Tag Archives: childrens craft

Make a Dollar Store Halloween Wreath

At my house with small children, we appreciate the whimsical as much as the creepy. It’s always a challenge to find Halloween decorations that fit both these criteria.

Here’s one we came up with that was so simple – and so cheap! Using only dollar store items, you can make this project, too. Let’s go shopping and get crafting!

You will need:

  • a grapevine or willow wreath or a metal or plastic wreath form (or you can use a few faux vines, twisted together)
  • dried moss (flower décor) if you’re using a metal or plastic wreath form – buy two bags
  • orange ribbon
  • black ribbon
  • twine, or any dark-colored thin yarn, frayed
  • embellishments (spiders, cobwebs, etc.)
  • one “highlight” embellishment (a miniature witch, a skeleton, etc.)
  • a hot glue gun and a stick of hot glue

(For reference, I got all of my materials at the dollar store, including the glue gun. This item won’t be the best quality if you find it at your local dollar store, but even if you only get a few uses out if it, it will have paid itself off.)

Here’s the process:

  1. If you’re using an empty wreath form, stuff the form with the moss. Pack densely.

    Just one reason of many that I love Dollar Tree: cheap wreaths.
  2. If using a wreath form and moss, begin wrapping the twine all around the filled form, spacing evenly. Use the hot glue gun in various spots to hold the twine in place.
  3. If using a grapevine wreath, start with the ribbons instead. Wrap the wreath with the orange ribbon in the style shown. Now wrap with black ribbon. Use the hot glue gun in various spots to hold the ribbon in place.
  4. If using the wreath form, continue by wrapping the black and orange ribbon as shown (over the twine). If using a rattan wreath, wrap with twine. Hot glue into place.
  5. Now hot glue your embellishments on at intervals all along your wreath. For the wreath form, you’re probably better off gluing and pressing down over part of the form rather than simply gluing items into the moss, unless your items are very light weight. I used spiders.
  6. Tie a piece of twine to the back of your wreath (through the grapevine branches or around the wreath form) so it is hanging down. Tie or glue your highlight embellishment to the end. I used a witch, as shown.
  7. You can easily make this wreath a whole lot scarier. Gore it up or use more graphic imagery. You can also add cobwebs to the finished item for a haunted effect.
Mini skeletons from 99 Cents Only Stores.

You probably don’t need a hanger on the back of the wreath; there should be plenty of spaces between the twigs/along the form to hang the wreath on a hook. You can go ahead and hot glue a hanger if you wish, though. This too can be purchased at most dollar stores.

Voila! A great Halloween wreath on the cheap. For this low cost, you can make several and decorate all your windows. Or have a wreath-making party for friends. You’ll be surprised by how both adults and kids get into this.

CAUTION: Do not allow children to operate the hot glue gun. Have them place their items onto the wreath where they want them and then have an adult hot glue them into place. Be safe and have fun with this easy, inexpensive Halloween craft.

 

 

6 Creative Uses for Halloween Coloring Pages

Halloween coloring pages offer a fun, simple and inexpensive way to keep children entertained for a few hours. Whimsical ghosts, goblins, and jack-o’-lantern grins can be fun to color or paint, and kids always love coloring activities and craft projects.  It’s possible to find free Halloween-themed coloring pages online, which you can download and print, or you can purchase cheap coloring books from your local dollar store. There are several different ways of using coloring pages at Halloween.   Here are a few ideas of things your kids can create.

1.       Yard Decorations

It’s actually quite easy to print a coloring page to any size that you need. If you will like a six-foot tall black cat guarding your house after dark on October 31st, it is fairly straightforward to create. Many stained-glass or quilt pattern websites offer free pattern enlargers that can send your choice of coloring page to the printer in pieces, which can later be taped together into a very large design. Children can decorate these separate sheets, glue them to poster board, and add a stick to plant in the yard.

2.       Invitations

Halloween party invitations are always fun to make. You could get your kids involved by getting them to color your invites.  Another idea is to ask each guest to decorate their own invite for judging at the party. With each Halloween invitation you send, you can include a coloring page for a mask, a pumpkin, or other Halloween-themed items. When guests arrive with their decorated invitations, they can be displayed as decorations at the party for everybody to enjoy.  You then can ask your guests to vote for their favorite.  Make sure you have some candy or some sort of treat available to give to the winner.

