Halloween Jar Lanterns


Halloween Painted Scratched Off Jack-o-Lanterns

We made jar lanterns 2 different ways

1) Paint entire jar and draw faces or designs with sharpies. Use a flameless candle underneath.

2) Paint entire jar and scratch off faces or designs. Use a flameless candle underneath.

The 1st way looks the best but if you would like to include your children in this activity I would stick with just painting the faces. We also used googly eyes or stickers.


Halloween Painted Lanterns


Painted Pumpkins

IMG00036-20111029-1251A great alternative to cutting and carving pumpkins is painting pumpkins! I feel like they are much more child friendly and there are endless possibilities!

Window Monster Shadows

I just started making these last night and will post pictures tomorrow!

These are so simple to make yourself and a fun way to decorate your house for Halloween.

What you need:

  • Black Posterboard/Construction Board
  • Tissue Paper
  • Chalk
  • Scissors
  • Tape


Step 1: Measure

Measure the width of your window pane. Mark with chalk on the bottom the width you will need for your monster on the posterboard.

Step 2: Draw

Draw your monster with the chalk within this width constraint. I would recommend making the monster as large as possible.

Step 3: Cut

Cut out the monster silhouette, eyes, and mouth if drawn.

Step 4: Accent

Tape tissue paper to any openings on the monster. Example, Eyes and Mouth. To add depth, use (2) colors of tissue paper for the eyes. Place one color on top of the other.

Step 5: Tape

Tape monster in window pane with chalk showing on the inside of the house.

Depending on the lighting you have inside of your house, you may or may not need additional lights near the window to help show the monsters. I added some white Christmas lights under the curtain rod (behind the curtains). This way I can have my curtains closed but the monsters are still lit up.

Alternative: If you have some sharp scissors, make the monsters out of cloth. Use an old sheet or buy one from goodwill. You could pick black, color, or a fun pattern. This will allow you to store the monsters easier and be more durable for reuse year after year.

Valentines Day Cards

This year my son is in kindergarten and I think we will make homemade cards for his class again this year. Valentines day cards are quite inexpensive, especially if you bought them on clearance after last year but I feel at this age the kids get a lot more out of making their own.

What you need:

  • Heart shaped cookie cutter or make your own stencil on thicker paper
  • Colorful scrapbook paper or construction paper or magazines
  • Scissors
  • Markers or Crayons
  • Decorations; Stickers, glitter pens, sequins, etc.

Make a heart stencil by drawing a heart on some thick cardstock or cardboard and cutting it out- or if you have a precut heart/cookie cutter even better! Have your child place the stencil on some paper and trace. The hearts will be the card itself so make sure it is large enough and that you cut enough to make the needed amount of cards. I recommend making at least 5-10 extras for mistakes.

Have you child cut out each heart with your supervision.

Depending on your child’s age and appropriate level help them write the Valentines day messages with marker. When my son was in preschool I wrote Happy Valentines and I had him write the other child’s name and then sign his own name. This year I will write out Happy Valentines Day To: From: on a seperate piece of paper so he can see how to spell and have him write it all on the Valentines Day card. I do make lines for him to follow on the heart. One line for each word. Help your child with what they are capable of doing.

Have your child decorate the hearts with any craft supplies you have. I used foam heart stickers that I had from scrapbooking and never used. Some other great tools are glitter pens, pom poms, googly eyes, pipe cleaners (attach with glue and frame the heart), crayons (as to not over the message), confetti. You can find all these supplies at your local dollar store for just a dollar!

I bought candy and little heart sandwich bags at the dollar store and had him fill each bag with one valentine and one candy. I ended up spending $2 total which I know I could have bought premade Valentines Day cards for but this helped my son practice fine motor skills, with drawing, cutting, and writing in a fun environment. Depending on the size of your class I would consider making it at least a 2 day project. Children have a hard time sitting and doing all this for 20 cards at one time.

*Alternative to scrapbook paper: cut out strips of pictures in pinks and reds from old magazines and make a mosiac by cutting the strips into squares and glueing on the paper.

Feel free to send/post any pictures of the cards your family made. I will post mine as soon as a I can.

Ornaments: Christmas Tree & Cross Clay Dough

This week I will be working on a tutorial for DIY Christmas ornaments made of white clay dough. I decided on just Christmas trees and maybe crosses with the white clay and will try my hand at snowman heads (so cute!) next week. This will probably take a few days since I do not have enough time in one night to accomplish this (after work, gym, dinner, and homework).

Last weekend I visited a craft/gift store and they had some beautiful ornaments. I took some pictures of the more simplistic ones that I believe I can recreate. I also got an idea for some Christmas tree ornaments using the kids finger prints as ornaments from the Mothering website. Here are the idea pictures:

White Clay Dough:

  • 4 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups Hot Water
  • Paste Food Coloring

In a large bowl mix flour and salt until well blended. Add a 1/2 cup of water at a time until smooth (few minutes ea 1/2 cup). Make dough into a ball and work in any leftover flour and salt in the bowl. Knead dough for about 5 minutes and knead in coloring if desired after.

Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Flatten dough with a rolling pin until there is a consistant thickness (like when making cookies). Use cookie cutters or knife to make the shape of a tree. If desired use extra pieces to cut small circles for ornaments. Attach ornaments to tree and use straw or knife to cut out a small circle near the top of the tree. (don’t forget this step as you cannot make a hole after it’s in the oven!). Ball together the remaining pieces of dough and repeat steps to use up dough. Place completed trees on cookie sheet and cover with foil. Bake until hard (about 5 minutes).

Wait until completely cooled before painting.

*Fun alternatives: Split up the dough and make several colors. Add glitter to the dough to make it more festive. Use Koolaid as a dye and fragrance.

I will add the next step for decorating after I do this tonight. I like to let it cool overnight and work on the decorating the next day. Makes for less pressure 🙂