Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween Everyone!!

Break out the bells and whistles--Today is Halloween,
whew....rah..........scream! So,what are YOU being for Halloween? Maybe it's a, angel,or a bathtub,Sponge Bob or who knows... a Unicorn. Whatever it is have fun and remember to stay safe and have your parents check your candy before you eat it. Here's a fun Halloween song for you. Enjoy!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Rock Creations

Hey's time to gather some rocks (the bigger the better) and make some Halloween decorations.

Here's what you will need:
*Large rocks
*Orange Tempra Paint
*Black Marker

*Paint Brushes
*Spray Vanish

Here's what you need to do---Lay the newspaper down on the table. Paint your pumpkin orange. Onc it dries draw a face on your pumpkin. Use the photo as your guide or be creative and do your own thing.

Here's an additional visual I found that will also help--

Books available for Halloween:

                                        Halloween Fruit
Reviewed on Amazon--"This book was a great buy for me and my family. We bought it, discussed all the fruit in the book, then that night when we were grocery shopping, my kids were trying to find the monsters from the book! My 2 year old hid behind my chair and laughed over my shoulder while reading the book. The blackberry is awesome. Worth the purchase if you've got some small kids and want to learn to identify fruit or prep up for Halloween excitement." For more info

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Halloween Clothes Pin People

This is such a cute craft and as you can see in the video even the little ones were involved in the making of the craft.
Here is what you are going to need:
Clothes Pins (the non-springy kind)
Paint Brush
Acrylic Paint
Palette (to put paints in)

**I want to thank Green Apple for a cool craft idea. We are always looking for cool craft ideas so if you have any please send them to us. Info on contact page. Thanks ---Fran

Books related to our project:

HALLOWEEN NIGHT                                      Reviewed on Amazon--"Rising Moon Publishing is well known for its beautiful children's books, and they continue to raise the bar with this holiday offering for young children. A simple Halloween story that invites young Wenzel illustrations will also appeal to adults who love Halloween and they will want to add this book to their own library." For more info 

                                       THE HALLOWEEN TREE
I first tried to read this book when I was around the suggested reading age (about 12 years old). Now that I'm 18 I finally tuly appreciated this masterpiece. Never before have I seen the true essence of Halloween captured on paper so perfectly. Life and death, night and day, Autumn and Summer, courage and friendship, Halloween and all it's components are presented to the reader in fantastic imagery that will transport you back to those Halloween nights that we miss so much. The nights when you could taste the magic in the air. Bradbury is an artist and these 145 pages are his canvas. If you are a true fan of Halloween or want to become one this book is for you. For More Info

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Teen Craft---Halloween Bead Pins

Here's a cute collection of halloween pins that I discovered just today. It's a great craft for kids ages 8 and up. Maybe you can even make a few for a fall harvest festival...

Coiless Halloween Pin

Here's what you are going to need:
  • Coiless Safety Pins (2¼ inches)
  • 4mm Round Beads
  • E Beads
  • Safety Pins Size 2
  • Pattern
  • Long Nose Pliers

Each row hanging down is a size 2 pin with "E" beads strung on it. Open these pins and string beads following the pattern chosen. Keep in mind that you are stringing the beads upside-down so you will start at the top with of each row and work down. Then turn the pin upside-down. Use pliers to squeeze the pin head closed permanently.

Note: Glass beads are are irregular in size. You will not be able to use the larger "E" beads in your package. It may look like the pins will not close but as long as the tip shows, you can usually just press the point into the pin head opening. The pin will bend out slightly to fit the beads snuggly into place.

Open up the coiless pin. You will need to bend it open to at least a 60 degree 
angle to get the beads on. Beginning with the beaded pin to the far right, thread the coil of that beaded pin onto the coiless pin, around the bend and over to the head of the pin. Slide on a 4mm bead. Then the next beaded pin, followed by another 4mm bead. Continue until you have threaded on all pins and finished off with a final 4mm bead. These beads help hold the pins in place and keep them from sliding around the coiless pin.

Credit for craft goes to--

Books on Halloween:
Fated (The Eternals)
Reviewed on Amazon--"If you love historical romances with a fantastic paranormal twist, Fated is for you. Set in ancient Rome, Fated is the perfect blend of suspenseful and sultry. Truly a great read. The paranormal element sneaks up on you like an asp in the night until it grabs you by the throat.  

My Sister theVampireReviewed on Amazon--"Young girls often dream that they have a lost identical sister. In this series, twins Ivy and Olivia find one another, but there is a twist. Ivy is a vampire, Olivia is mortal. And vampires are never allowed to tell humans about their existence. Many challenges must be conquered in order for these young girls to be together.

