Our family is unapologetic Halloween, Renaissance and costume party people. If there’s a reason to dress-up, preferably as a historic figure (hello, Queen Elizabeth I), we are all about it. Last year, the girls’ first Halloween, we went as Bob’s Burgers characters and condiments; I as Linda, Hubby as Bob, V as ketchup, and E and mustard (they still use these sleep-sacks for naps and bedtime). Last year at the Renaissance festival, the girls were peasants.
This year, we are going as Red Wings hockey players–what can I say, we enjoy the family costumes. With Covid making this Halloween far from normal, we are going to find ways to celebrate, albeit a little more basic–no parties, no going out. In keeping it simple, we did the same with out costumes, a few jerseys and bam, done.
V really likes to throw a blanket over her head and walk around, so I’m going to throw them together a basic ghost costume, too–small receiving blankets with holes. They can be Red Wing hockey player ghosts, haha.
No fun projects with the cousins this year, so we are finding Halloween activities to do at home–inspired by the interesting spiders we’ve seen lately and the book “Are You a Spider.” Here are a few that we have enjoyed so far–
Toilet paper roll spider prints: I cut a toilet paper roll in half (perfect size for little hands) and cut eight little legs. A little black paint and they were good to go. E actually stamped, V rubbed–which actually looked really cool, like squished spiders. The best part, of course, was washing our hands with water and soap.
Yarn spider sacs: First, we read books about spiders and then we created eggs sacs. Using roughly 1/4 cup Elmer’s glue and about 1/3 cup warm water we created a glue water. We cut white yarn into individual amounts we would want to use for each sac. I blew up five balloons, just a little bit as we didn’t want our sacs too big and to keep it toddler handling size. These are what we would wrap the yarn around, allowing the yarn to dry in sac shape.
The girls swished the yarn around in the liquid and squeezed each bundle (working those hands) removing excess liquid. They also helped pull the yarn, straightening out the bundle as I rotated the balloon wrapping the yarn around it. We then washed our hands, always the highlight of messy activities.
Once dried (overnight), we popped the balloon, attached a spider and hung for us to enjoy.
Pumpkin sun catchers: Using orange and black tissue paper, paper plates (two for each sun catcher) and wax paper we created few decorations to hang in the window. I wanted an activity that gave them the opportunity to tear and, potentially, practice gluing. I ended up applying most of the glue and they placed the tissue paper, but it was still fun for them. For older children, they could cut the black tissue and create whatever facial features they imagine and decorate their pumpkins as they wish. But for the girls, it was mostly about tearing and placing.
Lay out the wax paper, water down Elmer’s glue (2:1 ratio) and brush the mixture onto the wax paper. Place tissue over the brushed mixture and wait for it to dry. While waiting, colour the paper plates orange and cut a hole in the center. Once the tissue was dry (we waited a few hours) gently remove it from the wax paper. We taped the tissue paper to the paper plate and taped a straw of yarn to hang and then taped another paper plate, thus encasing the tissue and yarn. Now it was ready to hang and enjoy.
Spider cookies: The girls love this recipe. With only four ingredients (five with the addition of cocoa nibs for this Halloween bath) it’s such a simple recipe to make with the girls. And there are no eggs, so I don’t worry about the girls if they taste test a little here and there.
- 1 banana
- 1/3 pumpkin puree
- 1 cup oatmeal
- a few shakes of pumpkin pie spice (V was completely in charge of this and I have no idea how much she added, haha).
Set the oven to 350˚ , make small 2″ cookies, add a few cocoa nibs to the top and bake for 17 minutes. Once the cookies are finished baking, before they cool, create little spider legs by drawing lines with a toothpick and melted cocoa nibs–this didn’t work too well, so we settled for a smashed spider look, haha.
E decided to work with her new shape game tiles while V made cookies. But as you can see, E enjoyed the end result of all her sister’s hard work and V was happy to share.
Spider web sensory and spider rescue: I wasn’t sure how the girls would react to this activity. They greatly enjoy finding things and handing them to me so I thought this might be a fun way to work those little fingers. We don’t normally do activities like this and I was curious to see if it was something we should incorporate more or if we needed more time before it was actually enjoyed. As with most activities, I put it together and had it available to them once they woke from their nap. They enjoyed it! They had fun finding the spiders and handing them to me. I only put 10 spiders in so that we could use our DIY ten frame and count them. I kept it simple with using just the spiders and web. I did end up wrapping yarn around a few times, just t give them each a clear working space. Afterwards they then bathed their saved spiders–they really love working with water, so I try to incorporate it as such as possible with our activities.
Dot sticker spiders: It’s been a while since we used stickers and I thought this would be a great opportunity as these stickers are the perfect size for them to grab, but not too big and unified. I removed the stickers and placed on the edge of the tray, making it easier for them to grab, but still giving their pincer grasp some strengthening work. After they stuck their stickers to the paper, we planned to use coloured pencils (but they preferred the pen I was playing sudoko with, haha) and drew legs. Were eight perfect legs drawn on each sticker? No. But that made this even more Halloween-y. It was like there were little spider bodies and different size legs all over the paper, haha. I worked on the same activity, modeling what they could do but leaving it to their own interpretation.
Are you planning on doing some Halloween activities with your little one? Does your family dress-up?