Halloween Kid Crafts


My six-month-old took a long nap today.

And by long nap I mean a whole 2 hours rather than his usual 15-30 minutes. I don’t know where he comes from. My first son slept all day, with a few moments of awake time. This new addition seems to want to live off of less than 8 hours daily – and they are at opposite times from my own 8 hours. Go figure.

So with my huge window of not-taking-care-of-brother time, I decided I’d not only clean both bathrooms and vacuum my car (let me brush those shoulders off a bit), but I’d also get crafty with my three-year-old. I mean, Halloween only comes once a year, right?

Of course I overlooked one major aspect to crafting that was, indeed, important. My son hates to dirty his hands. As a baby, he would not eat unless it was spooned into his mouth (no plop food on the high chair and let him go to town accepted). He will play in sand and water, but not in wet sand or mud. He is his father’s child, because heaven knows I was the first to jump in during a mud wrestle fight. This is important because the craft I wanted to do (of course) was paper mache’ pumpkins, ghosts, spiders, and mummies.

My son would not touch the stuff.

Perhaps because it looked too much like what spews out of brother’s mouth.

So, while I (like a kid in a candy shop) made a mess of balloons and newspaper and flour and water, Bronson carefully and neatly painted some wood blocks. Occasionally he would beg for a napkin, when a touch of paint got onto his hands. Definitely not my kid.

But both projects ended up being great little toddler-friendly Halloween crafts.

Paper Mache Ghouls

Materials:

  • Old newspaper, torn into ½ inch wide, long strips
  • Small balloons
  • ½ cup flour
  • 1 cup water
  • Large bowl
  • Small cups

Various craft decorating items (paint, pipe cleaners, construction paper, etc.)

Blow balloons. Mix flour and water in large bowl. Dip newspaper pieces in the flour water mixture then wrap around balloon. Completely cover balloon, then let balloon sit on small cups to dry. With some of the balloons, let the mache’ dangle off the balloon, around the cup, like the flowing of a ghost sheet costume. After fully dry, paint (either black for a spider or bat, white for a ghost, or green for Frankenstein or a witch…or leave plain for a mummy) and add eyes and/or legs (for a spider, add pipe cleaner legs, bat: black construction paper wings, etc.) Hang up and enjoy!

Wood block Halloween Decor

Rectangular wood scraps, in various sizes

Paint

Paint each block a set color (job for OCD toddler): white for ghosts, orange for pumpkins, green for Frankenstein or witches, and brown for monsters. Allow to dry. Paint cute faces on. Display.

They both were fun little projects. Next time I think I’ll forego the paper mache’, though. Maybe salt dough sculptures?

Side note: The paper Mache’ is *STILL* not dry, three days later…perhaps I need to use less flour/water mix on each newspaper strip? (Sorry I don’t have final pictures for these, because of their lack of drying…will post ASAP, though.)

This article was written by Heidi. Heidi is a full-time mom and part-time blogger. Her passion for blogging came as she wanted her family to eat healthier. She now blogs regularly at Juicingpedia. Almost on a daily basis she shares new juicing recipes for all to enjoy and for all to use to increase their health. If you have any questions about this passion of Heidi’s, please visit the site.

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Thanks Heidi for this awesome guest blog post!  We are excited to get crafting!!



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How To Have Fun On Your Bikes This Half Term

Today we have a guest blog from a friend named Claire.  Here is a little about her:

My name is Claire and I enjoy writing on a wide range of different topics. Cycling, clothing, gadgets, pet products and jewellery are just a few of the subjects I enjoy writing and learning more about. I hope you enjoy reading this latest guest blog post.

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With the half term holidays just around the corner, it is time to start planning your days off with the kids. There are plenty of things you could do while the children aren’t at school. With places to go and people to see, you could spend some great time together as a family. Why not do them on a bike? With all the family riding bikes you could anywhere and everywhere. Cycling is a superb way to have fun and keep fit and will add some extra adventure to your children’s week off school.

