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 !


“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!

Monster Books by Carrie Anne

Now that October has arrived, thoughts of pumpkins and candy and spooky things are swirling around in my kids’ heads. And let’s not forget monsters. Monsters have always fascinated kids. They’re both exciting and scary. Here are a few not-so scary monster stories to share with your little monsters:


Clyde Monster
written by Robert L. Crowe, illustrated by Kay Chorao
published by Puffin
picture book (age 2-5)
Clyde was young but growing. He loved his mom and dad. When not at home he loved to spend his day in the forest doing summersaults. But when it came time to go to bed Clyde was afraid, afraid of the dark, afraid of people. You see, Clyde is a little monster who is afraid of people hiding in his room, under his bed, behind his chair, waiting to scare him. This is a wonderful tale of childhood fears of the dark. As parents we know that monsters aren’t real, but that doesn’t make our children’s fear of them any easier. Clyde and his family discuss his fears: “Would you ever hide in the dark under a bed or in a closet to scare a human boy or girl?” “Of course not!” exclaimed Clyde. The monster perspective makes this story more approachable to discuss your own child’s night time fears.
Big Lips
Big Lips and Hairy Arms
written by Jean Jackson, illustrated by Vera Rosenberry
published by DK Publishing
picture book (age 4-8)
Two monster friends, Nelson and Thorndike, are enjoying a cold and windy evening together when they are interrupted by a mysterious phone call: “I have big lips and hairy arms, and I’m only five blocks away!” The two friends try to distract themselves with caterpillar crisps and a game of Pin the Teeth on the dragon, but as the calls continue, with the caller getting closer to the house, they become a little worried. In the end everyone is pleasantly surprised when the mystery caller is revealed. Children will enjoy the suspense and delight when the mystery guest is revealed. be . The colourful illustrations aid in keeping the story from getting to scary.
go away green monster
Go Away, Big Green Monster
written & illustrated by Ed Emberley
published by Little Brown
picture book (age 3-8)
A Caldecott Medal winner
Through the use of die-cut pages, a scary monster is created page by page. But once the monster is complete the reader tells it “You don’t scare me! So go away…” Now each page removes a piece of the scary monster until the end “and don’t come back.” As the child creates and then destroys the monster in the book, page by page, they see that the monster isn’t as scary as they thought. This great interactive approach gives children control of the monster and hopefully helps them to understand and control their own fears.

Leonardo the Terrible Monster
written & illustrated by Mo Willems
published by Hyperion Books for Children
picture book (age 4-8)
Leonardo is a terrible monster. His attempts to scare people only elicits giggles. Then Leonardo has a idea. He decides he’s going to find the most scardy-cat kid in the whole world and scare the tuna salad out of him. But when he does, he doesn’t feel so great. Now he has a new idea, instead of being a terrible monster he will be a wonderful friend. This is another wonderful tale by Mo Willems. The large book format allows for great use of space around his images and words. Mo Willems has the ability to write wonderful children stories that entertain both children and adults alike.
monter manners
Monster Manners
written by Joanna Cole, illustrated by Jared Lee
published by Scholastic
Scholastic Reader (level 3)

Rosie Monster looked like the perfect little monster. Her only problem? She had terrible manners, terrible monster manners. She was too friendly, too polite, too nice. Rosie asked her friend Prunella to teach her how to be a better monster. Prunella shoes Rosie how to make monster faces, how to order in a restaurant, even how to behave when visiting friends, but Rosie’s manners don’t improve. Then something occurs that only Rosie’s not so monster manners can solve and her parents realize they’re lucky to have her, just the way she is. Children will enjoy this mixed-up manners tale and the delightfully rude lessons taught by Prunella. There’s a page of fluency words at the end of the book for young readers.


Carrie Anne is a contributing writer to No Time For Flash Cards , mom of 3 , and writer. You can find her at  Another day. Another thought…or two

Pumpkin Craft

Super Easy Stencil  !

1Halloween 029

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!

  1. 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.Art Supplies
  2. 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.Color Mixing
  3. Sit down and together with your child decide on some designs for your pumpkins. If your child is able have them draw the pumpkins.1Halloween 025
  4. Cut them out.1Halloween 026
  5. Carefully place them on the orange paper.1Halloween 030
  6. Paint over them, cover the whole paper with the paint.1Halloween 032
  7. Peel the stencils off and marvel and the magic !  1Halloween 033
  8. 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.

