Scary-Good Fun For Kids!
Here's a cornucopia of great crafts and games to make Halloween a festive time for kids at home and in the classroom. (We have so many that we've split them into three sections -- don't miss parts 1 and 3!)
(continued from part 1)
Paper bag pumpkins
Buy several small, fresh pumpkins. Cut them in half. Let the children dip the pumpkin halves into paint to make prints.
Make a small hole in the bottom of a small cottage cheese container. Any similar container will do. Make it near the edge. Put some cotton in the bottom and the container will be ready. To fool your friends, paint the first finger of one hand with poster paint. Stick your painted finger through the hole and bend it inward. Let the rest of your fingers grip the container naturally. Arrange the cotton around your finger to hide the hole. Cover the container and ask one of your unsuspecting friends to remove the lid. When he does, move the finger up and down.
Puffy paint cobwebs
Mix equal parts of flour, salt and water in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into squeeze bottles. Give each child a black paper plate or a piece of black construction paper. Let the children squeeze the white puffy paint onto the black paper. When the puffy paint dries, it will look like glittery cobwebs.
Using white paper, have children step on paper and trace around their shoes. To make a face, use crayons, pens or black construction paper with white chalk.
Blow up an orange balloon for each child. Out of construction paper make face and feet pieces to create a jack-o-lantern. You may apply these pieces to the balloon with rubber cement.
costume Halloween party for the class
Each child comes dressed up in their favorite costume. Each child receives an award for various categories as funniest, silliest, cutest, prettiest, etc. You can make your awards out of construction paper. Our awards were pumpkins cut out of orange construction paper. We then attached these pumpkins to lollipops, and each child received a lollipop with their award certificate.
Pass the pumpkin
This game is played like hot potato using a small real or toy pumpkin. Children pass the pumpkin to Halloween music while seated in a circle. When the music stops that child holding the pumpkin is out and receives a small prize like a sticker, pencil or lollipop. At the end of the game, the last child left receives a bigger prize like crayons, coloring book or notebook.
Buy plastic half masks (found in dollar stores or party stores, usually 12 in a pack). Give each child a mask to decorate with feathers, stickers or gems found in craft stores. They really enjoy this and like to take the masks home to show Mom or Dad.
Pin the smile on the pumpkin
Make a huge pumpkin out of posterboard. Decorate the pumpkin with eyes minus a smile. Make a smile for each child out of black construction paper. Then play the game pin the smile on the pumpkin.
Stand a toilet paper tube up and stuff a paper towel in the top, making a rounded mound on top. The child then dips a heavy, white paper towel in liquid starch, squeezes out the excess starch and drapes it over the tube. Have him/her arrange the bottom to looked draped. Add two black dots for eyes near the top. Allow to dry thoroughly. Then, you can remove the toilet paper tube and the ghost is stiff enough to stand alone. Really cute and fairly easy.
The week before Halloween, I begin a lesson on My Body and the Five senses. This lesson ends with a review of our bones and with tricking our senses.
Take at least six shoe boxes and cut out a hole at the center of each lid large enough to put a child's hand comfortably inside. The trick is to make sure the children cannot see inside of the box. (You may want to add colored plastic wrap to the hole for this purpose. It can be stapled to the lid with a slit in it for passage). Each box should have something texturally interesting. I use a banana smashed into a brush, gelatin, cooked spagetti with raisins, cooked rice, flower blossoms, meat of a pumpkin, hair gel ... well you get the picture.
The first step is to have the children put their hand into one box at a time. Note the child's expression. Have the child tell you what he/she thinks is in the box and chart the answers. Then show the child what was really in there. Maybe the child guessed correctly, but maybe his/her senses were fooled.
Collect one baby food jar, one votive, black and orange tissue paper, glue and paint brush for each child.
Soak labels off of jars. Let the jars dry. Let each child cut tissue paper pieces and glue onto the jar with paint brush, much like a decoupage. They can make mosaics or even a jack-o-lantern. With permanent marker add child's name and date to the bottom of the jar. Add a votive. When they get home they have a wonderful, keepsake to use year after year.
Black cat drama
Witches in the dark
Have the children form a circle with one child in the middle. Instead of using "farmer," "wife," "nurse" and the other names in the traditional song, pick names that have Halloween meanings. The children are called one by one into the center as the rest of the circle walks around them.
"Witches in the dark, witches in the dark, hi ho for Halloween, witches in the dark. The witch takes a bat, the witch takes a bat, hi ho for Halloween, the witch takes a bat. The bat takes a black cat, the bat takes a black cat, hi ho for Halloween, the bat takes a black cat."
Continue until there is only one child left (witch, bat, black cat, goblin, pumpkin, skeleton). Call this child the ghost.
"The ghost says 'BOO!' The ghost says 'BOO!' Hi ho for Halloween, the ghost says 'BOO!'
Teach the children the following Halloween safety rules:
This activity works well in the month of October. On the first of the month, bring in a large, black pot that resembles a witches' pot. Inside the pot there is a slip of paper that reads: "I am the Witch of the West and I am out gathering ingredients for our Halloween brew." On designated days, place the bags containing ingredients in the pot. The ingredients should be placed in a pot, inside a plastic bag so that no smell escaped. Place plastic bags within brown paper lunch bags and have appropriate names printed on the outside of the bag. On Halloween, empty all the bags and stir the brew. This recipe is a guarantee for perfect attendance.
Paper plate bat
Using a small paper plate, paint black with black finger paint, let dry. Cut triangle shapes from black construction paper, three for each wing and lay them out so you can glue the two top corners to another triangle. Fasten the wings to the back of the paper plate and draw a face with white correction fluid or chalk. Punch a hole in the top to hang.
Make six pairs of pumpkin faces on 12 white index cards. Mix up the cards. Let the children take turns matching the pumpkin faces.