Witches Brew

Witches Brew

This witches’ brew recipe for kids makes a scary drink for Halloween parties! This delicious witches’ brew looks like a pungent cocktail made for conjurers, but it’s actually a refreshing drink made of tinted lemonade, tapioca pearls, and gummy worms. The tapioca “eggs” are popularly used in Taiwanese bubble tea drinks. Read on to learn how to make this witches’ brew recipe for kids, and serve the drink in individual mason jars or a big punch bowl for a whole party of witches!

What You Need:

  • ½ cup whole tapioca pearls
  • Seltzer water
  • Green and yellow food coloring
  • Sugar
  • Lemonade
  • Gummy worms
  • Mason jars
  • Colorful straws

 

What You Do:

  1. Boil six cups of water and add in the tapioca pearls, cooking according to instructions. You’ll cook it for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Pour the pearls along with the water into a bowl. Add in four drops of yellow and two drops of green food coloring and stir.
  3. Add two tablespoons of sugar. Allow this mixture to sit for half an hour.
  4. Rinse and drain the pearls using cold water.
  5. Arrange your jars in a row. Add in two spoons of tapioca “eggs” into each jar.
  6. Fill them two-thirds of the way full with seltzer water.
  7. Top the jar off with lemonade.
  8. Drop in a couple of gummy worms, add a colorful straw and serve!
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Spider Hat

Spider Hat

This spider hat activity challenges your child to learn about spiders while improving his fine motor skills! Using simple household items, help your child create his own spider hat with paper plates and pipe cleaners. Your child will get great practice cutting, tracing, and stapling. Kids will also get a little scientific practice categorizing the different types of spiders. This activity is a fun year round, but it’s an especially spooky project for Halloween.

What You Need:

  • Picture book on spiders
  • A plain white paper dinner plate—the simple kind with the scalloped edges
  • One 9″ x 12″ sheet of black construction paper
  • Two ⅜ inch or ½ inch googly eyes
  • Scissors
  • Nontoxic, washable school glue
  • A stapler

What You Do:

  1. First, encourage your child to tell you what he knows about spiders (they have eight legs, make webs, eat bugs, etc).
  2. Then take out the picture book on spiders and go through it with him. Explain the way spiders help the earth and comment on the different kinds of spiders, habitats, etc. Perhaps even take a walk around the neighborhood looking for spiders, spiderwebs, or places a spider might live.
  3. Once you’re home from the walk, let the crafting begin. Put your plate on the table. There will be a flat, inner-ring about 6 inches in diameter in the center of the plate. Mark that ring with a marker or pencil.
  4. Then help your child cut along the line until the circle pops out. You should end up with hole in the center of the plate, about the size of a kindergarten’s head.
  5. Next, take out the black construction paper and use a ruler to mark out eight strips approximately ¾ inches wide by 9 inches long.
  6. Help your child cut out these strips. They will become the eight spider legs.
  7. Fold each strip accordion-style at ¾ inch intervals. This is good practice for little hands but can be tricky, so assist as needed! You should end up with eight springy, zigzag strips.
  8. With the remaining black paper, mark a crescent about 6 inches long and 2 inches at the widest point.
  9. Help your child cut out the crescent. This will become a visor at the front of the hat (the spider’s face).
  10. Glue two googly eyes onto the crescent shape about 3 or 4 inches apart.
  11. To assemble, help your child use a stapler to attach the visor/”face” in front.
  12. Attach four legs to each side of the plate.
  13. Once finished, pop the hat on your kindergarten’s head and take a picture

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Something Orange

Something Orange

This Halloween, explore the color orange with your preschooler by creating an edible picture using orange foods. You can follow our example and create a simple likeness of a man, or put together your own design. The beauty of this activity is that it calls for ingredients that you probably already have on hand, such as oranges, carrots, and American cheese.

As your little one builds his creation, and snacks along the way, he’ll compare and contrast different textures such as soft and crunchy, and explore flavors such as salty and sweet. To inject a little extra learning, give him a mini anatomy lesson to boost his vocabulary and self-esteem!

