I love play dough but until last year hated making it. I had a play dough cook off and this was my favorite recipe that was submitted by Jana from This and That I added pumpkin pie spice to it and it was perfect! It was a nice calm activity for my little man on a very rainy day!
2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup salt
3 Tbs. oil
1 Tbs. alum
2 cups boiling water
Here is how I had my little man help me make it today!
- Gather your materials. You will need the ingredients – separated into individual bowls, pumpkin pie spice, food color is you want, a cutting board, and fall cookie cutters for playing after!
- Start by pouring your flour into a large bowl, I don’t suggest having it at kid level until you are ready to mix… my camera batteries died and in the 2 minutes it took to get new ones there was a nice dusting of flour all over.
- Pour in the salt.
- The alum
- The oil
- The pumpkin pie spice – my son added so much but it turned out great.
- Pour the boiling water in ( adults only please- the water needs to be boiling not just hot)
- Pop onto the cutting board and knead, add food color if you want.
- Let cool a few minutes.
- Play! The addition of seasonal cookie cutters make all the difference for us. Plain old playdough becomes extra fun with these $1 cookie cutters! You can store it in the fridge for months in a sealed ziplock.
Toddler Halloween Books
Clifford’s First Halloween (Clifford the Small Red Puppy) by Norman Birdwell is a Halloween book that my son adores, I read it 4 times this afternoon alone. In all honesty I am sick of it but the person that matters still wants more. The story is about the big red dog’s very first Halloween as a puppy. Clifford and Emily Elizabeth find costumes, they trick or treat and try candy apples too. I think what my son relates to is that at almost 3 he doesn’t remember too much of Halloween , even though he knows what it is this year will be the first time he gets to do so many things. Like little Clifford, he is often too little for things, makes messes and has bigger people step in and fix it for him. He doesn’t know it yet but one day he will be more like the big Clifford than he knows. This book doesn’t jump at me as a must read but I can’t ignore my son’s love when writing this review!
Peek-a-Boooo! by Marie Torres Cimarusti is a perfect toddler Halloween book. The premise is simple, each page has a well known Halloween character including a witch, skeleton, Frankenstein all hiding behind their hands playing peek-a-boo with the readers. The characters hands are flaps and when you lift them they reveal the character’s face – which is always sweet and happy , never scary. At the end of the book there are more flaps to lift to reveal trick or treaters and the same Halloween characters hiding in their haunted house. My son loves this book too and I think it’s a great completely gentle way to read about Halloween with toddlers.
Where Is Baby’s Pumpkin? by Karen Katz. This lift and flap book is the newest addition to our Karen Katz collection. My son adores these books. I read this in the check out line 3 times and he was asking for more before I could get my groceries in the fridge. I like this book because it’s a cute and gentle introduction to Halloween and all the creatures that go along with it. Also there are fun textures to many of the illustrations which help keep little hands busy! I love the sparkly ghost and the shiny bats are my son’s favorites!
This craft was inspired by a follower on twitter, her son has a visual disability and she asked me if I have any crafts for children who had similar disabilities. I was embarrassed to have to say no. I started gathering supplies , brushing up on my early childhood special education and brainstorming crafts. I will be including more crafts and activities specifically geared towards children with special needs in the coming months. I would love to hear from other parents with requests! When a child has lost some or all of their vision the importance of other senses becomes heightened. Today we focused on touch but also sound with this Halloween craft.
- Gather your materials. You will need 2 sheets of sand paper, we used one very fine sheet and the other was large and rough. Orange and green paint, a black marker, scissors and glue.
- Start by drawing or having your child draw a pumpkin on the sandpaper. We made a separate stem but you don’t need to.
- Finger paint the pumpkin. My son was shocked to feel the sandpaper. ” This weird paper mama, it tickles.” You can imagine my happiness hearing that , that was the point. To feel , describe it and explore.
- While they finger paint draw the jack-o-lantern face on the 2nd piece of sandpaper.
- Hand your child the black marker and have them color the face . My son did not like this at all, it wasn’t easy to color on the sand paper and it’s roughness jiggled his hand.
- Cut the face pieces out.
- Cut out the pumpkin.
- Add glue
- Spread the massive amount of glue wher eyou need it! Pop on the stem on the pumpkin
- Glue the eyes , nose and mouth on.
- Let dry.
Reader Book Reviews !
“Shy Mama’s Halloween” by Anne Broyles sent in my Lynn. This book tells the beautiful story of a Russian family that recently settled in the United States and experiences its first Halloween. The mother, a naturally shy woman, speaks little English and is understandably hesitant about the idea of mingling with goblins and ghosts. She helps to make her children’s costumes, but leaves the task of trick-or-treating to her husband and the children. When her husband is too ill to take the children, Mama leaves her fears behind and takes the children out… read the complete review.
“Ten Timid Ghosts” by Jennifer O’Connell sent in by Janelle . The favorite Halloween book this year at our house is definitely Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O’Connell. Seriously, I’ve read the book so many times, I can recite it by memory. Everything Halloween is included in this read: A haunted house, ghosts, a witch, skeleton, bat, ghoul, cat, owl, vampire, monster, spider, rat, mummy and trick-or-treating. Really, you can’t ask for more! But wait, there is more… read the complete review.
Thank you Lynn from Chronicles of an Infant Bibliophile and Janelle from Brimful Curiosities for sending in these reviews and allowing me to share them with my readers. If you haven’t seen their blogs, please pop over they are two of my favorite for books!
Super Easy Stencil !
This craft doesn’t take long to do but if your child is like mine you’ll make multiple ones. My son loves using this roller brush I picked up for under a dollar, so I thought it would be fun to make some Halloween stencils and roll away! Also we had no black paint so we mixed all the colors we did have and made our own “almost black” paint. Don’t miss the reader submitted book reviews after the craft!
- Gather your materials. You will need some orange paper, black paint ( or the colors needed to mix some), a roller brush, container for paint, scissor, marker and paper for the stencils.
- If you need to mix the paint go for it, my son loves mixing paint so I am glad we were out of black paint , this was a highlight for him.
- Sit down and together with your child decide on some designs for your pumpkins. If your child is able have them draw the pumpkins.
- Cut them out.
- Carefully place them on the orange paper.
- Paint over them, cover the whole paper with the paint.
- Peel the stencils off and marvel and the magic !
- Let dry.
Reader Suggested Books!
“Franklin’s Halloween” by Paulette Bourgeois sent in by Trisha who says : We read it all year round. The story has a nice arc, from getting reading for Halloween to the big night itself. We especially like how worn out Franklin is by the end of the night and has to be carried home.
“Behind the Mask “by Yangsook Choi sent in by Anya who says: This is a story about a little Korean boy who is trying to figure out what to be on Halloween, and discovers he wants to be his grandfather!
“Goodnight Goon” by Michael Rex sent in also by Anya Becker who says : This book is a parody on Goodnight moon! It is really cute and my son’s all time fave right now… he makes up read it about 20 times a day!
Thank you Trisha and Anya for the book suggestions!
Do you have a Halloween book you love and would like to suggest to other readers? Send them in with a short description and I will happily add them to an upcoming post.