Oct 072015
 
 October 7, 2015  crafts, Fall, Halloween, Thanksgiving Comments Off on Balloon Print Pumpkin Garland

Thanks so much to Jaime of Frogs, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails  and All Things Kids for sharing this wonderful fall craft for kids.  Be sure to stop by her blog for more great activities and crafts!

Fall is my favorite time of the year. I love all the pumpkin decorations, pumpkin picking, pumpkin treats, and of course the pumpkin crafts. The kids and I love getting the craft supplies out and finding simple crafts to use as decorations. We had pumpkins on our minds so we made a fun balloon print pumpkin garland to hang up in the house. It was easy to make and fun for all of us as well.

balloon print pumpkin garland craft for kids

Balloon Print Pumpkin Garland

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Supplies/what I used:

balloon

white cardstock

orange paint

paper plate

orange yarn

hole punch

tape

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To start we made our pumpkin craft. We took blown up balloons and dipped them in orange paint. The kids pressed the balloon down on the paper to make a “pumpkin”. The kids made several pumpkins with the balloon. We left them to dry overnight.

 

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The next afternoon I grabbed the scissors, sharpies, yarn, and hole punch. I used the sharpies to draw a brown stem and green leaves. Now the prints started to look more like pumpkins.

 

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The kids helped me cut out the pumpkins. We cut them to look like the pumpkin print was on an index sized card. Now for one of their favorite parts. Using the hole punch! This always gets my kids excited. They love to make holes with the hole punch. We put a hole in each corner on the “card”. We did this till we had them all finished.

 

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Now take the orange yarn and cut a piece long enough to fit the size banner you want. We used 6 pumpkin cards to make our garland/banner. This was the perfect size to hang up on the cabinet. We threaded the yarn through the holes. Now we had a balloon print pumpkin garland to hang up. We used tape and taped each end down on top of the cabinet. The kids love telling anyone that comes over they made it.

 

balloon print pumpkin garland

Sep 182015
 
 September 18, 2015  bilingualism, Education, Halloween 2 Responses »

Spanish Halloween Activities | Alldonemonkey.com

I am always on the lookout for fun activities I can do with my kids to learn Spanish, and what is more fun this time of year than Halloween?  Here are some of my favorite Spanish Halloween activities to help you and your kids have some learning fun getting ready for el día de las brujas!

Note: Most of the activities and printables included below are free.  Those few that are paid are very inexpensive and well worth it!

Vocabulary

Halloween Story Cards and Letter Match Printables – Mommy Maestra: These super cute printables are a fun way to practice letters and encourage storytelling with your preschooler!  Also includes a video and list of Spanish Halloween books.

Spanish Halloween Printable Picture Cards – Spanish Playground: Here are printable vocabulary cards in Spanish, plus a matching game.  I love all of the extension activity ideas!

Spanish Halloween Memory Game: Have students that resist learning vocab words?  Try this fun pumpkin memory game to teach Halloween vocabulary!

Spanish Halloween Vocabulary Activities – Spanish Playground: Collection of fun Halloween activities you can adapt to practice Spanish.  Includes a comprehensive list of Spanish vocabulary related to Halloween.

Spanish Dual Language Kindergarten Halloween Pack: I put this 26 page mini pack in the “vocabulary” section, but it has lots of math activities as well.  Chock full of learning activities for kindergarten, with no English on the student pages!

Spanish Halloween Read and Draw Printable – Spanish Playground: Practice seasonal vocabulary with this read and draw activity!  Great for practicing reading and listening skills.

Spanish Halloween Jokes – Spanish Playground:  My son loves telling jokes, so I cannot wait to try these Halloween jokes with him!  This is a really fun way to practice vocabulary!

Halloween Printable Spanish Minibook – Mundo de Pepita: Follow along as Pepita and her friends dress up and get ready for Halloween!

Crafts

C is for Calabaza – For the Love of Spanish: I adore this calabaza (pumpkin) craft!  Don’t miss the song and activity at the end to practice counting, vocabulary, and feelings in Spanish.

Science

Pumpkin Life Cycle Mini-Book in Spanish – Kid World Citizen: Get into Halloween science by making a pumpkin life cycle mini-book!  Wonderful way to teach fall related vocabulary and practice reading in Spanish.

Math

5 Educational Things to Do with (Halloween) Candy – Mommy Maestra: Once you have all that Halloween candy, try these math activities to put them to good use!  Includes a link to a bilingual candy bar graph.