What You Need:

  • 3 slices American cheese
  • Orange slices
  • Orange bell pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • Round cookie cutter (you can also use the rim of a glass or lid of a container)
  • Knife
  • Cutting board or plate to work on

What You Do:

  1. Ask your child to place a slice of cheese on his work surface. This will be the man’s body. Talk about other words that describe our upper body, such as “torso” or “chest.”
  2. Have him cut a circle out of the second piece of cheese to form the man’s head. Ask him to place it on top of the man’s torso.
  3. Using the third piece of cheese, help him cut strips for the arms, legs, and neck. Have him put the body parts where they should be. As your child works, point to two or three of your own bones and explain what they’re called. For instance, as your child lays down the legs, you can mention that the “patella” is another word for kneecap; and as he sets the torso down, show him where the “clavicle” or collarbone is. Repeat each term a few times so that your child can commit the new words to memory. Imagine how amazed friends and family will be when your child points to various parts of his body and rattles off their names!
  4. Once the body is constructed, slice the carrot into coins for the eyes and hands and have him arrange them on the man’s face.
  5. Slice the bell pepper into thin strips for the mouth and eyebrows. Encourage your child to use his imagination to accessorize the man, say with a tie and pocket.
  6. Help your child grate the carrots and arrange them around the man’s face for hair. Grated carrot can also be used to create grass for the man to stand on.
  7. Finally, use two orange slices to form the man’s feet/shoes.

Now that your little man is complete, there’s only one thing left to do: give him a name!

**This activity is peanut free, tree nut free, and vegetarian.

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Dress-Up Pumpkin

Dress-Up Pumpkin

Does your preschooler know that pumpkins get cold just like humans do? Well, maybe that’s not true, but pumpkins sure look adorable when bundled up in hats and cozy scarves! Just gather up some of your own winter accessories to start this fun and seasonal activity.

What You Need:

  • Large pumpkin
  • Washable markers
  • Hats
  • Scarves
  • Paper towel
  • Water
  • Pencil
  • Paper

What You Do:

  1. Have your child practice drawing pumpkin faces on a sheet of paper.
  2. Show him how a traditional jack-o’-lantern face looks — complete with triangle eyes and toothy grin.
  3. Let him use markers to draw his favorite face on the pumpkin.
  4. If he messes up, just wet a paper towel and wipe the marker marks away.
  5. Once the face is complete, study the new pumpkin friend with your child. What does your child want the pumpkin’s name to be? What kind of personality does he have? Is he a silly pumpkin or a menacing one?
  6. Now that your child has gotten to know his pumpkin a bit more, it’s time to play dress-up! Arrange all the winter scarves and hats next to the pumpkin.
  7. Let your child have a blast trying on new combinations until the pumpkin is ready to brave the winter weather.
  8. Set the pumpkin up in a window so your neighbors can admire him as they walk by.

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Spooky Science Experiment

Spooky Science Experiment

Celebrate Halloween by treating your child to a spooky science activity! Craft colorful concoctions, make great gooey potions, and explore how much fun science can be.

What You Need:

  • Plastic test tubes
  • Child-friendly cups (try clear plastic)
  • Paint palette or washable art tray
  • Tempera paints
  • Paint brush
  • Craft sticks
  • Shaving cream
  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Construction paper
  • Vegetable oil

What You Do:

Option 1: Water Color Mixing Potion Lab

  1. Pour a small amount of red, yellow, blue, and white onto a palette or washable art tray.
  2. Fill three cups halfway with water.
  3. Have your child use the paint brush (or a craft stick) to scoop the paint into the water, mixing two colors at a time. Ask him to stir gently, and watch the colors swirl and mix together.
  4. If you have test tubes, fill one a quarter of the way full with water, one with vegetable oil, and leave one empty. If you don’t have test tubes, simply use small clear plastic cups.
  5. Add one of the paint mixtures to each test tube. Cover and gently shake to see what happens. Ask your child how each one looks different in the test tubes. Then have him try to paint with each color concoction on the construction paper. Do the colors look different? Do they dry differently?
  6. Repeat with different colors and different amounts of the added substances.

Option 2: Shaving Cream Lab

  1. Scoop a small amount of tempera paint into the shaving cream.
  2. Ask your child to use her hands to make a gooey, colorful mixture.
  3. Use the mixture to paint with, or simply allow her to explore. Add new colors and more shaving cream to see what happens.

Option 3: Exploding Color Lab

  1. Place a large cup onto a covered surface.
  2. Mix a very small amount of paint with approximately two tablespoons of water.
  3. Mix in one tablespoon of baking soda.
  4. Add a tablespoon of vinegar, stand back, and watch it explode!

Choose one or more of these awesome options based on your young scientist’s age or use this as a Halloween party activity for some spooktacular fun!