Halloween Pumpkin Cartoon Character coloring page3.       Party Favors

Halloween coloring pages can be made into fun party favors. For instance, there are paper baskets that can be colored and folded into shape to hold fruit or candy treats, which kids will love making. The baskets will hold their shape better if the sheet of paper is glued to a lightweight cardboard backing first.

4.       Fabric Stencils

If you are looking for imaginative ideas for Halloween crafts, many craft stores sell crayons that color in lines that will work as an iron-on transfer for fabric. Children will love the idea of coloring their own Halloween pictures that can then be ironed onto an old T-shirt.

5.       Window-Painting Templates

Coloring pages can be taped to the outside of a window for a child to copy onto the inside of the glass with washable poster paints. This is a fun way to decorate your home for the exciting Halloween season.

6.       Moving Pictures

Young children will enjoy coloring a very simple shape that can be glued to a cardboard backing. This shape can then be cut apart and put together with an office brad that will allow parts to move.

Halloween coloring pages are a great resource to remember for all types of holiday needs. These handy lined drawings can be used with crayons, paint or markers. With our modern printers able to enlarge or shrink these coloring page shapes, they can be used in a wide variety of ways that can add to your yearly Halloween fun.

This article is courtesy of HalloweenPartyIdeas.org, which offers lots more Halloween party ideas for kids, including games, crafts and food.

Halloween Mobiles

Constructing Halloween Mobiles are a fun way to spend an afternoon. There are so many different ways to be creative and make fun mobiles for the season. Let’s get started!

Halloween clip art images are an easy way to get a lot of pictures for coloring. Cookie cutters are also great for making cute shapes out of construction paper. The shapes can be colored and decorated anyway you want. Also, you could make a mobile with just one shape, like bats, or use all the different seasonal icons you can imagine.

Materials

  • Cookie cutters or clip art
  • Crayons, permanent markers, colored pencils
  • Glue
  • Fishing line or thread
  • Small diameter dowels
  • Construction paper

Optional Items

  • Needle
  • Hot glue gun
  • Glitter, sparkling beads, feathers, etc.

materialsBuilding Your Halloween Mobile

Any craft or home improvement store will have 3/8″ dowels available for purchase. I was able to find a package of small dowels cut to 12″ in length for about $1. Very handy. We first painted our dowels black.

Trace the cookie cutter shapes onto paper. Cut them out and have fun decorating. If you use clipart you may want to print a mirror image as well so the pictures are double sided.

Enjoy the decorating/coloring and talking with the kids about Halloween and what they are most excited about. Take your time during this step, because the hanging step could be difficult with little helpers.

When you are ready to assemble the mobile, cut the fishing line or thread to anywhere between 6″ and 10″ lengths. This will allow for a nice length once a knot is tied and glued, etc.

Use a 12″ dowel for the top. Cut another dowel into 6″ lengths and hang them from the ends of the top dowel. You can stop there or hang another 12” dowel from the center of the top so that it hangs below the 6” dowels, and so on. It just depends on how large you want the mobile to be and how many different shapes you want to add.(Don’t make it too heavy! Mine broke when I got too ambitious!)

IMG00632 IMG00634

We painted the dowels black and used fishing line to hang the Halloween shapes. We also bought some 1″ wooden letters to spell out “trick or treat”. They were not very expensive but you could do the same thing with scrapbook paper by gluing two pieces together so you have the back and front decorated, or use a two-sided piece.

The complete Halloween Mobile
The complete Halloween Mobile

Have fun! I’d love to hear of others who tried this project. Please comment below.

Spooky Chalk Rubbings for Halloween

 

 

 

Thank you, guest author Ruth Randall, for this beautiful Halloween craft!

Sidewalk chalk takes on a whole new look this time of year. Making chalk rubbings on black construction paper gives it a ghostly appearance and can make for some spooky monster shapes.

Check out this EASY info on how to create your own spooky chalk rubbings for your Halloween decor. Fun!

