Thursday, October 21, 2010

Easy Halloween Crafts for Kids

 Here are a handful of simple things we've done for Halloween. In the first picture is the baby pumpkins and gourds we grew in our garden this summer. Avlyn simply used a permanent marker to draw faces on the pumpkins, kind of like a faux jack-o-lantern. Hanging out with our faux jacks is our 'W' witch that we made today. Avlyn is already familiar with all of her letters and letter sounds, but we are still working on writing all of the letters correctly.

This witch craft, provided by Craft of the Day, was simple and fun. I always like to show our version of crafts printed on websites or magazines, since I think it gives a more accurate description of what you're going to get at home. Craft of the Day provided the template. I printed it out on white printer paper, cut it out, traced the outline onto green construction paper, cut that out, and then she decorated it. The original instructions call for paper shreds to be used as the broom, but if you've ever tried to glue paper or yarn to a pipe cleaner, you know how frustrating it is to get things to stick. I tried yarn at first, but got aggravated and just cut  two yellow pipe cleaners in half. Then I wound them around the bottom of the red pipe cleaner to make the broom bristles. The pipe cleaner is bent in back and hooked onto the witch. After making this craft we sang Old Mrs. Witch and acted it out with the puppet.

This next picture is our take on an idea from Family Fun . Avlyn found a bunch of acorns at a neighbors house, so we came home and researched something fun and simple to do with them. We found the idea to paint them orange and draw faces on them to make mini jack-o-lanterns. While these are simple, they do take quite a few coats of paint. And the paint ends up chipping quite a bit once dry, as you can see on the unfinished ones to the right. You would need to plan to work on these throughout the day, if you wanted to have them finished by bedtime. For our next batch, we're thinking of trying spray paint instead.

Side note: If doing an acorn craft with a bunch of acorns, make sure to perform the sink or swim test first. Weevil larvae exists in acorns, and if you don't kill them before crafting they can hatch and get out in your house. The whole weevil sink or swim is a great lesson for preschoolers and kindergartners. Fill up your sink about 1/4 full. Drop in the acorns. Those that sink are free of weevil larvae and can be crafted with immediately. Those that float have weevil larvae and should be frozen or boiled to kill the larvae. We put our floaters in a plastic baggie and have had them in the freezer for about 4 days now. They should be good to go. Just to give you an idea of how prevalent weevils are, out of about 50 acorns, only 12 sunk. Happy homeschooling!

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