The writing is fairly simple, and the plot lines are predictable, with only small surprises. So, why did I give it five stars? It got my eleven year old to read four books in three days. She didn't play with the brand-new wii games, or the PS3 games we rented. She didn't even want to put it down to eat. There is nothing I find objectionable in them, and these books enthralled my daughter. After all, they were written for her, not me. So, I don't think it gets better than that."  For more info

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Trash Bag Sprider

With Halloween just around the corner here is a last minute craft that you can get your children involved in and clean up the yard at the same time. It's easy to make and clean-up as well.
Here is a list of the materials you will need: 
  • 18 large black trash bags
  • Leaves or newspaper
  • Black electrical tape
  • Large red plastic party cups
To create the spider's body, stuff one trash bag full of dry leaves (you can also use crumpled newspaper). Tie the bag closed, then flip it upside down. To make the head, stuff a second bag (not as full as the first), tie it closed, and tape it to the body.

To make one of the legs, roll up two garbage bags together lengthwise. Wrap them with electrical tape at both ends and at two points along the leg to make joints. Roll up seven more legs, then cut four small slits in each side of the spider's body and slip the legs in place.

Cut the white lip off two of the red plastic cups, then tape them onto the spider's body to make his beady red eyes. For the fangs, cut two triangles out of the third plastic cup (or another piece of white plastic) and tape them onto the spider so that the white side faces up.

Perch the spider atop a big pile of relatively dry leaves. To create a web for her, simply weave and tie lengths of clothesline or twine across your porch. For an extra scary effect, tie a few unlucky stuffed animals to her web.

Books related to our topic:
Halloween Bugs: A Trick or Treat Pop Up Book
Reviewed on amazon--"My little girl adores this book, she talks about it at bedtime, we have to draw pictures of all the bugs, she won't stop talking about it.
Love it!!"
  For more information

Sipping Spiders Through a Straw: Campfire Songs for Monsters
Reviewed on amazon--"This book contains a mix of deliciously funny, ghoulish, and sometimes even quite gross replacement lyrics for familiar songs. "A-camping we will go with monster friends in tow" replaces the regular lyrics of "The Farmer in the Dell". Instead of singing, "Take me out to the ballgame", substitute "Take me out to the graveyard. Take me out to the tombs. Buy me worms from that Quasi named Jack. I don't care `bout that hump on his back". Be prepared for the truly disgusting, "Blow, blow, blow your nose sick and stuffy ghost. Pick it, and poke it, and pull it out, and spread it on your toast." If you do not know the original song, you will have to "Google" to learn the tune. Primarily black and brown tone watercolor and mixed media illustrations accompany the lyrics revealing figures with elongated and exaggerated appendages and spiked and scraggly hair. " For more info

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Halloween--Only 11 days left!

Halloween isn't too far away and I was wondering,do you know what you want to be yet? Maybe a monster,a favorite cartoon character or perhaps a unicorn like my daughter.

You don't have to spend lots of money on a costume. Be creative and invent something different. When my sisters and I were growing up we went to Halloween parties and they would always have contests to pick the scariest or best costumes. There was always more than one category and so our Mom would help us come up with some pretty neat costumes.
One year we were Raggedy Ann and Andy. My Mom always made our costumes and we dyed mop heads red to use for our hair. Another year we made a panda bear costume and another a princess. My two favorite costumes were the ones we made for my cosuin and nephew. We made my cousin a werewolf complete with glued on hair and fangs. My nephew we made a mummy. He was about 10 years old and we made him a mummy. We ripped up a old white sheet into 3" strips then we made sure my nephew went to the bathroom---then we began wrapping. He looked so good. We wrapped him form head to toe leaving just his face exposed and then I painted it white and added some black under his eyes to give it a sunken efffect. He looked so good that no one even recognized him and to me that's what Halloween is about.

If you would like to make a mummy costume here is a link to Family Fun where they have instructions and great make-up ideas for Mummy.

Halloween Books--
Duck & Goose Find a Pumpkin
Reviewed on Amazon--"I was walking through the book store looking for books for my 17 month old and this book caught my eye because of the beautiful fall colors. The story is short (but not too short), cute and funny, and I love the illustrations. This is our first duck & goose book and now I can't wait to get more! " For more information

Pinkalicious and the Pink Pumpkin
My 3 1/2 year old daughter loves the Pinkalicious books! She also loves pumpkins (and Halloween, not that this book is specifically about Halloween), so I ordered this book right away when I saw that it was soon to be released. We read it for the first time last night and my daughter loves it!!! It's beautifully illustrated as all the Pinkalicious books are and this one is a "lift the flap" book, which my daughter was especially excited about. The story is cute too! So glad I ordered it! For more information

Night of the Pumpkinheads
For more information

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Shrunken Heads

This craft ought to get the kids screaming..."EWWWW!" When you get some time check out this website for some neat craft ideas that I haven't seen before

  • Apples
  • Whole Cloves
  • A few grains of rice
  • 1/2 C lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. salt
Peel a large apple and coat with mixture of lemon juice and 2 teaspoons of salt to prevent browning. With a potato peeler or small knife carve out eye sockets, a nose, mouth and ears. Don't worry about carving small details as they will be lost when the apple dries. Go for the big features and nature will take care of the rest.
Use whole cloves for eyes and raw rice grains for teeth (the faces also come out looking great without these extra props, just carve and let dry if you want to keep it simple).

Sit apples on a wire rack in a warm, dry place for about 2 weeks. Shape the faces as they shrink and harden. You can speed the drying process a little by drying in an oven set at the lowest temperature. However, the process will still take several days.