Pumpkin Size Ordering Activity – For the Love of Spanish: This activity is a fun way for kids to learn relative sizes in Spanish – with pumpkins!

Gross Motor

Spanish Skeleton Song – Spanish Playground: My kids and I have already been having fun dancing to Los esqueletos thanks to this post!  It is great for practicing numbers, time, action words – and of course, your best skeleton dance moves!

Of course, Halloween is not traditionally celebrated in Latin America, though it has become popular in some places in recent years.    From what I’ve heard from my Costa Rican family, for example, it was something of a fad a few years ago!  Just for fun, you can share with your kids how people have started celebrating Halloween in Spain!  (Day of the Dead – or el día de los muertos – is not just a version of Halloween but an entirely different tradition, though it also stems in part from All Saints Day).

Looking for more Halloween fun?  Don’t miss my Fall Fun for Kids board on Pinterest, plus check out these amazing posts from the All Things Kids Halloween Blog Hop!

Potato Print Spider Craft – Frogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

Halloween Chalk Art – Craftulate

Bat Yarn Craft – Sugar Aunts

Floating Ghosts – Rainy Day Mum

Pumpkin Ice Painting – Crayon Box Chronicles

Oct 062014
 

Halloween Books and Activities that Encourage Working Together | Alldonemonkey.com

I’m excited to be participating in the Halloween Crafts and Activities for Kids series from All Things Kids!  See details at the end of this post.

This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.  I appreciate your support!

Halloween Books that Encourage Working Together

Pumpkin Soup by Helen Cooper

A trio of animals lives together in harmony, enjoying their daily meal of pumpkin soup, until one day the duck decides he doesn’t want to measure the salt, as he normally does.  He wants to stir.  In the ensuing battle, the friends discover the importance of valuing everyone’s contribution – and sometimes changing things up so that everyone has a good time!  I should add that it was thanks to this book that Monkey tried pumpkin soup for the first time!


Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman

A witch dreams of pumpkin pie, but when her pumpkin proves too big to pick on her own, a cast of scary Halloween ghouls comes by to try their luck.  Each fares no better than the witch, unless a bat has a clever plan, which requires that they all cooperate.  Will their desire for pumpkin pie overcome their dread of working together?  Spoiler alert: the book ends with a party!

Turtle and Snake’s Spooky Halloween (Easy-to-Read, Puffin) by Kate Spohn

Speaking of parties, this gentle story of Turtle and Snake preparing for a Halloween bash is perfect for beginning readers.  The book follows as step by step the pair go through their to-do list (made of pictures plus simple words).  Monkey loves reading along as they check items off their list, building anticipation until at last it’s party time!


Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

This beloved book is now a favorite of ours as well.  It is a tale of a generous witch who always has room on her broom for new friends.  Her kindness is repaid when her companions team up to scare away a terrible dragon who threatens the witch.  In the end, the witch makes a new truly magnificent broom perfect for all of her animal friends.

Halloween Activities that Encourage Working Together

Playing a Halloween game

Decorating jack o’ lanterns

Doing a Halloween craft

Making a favorite treat, like Halloween cupcakes, pumpkin bread or pumpkin cookies

Throwing a Halloween party

Handing out treats to trick-or-treaters

Doing a fall family service project, such as visiting a senior center in costume!

How does your family have fun together at Halloween?

Halloween Activities and Crafts for the Kids - All Things Kids

Looking for some great Halloween Activities and Crafts for your kids?  Be sure to check out these wonderful posts from the members of All Things Kids!  And don’t forget you can also follow All Things Kids on Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest!

Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tail on All Things Kids: Fingerprint Pumpkin Art for Five Little Pumpkins

Craftulate: Halloween Window Decorations

House of Burke: Candy Corn Shaving Cream Sensory Dig

Where Imagination Grows: Halloween Math Games: Counting with Ghosts

All Done Monkey: Halloween Books & Activities that Encourage Working Together

The Sugar Aunts: Hanging Ghosts Craft with Recycled Containers

Little Bins for Little Hands: Quick And Easy Slime For Halloween Sensory Play

Mamas Like Me: Straw Blow Painting Spider Web

Oct 012014
 

Runaway Pumpkin Halloween Experiment | Alldonemonkey.com

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.  If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission.  Thank you for your support!

It’s October, so now we can officially go crazy for Halloween!  Okay, okay, we’ve already been getting excited for the past month, I admit.  But now I feel like I can really go to town!

