Halloween Ghost Craft

Halloween Ghost Craft

Now that October’s here, with days getting chillier and afternoons more cozy, it’s a great time for family crafts. Here’s a Halloween decoration you and your child can make together. While this one doesn’t require much pencil and paper time, never fear—it still boosts those skills.

In first grade, we try to use lots of “tactile” activities like this one, which build hand-eye coordination and small motor skills that kids need for handwriting and keyboarding. So, follow the directions below and cut and paste away!

What You Need:

  • A plastic table cover to protect your table surface
  • 2 large sheets of white tissue paper
  • A roll of fat, fuzzy black nylon yarn (often available at a gift wrap store)
  • 1 set of large “wiggly” eyes (find them at a craft or sewing store)
  • Plain white glue (like Elmer’s)
  • 1 spray bottle of liquid starch (found alongside laundry detergent at the store)

What You Do:

  1. Start by covering your table with plastic, or work on a flat surface which can get sticky with glue before you wash it off! Then, take one sheet of tissue paper and spread it on a flat surface. It’s usually pretty big—perhaps 20″ x 24”—so leave some space.
  2. Now have your child pull out a long piece of black fuzzy yarn, and use it to make a big, blobby outline shape of a ghost. Arrange the yarn like a big outline and clip it where the ends meet. When your kid has arranged just the right shape, squeeze out a line of glue just under the yarn and stick the yarn to the tissue. If your child wants the ghost to have a mouth, he should take a little extra yarn, lay it down and glue that down, too. Remember, there’s lots of room for creativity here! Your ghost may or may not have arms; the smile may be crooked or straight … or it may be a big round “O.”
  3. Once you’ve got your outline and mouth all set, take the glue and make another line of it on top of the fuzzy yarn. Now you’re ready to lay the remaining tissue piece on top to make a “sandwich.”
  4. For ideal results, let the glue dry and harden—at least an hour. Then take out your liquid spray starch, and spray the whole ghost thoroughly. Hang it from a clothesline to dry.
  5. When your “ghost” is dry and crisp, clip the edges around the fuzzy yarn and glue on the wiggly eyes. Hang your “ghost” in a window and say “Boo”!

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Paper Pumpkin

Paper Pumpkin

Celebrate the arrival of cool breezes and earlier sunsets by making some pumpkins. This 3-D paper pumpkin is the perfect adornment for any fall table. Your child will love making a variety of these colorful pumpkins to decorate for any and all fall festivities.

What You Need:

  • Strips of cut construction paper, (8.5″ x 1/2″ or 1″)
  • 2 brads, or a mini stapler
  • Green construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Pencil

What You Do:

  1. Have your child lay out two strips of paper in an “X” pattern, overlapping them exactly at the center point.
  2. Have her continue making additional “X” shapes with paper strips until she forms a starburst pattern.
  3. Carefully poke a brad through the center of all of the strips of paper and splay it out to secure the strips in place, or staple the strips in place at the center.
  4. She can now lift the strips up to create a pumpkin-like shape. Make sure the strips are saggy and bulgy in the center and all of the tops of the strips meet at the top.
  5. Secure the top of the strips with either another brad, or a staple.
  6. Cut off any additional paper that may be hanging off the top edge.
  7. Have her take another strip of paper and cut it in half.
  8. Staple, or glue it to the top of the pumpkin shape, from under the area where all of the paper is layered.
  9. Have her pull the paper up and curl it into a straw shape with her fingers to create a pumpkin stem. Glue this long tube shape in place.
  10. Draw and cut out two leaves from the green construction paper and glue them on either side of the stem. Let dry.
  11. Set your paper pumpkin on a table, or attach it to a string and hang it from a tree or window.
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Halloween Muffins

Halloween Muffins

Take the pain out of learning parts! Disguising fraction lessons as baking provides your little chef with math practice without him even realizing. Make sure your child is in charge of the measuring, and the exposure to cups, tablespoons, and parts thereof will familiarize him with fractions while he’s having fun! Give these luscious, yet low fat breakfast muffins a Halloween twist by flavoring them with pumpkin spice and decorating them with ghostly marshmallows.

What You Need:

  • 1 cup bran cereal
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp pumpkin spice or ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 eggs
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp. canola oil
  • 36 mini marshmallows
  • Small cup of chocolate sauce
  • A toothpick

What You Do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Ask your child to soak the cereal in the milk until softened and to drain out the surplus milk.
  3. Get your child to measure out the flour, the baking powder, the pumpkin spice/cinnamon, sugar and the salt into a large bowl.
  4. Ask your child to beat the egg in another bowl with the vanilla and apple sauce, then add the wet cereal and mix well.
  5. Have him sprinkle the raisins into the dry ingredients.
  6. Invite him to add the wet ingredients and to mix until moistened.
  7. Help him fill 12-14 paper muffin cups 2/3 full of muffin mixture.
  8. Bake the muffins for 18-20 minutes until firm and lightly browned.
  9. Have your child place three mini marshmallows on each muffin in a triangle shape and return to the hot oven until the marshmallows have melted.
  10. Take the pan out of the oven and put the hot muffins on a cooling rack.
  11. Squash the marshmallows with the back of a teaspoon so that they join together and make a “ghost” shape.
  12. When the muffins have cooled, let your child dip the toothpick into the chocolate sauce to make three dots to on each marshmallow ghost for the eyes and mouth.
  13. The muffins are ready to enjoy!

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