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Cute Owl Craft

Cute Owl Craft

This cute owl craft will get your child excited about fall and Halloween! Make this beautiful card with your child by creating and cutting out complex shapes, and then layering and arranging them to make an owl. When closed, the flaps of the card turn into the bark of a tree, with the owl peeking out from behind. Open the card to reveal a moon against a dark sky. Spooky and elegant, this cute owl craft is the perfect way to celebrate the transition of seasons and, of course, it makes for the perfect Halloween activity!

What You Need:

  • Construction paper (black, brown, yellow, orange, red)
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • White gel pen

What You Do:

  1. Have your child lay a piece of brown construction paper horizontally on a table. Ask her to take the edges of the sides of the paper and have them meet in the center, then fold them in place, creasing the edges with her fingernail.
  2. Repeat this process with a sheet of black construction paper. But this time, have her cut off the two edge pieces and glue the center piece in the center of the brown folded paper.
  3. Ask her to draw and cut out a large oval from the red paper for the body of her owl. Then, have her cut off both ends of the oval.
  4. Cut out a smaller oval from the orange paper. Fold this oval in half lengthwise and cut down the fold to create two wings.
  5. While orange paper is still out, ask her to cut out a triangle shape for the top head and beak of her owl.
  6. Now, encourage her to cut out three pairs of circles. The largest circles are brown, medium circles are yellow, and smallest circles are black. Go ahead and glue the black and yellow circles to the brown circle base to create the owl’s eyes.
  7. Have her assemble her owl and glue it in place.
  8. Ask her to cut out a circle from the yellow construction paper to create the moon, and glue it in place.
  9. Fold the flaps of the card closed. Have her use a pencil to show how much of the owl she would like to reveal when the card is closed. Have her cut along the pencil marks to create an opening in the tree.
  10. Finally, ask her to use the gel pen to draw lines down the tree, as many as she likes, to create a bark pattern.

Owls are amazing animals. They are nocturnal, and for the most part, solitary. When you spot an owl, you should feel lucky. In many world cultures, owls symbolize wisdom and are considered to be guardians of the afterlife. Members of many Native American tribes often wore owl feathers in important rituals in an effort to ward off malicious spirits.

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G is for Ghost

G is for Ghost

Celebrate this Halloween in a spooky (and educational) way! Create a fun decoration that will inspire your child to bring out the artist within, while learning about the letter “G”. This art activity will help your child with letter recognition, and the sound that “G” makes. Practice repeating the “G” sound and saying “g” words such as green or ghost in this great gooey project.

What You Need:

  • Newspaper
  • Tape
  • Tempera paint in green and at least one other color
  • A paint brush
  • Papier-mache mix (this can be store bought or made at home)
  • White construction paper or other thin paper
  • Tissue paper
  • Scissors

What You Do:

  1. Begin by discussing the letter G. Ask your child to write (or trace) the letter on a piece of paper. Next, have her practice making a ‘G’ sound. Brainstorm words that begin with this letter sound. Connect these words to the activity. Pose questions such as, “What color begins with the letter ‘G’?” or, “Can you tell me what letter the word ghost begins with?”.
  2. Create a form or armature for the ghost. Using a full sheet of newspaper, have your child create a ball in the center of the paper. Place a piece of tape around the base of the ball, allowing the remaining newspaper to flow freely as the ghost body.
  3. Mix a batch of paper-mache paste in a bowl. This can either be store bought (look for non-toxic, washable paper paste mixes at art or craft stores) or made from household items such as flour (there are many different recipes on the Internet).
  4. Have your child help you to cut long strips out of the white construction paper.
  5. Ask your child to dip the paper into the paper-mache mix (coating both sides of each strip), and cover the ghost form. Some paper will be hanging on the bottom of the body. Remind your child that this activity focuses on the letter ‘G’. Have her describe the paper mache mix trying to use words beginning with G, such as gooey.
  6. Set the gooey ghost aside to dry.
  7. Once dry, it is time to turn the ghost green. Give your child some green tempera paint and a brush. For an added lesson on color and color mixing, provide her with yellow and blue paint instead of green. Ask her to mix the two colors together and create her own shade of green paint. Paint the entire ghost, turning as it dries.
  8. Add two eyes with a second color of paint and a small paint brush.
  9. Set aside to dry.

The Great Gooey Green Ghost is now ready. Display your child’s Halloween creation in a prominent place as a creative decoration.

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Giant Candy Corn

Giant Candy Corn

If you ask trick-or-treaters what their favorite Halloween candy is, many will reply: “Candy corn!” This yummy, tri-colored candy has been around since the late 1800’s. It’s become a sugary staple during the cool fall months. Your child can commemorate the best Halloween candy of all time using foam sheets. This activity will give your little monster a little practice tracing and matching triangular shapes to create her own visual confection.