If you and your family already have bikes then why not start planning your week off at half term. If you haven’t got any cycles then start shopping around for some great deals. There are plenty of bicycle shops online that will offer quality models from top manufacturers. Once you start looking you will find plenty to choose from. Whether you are after mountain cycles or full suspension bikes, online is the place to look if you are shopping for a bike.

Once you have bought bicycles for you and the kids, it is time to start planning out your adventures. You could take trips to the local park, or even go further afield to the countryside and pack some lunch so you could spend the whole day out. While you are outside in the open air why not turn it into a teaching lesson and have your little ones searching for wildlife. Your children could learn a few things about creatures, animals and plants. There is plenty to see and do when you and the kids have a bike to use. Plus it will get the children out of the house and add some fitness to their day, rather than sitting in front of the television and eating junk food all day long.

So why not get on your bikes and enjoy the half term on some cycling adventures?

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Thank you Claire!



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Including Your Child in Birthday Cake Baking

Getting your child involved in the kitchen is a great way to bond. Teaching useful cooking skills can be lots of fun. Most kids love to cook, and baking cakes is a favorite activity for kids and grownups, too. Why not invite your child to help with a very special cake?

Whether you are baking a birthday cake for your child or another family member, including your child is a great idea. Assisting with the cake baking and decorating makes kids feel important and it also teaches your child about giving something that they have made by themselves. If they are helping make their own cake, it can be a fantastic way to express themselves through the cake’s decoration.

Even from a fairly young age, kids can help bake a cake. The youngest can pour in pre-measured ingredients or help stir, while older children can help with measuring out ingredients and cleaning up. Of course, adult supervision is required at all times to keep little ones safe, and the more practice children get with cooking and baking, the safer they will become in the kitchen.

Baking a cake is a very ‘grown up’ thing to do, and helping bake a birthday cake can make your child feel special and important. The finished product will give them a sense of pride, and seeing the results of their hard work is encouraging. By reading and following directions in a recipe, it can be a great learning activity, too.

Baking a birthday cake for another family member can show kids just how great it can be to give a gift that is homemade rather than store bought. You can explain that by taking the time and effort to bake a cake, you are giving a gift from the heart. Children can add their own special decoration or message to the cake to personalize it. Smaller children may not understand the significance of giving a homemade cake, but they can still experience the joy it brings.

For older children, helping to bake their own birthday cake can be a fun way to express themselves. They can choose the type of cake and the decorations that go on it. If they are old enough, they may be able to do most of the baking by themselves, under adult supervision. They can have a great time expressing their personality through the decorations that they use. Plus, it can be a great chance for parents and kids to spend some quality family time together.

Tips for successfully baking with kids:

1.Never leave children unsupervised in the kitchen! It can be a very dangerous place!

2.Have all necessary ingredients and tools handy before you start. Nobody likes to get halfway through a recipe, only to have to stop and search for something.

3. Remember to have fun. Keeping a relaxed attitude about messes will ensure that your child takes away happy memories about baking with you, not stressful ones.

Here’s an easy cake recipe you can try with your own child:

Ingredients:

3/4 cup softened butter
3/4 cup caster sugar (you can use granulated if you can’t get caster)
3 medium eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1 tsp. baking powder

• For decorating, use store bought frosting, or you can make your own by combining 1 1/2 cups of confectioner’s sugar with 1/3 cup unsalted butter and 3 drops of vanilla extract, beat together until creamy.

• Sprinkles, candies, etc. Don’t forget the candles!

• Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

• Grease two 7-inch round pans, or one rectangular pan, and lightly dust with flour.
Mix sugar and butter in a large mixing bowl until they are creamy, then add the eggs and vanilla extract, and beat again until you get a smooth mixture.

• Sift in the flour and baking powder, and mix well.

• Pour into the pans, or pan, and bake for 20-25 minutes (25-30 for larger rectangular pan), until cakes are golden on top and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

• Let the cakes cool for about 5 minutes, then have an adult remove the cakes from the pans and place on a baking rack to cool.

