Thursday, October 4, 2012

Halloween Crafting (Rewind) Week: Ghostly Sponge Prints

Hi friends! I have another one of last years Halloween projects to share with you today and since it seems I have run out of photos from 2011's crafting, this printing craft will finish up the week of "Halloween Rewind."

Like the potato printing craft I shared a earlier, this activity is so super easy, lemon squeezey!

All you need is black construction paper, white paint, sponges and scissors (black marker is optional). You will start by cutting out a few various ghostly shapes from a sponge. My 5 year old drew a few ghost shapes directly onto the sponge with a marker and I cut them out for him. 

Next you can get on with the sponge painting (remember when sponge printing to t-shirts was popular in the early 90's...or maybe that's just what my siblings and I liked to believe as we snatched ever blank top from of dresser drawers just so we could stick a paint-dipped sponge to it). Anyway, dip the sponge in a plate of white paint and then transfer to your construction paper (you may have to dampen the sponge slightly before adding paint if it is too hard or not pliable). If you want to add faces to the ghosts when they dry you can do that too.

I realize these last few projects aren't blow-your-mind creative or original but I think simple crafts are great time fillers for kids before running errands, after a nap, or whatever. Your kids might even be old enough to mostly guide themselves with crafts like these while you catch up on emails nearby. Hopefully you will be inspired to fit a quick project into your child's schedule this week.

Check out some of our other Halloween crafts HERE.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Halloween Crafting (Rewind) Week: Startling Spiders

It's October 3rd! That means project #3 from last year's Halloween projects collection. If I remember correctly I think we actually pulled this project from an old Halloween crating book we had checked out from the library.

To create these startling spiders YOU WILL NEED:
Paper egg cartons
Paint brushes and black paint (like a liquid tempera)
Black pipe cleaners
Scissors to cut pipe cleaners
Googly eyes
Glue for eyes
Yarn for hanging

After cutting apart our egg cartons into individual pieces, we painted them using black paint which you don't have to do if you prefer grey spiders. The paint we used was not a very good quality so when it dried it came out looking grey anyway. 

After the paint dried we poked four holes on two parallel sides of the carton piece using a thick needle--you could also use the end of a thin paintbrush (adults should preform this step however). If you want to hang your spiders you will also want to poke a hole in the top of the carton at this point and sting a long piece of yarn through the hole, knotting the yarn on the underside end of the carton. When that's done you can cut regular sized pipe cleaners in half and have the kids insert them into the holes diagonally (pipe cleaner inserted in top left hole should come out bottom right hole, pipe cleaner inserted in middle left hole should come out middle right hole, etc. See picture above for sample). Bend the wire slightly to form spider-like legs.

The last step is to glue on the googly eyes and hang them from the doorways of your home to startle your family members and guests.

Check out some of our other Halloween crafts HERE.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Halloween Crafting (Rewind) Week: Pumpkin Potato-Prints

If you like simple crafting projects with very little set-up and clean-up then this project is for you.
With 4 simple ingredients your kids can create their own jack-o-lantern characters to adorn your walls for a little Halloween spirit. 

You will need:
Potato halves
Orange Paint (we use a liquid tempera paint because it's washable)
Paper to print on
Paint pens or sharpies to give your pumpkins stems and character

I think you can figure out the step-by-step from the pictures alone (in spite of really bad lighting) but I will explain my process because I do have a couple tips.

I started by cutting 3 washed potatoes in half, drying off the exposed potato with a paper towel so the paint could stick and then I set them on a plate filled with orange paint. I also cut a bunch of strips of paper from a large pad of newsprint I had lying around. Next, each child grabbed a potato and began stamping their paper, it takes a few tries to figure out the right about of paint needed for each print.  

Since this project is so easy, my kids jammed through about 6 sheets each, printing about 6 pumpkins on one sheet in a very short amount of time (my kids were 3 and 5 at the time). The paint we used dried pretty quickly at which point the kids began coloring faces on their pumpkins using paint pens (you could use markers, they just have to be dark enough to color over the orange paint). Hang up your prints and throw out the potatoes, that's all there is to it!

Oh yeah, make sure you write the child's name on the paper before printing. All the artwork comes out looking very much the same and it will be hard to remember what paper belongs to what artist (obviously this won't matter to you if you're not working with more than one crafter). Also,  if you think you might want to keep any of the artwork on a long term basis, you should use a nice study paper that can handle thick paint. I used newsprint because I expected I would throw these out shortly after my kids completed the project but some of them turned out so cute I would have framed them to add to our collection of Halloween decor. As you can see above, the newsprint paper wrinkled quite a bit. Other than that, there's not much else to say. Happy Crafting.

Check out some of our other Halloween crafts HERE.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Halloween Crafting (Rewind) Week: Spooky Sensory Table

Hi friends! Wow, it's been a while since I have posted any of the projects my kids and I have been working on. We are still usual, I just haven't made the time for sharing. Maybe that needs to change...maybe not, I'll have to mull over that for a bit. Either way I have designated this week as a posting week because it's the month of OCTOBER, our most favorite crafting month of the year! All of the projects I will be posting this week are activities that we actually did LAST year but I happened to have pictures and I didn't want the images to go to waste. Maybe next year I will post this years Halloween crafts, only time will tell.

This first project is not so much a craft but it's a nice activity for toddlers/preschoolers that should last through the whole month. Using uncooked black beans as the main ingredient you can make your very own Halloween themed sensory table (and if you've never stuck your hand in a pit of dry beans, I feel sorry for you)!

To our beans I added some tiny black cat and ghost erasers that the kids could dig out using sorting tweezers  then using an egg carton they sorted the erasers by quantity and/or type. This time a year is a great for finding Halloween trinkets that are perfectly sized to throw in a sensory table. Check out the dollar spot at your local Target and see what you can find.

If you can't find anything to your liking you can buy some white beans and use a black marker to draw a face for an instant ghost. I made a small handful of bean-ghosts and buried them at the bottom of the bin so the kids had to hunt for them. 

This activity is extremely simple and yet entertaining for young growing brains. It's pretty easy to come up with sorting or counting games and as a bonus it is themed after the best holiday of the year (in our opinion).

P.S. You can find sorting tweezers at many boutique style toy stores, learning supply store or even online. They are great for fine motor and fun for kids to use. Also, if your curious, our sensory tables were homemade using a bin and turned-upside-down-nightstand we got at Ikea (we got the idea from THIS Ikea hack. They were so affordable we made three!).

Check out some of our other Halloween crafts HERE.
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