Hallowe’en is just around the corner. Pumpkins on your doorstep  are creating a will-o’-the-wisp mood. Kids are excited and planning their costumes. Now is the time for them to have fun with gooey, gushy sensory experience stuff.hallowe'en fingers2

Older kids can create fun for the whole family.  Blogmemom has more than 15 suggested activities. Be prepared for the mess!

Kids 3-10  will have fun with these FREE printables that add a  bit of Hallowe’en fun in their lunch boxes from Crafting Chicks.
And for dinner, if you still have energy,  serve witches fingers with this creepy idea for bug juice from Real Simple.

HAPPY HALLOWE’EN!

I purchased unfinished brown paper mache coffin boxes online for $6.99 for an added  creep factor.

WITCHES FINGER RECIPE
Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

1 cup icing sugar

1 egg

1 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla

2 ¾ cups of flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

¾ cut whole blanched almonds

1 tube red decorator gel.

METHOD

Beat together butter, sugar, egg, almond extract and vanilla. Beat in flour gradually. Add baking powder, salt. Refrigerate for 30 minutes

1. On a piece of wax paper, roll out a heaping teaspoon of dough into a finger shape

2. Squeeze in the center to create a knuckle shape.witches knuckles

3.Let the kids use a blunt knife to make slashes in several places to form the knuckle

4. Place an almond on one end of “finger”

5.On a lightly greased baking sheet, bake fo 20-25 minutes at 350F.

6.Let cool a few minutes

7.Lift almond and squeeze some red gel into the “nail bed”

 

8.Put the almond witchesfingerwithblood-9back in place.

 

 

 

Pick me up! Play with me!

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At this time of the year, I imagined all the leaves on the ground yelling” Pick me up! Play with me!”

photo 1-7Chances are, when you and your kids go outside, a collection of stones, sticks and leaves comes home with you. Outdoor experiences give us and our kids the opportunity to explore,to think and to feel. We get an emotional connection when we interact with nature. We develop our own understandings of who we are and how we work within the world.

leafprint2For kids 2-6 years old, leaf prints are always fun to do. Here’s a link that shows you how to do that, step by step with your kids. If you haven’t discovered an online blogger called B-Inspired Mama,she posts tons of arts and crafts ideas for this age group so that kids learn through play and hands- on projects.

Look what else you can do with leaves!

photo 2-7 For kids 7-12 years old, take collecting leaves a step further and challenge their attention to details. Collect the leaves with the purpose in mind of using them to create an animal mosaic. Your outdoor trek turns into an art AND a science project.(Sohi). You will develop your kids vocabulary,fine motor skills, body of content knowledge, artist’s eye, an ecological ethic and the joy of connecting with nature’s marvels,through play.

First, take your kids to the library to find books and magazine with lots of animal pictures.
Here are 3 tips to develop a unique art and crafts project using leaves with your kids.

TIPS

1. Develop Vocabulary
Help kids look for leaves of different sizes, shapes and colors and develop new vocabularies like: -star-shaped, heart shaped, fan shaped, long, narrow and needle shaped, saw-toothed, lobe like or oval. Challenge your kids imagination.

2. Train their Eyes
Encourage the kids to look for tiny leaves that could be used for eyes, beaks, paws, tails or a nose. Collect material that could be used to suggest a setting for their animal.

3. Include science.
Explain the life cycle of leaf and the production of chlorophyll that results in the leaf’s green color.

4. Keep it Real!
Turn the kids work into something of value and share it. Turn their art work into a stationary card and send it off to a friend,cousin, grandma or grandad.They are sure to love it.

Resources:
Rivkin, M., & Schein, D. (2014). The great outdoors: Advocating for natural spaces for young children (Rev. ed.). Washington, DC:
National Association for the Education of Young Children.
Sohi, M. (1993). Look What I Did with A Leaf! New York: Walker and Company.