Potato Print Ghost Garland

potato print ghostsThis is such an easy Halloween craft and you can stop at the painting or continue on to make a simple garland to hang up for Halloween. Potato prints are a fun way to make specific shapes with toddlers. Don’t miss the Halloween themed books after the craft , it’s not too late to grab a few and read before Halloween.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a potato, knife, potato peeler, dish, white paint, black paper, scissors, stapler and orange ribbon.Halloween Garland
  2. Start by cutting the potato in two and cutting the bottom in a zig zag. Use the end of a peeler to make eyes.
  3. Pour the white paint into the dish and add the ghost potato.
  4. Print! She loved the “ghosties”. I was excited they printed so well.
  5. When we filled two sheets we let them dry and then cut them out.
  6. Next we stapled them to the ribbon. My daughter chose the ghosts and handed them to me to staple.
  7. Then we added it to our fall mantle.

Halloween Books

If you are looking for a great ghost themed book check out our review of  our favorite ghost book Ghosts in the House! and 22 other great Halloween books for kids.

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.

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 .