One of our favorite Halloween picture books is one we discovered a couple years ago, The Runaway Pumpkin by Kevin Lewis.  This is a marvelously fun book to read.  The text bounces along, just as the runaway pumpkin does as it thumps and bumps its way down the hill of the Baxter farm.  As the enormous pumpkin crashes through the barn and splatters through the pig sty, the family members try to catch it, as they dream of pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup.  Yet it is the father who comes up with a clever plan to stop the pumpkin’s rolling and move it into the kitchen so Granny can begin cooking.

The boys and I adore this book, and it’s hard to read without bouncing in your seat, at least a little.  So I thought it only appropriate that we should do a pumpkin rolling experiment to explore the book further.

I wasn’t brave enough to let the boys have at it with a full sized pumpkin, so we used several mini pumpkins instead.  Our quest was to find the “best” way to roll pumpkins using our couch cushions.  Where did the pumpkins roll the straightest?  The furthest?  The fastest?

(This would be even more fun to do outside; unfortunately we were stuck indoors because of bad weather and colds).

Runaway Pumpkin Halloween Experiment | Alldonemonkey.com

The Monkeys tried rolling their pumpkins over the arm rests (not very successful) and along the surface of the cushions (better) before we pulled the cushions out at tried them at different angles.  Needless to say, they enjoyed racing their pumpkins down the cushions and around the living room!

Runaway Pumpkin Halloween Experiment | Alldonemonkey.com

What We Learned:

  1. Pumpkins roll straighter on a smooth surface.
  2. Pumpkins roll more quickly the steeper the angle.
  3. Pumpkins can roll far even if they aren’t going very quickly – as long as a little brother doesn’t stop them first.
  4. Rolling pumpkins – and climbing on the couch – is fun!

Runaway Pumpkin Halloween Experiment | Alldonemonkey.com

 

This post is part of an AWESOME Halloween Read and Play Blog Hop.  Make sure to check out the other book based activities from fantastic bloggers!

Betsy’s Photography- Popcorn- Making Popcorn Bars
Where Imagination Grows- 5 Little Ghosts- Ghost Collages
Rubberboots and Elf Shoes- Skeleton Hiccups- Paper Chain Skeleton
Little Bins For Little Hands- ABCs of Halloween- Sensory Bin
Wise Owl Factory- Bunnicula and others- Halloween Book Fun Learning Round Up
Planet Smarty Pants- The Picky Little Witch- Halloween Cupcakes
Study at Home Mama- 10 Halloween Books and 50 Activities Don’t forget to check out the Halloween Read and Play Pinterest Board which features ALL these great activities!

 

 

Oct 272013
 

Healthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

Yes, I am the mom in the neighborhood that passes out organic lollipops and toys instead of candy.  Yes, I used to tell my son that the candy he got trick-or-treating was “yucky.”  (He’s old enough not to believe me anymore!)

It’s not that I’m against sweets.  Far from it!  I’m just against all the artificial, chemical nastiness in most candy.  So when we have sweet treats, I just try to make them natural, simple ingredients.

I have had a lot of success using natural dyes in baking, so this year for Halloween I decided to make some healthy (but still yummy!) cupcakes for Monkey and his friend.  (You can find more Halloween ideas on my Fall Fun for Kids Pinterest board!)

Healthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

I started with a delicious recipe for sweet potato muffins from one of my favorite cookbooks: Weelicious: 140 Fast, Fresh, and Easy Recipes.  Monkey and I both love them, and they already have a warm, brownish – orange tone.

I wanted to use this recipe for another reason – it uses grated, not cooked, sweet potatoes.  I added some raisins and told Monkey and his friend the cupcakes had bugs and worms in them!  I thought their eyes were about to pop out!  I finally told them the truth because I wasn’t sure they would eat them otherwise 😉  A good carrot cake recipe would also serve the same purpose.

Healthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

To make them into cupcakes, I created a variation of the cream cheese frosting I did for our fruit pizzas last spring.  I made half a batch of frosting as usual to make the “ghost” cupcakes.  (I did substitute agave for the honey, so Baby could try some, too).

The other half batch was my experiment.  I really wanted to make orange frosting for “jack-o-lantern” cupcakes, and I read in several places that carrot juice could be used for this.  I was concerned, though, that the juice would make the frosting too runny, so I experimented with using what’s left over after you juice a carrot.  The color from this alone wasn’t bright enough, but it let me use less carrot juice and added an extra nutritional boost!

Healthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

I was so happy with how the frosting turned out that I added a little dollop in the middle of each cupcake before baking – mmm!

Here’s how you can make these healthy Halloween cupcakes yourself:

Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye 

I will continue to tinker with this formula, but I was pleased with how it turned out on my first go:

Juice enough carrots to make about 1/2 cup of juice (you won’t need this much, but while you’re at it you might as well make a little extra!)

Mix 3 T of the carrot juice with 1 – 1/2 t of flax seed meal.  Set aside.  (The flax seed meal will help the juice to thicken).

Take about 1/2 c of the carrot pulp and spread it in a thin layer on a baking sheet.  Bake at 200 degrees for about 30-40 minutes, until dry but not toasted.

Healthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

Let cool then grind it.  (I used my baby food grinder, though a spice grinder should also work).  It won’t quite be a powder but it should be in very small, fine pieces.

Healthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

 

Orange Cream Cheese Frosting

(for one dozen cupcakes)

4 oz cream cheese, softened

3 T carrot powder (see instructions above)

3T carrot juice

1 T coconut oil

3 T agave nectar or to taste

1 – 1/2 t flax seed meal

Note: If you want to avoid artificial dyes but don’t mind using sugar, skip the flax seed meal and agave and use powdered sugar instead.  This traditional ingredient in frosting also works as a thickener.

Healthy Halloween Cupcake: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

Mix flax seed meal and carrot juice and set aside.  Mix cream cheese, carrot powder, and coconut oil in a medium bowl on medium speed until well blended and fluffy.  Add carrot juice mixture slowly, mixing well.  Add agave to taste.

White Cream Cheese Frosting

(for one dozen cupcakes, thinly spread)

4 oz cream cheese, softened

1 T coconut oil

3 T agave nectar or to taste

Mix cream cheese and coconut oil in a medium bowl on medium speed until well blended and fluffy.  Add agave to taste.

The white frosting I used for the ghosts, of course, and the orange for the jack-o-lanterns.  I decorated some of the orange cupcakes with dots of white frosting, and other cupcakes with raisins and dried cranberries.  The kids loved the “spooky” faces.

Healthy Halloween Cupcakes: Make Your Own Natural Orange Food Dye - Alldonemonkey.com

These Halloween cupcakes were a big hit at our house, so we will definitely be making them again!

This post has been shared at the Kids Co-op.

Oct 112013
 

15+ Skeleton Crafts & Activities - Alldonemonkey.com - Perfect for Halloween or Day of the Dead

Last fall Monkey was fascinated with scarecrows.  This year?  He loves skeletons!  I guess my little boy is growing up! 😉

Luckily he’s not into the spooky stuff yet (not sure I’m ready for that!).  He likes skeletons mainly because he thinks x-rays are so cool.  The fact that they are also associated with Halloween just adds to the fun!

(See my X-ray post, part of the 31 Days of ABCs series!)

So here are great posts from some blogging friends about skeletons – perfect for Halloween and Day of the Dead!  For more ideas, check out my Fall Fun for Kids Pinterest Board or the Day of the Dead Pinterest board from Multicultural Kid Blogs.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you make a purchase after clicking through to Amazon, I will receive a small commission.

Skeletons Everywhere!

http://www.fortheloveofspanish.com/2013/10/e-de-esqueleto-skeleton-crafts.html

To get us started, For the Love of Spanish has some wonderful crafts and activities, as well as book recommendations, for teaching the letter “E” for esqueleto (skeleton).

Of course, skeletons can also be used to teach about the human body, as shown with this Montessori-Inspired Skeleton Unit on Living Montessori Now.  You will find lots of great resources here!

Treats

Red Ted Art - Skull Cake Pops - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

You can learn how to make Skull Cake Pops at Red Ted Art…

Candy Bones - FSPDT - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

… or candy bone snacks from Frogs & Snails & Puppy Dog Tails.

Halloween

You are the roots - Halloween Crafting - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

I already have my Q-tips and glue ready for Monkey and I to do this skeleton craft from You Are the Roots!

Dinosaur-Skeleton-Fantastic Fun and Learning - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

How much fun are these play dough x-ray skeletons from Fantastic Fun and Learning?

Marshmallow Skull - No Time for Flash Cards - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

And what kid wouldn’t want to make a skull out of marshmallows, like this one from No Time for Flash Cards?

