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!
- Gather your materials. You will need some glue, mini marshmallows, and black construction paper.
- 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!
- 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.
- Add glue for the eyes. I was pleased when he wanted to do this, and even more so when he added 3 eyes !
- Add the marshmallows , three if you want!
- Let dry. The marshmallows will dry but not mold.
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 .
This project is much more a counting activity than art, my son was offered to color or paint his paper but declined ( he saw the marshmallows) so instead we counted our hand fulls of marshmallows before placing them on the glue . Many were eaten but lots of fun and learning was too so I didn’t mind too much.
- Gather your materials. This is an easy project all you need are some mini marshmallows, 2 pages of construction paper ( one will do the trick though) a marker and some glue.
- Start by writing an uppercase M on the paper.
- Add glue to it, now older children can add the glue to the M, I offered this job to my son but he declined saying “no no I do marshmallows” .
- Add the marshmallows. The way we did it was I gave him a handful, he counted them as he put them on 1, 2, 3, 4,5, 6 for example and then he got to eat the last.
- Keep going!
- Let dry.
- Cut out and glue onto a 2nd paper to make it sturdier if you are displaying it.
Big and Little
- Gather your materials. You need a divided tray ( thank you dollar store) or 3 separate bowls. Large and small marshmallows. I also added in the words Big and Little in the correct sections of the tray.
- Show your child how to put the little marshmallow where is says little, and repeat for the big marshmallow.
- Place all the marshmallows in the center piece or middle bowl and ask them to find the right place for little and big marshmallows.
- Sort !