Materials Needed

  • Sidewalk or other chalk, or crayons
  • Construction paper – especially black
  • Aerosol hair spray
  • Shapes to rub: leaves and/or Halloween cut outs
  • Textured papers or cloth

This is a simple project that even a 2-year-old can get into and enjoy!

1. Lay your choice of shape on the counter or other hard surface. You can do one shape at a time or lay several out at once. However, we found that leaves get lost in each other if they all get put down together.

2. Lay the construction paper over the shape(s).

3. With the chalk on its long side, begin rubbing. Depending on how distinct each shape is you may have to rub harder or softer.

4. When you are satisfied with your rubbing, hold the hairspray at a distance and spray it to hold the chalk in place. If you get it too close, the picture will disappear; but I’m happy to report that, eerily, your picture will return once it dries.

5. If you chose to use crayons you’ll need to be more careful in holding the paper in place because they do not move as smoothly as the chalk does.

chalk-spooky_leaf

Each of these pumpkins was rubbed separately with a single shape. After each pumpkin appeared we moved the pumpkin shape underneath to a different spot:

chalk-pumpkins

For the monsters we used grape leaves and then added the eyes after removing the leaf from under the paper. The purple monster is made with a whole leaf, the blue “bat’ was made after I tore the leaf a bit. Some of the shapes we used came from tracing cookie cutters on paper and then cutting out the shape.

chalk-monster-leaf

You can also find shape inspiration by using Google Images to find clip art of Halloween themes or anything else you can imagine!

These tree-looking rubbings were made with a weed grass that still carried lots of seeds. The seeds gave quite a nice effect. Using different colored chalks and letting them blend together is a nice way to create a deeper visual. We used several different colors of paper, but the most stunning effects were achieved with the black construction paper.

chalk-monster-weeds

Chalk Rubbings at Your Halloween Party

These chalk rubbings can become a fun game at a party, too! Get a roll of butcher paper (which you can buy in black) and cover your table with it or hang it along the wall. Offer a prize to whoever colors the best leaf or shape or whoever finds the biggest leaf/shape.

You can also offer a “booby” prize – at least that’s what we called it when I was a kid: a prize for whoever is furthest from the mark. The idea, of course, is to have a lot of fun!

Another neat idea is to take butcher paper to a graveyard and make rubbings of old gravestones to decorate your house with. Let your imagination take you through the year with chalk rubbings.

Transform Candles into Cool Halloween Candles

I’ve done many sorts of decorated candles for other seasons of the year; I just hadn’t ever considered a Halloween candle before. Your imagination can go crazy with this project because there are so many varieties of decorative items to choose from!

Materials List

  • Candle(s)
  • Glue
  • Wax Paper
  • Tooth Picks
  • Butcher Paper or vinyl tablecloth
  • Decorative shapes: Brads, confetti, adhesive jewels, sequins, glitter, etc

Prepare your work area by spreading out a table cloth or butcher paper out on a hard surface before letting any little hands help with opening the decorations – especially if you are using brads or tacks with sharp points. It will also help with keeping glue off your counter or table.

decorative-candle1Decorative brads and tacks will be difficult for younger children to push into the wax. We also tried using straight pins to attach some of the confetti shapes; we had to use a hard object to help push them in because the pinheads were so small they quickly became painful. We decided that glue would be a good choice to finish the project with. Regular Elmer’s glue was sticky enough to hold the small plastic confetti pieces to the candle. If you chose to use larger shapes you’ll need a stronger glue (like Gorilla glue) so that the shapes will curve with the candle.

Little children will just go for it without thinking about a particular design, but you can do some lovely things with these candles. Twist a stream of glue around a taper candle and roll it in glitter. Shake off the excess and you have a decorated candle. You could stand the candle up and let the glue start to drip before rolling it in red glitter…… that would be a really spooky effect.

When we were shopping around there were all sorts of Halloween or Autumn brads to choose from as well as sticky “gems”, and glitter galore. Enjoy this project for the easy fun it is and let your imagination take the lead!

decorative-candle2

Adult Alternative: Candle Molds

For a more advanced Halloween candle, try using candle molds. If you buy a candle that has a diameter that is a little less than the mold, you can then sprinkle decorative shapes into the mold with the candle, then pour melted wax around it and let it cool. For Halloween it could make for interesting and Gothic decor!