Crystal's Tiny Treasures- Skeletons in the Closet - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

Ooh, do you have skeletons in your closet?  They do over at Crystal’s Tiny Treasures!

Easy-Skeleton-Costume - Red Ted Art - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

And here’s an easy skeleton costume from Red Ted Art.   They also made these great skull and cross bone cards!

Teach your kids Spanish with this fun skeleton song from Spanish Playground!  She also recommends the book Los Gatos Black on Halloween by Marisa Montes. “It has Spanish Halloween words woven into the text and is just scary enough that certain kids love it. It is not strictly about skeletons, but there are plenty in the book.”

Day of the Dead

Ever wonder why there are so many skeletons and skulls for Day of the Dead?  Here is a great explanation of the holiday from Kid World Citizen.

Skeletons Everywhere!  Popsicle Stick Calaveras Craft from Spanglish Baby on Alldonemonkey.com

I love this adorable popsicle stick calaveras craft from Spanglish Baby!  It really shows how Day of the Dead is not meant to be scary.

You can also find great coloring pages and other printables for Day of the Dead at Spanish Playground.

Fancy Day of the Dead Skulls - Kid World Citizen - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

Love these fancy Day of the Dead skulls from Kid World Citizen.  As her daughter says: “Glitter makes everything better!”

Green Owl Art - Packing Peanut Skull Day of the Dead - Skeleton Crafts and Activities on Alldonemonkey.com

I never would have thought to make skulls out of packing peanuts like these from Green Owl Art!

Toddling in the Fast Lane made a fun matching game to go with the Calavera Abecedario.

For more on Day of the Dead, visit this wonderful slideshow from Kid World Citizen.

Thank you to all of the bloggers who let me share their amazing posts here!  Are you ready for Halloween and Day of the Dead?

This post has been shared at Pinning for Play, Share It Saturday, and Crafty Moms Share’s Sharing Saturday.

Oct 272012
 
 October 27, 2012  crafts, family, Halloween 23 Responses »

Baby's First Halloween Costume - Alldonemonkey.comHalloween is almost here!  Just because Baby Monkey hasn’t been born yet, why should he miss out on all the fun?  After all, as much as he hops around in my belly, it is clear that he is ready to jump right into family life!

At a recent fall party with my local moms’ group, I wore my favorite orange T-shirt and joked that the baby was going to dress up as a pumpkin for Halloween.  The more I joked, the more I thought, why not?

I tried in vain to find another orange T-shirt to use, since I love this one so much, but strangely, maternity shops (online or brick-and-mortar) don’t seem to have a lot in the way of Halloween gear.  So in the end, I decided to sacrifice my favorite tee for the cause, since after all, even here in California it won’t be warm enough to wear it much longer!Baby's First Halloween Costume - Alldonemonkey.com

Here’s how we did it:

  1. To get started, we drew the basic outline on the shirt while I wore it, so that way the pumpkin would fit squarely (roundly?) on top of the belly.
  2. Then I laid the shirt flat and went over the pencil drawing with a black fabric marker.  Be sure to use a piece of cardboard in between the layers of the shirt, so the ink doesn’t bleed through.  For an extra touch, I added the green stem and leaf on top.
  3. I let it dry completely then turned it inside out and followed the instructions on the package of fabric markers to set the color.  (This may vary by brand; for mine I had to iron it for four minutes).  Baby's First Halloween Costume - Alldonemonkey.com

That’s it!  Simple but so fun!Baby's First Halloween Costume - Alldonemonkey.com

Be sure to follow the instructions on the package about how to wash and dry the shirt once you finish.  I was pleased that mine still looked great after the laundry.Baby's First Halloween Costume - Alldonemonkey.com

All set for Halloween!

What was your baby’s first Halloween costume?

This post has been shared at Bowdabra’s Saturday Showcase and My Life’s a Treasure’s Our Favorite Things.

Oct 182012
 
 October 18, 2012  crafts, Fall, Halloween, parenting 9 Responses »

Educators Spin on It - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.comLately it seems wherever my little Monkey and I go there are Halloween decorations: pumpkins, witches, and ghosts galore greet us at every turn, making our walk through our neighborhood even more fun than usual.

But even though my son loves all of the decorations, his favorites by far are the scarecrows.  Whenever we pass a house with a scarecrow decoration, he insists that we stop and look at them for … well, he would stay all afternoon if he could, commenting on the hats and clothes, what color eyes they have, and so on.