Apple Prints and Puppets !

Today’s post is written by Melodie from Breastfeeding Moms Unite


I’m so excited to do a guest post for Allie at No Time For Flash Cards. While I run a Licensed Family Daycare and do lots of crafts, many of which I get from Allie’s blog, my own blog Breastfeeding Moms Unite! is mainly about breastfeeding so I have never posted a story or craft project before. This has been a really fun project for me and my daughters, so a big thank you to Allie for this opportunity.

I love using puppets to act out a story. And I love how mesmerized children become while listening to puppets. They are great tools for getting children to listen intently and interact.

I have adapted the following story from a story by Carolina Sherwin Bailey. You can change up the characters to suit the types of puppets you have. For instance, we have a number of animal puppets we like to use sometimes. Alternatively, if you don’t have any puppets you and your child can act out the story together. This also makes a great story on its own.

To do this story as a puppet play you will need the following: four puppets (a boy/girl, mother/father, neighbour/friend and a wise old woman), an apple, a knife (a dull one is safer and works fine for cutting the apple), and a tree branch. I also like using scarfs to make a landscape, and leaves since it is an Autumn story, but these are not necessary.


The Story

The Little House with No Windows and No Doors and A Star Inside.

Once upon a time there was a boy who was tired of playing with his toys and wanted something new to do.

So he asked his mother, “What should I do?”

His mother thought and thought. Finally she told him, “Go and find me a little red and green house [use the same colours as your apple] with no windows or doors and a star inside.”


This really made the boy wonder. His mother usually had good ideas but this one sounded very strange.

“Which way shall I go?” he asked. “I don’t know where to find a red and green house with no windows and no doors and a star inside.”

“Go down the lane, past the farmer’s house and over the hill,” she said. “And then hurry back and tell me all about your journey.”

So the boy put on his jacket and went outside. It was a lovely Fall day and the leaves were starting to change colour and float down to the ground [children may blow around the leaves if you have any].

He hadn’t gone very far up the lane when he saw his neighbour who was working in his yard.

“Hello neighbour!” called the boy. “Do you know where I could find a little red and green house with no windows and no doors and a star inside?”

Well, that’s a mighty strange thing to be looking for!” the neighbour chuckled.

“Why don’t you walk up the lane, past the farmer’s house and ask the old lady who lives at the top of the hill. She’s a very wise woman. I bet she would know.”

So the little boy set off up the road. Soon he came to the house and he knocked on the door. [Knock knoock knock!]

The wise woman answered the door and smiled sweetly at the boy.

“Hello,” she said.

“Hello,” answered the boy. “Do you know where I could find a red and green house with no windows and no doors and a star inside?” he asked. “My mother wants me to find her one and bring it to her.”

“Oh my!” said the wise woman, the lines in her face crinkling with joy. “I would like to find such a house myself. It would be so warm when the frosty nights came. You should go to the orchard and ask the wind. The wind listens at all the chimneys and knows many secrets. I think the wind could tell you. Now off you go!” she said shooing him out the door with a smile.

“Grown ups sure are strange sometimes,” thought the boy. But being a good listener and wanting to please his mother, he went to the orchard.

When he got there he stopped and sat underneath a tree. “Wind,” he called,”could you please tell me where I can find a red and green house with no windows and no doors and a star inside?” [Have children blow like the wind and rustle the tree branch]


He listened for a reply but heard nothing. But then the wind started to blow.

It blew through his hair and through the leaves and suddenly an apple dropped from the tree and fell right into his lap! It was red and green and he could see a little worm inside it.

“Why, this apple is the worm’s house!” he thought. “And it is red and green and there are no doors and no windows!” He lept to his feet. “I think this is what my mother wanted me to find!”

He ran home as fas as he could.

When he got inside he cried, “Mother! I found a red and green house with no windows and no doors, but what about the star inside?”

His mother took the apple from him  and smiled. “Watch,” she told him, and she cut that apple in half width-ways and showed him.


“There’s the star inside!” said the boy. “I think it is too pretty not to look at before we eat the apple, don’t you think mother?”


“Yes, indeed,” replied his mother, and they sat down at the table and shared the apple.

It is a nice treat to sit down and eat your apple with your child, but you can also make apple prints with your apple halves.

Apple Print Craft

What you will need: red and green paint, white paper, a shallow dish, apple halves.