Not Just a Gingerbread House… It’s HAUNTED!!

 

Image credit: thehometeacher.org

A big thank you to guest contributor Ruth Randall for this spooky and tasty tutorial!

Decorating gingerbread houses is fun anytime of the year, but at Halloween it’s even better, because the more mistakes the better…. er, spookier it is!

Here’s my method of making a haunted gingerbread house.

Before You Begin

We’re going to make this one from scratch. The good thing about making a gingerbread house from scratch is that the cookie dough obligingly comes out looking decrepit and well used – just like a broken-down haunted house should look.

(Note: if you’re really pressed for time, start out with a basic house kit. You can modify the front gable to be longer/taller, and you’re good to go!)

Plan an entire afternoon for your gingerbread house, and be prepared for a grand time with the kids. Let’s go!

Haunted Gingerbread House Materials

  • Baking parchment
  • Candy pieces (woohoo!) – follow our basics or substitute your favorites
  • Decorating bags and tips 
  • A big apron
  • House pattern on cardboard (an old cereal box will work)
  • A free afternoon
  • A haunted house kit or basic house kit, if you’ll be going this route

Gingerbread:

  • 3 cups basic white flour (whole wheat is not recommended for houses)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ginger
  • 1-1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 egg, beaten

Icing:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 cups confectioners sugar
  • ½ tsp cream of tartar

Make Your Gingerbread House Pattern

haunted_houseSimple house patterns can be found on the internet, or by browsing through clipart images for Halloween houses to find a shape you like.

To use my haunted house on the right, click on it for the full image. The shape in the guide is for the front and back of the house. Then measure rectangular walls and roofs with the measurements in the document.

Take the house shape you like and enlarge it to fill an 8-1/2” x 11” page. From there you may have to adjust angles or the height/width, by tracing it onto another sheet of paper so that it is just right.

Cut the pattern out of paper and then trace it onto poster board or light-weight cardboard (like a cereal box). Making a pattern out of paper won’t survive the first cut. Do this:

  1. Cut 2 of the shapes for the front and back.
  2. Decide how deep the house should be and mark that out along with the height of the wall to match.
  3. Cut out two rectangles for the roof pieces. Remember to make them large so they overhang, but not so large that the house can’t bear its weight.

Cooking the Gingerbread Pieces

Tips

  • Before baking, decide if this house is going to be eaten or not; the baking time will be different, as well as the appearance of the house. I suggest making additional cookies to eat instead of trying to eat the house.
  • Try to assemble the house before the kids are around. At this point they won’t be interested or of much help. It also means the house will be set and have less chance of collapsing while it’s being decorated.

Baking Instructions

  1. Turn your oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients, then mix in the wet. I like the recipe above – it’s a trial and error modification from gingerbread cookies – but the basic cookie recipe is shown at the end of this article. Go with what you’re most comfortable with.
  3. Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment. I use parchment because it can be slid right onto the baking sheet- no moving house pieces and risking accidents or shape changes.
  4. Now it’s time to cut out the patterns! Sprinkle flour over the dough before laying down the pattern so that they lift up easier. Place your cardboard shape pieces on top and cut the patterns out right on the parchment. Lift away and clean and use your shapes next year.
  5. Slip the cut dough on a baking sheet and place in a hot oven.
  6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. About 8 minutes through baking, take it out to re-cut the pattern pieces. This helps to keep the shapes the size they are supposed to be as they finish baking. (Or cut and separate them in the first place, but be very careful. Usually I just slowly peel away the dough between the shapes.) When done, remove from oven.

gingerbread-dough gingerbread-shapes

If the pattern is complicated, it is also very helpful in identifying which pattern piece is which. The pattern I used had several different pieces that were very similar. I labeled them with letters and then wrote the letters on the parchment before baking. It was very handy as they cooled!

Once they are done, let them cool.

Icing Your Haunted Gingerbread House

gingerbread-decorationsUsing the recipe above, start by adding 1 cup of sugar to the other ingredients, adding one cup of sugar at a time while mixing. Whip this together for about 5 minutes and voila! Gingerbread house cement. Seriously.

Cover the mix with a damp towel so it does not dry out. You can also use 2 t of water and 2 t of powdered egg whites or meringue if you don’t want to use egg whites.