• Once the cakes are completely cooled, place a layer of frosting on top of one round cake, then place the other cake on top. Frost the stacked cakes all over, and add any decorations you want!

This guest post article is written by Maya on behalf Cake Factory, a company specialized in cake wholesaling and kids birthday cakes in Perth.

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Thanks Maya for this super FUN guest post!  I will definitely be helping my kids make their own birthday rather than buying their cakes this year!



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A Great Hobby Called Jewellery Making

Jewellery making is a hobby that is taken up by females especially, all over the world and of all ages. There is something about it to many that can be therapeutic and a way to unwind after a long day. Being able to be creative and work with crafts is a great skill and when you see the finished product you will feel a great sense of pride. At school we used to have a lesson where we would be given something random to take part in and at one point I took part in a jewellery making class. I have always been interested in arts and crafts and like to think I am a bit creative so it was defiantly my favorite lesson of the week, especially over something like maths! Choosing different colors and using the wide range of seed beads, Swarovski crystals, glass beads and much more was a great way to spend a Wednesday afternoon. Obviously with only a one hour class once a week for 6 weeks, we did not complete anything too impressive.

However when you look online at what some people have created there is a real art form to making your own home made jewellery. There are so many different techniques that can be learned, from simply using clasps and crimp beads to things suited to experts such as creating wire work pieces and knot bracelets. Of course with anything new to me it was just giving it a go and placing pretty beads on some wire. I did manage to make a phone charm, bracelets and some earrings that I was rather proud of!

Making a bracelet was the simplest of the three but was really fun to do. We were given the choice of a range of colors, I opted for blues and silvers as I thought they complimented each other well and using different shades looked really pretty.

We used craft wire which comes in a selection of colors and was already cut to right length. To create the bracelet you start of by folding over one end slightly with round nosed pliers so the wire is doubled, this will prevent beads from falling off. You may wish to slide on a crimp bead to make sure it is even more secure. You then line up your beads in the desired pattern and slide them onto the wire, I used a range of Miyuki seed beads and larger glass ones for a nice contrast. Make sure to leave half an inch gap at the end so you can finish off your bracelet. You simply repeat the first step, making sure that if you are placing on a crimp bead to do it before you fold over the wire, and there you have your very own unique bracelet!

Not only is this something fun to do when you are bored or just to spend your time completing as it is something you enjoy, but they make great gifts! When somebody’s birthday is coming up or an anniversary then a way to show you have put extra effort and thought into a gift is to of course make it yourself! Even if it isn’t the most intricate looking piece the thought will shine through.

Zoe

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Thanks for your great guest post, Zoe!  If you are interested in making your own jewelry, consider this seed bead site.



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Reuse it! 4 Kid-Friendly Halloween Projects Made from Repurposed Items


Halloween is not far off, which means if you’re someone who takes the holiday very seriously, the time to think about costumes is now. And if you’re running a little short on cash this Halloween, don’t fret: you’re about to learn how common, everyday items can be re-purposed to add to your child’s Halloween costume!

Don’t worry though; there won’t be any popsicle stick fangs or anything else that looks incredibly cheap. Instead, you can use these items to create an authentic, original look for you or your child this Halloween.

1. Old Detergent Bottles & Shutters: Armor Waiting to Happen

Wash out some old laundry detergent bottles to supplement a robot or football-themed costume and you can create some great padding around the joints. Yes, it will take a little creativity (and yes, you’ll have to rinse those things out good!) in order to make the costume work. If you want to give the armor a metallic look, just mask it in duct tape – also an inexpensive and common household item.

Use a shutter as a shield – smaller, square ones are better so they’re not too heavy. Adding a handle or cutting one of the shutter slats will create a place for your child to grasp his shield. Wrapping it in gray or silver duct tape gives it a realistic metallic look. You can also use a spare shutter slat or other board as a sword blade. Handles can be easily constructed out of another chunk of wood – just wrap it liberally in duct tape & you’ll have instant soldier gear! You’ll be amazed that you never thought to reuse something most people waste.

