1. Spider web spelling words.
We were giggling and having so much fun with the spelling words spider web, we didn’t even realize we were missing a whole hour of after school cartoons. Inspired by a post I saw on the Toddler Approved Facebook page by No Time for Flashcards of their spider web activity, I created my own spider web spelling game. I began by sticking masking tape down on the carpet in a web design. I had no problem pulling it up again, but you may want to try painter’s tape instead. I then made a spider for each letter he would need to spell all 10 of his words and scattered them across the web, and since I already had flashcards for each word, I decorated each one with a ghost outline. For the first round, my first-grader had to read the word off the card out loud, then while balancing on the strands of the web, he had to step on each one of the letters in the word, in order, saying them out loud. When he completed all 10 words, I gave each word to him orally and he had to balance and pick up each letter, hopscotch style, saying each one out loud and then returning the spider letters to the web. If he fell off the web at any time, he had to start the word over. I also was excited, because my toddler loved it too. If he were a little older (or more cooperative), we would have used it for balancing–a fun gross motor skill.
2. Toilet paper tube monster eyes.
No. 2 and 3 I remembered from somewhere and had to look them up to be able to give a reference to where I found them. Guff had a list of 15 Cute (And Easy!) Recycled Halloween Craft Ideas that I probably saw mentioned on another Facebook page that is now lost in an infinite sea of Facebook posts. Toilet paper roll monster eyes are simple, but you have to plan ahead to save the rolls. Fold a gentle crease in one side of the roll and cut two slits with a scissors along the fold. Experiment with different shapes. Place in the grass on your front lawn and insert a glow stick that can be found at a dollar store or Halloween or dollar section at chain stores. We got ours 2/$1 at Target, but they are longer than the roll so will use one stick for two rolls. The photo shows my flashlight test in the basement today, since we go live at 5 tonight, not wanting to waste glow sticks.
*Note: The cheaper glow sticks may not be as bright as something with a little more quality. Ours could be seen but were not as bright as I would have liked.
3. Monster bread tags.
These adorable bitty monsters are unexpected, fun, and great as a silly gift for a friend or teacher. We used black permanent markers because that’s what we had, but I did notice that because it was the first one we did and was handled a lot, the marker still rubbed off. You will have to plan for these as well, because most bread bags come with twist-ties.
4. Roasted pumpkin seeds.
My boys love the end result, and pop ’em like popcorn. But when I tried to enlist them to help get the seeds out of the pumpkin guts, the older one refused (he wouldn’t touch them while carving either), and the next day, my 21-month old said a new word, “Eew,” which at least made me laugh. After separating the seeds from the pumpkin guts, rinse them in a strainer, place on a cookie sheet, drizzle them with oil and sprinkle them with salt. I have seen it recommended to soak them in salt water overnight, but I made one batch each way and found no difference in the outcome. Bake in a 350° oven for 15 min., stirring them after 10 min. Let them cool and enjoy! In the past, we have experimented with different recipes, including cinnamon and sugar, but light salt is still our favorite.
5. Mummy dogs.
Mummy dogs have become a tradition in our household for Halloween. This year, I surprised my son for lunch at school with them. They are so easy, they can be done in just the few minutes we have to prepare food Halloween night before going trick-or-treating at 5:30 with little kids. Unroll a package of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, and use one triangle of dough per hot dog, cutting the dough into strips to wrap around the hot dog like bandages. I used biscuit dough because that’s what we had, rolled it out, with the help of my toddler, and cut it in strips with a pizza cutter, which kids of most ages can safely use. If desired, wrap a strip of a cheese slice inside the bandages with the hot dog. About 1/2 an inch from one end, part the dough to make room for a face after baking. Bake at 350° for approx. 15 min. Add features to the face with mustard and enjoy!
6. Grave yard.
Near our monster eye toilet paper rolls, my older son wanted a gravestone. During the after-Thanksgiving sales last year, I found two paper/cardboard gravestones on clearance at JoAnn Fabrics and put them away for this year. This week, we pulled one out, and using leftover interior house paint, my first-grader painted one gray, then added depth and “dirt” by sponging on brown paint using brown paint on a paper towel. After it dried, he wrote RIP in permanent black marker on one side, and “Written in blood” on the other. He placed it in our grave yard and was very pleased.
We have all sorts of other fun ideas, but now they’ll have to wait until next year! Happy Halloween!