Pin & Pound Pumpkins – Easy Halloween Craft

easy halloween craft I bought these pumpkins at the dollar store with every intention of decoupaging them and adding sparkle but my son vetoed that. I still wanted to make an easy Halloween craft so I quickly looked around the playroom for an idea. That’s when I saw the hammers on the floor, the buttons on the counter and I was pretty sure I had nails too. I am so glad I didn’t press for them to do my original idea, both kids had a lot of fun pinning, hammering as well as pressing the nails in and my upstairs hallway have two very adorable pumpkins in it now.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a foam pumpkin ( at Dollar Tree right now) , some nails, craft buttons and some hammers.
  2. Place your buttons ( I held them for my daughter for the first nail)  my son did his own.
  3. Place a nail in the button hole and press it just far enough to hold and then hammer!
  4. The hammer was ok but both kids also pushed the nails in with their fingers.
  5. Keep going making faces, or simple designs.  My son added nails without any buttons for hair and my daughter methodically placed nails in each hole.

This would be a great craft for a party since there is no drying time for paint or glue.

 

Halloween Books

Check out these great Halloween picture books for kids.

 
The craft buttons were provided for us by craftprojectideas.com.

Letter Of The Week J Theme

I have been putting off the J because I wanted to do it the week leading up to Halloween for Jack-O-Lantern! I got an email a while back asking how I do letter of the week. Right now I am not doing it at all to be honest, my daughter at 16 months is not interested in letters yet and my son does a letter of the week at preschool and I don’t feel the need to enrich. That said when I was actively doing them at home and as a teacher I did a letter craft on Monday and we’d reference back to the letter when it came up in other activities, ususally read one book with a subject matter starting with that letter and a craft to match that book. I didn’t focus all my energies on that one letter because letters and words work together as a whole dynamic alphabet. Introduce, explore, and have fun but don’t focus only on the letter of the week. I hope that helps anyone with that same question.

{ Letter J Crafts}

Jaguar jJelly Bean J

 

{Crafts and Activities Starting With J}

Cupcake Liner Jelly Fish - Dry Erase Jack-O-Lantern  - Jack and The Beanstalk - Jackson Pollock - Jasper Johns-  Jelly Fish-   Rock Jack-O-Lanterns - Sandpaper Jack-O- Lanterns

{Whole Alphabet Activities }

Glue Letter TracingMuffin Tin Letter Game -  Pumpkin Patch Letter Match  

Design Your Own Jack-O-Lantern

I have a slight obsession with dry erase these days. It makes sense though, dry erase projects allow children independence and a less frustrating experience if they are unhappy with what the’ve written or drawn. For our house this is a godsend. My son is a reluctant drawer and writer. He will look at me and say ” I’ll just do abstract!” and part of that is because he is also a perfectionist and it’s frustrating when things aren’t as neat as he wants them to be. The dry erase helps him explore in abstract or not.

    1. Gather your materials. You will need some orange and green card stock, a hard piece of cardboard or canvas , scissors and some clear contact paper.

  1. Start by drawing a basic pumpkin shape on your orange paper. 
  2. Cut it and a green stem out and place on your canvas. cardboard.
  3. Cover with clear contact paper.
  4. Create!  I made the faces to show readers all the possibilities for teaching about emotion with this craft .
  5. My son just created , ths tricky thing about dry erase is his creations were gone before I could get pictures!

Halloween Books

Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming is a wonderful Halloween book for kids who are old enough to feel like Halloween is a spooky night, but still too young for anything graphically frightening.  The text is short but rhymes beautifully and grabs your child’s attention almost as effectively as the illustrations do. The story is all about Halloween night and the sights and sounds on one street as the night goes on. Both my kids have been grabbing for this book off our shelf when I ask which book they want to read . If it can be a favorite for an almost 5 year old boy and a 15 month old girl I say it will probably be a hit at your house too.

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.

Patty’s Pumpkin Patch  by Teri Sloat is a great alphabet book and story in one. Readers follow a pumpkin patch from planting the seeds until after Halloween when they gather the seeds for the next planting.  I really like how this book combines an alphabet book with both upper and lowercase letters corresponding to some animal or insect in the story . I also like the easy rhythm of the rhyming text and the engaging and detailed illustrations . All in all I think this is a great fall book!

Rock Jack-O-Lanterns

halloween craft

Kids love to paint rocks. If the weather is nice take this craft outside and enjoy the sun before it’s gone for the winter. If you want to make them water proof you will need to spray the finished rock with clear varnish . I skipped the step because I personally dislike the smell of varnish enough not to bother, but you can find it at any hardware/ craft store.

  1. Gather your materials, you will need some large rocks, painters tape, orange paint, a jar, white glue and a paint brush.
  2. Tape off a cool face for each- press the painters tape down carefully so there are no bubbles. * Edited to add this is an adult job if you want it precise, tape is frustrating to cut and even I was having a hard time.  I offered one rock to my son but he declined. Have extras on hand if they want to do it themselves but you think they will be disapointed or frustrated if they don’t make one look like a jack-o-lantern.
  3. Mix you paint with white glue.  I am mixing them together to stop the washable paint from “dusting” off the rock. In the past washable kids paint has all but fallen off the rocks. If you are varnishing them skip this. The glue does not make it water proof, so don’t pop it in your garden.
  4. Start painting!
  5. Let dry for a few minutes and add another coat.
  6. Let dry and peel off the tape. I used a paring knife to carefully peel it off.

Halloween Books !

Mouse’s Halloween Party by Jeanne Modesitt is a really sweet book, and I am glad I grabbed it at the library yesterday. Mouse is planning a big Halloween party but when he gets to his friend Pig’s house his plans go awry. This is a great book for kids like my son who get very very upset when something unexpected happens. We spent a long time talking about every stage of this story and felt great when it was done. I may have to buy this book, or at least renew it a few times! The text isn’t short but the story is interesting enough to keep your child interested. I love the discussion that this book prompted and would encourage anyone to read this book!

Halloween Day by Anne Rockwell is another winner . I love this author because kids love her books, and the ones that she has collaborated with her daughter on are probably my favorites. Her daughter Lizzy is the illustrator and she won my son over with her cool pictures of costumes and Halloween decor , especially the little boy in the firefighter costume. The story is about a classroom celebrating Halloween but what I love is that it shows why each child chose to dress up in their individual costumes.  Huge hit at our house, perfect for the 2-5 crowd and not scary at all!

Moonlight: The Halloween Cat by Cynthia Rylant is a relaxing book about a little black cat named Moonlight and her Halloween night. I love the illustrations and how they seem to glow! Every page offers a new perspective and even though the story is set on a spooky night there is nothing to be afraid of.  The text itself is simple, calming  and there are only a couple of lines on each page, making it the perfect length for a bedtime story. Even if you aren’t a cat person, you will like this book.