2. Clothes: Changing Your Child’s Size

Using old clothes effectively can really make your child’s costume pop. For example, if your child is going as a Lord of the Rings dwarf for Halloween, strapping some old shoes to their knees will make them look like their legs are as small as a dwarf’s; as long as you cover their actual feet with something a little inconspicuous. Some people will even use clothes in order to make themselves appear bigger. For instance, remember those XXXL shorts that didn’t fit you so well? They’ll fit just fine when your kid going as a pregnant woman or offensive lineman – just use a little rope to tighten up the waist.


3. Bandages/Gauze: Instant Mummy

Mummy costumes are all bandages and gauze anyway; if you have some extras lying around, it might be time to think about unrolling it and getting to work! In fact, this is a very easy costume to produce, even though it looks incredibly elaborate. It might take a little time to get the mummy gauze all applied, but once it’s tightly on, your child (or yourself) will be good to go for any Halloween party. Yes, the mummy’s a little played out, but how often do you see people truly commit to that role these days? Go full-mummy and you’re bound to get some compliments.

4. Use Makeup Liberally

Of course, many people forget the key to a successful costume: the face! If the face is done right, all of the other elements of the costume just seem to magically come together. If you or someone in your family has some old makeup they never use any more, look through it and see if there’s anything in it that might be beneficial to your child’s costume. In some cases, you might not find anything, but you’d be surprised what a little blush can do to change the entire look! 

Chris Turberville-Tully is a marketing strategist for Purely Shutters, a company that provides expert installation of interior plantation shutters, louvered shutters and more.

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Thank you Chris for this excellent Guest Blog post!  With Halloween coming up, I’m sure all our readers will LOVE your cute costume ideas!



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How to Create Blankets from Outgrown Kids’ Clothes

Today we have a special guest post from Erin Martin.  I just love her idea on making a Memory blanket form your children’s clothes that they have outgrown!  Here is what she has to say:

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Have you ever wondered what to do with your children’s old clothes? Many clothes are too sentimental to throw or give away. If you don’t want to part with them, why not make use of them? You can transform
your kids’ clothing into a handmade memory quilt so you can always keep a piece of your son or daughter’s childhood long into the future. This project is relatively easy to do, even if you’re not an experienced quilter. You can also get your kids involved in the process. For older kids, you can use this opportunity to teach them how to sew. You can also let your toddler participate by letting them choose what clothing items to use.

Ideas for Your Memory Quilt

The first step is to decide on the type of quilt you’d like to make. Think about whether you want your quilt to have a theme or just an assembly of random clothing items. Will the quilt be a tribute to a special someone? If so, you may want to only use clothing items belonging to him or her. Is it a family tribute? For a family quilt, you may want an article of clothing from each family member. If you’ve got a sports fan in the family, utilize his or her little league sports jerseys and other sports paraphernalia. If you’ve got a kid graduating from college soon,  memorialize your son or daughter’s college years with a quilt made
from old college t-shirts. By recycling old clothes, your possibilities are endless.

In addition to using old t-shirts, dresses, and other clothing items, try incorporating a few special touches
to you quilt. For instance, take some lace from the dresses your daughter used to play dress up in. You
can also sew buttons and other materials from old blankets and stuffed animals.

Putting Your Quilt Together

Once you have the idea in place, gather the necessary old clothing items. You will need some old kids clothing, scissors, and a sewing machine. For a smaller quilt, you’ll need to cut 150 3.5-inch squares. If you want to make a larger quilt, you’ll need 56 7-inch squares.

The next step is to decide on the placement of the squares. Determine the design by lining the squares up on the floor or table. Re-arrange until you like the placement of the squares. Using a 1/4-inch seam, start
with one row at a time.

After completing all the rows, sew the rows together, starting at the top. Gather a piece of lining fabric and lay it right side down on the floor. Find a piece of batting for the top and place the quilt top face up. Pin all three layers together and sew the outside with a 1/4-inch seam. For a quilted look, sew along each seam, row, and column. Pin and sew the binding in place, and then trim any loose threads.

