There are a lot of homemade Halloween bowling games, but the goal of this one isn’t just to have fun knocking down a few ghosts ( although my son sure has had a blast!) it’s also about building fine motor skills, counting and making something together as siblings.
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- Gather your materials. You will need some empty water bottles, sticky back black foam, scissors, a few packages of cotton balls and a pumpkin ball. Buy this ball here.
- Start by filling your bottles with cotton balls. My two-year-old and I worked together filling her bottle. This was a challenge for her and her fine motor skills. My son had no problem and happily filled his first bottle in a snap.
- Make it a challenge for fast finishers. I decided to give my son a challenge and asked him to estimate how many cotton balls it takes to fill a bottle, then count to see the difference.
- While your kids fill the bottles cut some eyes from the foam. This sticky back foam is great for crafts when you don’t want to wait for the glue to dry.
- When all the bottles are filled peel the backing off the eyes ( more fine motor work) and pop them on the bottles.
- Can you tell which one my daughter made?
- Now it’s time to bowl. My daughter got frustrated pretty quickly, but I am going to try again today when her brother is at school. I don’t think it was the activity that frustrated her so much as not being able to do it just like her much more coordinated older brother. He had a blast. On his own, he decided to try out different ways to arrange the ghosts. In a horizontal line, diagonal one, a bunch and then in this X. All I know is he was working on gross motor skills while also experimenting with the most basic of a physics lesson.
AlphaOops: H Is for Halloweenby Althea Kontis is a really sophisticated alphabet book that works well for a wide range of kids. A toddler will enjoy the bright illustrations by Bob Kolar and older children will be able to follow along with the silly storyline about the letters putting on a Halloween show. What I adore about this book is that the letters are completely out of order and some of the things they represent are far from ordinary. Instead of werewolf, the author used the word lycanthrope which I had never heard, and my son loved learning something at the same time as I did. The few trickier words were great for my son who often guesses words even though he can sound them out. It forced him to work harder. As soon as we were done reading it together, he asked to read it again. A super awesome alphabet book for Halloween!
Creepy Monsters, Sleepy Monsters by Jane Yolen is a sweet monster book with minimal text and very rich illustrations by Kelly Murphy. The story is really about the daily wind down and bedtime for two monsters. You and your child will absolutely relate to them on one page or another ( or all). These little monsters are just like our little monsters resisting bedtime, trying to avoid baths… well you know the daily struggle. My daughter was not into the book but my son liked it even though I’d gear it towards the 2-4 crowd. We chose our favorite monsters on each page and found interesting details like the recipe for tentacle soup on the page where the mom is making dinner. Cute, your child will relate to it and it’s not at all scary!