Thursday, October 30, 2014

Yummy Haunted Houses

This is a quick post to show you the edible haunted houses my kids made today. Each child brought in something different to help decorate the houses. I bought little orange juice cartons and the kids drank them the day before. I rinsed them out and let them dry. Then I snipped off the very top and taped it closed. I put some frosting on the bottom of the carton and stuck it on a plate. Then I used frosting to attach graham crackers to each side and two at the top for the roof. When they were all put together, the kids were able to decorate them however they wanted.

They each had a plastic knife and a paper towel (to wipe their fingers instead of licking them!). We had candy corn and pumpkins, colored chocolate chips, M&Ms, gummy worms, licorice, little Hershey bars, sprinkles and candy eyes. They all did such a good job! We had a few roof tops that started to slide off, but adding a bit more frosting seemed to do the trick.
They turned out great and the kids couldn't wait to take them home so they could eat them!

This one used Hershey bars to make a graveyard. So creative!
Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Full Moons, Spinning Ghosts and Creepy Spiders

I'm falling behind on my Halloween crafts, so I have to combine a few in one post. I'll try to keep it short! Back when we made scarecrow silhouettes, I had a hard time deciding if I wanted to make them with sunsets or full moons as the background. I finally realized that I should save the full moon for a Halloween craft. But this ended up being more of a fall craft. Anyway, I drew a big circle on white paper, making it the size of a coffee filter. Then I squirted white and yellow paint in the middle of it and the kids mixed it up and spread it around the circle.
 Then I placed a coffee filter right on top of it and the kids pressed down a bit.
(Sorry about the ghostly hands!) After only a minute or two, I peeled it off. This gave the moons a little texture, which didn't really show up on camera, but it was there! When they were dry I cut them out and glued them to a piece of black paper. The kids painted trees and hills and anything else they wanted onto their paper.
I had also used a stencil and cut out some bats, cats and owls for them to glue on.

The black paint made the moon curl up a bit, as well as the black paper itself.
I just used some double stick tape under the moon edges and then flattened the whole thing between two heavy filing containers.
Earlier in the week we made spinning ghosts to hang in our room. I drew a very simple ghost pattern onto white paper and gave it a long "tail." I cut out the ghost part because I knew that would be difficult for my kids to do themselves.
So all they had to do was cut out the rest of the tail and draw in a face on both sides.

Last week we made spider rings.
I got the idea from Fantastic Fun and Learning so go there for directions. We made the small ones and only used one pom pom. I hot glued the pom pom on, but the kids used tacky glue to add the wiggle eyes. They LOVED them!
We also went on a field trip last week and picked out a pumpkin for our classroom. The kids painted it black, green and purple and then we made it into a spider. We glued on 8 wiggle eyes and two fangs cut from a small paper plate. I used large pipe cleaners for the legs and stuck them right into the pumpkin.
I must have been on a spider kick because over the weekend my daughter and I made a garbage bag spider. She was a really good helper when it came to filling the bags with leaves! I used electrical tape to tape the two bags together, glue dots to attach the wiggle eyes (I decided to just do 4 since not all spiders have 8 eyes), made the fangs from a paper plate again, and used JUMBO pipe cleaners for the legs. I used electrical tape to attach the legs as well. It now sits in the bare spot where all my roses used to be, waiting to greet trick-or-treaters!
I don't know if he's weather-proof, but luckily it's been a dry week and the legs are holding up just fine. I did use a few tent stakes to keep some of the legs in place, but even those without a stake are still standing. Yay!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hedgehog Craft with Fall Leaves

I finally did a craft with my daughter, Elise. It was so fun! She's 19 months and although I've done plenty of hand and footprint art with her and she's done many crafts at day care, this is the first one we've done together. Mama and baby hedgehogs:
Cute, right? A teacher at my center made these with her 3-year-olds. I loved them but didn't want to have my class copy them, so I decided to make them at home with Elise. One beautiful evening we went for a walk and collected leaves. Then it was time to get crafting. Elise was very excited and couldn't wait to start painting.
We used paper plates, but regular paper would work just fine. I started with half a plate and cut out a hedgehog shape. I did the same thing with a small paper plate for Elise. Then I mixed red and yellow paint to make orange and we began to paint our plates.
When we were done, I put glue on the plates so we could attach our leaves.

Then we added wiggle eyes.
Elise got a little carried away with the eyes, but that's okay! And finally, we added a small pom pom for the nose.