You now have a quilt made from your kids’ clothing. Not only can quilts keep your kids warm, they make lovely presents for aunts, uncles, grandparents, and even the kids themselves. If you’re looking to preserve memories, handmade memory quilts are a creative and practical keepsake.

Erin Martin is a copywriter and freelance blogger for Carter’s and OshKosh Kids Clothes. She enjoys writing about all things kids and, in her free time, maintains her own blog about children’s style and health called KidSource.



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Easy Back to School Crafts for kids

Here are a few crafts I totally want to do with my kids now. We are really getting in the mood for Back to School crafts, especially the easy ones!! Enjoy a few that made it to the top of our list:

Check out this adorable wreath from Polka Dot Chair. Great tutorial and would be SO cute as a teacher gift…
Ruler wreath

Next up, these crayon fridge magnets by Kids Activities Blog are simply sweet!  My kids would be able to make these in no time!

These picture frames by A Little Tipsy are perfect for that Back to School photo.

One of my favorite things to do is to send my kids with a “love rock”.

I usually use the small, flat marbles because they are cheap and I don’t really care if they get lost.  I blow on the rocks before school, adding my “love”.  The kids put the rock in their pocket and when they miss me during the day, they can rub the rock and know how much I love them.

Well, that’s it for today!  Have you made any of these?  We would love to hear what you think!!  Comment below….

 



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Who Needs School?

Who Needs School? by Carol Diggory Shields

Read it? Forget it — I’ll get the video.
My calculator takes care of my math.
Don’t need art, my computer has graphics.
This spell-checking program makes spelling a laugh.
No need to write, since I got a printer,
And my programmed keyboard plays music divine.
I don’t need friends, ‘caus I have Nintendo’.
Just don’t unplug me and I’ll be just fine!



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Summer Fun – Craft ideas for kids – Day 2

Half way through my last post it, I realized that there are just too many other good ideas out there! The last post would have been SUPER long, so TADA! Post #2 with Summer time fun ideas with activities, crafts and games.

PVC pipe sprinkler



Homemade sprinkler out off PVC pipe by She Wears Flowers from the Home Spun Threads Blog.   I tried to make a kind of Bike sprinkler (where the kids could ride their bikes through it) but eye-balled it.  I wish it would have looked at this site before making it.


These toothbrush bracelets by Apostrophy Designs are so fun and actually pretty cute!  They look really easy to make too.

Glow in the dark Slime


This Glow in the Dark Slim by Domestic Charm is one that will charm the boys in my house.

Paper Lantern Tutorial


I remember making these kinds of paper lanterns when I was a kid, but of course, these paper lanterns by The Crafting Chicks are ADORABLE!

That is all for this time!  thanks for stopping by!  Be sure to leave a comment and let us know which summertime craft is your favorite!  Thanks!



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Summer fun – Craft ideas for kids -Day 1

Summer time can be a bit of a drag where my kids are concerned. The things that made me the “cool mom” during the school year don’t quite cut it during the summer time. Even if we were to go somewhere every day, I think my kids would still think that I was L-A-M-E. So, here are a few ideas I have found online to entertain the rugrats this summer and hopefully my lame-ness (is that really a word) will diminish.
PVC Pipe Bow and Arrows


This PVC pipe Bow and Arrow by You Craft Me Up set will be a crowd pleaser. Warning – You Craft Me Up tells us that these REALLY work and left a dent in her garage door, so use caution when letting your kids use these!

Sponge Bombs


These Sponge Bombs by Valerie at Inner Child Fun look like they will keep my kids busy for hours of water fun!  They are so attractive and look SO easy to make.


These fans from Mr Printables will keep kids cool on a hot day.  And there is a free printable version where kids can color their own too.

Pool noodle backyard games


Pool noodle backyard games by Parents magazine.  There is also THIS post from Tip Junkie that has a TON of other ideas on how to use pool noodles for all kinds of fun!

So those are the ideas for today!  Come back again soon to find some other great suggestions from some other fabulous people!

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