Then, feed it into a thick plastic bag with a small hole cut at the end.

There are two schools of thought about how to ice a gingerbread house: pre-assembly and post-assembly. I’ve done it both ways, and the only difference is how perfect the house looks.

Last year’s house was iced post-assembly and we were dismayed to see the windows run and drip. But in the end it had a rather eerie effect that we liked. Icing before putting the house together makes details much easier., but young kids may not be as interested, because … well, it doesn’t yet look like a haunted house!

You can also check out Pinterest for decoration ideas. I do!

Our haunted house, built from scatch!
Our haunted house, built from scatch!

What if You Don’t Have Time to Do it From Scratch?

Yes, creating your gingerbread from scratch can take a while, especially if you aren’t set up for cookie decorating with bags and equipment. Luckily, that’s where kits come in.

A kit comes with pre-cooked house shapes, icing, candy, and the decorating bags and tips. The kit I bought this year had bat candy – and it was already assembled. I just needed to decorate it.

It doesn’t get much easier than that!

IMG00598_Small

Commercial haunted gingerbread house
Commercial haunted gingerbread house

 

Play Dough Pumpkins That Taste Fantastic!

Looks like play dough? Check. Smells like candy? Check. Great for Halloween? Check. Tastes great? Yummy! Edible play dough is such a great thing. Kids can play with it and eat all they want (because there is no sugar, and they will get their fill quickly). The recipe is quick and adjustable, and even better it can be used with ‘butters’ other than peanut butter!

Playdough Ingredients

Making home-made play dough is simple:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 cups powdered milk
  • Optional: Food coloring gel paste (various colors – decrease the honey proportionately when substituting coloring gel.)

Mix these all up until the texture is workable. It takes about 10 minutes total. Plan ahead what you would like to make, and separate into small clumps. Mix the food coloring gel as desired to each clump – orange for pumpkins, green for pumpkin vines and leaves, etc.

home made playdoughIn the pictures below, you can see we made these fun, spooky pumpkins. The kids helped out, and it took about an hour or so. The recipe is easy to double or decrease as needed. We followed the recipe and learned a few things:

  • It makes A LOT.
  • If you want to use gel food coloring like we did, decrease the honey proportionately. We put the gel in after it was mixed up and the pumpkins were all droopy.
  • If you chose to work with something besides peanut butter, start with smaller amounts of powdered milk. We used Nutella for one batch and found that using equal parts was just too much powdered milk. We ended up putting some honey in so that it was a useable mixture.

playdough-03 playdough-04

Since the kids were done for the day and mom had a mess to clean up we wrapped the ‘play dough’ in a cling wrap and set it aside. When we decided to use it again, we rolled it out between sheets of wax paper and used cookie cutters.

playdough-cookies playdough-storage

We used milk chocolate on the peanut butter version and white chocolate on the Nutella batch. A little bit of chocolate seems to go a long way with this play dough. If you use too much, the flavor of the peanut butter gets lost. With the white chocolate and Nutella it didn’t do much at all except to muddy the hazelnut flavor further. But since kids don’t really care about that its not a big deal. The “cookies” turned out pretty good, though. They could be a very nice gift for a neighbor or co-worker during the haunting season!

Play dough pumpkins!
Play dough pumpkins!

Mesmerizing Spider Webs for Your Haunted House

 

Many thanks to guest contributor Ruth Randall for this spellbinding tutorial.

Sure, anybody can make paper snowflakes – but how about paper cobwebs for your Halloween decor? Just don’t stare too long at your creations – you may find yourself hypnotized and under the spell of trick-or-treaters out to empty that treat bucket!

Here’s how to cut out your own Halloween cobwebs for a spooky – and magical – night.

You Will Need:

  • 8-1/2 inch paper (or whatever size you have available) – black, gray, silver, deep purple or deep blue
  • Safety scissors for kids
  • Small plastic spiders (from a craft or dollar store)

For this project we created one web out of white paper so readers can  better see the diagrams in this article For your haunt, we suggest using gray or black paper, as white tends to look very snowflake-like no matter what you do to it!

Another option is the muddy purple vellum that was rescued from the scrap booking pile, shown below. This cool paper has met its glorious Halloween destiny!