We both had a blast and since that night she keeps pointing to the smock because she wants to do more art! Ahhh, that's my girl.
Fun Fact: Hedgehogs got their name because they prefer to live and eat in and near garden hedges, and they grunt like a pig when they hunt.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Witches' Brew

My Halloween display is done!
I've had this idea "brewing" for awhile (ha!) but it wasn't until recently that I figured out how to pull it together. Once I realized puffy paint would be the prefect brew, it took off from there. I had the kids paint with puffy paint (shaving cream mixed with Elmer's glue, with food coloring added in) on a half sheet of white paper. I drew an oval on the paper first, but that wasn't really necessary.
The kids picked one color (purple, orange or green) and filled in the oval. I told them to put it on really thick and not spread it around too much. Then they added glitter that matched.
The glitter was in little shakers that only let out a tiny amount at a time, which was exactly what we needed. We only wanted to add a little bit of sparkle. The puffy paint ended up drying darker, which I loved. I cut them out to resemble liquid bubbling up and over a pot, and then glued each one to the top of a cauldron. The kids added two black circles to the bottom of the cauldron for legs.
I'm not gonna lie to you. Cutting out puffy paint was a little tricky. Sometimes the puffy parts would pop so I had to be careful. And then gluing it to the pot was also difficult because I couldn't push down or I would leave fingerprints. I ended up using very little glue and just put tape on the back to hold it in place. I asked each child separately (so I would have no copy cats) what is in their brew and typed it up and stuck it to the front of the pot. Then I displayed them in the hallway with a bunch of circles for bubbles. I also decided to display our witch legs above the cauldrons. We make these every year (find out how here!), but this year we made a much smaller version. Still totally cute, though!

What were some of our ingredients, you might ask?

A lot of animal body parts, like frog legs and tips of claws and heads of snakes. And we had some creepy crawlies, like spiders and bugs. We also had eyeballs ("from a person") and rotten eggs and poison ivy. Oh, and butter! Can't forget the butter! Butter makes everything taste better!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Paper Punch Art Using Real Leaves

Just last night I saw this very cool idea on Grow Creative to use a paper punch on leaves! So this morning I took my class on a little walk to collect some leaves. We have beautiful trees all around us, especially this maple right across the street from our center:
Lots of oranges, yellows and reds! I'm in awe of its beauty every time I see it. So we took a walk right underneath it and grabbed freshly fallen leaves (we didn't want the old crunchy leaves) and put them in a paper bag. We also took some bright red ones from a nearby burning bush. Back in our room, I dumped out the bag of leaves on the table and set out some paper punches.
I also brought some of my own punches from home and we immediately got to work. The kids did a great job punching out the leaves themselves, but found it easier if I cut off the tips of the leaves, leaving a nice straight edge to put into the punch. If you turn the punch over you can see exactly what you are punching out and can be sure the leaf is covering the entire punch.
Once they had a bunch punched out, they glued them to a piece of paper using a glue stick.
I wish I had cut the paper into a leaf shape or something, instead of keeping it as a rectangle. Oh well, next time! I had fun arranging them by design.
It reminded me of the 3-D butterfly art I make as gifts for people. I ended up laminating these so they would last. I might try to paint a layer of watered-down glue over them next time.
It was a very fun project and we were left with a beautiful mess!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Craft Stick Planes and Fingerprint Trains

We did a Transportation theme last week. I received some colorful jumbo craft sticks and white poms poms free from
I thought they would be perfect for an airplane craft. The kids picked out two sticks and I used a glue dot to attach them together to make a plane. Then they made windows with a black Sharpie and added red and blue sequins for lights. They attached the sequins with mini glue dots.
If you have time to let the glue dry, you could use regular school glue instead of glue dots. But this way the kids could handle the planes right away and things didn't slide around when they were drawing on them. We also got out oil pastels and made a sky background on blue construction paper.

When the sky was done, they glued on their planes using regular Elmer's glue and then glued on some white pom poms behind the plane.
I love the little puffs of smoke!

We also made some trains using our fingerprints. My inspiration came from First the kids drew a train track (or just a line) on their papers. Then, using that line as a guide, they made fingerprints to represent train cars. We used ink pads, but paint would work as well.
Then they used a thin Sharpie to add wheels and details to the train cars, as well as connect them together.
For the smoke, they dipped their fingers in gray paint and added prints starting from the front of the train, and then up and back.
They turned out pretty cute.

When the paint was dry, they could draw in a background if they wanted to.