So I called on my blogger friends for some scarecrow craft and activity ideas I could do with my little Monkey, and I was so excited to see their incredible responses!  I’m sure you and your little ones will enjoy these as much as I know we will!  Happy fall, everyone!

Crafts

Projects for Preschoolers - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.com

This adorable popsicle stick scarecrow and the pattern to make it can be found on Projects for Preschoolers.

No Time for Flash Cards - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.com

No Time for Flash Cards shares this cute paper plate scarecrow.  What’s wonderful about this craft is that it uses materials with different textures, so your little ones can explore while they create.

No Time for Flash Cards - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.com

No Time for Flash Cards also came up with this shape scarecrow craft, which is a fun way to help your child learn shapes.  There are also some great shape books included at the end of the post.

Housing a Forest - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.com

Housing a Forest created this candy corn scarecrow craft that makes a great teacher gift or party favor.

Projects for Preschoolers - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.com

You can also print this free coloring page from Projects for Preschoolers.

Rainbows within Reach - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.com

If you are looking for inspiration, check out these art projects from kids across the country, captured by Rainbows within Reach in her author/illustrator visits to schools throughout the US.

Book-Based Activities

Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.com

One very popular children’s book for this time of year is The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda D. Williams.  Several bloggers have created activities based on this wonderful book:

Playing with Words 365 - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.com

Playing with Words 365 created some great language activities, including tips for how to read the book with your child and crafts like making a paper scarecrow (shown above).

Toddler Approved - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.com

Toddler Approved shows us how to make this fun book-themed puzzle that helps kids focus on the action words in the story.  She also includes other suggestions for reading this book with your little ones.  And be sure to read the comment section of this post as well, as there are even more ideas there.

Scarecrow Games from The Educators Spin On It - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.com

In a guest post at B-Inspired Mama, the Educators’ Spin On It shares some wonderful crafts and games to accompany this book, all appropriate for a playdate with mixed ages.  My favorite is racing around the yard like a crow!

Make Your Own Scarecrow

What better way to celebrate scarecrows than by making one with your kids to put in the yard?  Here are two posts to help guide you:

Crafty Birds - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.com

Crafty Birds shares how to make an adorable scarecrow like this one out of repurposed materials.

Sugarsnips - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.com

And in a guest post on Hands on As We Grow, Sugarsnips shows us how to recycle old pajamas and nylons into cute kid-sized scarecrows.

Costumes

And of course, ’tis the season for Halloween costumes, so why not dress your toddler (or yourself!) up as a scarecrow?

Moms Crafty Space - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.com

Seriously, who wouldn’t want to dress their little one up in this DIY Toddler Costume from Moms Crafty Space?

Growing a Jeweled Rose - Scarecrow Roundup on Alldonemonkey.com

And I just couldn’t resist including this photo of the fabulous blogger from Growing a Jeweled Rose, dressed up as part of her family’s Wizard of Oz Halloween costumes from last year.  After all, why let the kids have all the fun?

Thank you to all the wonderful bloggers who graciously shared their posts here.  I am sure you will enjoy their scarecrow craft and activity ideas as much as I have!

This post has been shared at Living Life Intententionally’s TGIF Party, Bowdabra’s Saturday Showcase, Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas’ Sunday Showcase, and My Life’s a Treasure’s My Favorite Things.

Oct 102012
 
 October 10, 2012  crafts, family, Halloween, parenting 9 Responses »

Easy No-Sew Charlie Brown Costume - Alldonemonkey.comDue to the approaching arrival of Baby Monkey at the beginning of the year, this Halloween I took the easy way out and got a store-bought costume for my little Monkey.  Last year, however, I was a tad more ambitious and decided to make his costume, though I made sure it was something easy that wouldn’t require any sewing!

My little Monkey has a sweet little round face, and last year, when he still had more of his baby fat, it was even rounder.  So I thought it would be perfect to dress him up as that other round-faced favorite of mine, Charlie Brown!