Paper cobwebs

Instructions:

Using a regular 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper in one of the color choices suggested above:

  1. Take your piece of paper and fold in half.
  2. Fold in half again.
  3. There will be a center point on your paper where it has been folded (unfold to find it, then fold again). Have that point facing you, and put your thumb over it. Take the right corner and fold over. One small point will stick out.
  4. Take the left corner and fold over the right. You’ll have something of an arrowhead-look.
  5. Cut the top off so it looks like an arrowhead pointing at you.
  6. Cut a spike so it looks like the third image below. This will be the outer webbing.
In half diagonally
In half diagonally
In thirds
In thirds
In half again
In half again

7. Begin making curved cuts that echo the curve of the spike.

8. Cut the bottom point how you would like. I cut a tiny “v”.

Paper Cobwebs - cutting the spider web Finished paper spider web

 

 

 

Just as with a winter snowflake there are bound to be some surprises when you unfold your cobweb. The finished cobweb above is the white version – it still looks like a snowflake, but with a bad attitude. (We like that!)

Iron the cobwebs if you wish them to be more flat; they will come out rather crumpled. If you do iron them put another piece of paper or cloth over them so that the iron does not tear through the cutwork.

Being unhappy with the snowflake-like cobweb lead me to a search through old scrapbook papers, which revealed some muddy purple vellum. Perfect! It had just the right effect in making a spooky/creepy spider’s web. Attach the spider with some glue, and you’re done!

Muddy purple vellum gives this a more silky, spider web look!
Muddy purple vellum gives this a more silky, spider web look!

Vellum papers will offer the most compelling medium for this project, but I found this medium was a little more difficult than regular paper to fold and cut. Luckily, there are many colors of copy paper you can choose from.

White paper versus muddy vellum
White paper versus muddy vellum

There are a lot of ways to use these fun cobwebs:

  • They make great doilies for a Halloween buffet.
  • Tape them together (very carefully) for a table cloth or curtains.
  • Coasters. Cut smaller cobwebs (start with a 5” square) and use paper mache to attach them to cardboard coasters. You could make more permanent type coasters by using the same technique to attach them to thin balsa wood and then cover with a sealer.
  • Spread a few up around a candle for a centerpiece.

That’s it – so easy, so quick, so inexpensive…and so spooky!

Cool Halloween Games for Kids

Halloween is a time for giggles and guffaws. A time for kids and former kids to join together in fun appreciation of the autumnal season. With this in mind, here are some easy games for kids both young and old alike.

Word Search

Universally regarded as one of the most fun puzzles around, word search puzzles are now easy to create on your own. There are a number of educational sites like http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com that allow you to input your words and the site generates a word search puzzle for you. Or grab a Halloween word search book for ideas.

Use a little clip art on your page for added festive fun. There are also sites with ready-made word search puzzles in various themes and for different holidays.

Pumpkin Carving Contest

amazing cat pumpkinFor the older set who safely can use knives, a pumpkin carving contest is a natural. If you have many entrants, break up the awards into different categories, such as Funniest, Most Scary, and Most Unique.

Prizes can be simple items such as loaves of homemade pumpkin bread! Here’s my favorite Pumpkin Bread recipe:

*

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1-1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 3-1/3 cups flour
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 15 oz. can pumpkin

Method:

  • Combine all ingredients in order, mixing well after each addition, especially the flour.
  • Divide the batter into two 9×5” loaf pans.
  • Bake in preheated 325 degree oven for approximately 1-1/2 hours. Check doneness with a toothpick.
  • Serve warm, cold, with powdered sugar, ice cream, or just plain. DELICIOUS and (obviously) rich!

Scary Pass-Around

One of my favorite memories from Girl Scouts was a spooky game in which all participants sit on the floor with a large blanket, each person tucking their crossed legs under the blanket and holding the blanket down on their laps with hands. The leader, with all story items under the blanket, starts out with dramatic voice and gestures with a story such as this:

One time, not so long ago, on a stormy, dark Halloween night, two children decided to go along a rarely used path near their home. They did it as a dare to one another and it seemed like a good idea at the time. Neither willing to admit fear, the two proceeded down the path, filled with bushes and spider webs…

(pass fake spider webs under the blanket, person to person, then pass a hairy fake spider)

The two went deeper and deeper in, until it was sheer and total darkness.

