Place the frames on the contact paper so the sticky side is up.
  5. Add the paper into the frames.
  6. While they do that make eyes out of sticky back foam.
  7. Cover with another piece of contact paper, press firmly.
  8. Cut the ghosts out.
  9. Add the eyes
  10. Pop on a mirror, window, door… wherever you need a few adorable ghosts!

Halloween Books

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 skeleton 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!

Monster Math by Anne Miranda is a math lesson turned into a fun and entertaining storybook. You can simply read the book or you can have your little mathematician help you guess how many new monsters arrive and leave on each page. The illustrations are adorable and even if the math skills are above your toddler or preschoolers heads they will still enjoy the book.

Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman is a staple in most preschool classrooms. It’s a cute story about a witch who is desperate for pumpkin pie but her giant pumpkin is too big for her to pick up! Luckily she enlists the help of a ghost, vampire, mummy and bat and with a little teamwork they save the night! The rhyming text is almost like a song and kids love it! It’s possibly my son’s favorite Halloween book and I love that it’s the smallest creature who uses it’s brain not brawn to solve the problem.

Spooky Halloween Sensory Tub

This sensory tub was such a huge hit that I had to sneak it away after he went to bed.  He loved using the tongs to pick up all the skeletons and then dump them down. As an adult watching it was rather morbid but he was having a blast. If you use larger containers or smaller skeletons you can label the containers with the colors of the skeletons and add a sorting game to it too. I prefer to let him use his imagination with the sensory tubs , although some students I have had needed more direction so if your child is just kinda like ” Um now what? ” play with them and make up games to get them started.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a plastic tub or extra large pan, some black beans, some great northern beans, pumpkin containers, tongs and skeleton toys ( ours are the stretchy ones ).
  2. Pour your black beans in , my tub used 2 small packages.
  3. Pour in the great northern beans, I only put in about half the package.
  4. Pop in the skeletons and pumpkins.
  5. Invite your child to the table ( or if you are smart out to the porch or backyard) and play.
  6. My son adored making big morbid piles of skeletons, not sure if I should be concerned or not…

Last Year’s Halloween Sensory Tub

Last year we used orange lentils,pasta,  and black beans. Check it out.

Marshmallow Ghost

I love the simplicity of this Halloween Craft.  Many parents comment that they could never do a craft with treats without their child loosing focus and eating up the whole bowl. I have done many of these kids activities over the years with my son and other children and never had that problem. The tick is that you have to allow some to be eaten but make deals. With my son he had to put 10, then 15, then 20 marshmallows on the ghost before he was allowed to eat just one single marshmallow. When the ghost was completed he had another. 4 in total, not bad. If you simply can not use treats try cotton balls or packing peanuts instead. Another bonus is that your child is using fine motor skills the whole time, something essential to literacy!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some glue, mini marshmallows, and black construction paper.
  2. Start by making an outline of a ghost in glue on your paper. I tried, no begged my son to do this step but he didn’t want to. He wants things to be perfect and well – we are working on doing things himself and not needing things to be so particular. I’ll keep you posted!
  3. Next start adding the mini marshmallows. I love the system we use with a treat after counting, because he loves to count and has fun doing it. Even if you are using a non edible item give your child numbers to use as mini goals when adding on items like this. You can even make predictions about how many it will take to complete the ghost.
  4. Add glue for the eyes.  I was pleased when he wanted to do this, and even more so when he added 3 eyes !
  5. Add the marshmallows , three if you want!
  6. Let dry. The marshmallows will dry but not mold.

Halloween Books

The Perfectly Horrible Halloween by Nancy Poydar is a book I think most adults can relate to and kids should read and learn from. In the book a little boy is excited about the costume contest in class, he is sure he will win, but there is one problem, he forgot his costume on the bus! I like how resourceful he is making a new costume with what he has and how the author realistically captures both the excitement  of the day and horror when he realizes he forgot the costume on the bus. I know I forgot my bad, my lunch and a laundry list of other things on the bus when I was a kid and this book launched my son and I into a talk about loosing things and coping. Another good book from an author I have recently discovered and am greatly enjoying.

10 Trick-or-Treaters by Janet Schulman is one of my favorite Halloween books and has been read many many time already this month . 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?

Mouse’s First Halloween by Lauren Thompson is a sweet and really well done book. The story follows a little mouse who is easily afraid of the many things on Halloween night , but one by one discovers that things like falling leaves, jack-o-lanterns and trick or treaters aren’t so scary after all. I love the repetition in this book and the illustrations by Bucket Erdogan epitomize the fall spookiness that Halloween nights are filled with. Thumbs up from my son and I .