I especially loved that Charlie Brown’s well-known outfit was so simple to recreate.  Here’s all you will need:

Materials

Yellow cotton shirt (long-sleeved is best, depending on the weather)

Black fabric markerEasy No-Sew Charlie Brown Costume - Alldonemonkey.com

Ruler

Black pants

Black socks

Dark shoes (black is best, but if you are like me and don’t want to buy a new pair of shoes just for Halloween, a very dark blue is fine)

Instructions

  1. If the shirt is new, make sure to wash and thoroughly dry it first.
  2. Use your ruler to sketch out a basic zig-zag design on the shirt.  The zig-zag should be on the lower half of the shirt.  The exact size and width is up to you, although I opted for one that was neither very narrow nor very wide.Easy No-Sew Charlie Brown Costume - Alldonemonkey.com
  3. Trace the zig-zag in marker, then fill it in.  Be sure to really color it in darkly, since – depending on the brand of marker – lighter marks may fade in the wash.
  4. Let the shirt air dry thoroughly, then wash and dry according to the fabric marker package directions.  (Here are some instructions for how to use Crayola fabric markers.  I must admit I don’t recall following all of these steps closely; we just went with what was on the package and it turned out just fine.  The close-up photos I have included here are from after the outfit was worn and washed several times, and as you can see, I will still be able to use it for Baby Monkey in a few years!)

Enjoy!  What easy costumes have you made?  Easy No-Sew Charlie Brown Costume - Alldonemonkey.com

This post has been shared at The Mommy Club.

Oct 012012
 

Duck and Goose Find A Pumpkin: Pumpkin Hunt and Matching Game | Alldonemonkey.com

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This morning when my little Monkey woke up, one of his favorite books was waiting on the table, and a game was about to begin!

Although the weather is still incredibly hot here, I am determined to acknowledge the beginning of autumn, so I wanted to make some fun fall activities for my little Monkey.  Since he loves the wonderful Duck & Goose series by Tad Hills, I decided to use their fall story Duck & Goose Find A Pumpkin to create some games for him.

This book is all about Duck and Goose’s search through the woods to find a pumpkin.  They look in the leaf pile, the apple tree, the pond, and so on until a friend finally tells them about the pumpkin patch!Duck and Goose Find A Pumpkin: Pumpkin Hunt and Matching Game | Alldonemonkey.com

We are going to a pumpkin patch in a few days, so I thought my little Monkey would have fun recreating this search in our living room.  I cut ten small pumpkins out of craft foam, using the same template I used for our Pumpkin Suncatcher, just scaled down to a smaller size.

I used various colors because, frankly, I didn’t have enough orange craft foam on hand, but let’s say it was to help him practice his color recognition ;).  To add an extra educational element, I numbered the pumpkins 1-10.

Last night I hid them around our living room, making sure to have some hiding places that were rather obvious and some a little less so.  Of course, you can vary the difficulty depending on the age and ability of your child.  We had so much fun running around finding all of the pumpkins, and afterwards we lined them all up in a row from 1 to 10.  He loves practicing his numbers, so he really enjoyed that aspect of the game as well.

Duck and Goose Find A Pumpkin: Pumpkin Hunt and Matching Game | Alldonemonkey.com

Duck and Goose Find A Pumpkin: Pumpkin Hunt and Matching Game | Alldonemonkey.com

Duck and Goose Find A Pumpkin: Pumpkin Hunt and Matching Game | Alldonemonkey.com

I also made a matching game for the book.  As Duck and Goose look in all of the various places for their pumpkin, it provides the opportunity to discuss what can be found in all of the locations they search.  The pumpkin isn’t in the apple tree, but what is?  Apples!  And so on.

To build on this, I created a matching game that would let my little Monkey match the objects to their proper places (apple to the apple tree, leaf to the leaf pile, etc.)  The first page of the matching game contains the objects, and the second page of the matching game contains the locations.

Duck and Goose Find A Pumpkin: Pumpkin Hunt and Matching Game | Alldonemonkey.com

As you can see, I won’t be illustrating any children’s books soon, but we’re all about developing our kids’ imaginations, right? :)

Duck and Goose Find A Pumpkin: Pumpkin Hunt and Matching Game | Alldonemonkey.com

Happy autumn, everyone, and hope you enjoy these games (and this great book!) as much as we do!

This post has been shared at In Lieu of Preschool’s Tuesday Tots, Mama Smiles’ Learning Laboratory, Crystal and Co’s Mommy Club, True Aim Education’s Mom’s Library, the Kid’s Co-op, Enchanted Homeschooling Mom’s Enchanted Thursday, Living Life Intentionally’s TGIF Linky Party, Bowdabra’s Saturday Showcase, Natural Mothers Network’s Seasonal Celebration Sunday, and Say Not Sweet Anne’s Sweet Sharing Monday, and What Do We Do All Day’s Children’s Bookshelf.

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