Halloween books available--

To purchase
To Purchase

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Save Your Milk Cartons

Here is a cute craft idea that I found on Family Fun. You can add them to your porch,walkway etc.. 
Clean plastic gallon milk jugs
Black permanent marker
Craft knife
String of 50 clear low-wattage holiday lights
Draw ghost eyes and mouths on the jugs. Tip: Leave the caps on while you do this, so the jugs don't dent.Use the craft knife to cut a half-dollar-size hole in the back of each jug (a parent's job). Arrange the ghosts near each other and string the lights between them, stuffing several bulbs into each of the jugs.

My Halloween Treats: Lift-the-Flap & Scratch-and-Sniff
Reviewed on Amazon--"This is an overall pretty lame book. The story is focused on absolutely nothing but candy. The peppermint, chocolate and peanut butter cup scents are repulsive. The bubble gum smells like nothing really. The apple is the only one that smells good (although absolutely nothing like apples). The only thing at all redeeming about this book is that it is shaped like a little pumpkin treat bag. I'd say this book is a pass." To Purchase

Witches' Night Before Halloween
Reviewed on Amazon--"I loved this book, and so did the children I read it with! The text has a familiar style and tells the story of some creative witches preparing Halloween night for their children. It rhymes and invites kids to repeat lines they like. The theme is Halloween-creepy but it is not scary at all (so it's really child-appropriate) and the kids loved the illustrations. You've never seen witches like these before- all manner of Halloween beasties are drawn so well and there is a surprise on every page. Great for kids under age 10 or so with wit and humor that will entertain the adults reading the book too! Great for the season and highly recommended!" To Purchase 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pre-school Halloween Pumpkin

Here's a very simple Halloween art project that you can do with your preschool children or the kindergarten crowd. The tiny tots don't have a big attention span so it would be great to pre-cut everything ahead of time.

Materials Needed:
Orange Foam or Construction Paper
Black Foam or Construction Paper
Green Foam or Construction Paper

Use a dinner plate and trace a round circle on the orange foam/construction paper. Now take your black foam/construction paper and cut 3 triangle shapes for the eyes,nose and whatever shape you prefer for the mouth. It can be a half circle or more triangular like the smile in this picture. It's entirely up to you. Make it your "own"pumpkin.

Halloween books--
Five Little Pumpkins
Reviewed on Amazon--"Dan Yaccarino captures the essence of Halloween with simple, yet expressive pictures of pumpkins, ghosts and a black cat. My one year old son Ryan loves it when i read the story of the Five Little Pumpkins. He points to all the different pumpkin faces and loves their orange glow. The book wipes clean and withstands being dragged all over the house! I am a big fan of Dan Yaccarino's work, love his cartoon Oswald, so this book is a big Halloween fun delight!"
To Purchase

Reviewed on Amazon--"BOO to You, that is how i began reading this delightful book to my students. By the end of the book my pre-k class were yelling,'BOO'."
To Purchase

Where is Baby's Pumpkin
Reviewed on Amazon--"I bought this book along with other Karen KatzTo Purchase

Monday, October 10, 2011

Pumpkin Totem

I love this craft. The funny zany faces add personality and I plan to make this soon but I had to share it. I found it today and you can find the directions here so have fun and enjoy!

For more fun DIY projects visit HGTV and for a yummy treat check out my fun with food section.

Halloween books--
Halloween Carving

Monday, October 3, 2011

Three Pumpkins In A Row

I absolutely love this idea---I found it on FamilyFun. It's a nonperishable alternative and you can save it to display for many Halloween's to come. 
Terra-cotta pots
Yellow craft paper
Mod-Podge Outdoor
Short, fat sticks

Instructions--For each one, invert a terra-cotta pot. Cut eyes, a nose, and a toothy grin out of yellow craft paper. Brush Mod-Podge Outdoor on the surface of the pot where you want the features to go and press them in place.To weatherproof your creation, apply a final coat to the entire pot. Finally, insert a short, fat stick into the hole for a stem.
Books related to our craft--
Duck & Goose Find A Pumpkin By Tad Hills
Reviewed on Amazon~"I was walking through the book store looking for books for my 17 month old and this book caught my eye because of the beautiful fall colors. The story is short (but not too short), cute and funny, and I love the illustrations. This is our first duck & goose book and now I can't wait to get more!" To Purchase
Druscilla's Halloween By Sally Walker
Reviewed on Amazon~"Adorable and hilarious at the same time. I was taken in by the beautiful watercolor artwork that drew me into the storyline, which was, by the way, very humorous. This story revolves around an old witch named Druscilla, who has creeky knees and a real problem being able to scare the children on Halloween night, seeing how witches are supposed quietly creep up on their victims. But, this didn't discourage her from performing her yearly duties, it only made her more determined to find a solution to her problem. A very good real life lesson. Written in a very endearing style, the author gives Druscilla credit for the invention of the flying broom. I loved reading it and will enjoy it for many years to come. A definite must have for your children's library." To Purchase