What You Need:

  • Foam sheets, 3 different colors
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Craft glue

What You Do:

  1. Ask your child to place one sheet of foam on the table in a vertical, or portrait position. This will end up being the base color for the candy corn.
  2. Have her draw a giant triangle on the foam. Then, have her round out all of the corners to create a candy corn shape.
  3. Help her cut out the shape with scissors.
  4. Lay the cut out shape onto the next sheet of vertically placed foam. This layer of foam will be the middle color of the candy corn. Have her move the shape up or down to determine how much of the bottom color she would like to not have covered with the middle shape.
  5. Once in place, have her trace around the remaining shape onto the second piece of foam. Cut this shape out.
  6. Encourage her to lay the second shape on top of the third sheet of foam. The third sheet will create the tip of the candy corn. Adjust it accordingly, trace it and cut it out.
  7. Ask her to glue the cut out shapes in order on top of the first cut out candy corn shape. When she’s all finished she’ll have a giant striped candy corn confection made from foam!
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Halloween Fun Facts Foldable

Halloween Fun Facts Foldable

Make a Halloween fun facts foldable with your child this October! There’s more to Halloween than just chowing down on candy. Help your child learn a few Halloween fun facts with a fun and simple art project.

What You Need:

  • Poster board
  • Glue
  • Black construction paper
  • Orange construction paper
  • Black paper
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Halloween stickers

What You Do:

  1. Have your child use scissors cut out a large rectangle from the poster board.
  2. Help him fold the ends in until they meet in the middle. He should now have a “fold able” with three sections.
  3. Let him trace the inner and outer flaps on orange construction paper.
  4. Have him use scissors to cut out flaps from the orange construction paper.
  5. Put a light coat of glue on the front and back of the outer flaps.
  6. Have him attach the orange pieces to the poster board.
  7. Next, it’s time to cover the center section of the poster board. Help your child trace that section on black construction paper.
  8. Have him cut out the traced area.
  9. Help him glue the black construction paper on the center flap of the poster board.
  10. Let your child cut three circles out of orange construction paper. Don’t worry if the circles are the same size or perfectly round.
  11. Help him glue the circles to the black center section of his poster board.
  12. Does your child know any fun facts about Halloween? Check out a book from the library or search the Internet for some cool, bizarre and fascinating facts about this “haunted” holiday.
  13. Have your child write his facts on the orange circles.
  14. Let him finish up his poster with holiday-themed stickers like spooky bats or slithering snakes.
  15. Have your child proudly display his fold able. Now his family and friends can know all about Halloween!

 

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Lace a Jack-‘o-Lantern

Lace a Jack-‘o-Lantern

Usually, Halloween pumpkins are painted, or carved…but not this time! Have your kid create a jack-‘o-lantern fiber arts project in which he’ll lace sheets of paper together to create a three dimensional stuffed pumpkin. It’s a great fine motor workout and the finished pumpkin makes for a great Halloween decoration.

What You Need:

  • Construction paper (orange and yellow)
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Hole punch
  • Cotton balls
  • Yarn
  • Glue stick
  • Tape

What You Do:

  1. Stack two sheets of orange construction paper on top of one another and instruct your child to draw the largest pumpkin he can on the top sheet. Encourage him to fill the page and include a stem at the top of the pumpkin.
  2. Keeping the sheets of paper stacked, ask him to cut along the lines of the drawn pumpkin, cutting through both sheets of paper at the same time. (Help him hold the paper together so the bottom sheet doesn’t slip while he’s cutting.)
  3. Help him hole punch around the pumpkin. Make sure to leave a fingers-width between every hole so there’s enough space to sew. Move the top pumpkin shape to the side.
  4. Encourage him to fluff out several cotton balls and glue them down on the bottom pumpkin shape.
  5. Position the top pumpkin shape on top of the cotton. The stems on both pumpkins should be facing the same way. Help thread the yarn through the top hole to the right of the stem and tape the end of it on the back of the pumpkin.
  6. Have him thread the yarn through all of the holes. Tape the final piece of yarn to the back of the pumpkin.
  7. Ask him to draw the jack-‘o-lantern face on the yellow construction paper. Cut out the shapes and glue them to the front of the stuffed pumpkin.
  8. Now, he can share his stuffed pumpkin by hanging it in the window, or propping it up anywhere else that needs and added touch of Halloween spook.

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