Squirt some paint into the dish and press an apple half into each paint blob. Swirl it around a bit to cover the whole apple.


Your apple should look like this:


Press the painted apple onto the paper.


It’s okay if the colours mix a little. It’s all about experimenting and having fun.


The finished projects.


What kinds of stories do you know about fruits or vegetables that you could do a print craft with afterwards?

Real World Reading

Introducing Nonfiction into the Lives of Preschoolers

By Dawn Lttle, Links to Literacy,

Children are naturally curious, especially preschoolers.  It is through curiosity that children learn.  We can foster curiosity, and in turn help children learn, by encouraging and promoting it through nonfiction texts and activities.  Here are a few ways to introduce nonfiction into the lives of your preschooler.

  1. Read Aloud Nonfiction Texts Anytime your preschooler shows an interest in a particular topic, provide nonfiction books on that topic.  When you read informational texts aloud to your child (and you don’t have to read nonfiction from cover to cover!), you are building his/her background knowledge.
  2. Use Environmental Print Provide environmental print for pretend play.  For example, if your child is pretending to be a waiter or work in a restaurant, have some take-out menus on hand for him to use.  If your child is playing post office, provide him with some junk mail to sort.  This can easily turn into a math activity as well.  Kids can sort the mail by color or size.  When your child turns your family room into a waiting room at the doctor or dentist office, provide magazines and newspapers for him.
  3. Introduce Text Features If your child has a particular question about a topic, use that time to discuss and show your child a few text features of nonfiction texts.  Perhaps he wants to know what a specific dinosaur eats; demonstrate how you can use the table of contents or the index to try to locate the answer quickly, rather than reading through the whole book.  If you come upon a word that you know your child will have difficulty understanding, demonstrate how to use a glossary.  If there isn’t a glossary, explain to your child what the word means.  Briefly, explain how we read differently for different purposes.
  4. Provide Hands-on Experiences A combination of texts and real-life or hands-on experiences is most powerful for learning.  You can use this three-step process to incorporate nonfiction texts into your preschooler’s reading repertoire.  Through these steps you will build your child’s background knowledge (essential to comprehending texts).
      • Select a text based on a topic that interests your child.
      • Hands-On/Read World – Prior to reading, provide an opportunity for your child to have a hands-on experience of some sort related to the topic.  Utilize the outside world as much as possible (outdoors in general, museums, special exhibits, etc.)
      • Read Aloud -Read aloud the text asking questions as you read.  Provide explanations if you believe your child’s comprehension may be breaking down.
      • Connect – Draw comparisons between the experience the child had and the text. How are they alike? How are they different? Help your child make connections.
  1. Create Discovery Baskets Discovery Baskets are made up of items related to a topic.  Items that can provide a hands-on experience for a child, as well as texts related to that topic (you can use both fiction and nonfiction) are placed in a basket.  Discovery Baskets are great to use if you want to build background knowledge prior to a new experience.

    Example: Prior to making our annual beach trip, I wanted to build my kids’ background knowledge about the beach.  Our Discovery Basket included: shells, a bag of sand, several books about shells, and a custom made inflatable beach ball.  Our Hands-on Experience included feeling and discussing the different shells, counting the shells, and sorting the shells by size (another math lesson!).  We put our hands in the bag and felt the sand.  We discussed how it felt.  We also created a craft.  We bought an inexpensive wooden frame and then I hot glued the shells on to the frame.  Although the frame could have been painted, my children chose not to paint the frame.  We then had a frame for a picture from our trip.  Then we moved on to reading about shells.  Finally, we discussed how our shells were similar or different from the shells in the books.  We used the beach ball to toss back and forth.  The ball had comprehension statements to help us connect our background knowledge with our textbook knowledge.  If I had a beach bucket large enough to fit hard cover books, I would have used that as our “basket.”
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Reading nonfiction texts with preschoolers provides a natural connection to their own curiosities about the world.   Having background knowledge about topics helps children comprehend what they read.  By building upon the world knowledge of your preschooler now, you are setting a foundation that will only serve to guide them when they begin reading on their own.

Kids love to receive their own mail.  Here are a few nonfiction magazine subscriptions that are fun to read with preschoolers:

Filled with bright colors and interactive stories

wild animal baby

Filled with lively photographs and engaging stories to develop pre-reading skillsnational geographic

Full-color photos and simple interactive text that prompts discussion and active learningyourbigbackyard