(turn off the lights in the room)

Very, very slowly – so slowly that the children weren’t sure they were even hearing anything – a sound started to emerge…

(play a recording you’ve made of “whoooooooo…. Whooooooo” along with rustling leaves)

By now, the children had come to the conclusion that they were too far in and that they’d best turn back. Still refusing to admit that they were scared, the two started walking faster… and faster… and faster still.

BAM!!!!! The children tripped. Feeling around on the ground, both children felt a strange object before them.

(more playing of the scary sound)

What could it be? At the top of the figure on the ground before them, they felt something soft, cool, mushy….

(pass around two peeled grapes, the “eyes)

(Talking faster and more breathlessly)… Oh my heavens! They felt just like EYEBALLS! Ewwwww. Surely it was their imagination. Feeling around further, something even slimier was felt…

(pass around cold, boiled spaghetti, the “guts” of the monster)

YUCK! Could it be? Is it? GUTS?!?!? Oh no! The kids wanted to run but then their hands felt something even worse. Could it be brains????????????

(pass around a handful of cold, squishy gelatin)

Turning now, the kids began to run, run, and run. Back through the bushes, through the spider webs….

(pass more spider webs around, this time even more than before)

RUN, KIDS, RUN! They could hear footsteps behind them!

(pat the floor in rhythmic fashion under the blanket)

They must HURRY! Back they go… until —– finally……. (major, scary pause)…. They reach the comfort of home. Phew!

(pass around a teddy bear)

This activity never fails to create a fun, albeit a loud, time! Happy Halloween!

Egg Carton Bats

Ever wonder what to do with old egg cartons? Make these adorable bats to decorate your house for Halloween!

Simple and easy to do, you can hang these lightweight bats anywhere. First, gather all of the materials you need:

  • Egg cartons (paper works better than styrofoam)
  • Scissors
  • Black paint and paintbrushes
  • Craft glue or glue gun
  • Googley eyes
  • Black pipe cleaners
  • Hole punch and thread or yarn.

Cut one three-egg section from the egg cartons for each bat. As you can see from the picture, I trimmed the excess cardboard from around the top of the bat’s head and wings. Also, trim an upside down “U” out of the bottom of each wing, as the close-up picture illustrates.

Egg Carton Bat Halloween craft

Paint your bats black and wait for them to dry.

When the bats are dry, you can glue on their eyes. I also cut four small pieces of black pipe cleaner per bat, and glued them on as feet and hands – this is optional.

Punch a hole in the top of the middle section – the bat’s head – and string some yarn or thread through. Your bat is ready to hang!

By Beth Taylor

Jeweled Jack-o-Lantern

Most people enjoy setting out jack-o-lanterns during Halloween, but carving a pumpkin takes time, skill and lots of patience. Kids enjoy getting the pumpkins ready, too, but they are rarely able to carve them. Put away those knives and forget about the pumpkin goo with this Halloween craft. Decorate your pumpkin instead and use your imagination. Decorate it in your favorite colors or colors that match the décor of your home. Make several and place them on your dining room table along with some tealight candles for an elegant touch. Kids can easily participate in decorating this kind of pumpkin.

Approximate time to make from start to finish: 30 minutes

For this project you will need:

  • One pumpkin (either a real pumpkin or an artificial crafting pumpkin)
  • Black acrylic paint
  • Half-inch long oval jewels or rhinestones in your choice of color
  • Six-inch black feather boa
  • Cotton ball
  • Glue gun
Jeweled Jack o'lantern

Start by painting the pumpkin. Pour a little paint onto a paint tray or paper plate and dip the cotton ball in the paint and press onto the pumpkin. Place paint dots randomly on your pumpkin. Be careful not to get too much paint in the pumpkin because the paint will run. If you wish, you can sprinkle glitter on the wet paint for an added touch.

Begin embellishing the pumpkin with the jewel. Glue them on the center of the dots and all around the pumpkin. Glue the feather boa into a loop and add it to the top of the pumpkin. Now you have an elegant, yet simple pumpkin.

Jeweled Jack o'lantern