Pumpkin Pie Playdough Recipe

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
food coloring

Here is how I had my little man help me make it today!

  1. 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!Pumpkin playdough 002
  2. 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.
  3. Pour in the salt.Pumpkin playdough
  4. The alumPumpkin playdough
  5. The oilPumpkin playdough 006
  6. The pumpkin pie spice – my son added so much but it turned out great. Pumpkin playdough
  7. Pour the boiling water in ( adults only please- the water needs to be boiling not just hot) Pumpkin play dough
  8. Mix.
  9. Pop onto the cutting board and knead, add food color if you want. Pumpkin play dough
  10. Let cool a few minutes.
  11. 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.Pumpkin playdough 009


Toddler Halloween Books

Clifford" First Halloween

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!

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_babys_pumpkinWhere 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!

Halloween Sensory Tub

We Dig Halloween!

Halloween Activity for toddlers

I bought these black beans and orange lentils for another Halloween craft  but when we made it the real hit was scooping and pouring… and spilling! So we ran out to the dollar store got some fun plastic creatures to add to it to complete this easy DIY sensory tub that is small enough for even the tiniest apartment.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a plastic container,  some dried black beans, some dried orange lentils, we added macaroni for bones,  a spoon/scoop, some plastic spiders, snakes and other spooky creatures!Halloween Party Idea
  2. Have your child help pour the beans and lentils into the tub.
  3. Grab the creatures and hide them under the beans.Fall Sensory Tub Ideas
  4. Explore!

Touch and Feel Halloween Craft

Sandpaper Pumpkin

Halloween Activities For Kids

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.

  1. 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.2October 023
  2. Start by drawing or having your child draw a pumpkin on the sandpaper. We made a separate stem but you don’t need to.2October 024
  3. 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. 2October 025
  4. While they finger paint draw the jack-o-lantern face on the 2nd piece of sandpaper.2October 027
  5. 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. 2October 029
  6. Cut the face pieces out.2October 031
  7. Cut out the pumpkin.2October 032
  8. Add glue 2October 033
  9. Spread the massive amount of glue wher eyou need it! Pop on the stem on the pumpkin2October 034
  10. Glue the eyes , nose and mouth on.2October 035
  11. Let dry.

Reader  Book Reviews !

shymama

“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.

tentimidghosts“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!

Ocean Sensory Tub

Pretend play is a great way to teach and learn about all sorts of things. This started out as an activity to keep him busy while I answered emails and needed a few minutes , water always keeps him busy and happy. I was so pleased when he started asking questions about what the animals ate. I got a few emails answered but I ended up googling all the specifics about what each of the animals ate and on the floor playing in no time. It was more fun than answering emails anyway!

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a large shallow plastic container, some sea animals, some decorative pebbles, a few towels for your floor, a pitcher and some water.
  2. Start by laying out our towels and putting your container on top.
  3. Put some water in your pitcher and pour it in.
  4. Add some pebbles, you can use sand too but if you want easy clean up stick to glass pebbles.
  5. Add your animals.
  6. Let the learning happen! Have some scoops on hand if they just want to scoop and pour the water.

Books

“Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea” by Jan Peck is about a little boy swimming in the “deep” looking for treasure. Along the way he encounters different sea animals and greets and says good bye to each before swimming away on his treasure hunt. The cute kicker is that all along the little boy is really in his bath tub and the animals are just toys. I liked the twist and so did my son who then requested a laundry basket to play bath, funny how he didn’t actually want a bath… a mom can dream!

” Baby Beluga” by Raffi is a classic children’s song cleverly illustrated into a beautiful book. I grew up on Raffi and am still shocked when moms don’t know who he is, if he is new to you go to your library and check out one of his cds! My son loves this book, there are so many sea creatures to point out, it’s great for toddlers!

“Beach Party” by Harriet Ziefert and Simms Taback reminds me of “Head to Toe” by Eric Carle , and that comparison is a compliment. This large board book is a fun and cute way to introduce toddlers to movement as well as animals you find or want to avoid at the beach. The reader is asked how they want to walk today then they see how each animal moves. This would be a fun read for a circle time where kids could get up and move!

Cut and Paste Rocket!

Rocket !

When I ask my son what he wants to do for art projects he has 2 answers this week – “Rockets” and “Dinosaurs” . The Dinosaur will be posted next week, this is our newest version of a rocket craft. I added in some different textures to add a layer of learning, and exploration. My son loved this craft I hope you have fun making it!
  1. Gather your materials. You will need some heavy paper or an old cereal box ,one sheet of construction paper, some paint or markers, a little aluminum foil, scissors , glue and cotton balls.
  2. Start by cutting your cereal box open and drawing a rocket on it. Simple is fine! Also draw some circles on the side for windows.
  3. Have your child paint or color the rocket. I like these paint rollers because it limited the paint for quick drying, couple that with the little hands that finger painted it after and it dried fast!
  4. Cut out the rocket and the circles.
  5. Cover the circles in aluminum foil.
  6. Add glue to the construction paper.
  7. Add your rocket
  8. Glue the foil windows on
  9. Add the cotton ball “smoke”. Let dry.

Song!


Climb aboard the spaceship
we’re going to the moon,
hurry and get ready
we’re going to blast off soon,
put on your helmet
and buckle up real tight,
cause here comes the countdown
so count with all your might!
10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1,
Blast off!!

Books!

“On The Launch Pad : A Counting Book About Rockets” by Michael Dahl was a great find, my son loved counting down from 12-1 with the bright illustrations , simple text and hidden numbers on each page. Something that seems simple but was really awesome was that each page had the number written as a word, shown as a digit and as dots to count. You can take the time to count each dot, read the word or simply recognize the digit!


“The Way Back Home “ by Oliver Jeffers is a moving story about a boy , a martian and the moon they were both stuck on. Together they figure out a way to get back home even though they are so sad to say goodbye to each other. I love this author, I love his illustrations as well, they are so unique and the emotion he manages to convey is amazing. There is an illustration of the boy and martian standing awkwardly before they have to say goodbye and it embodies the emotion. Grab anything written by this author and you will be happy!


“Space Boy” by Leo Landry is a sweet book about a little boy who needs to get away from everything at home so he climbs in his rocket and blasts off. I think we can all relate to this story, having to escape from the annoying things in our life for some alone time, if only we all had rockets the moon would be a busy getaway. The book started off really simply , then a few pages in the middle had much more text which was hard for my toddler, who’s interest was lost. I rounded him back up , skipped a few lines and we finished and enjoyed the book.