Halloween

Halloween is such a great time to be creative, not take yourself too seriously and just have some fun.  There are so many ideas from cute and whimsy to gruesome and scary.  My taste falls somewhere in between.  Approachable, maybe a little bit of scare or the unexpected but never gory or creepy.  This year since we haven’t done any landscaping around our new house yet and it is rather bare, we decided to decorate part of our front lawn like a cemetery .  I know it’s been done many times before, but it is a first for us.  The kids loved it!  They really got into the Halloween spirit and helped with everything too.  Picking out the decorations and planning the design.  We had the typical tombstones and skeletons coming out of the ground but added a little bit of special effects with a fog machine that we hid inside a tombstone designed to conceal it with a skeleton face and red light up eyes and a wide open mouth where the fog would expel from.  Then we found light up skeleton heads that react to passers-by with various sounds and sayings.  Perfect for the unexpected trick-or-treater!  Overall I think it turned out great and loved to see the reaction of the trick-or-treaters when the cemetary would call out to them.  This was lots of fun to do as a family and will probably add on more for next year. 

Other great ideas to celebrate Halloween whether it be a class party, house party, or just for fun are listed below.  I’ve created these from online searches that I have done for my kids’ class parties.  All were a huge hit with the class and fairly easy to assemble.  Please give them a try at your next event and let me know how it goes.

dsc02387-2Coffin Mystery Box

What you need:

  • Large rectangular cardboard box, or construct one from cardboard/foam board
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Black spay paint
  • Black felt
  • Distressed gauze cloth (I purchased from Target)
  • Plastic containers to hold “body parts”
  • Black tape
  • “Body Parts”
    • Brain – cauliflower
    • Eyes – peeled grapes
    • Ears – dried apricots
    • Teeth – corn kernels
    • Tongue – banana peel
    • Heart – peeled peach or tomato
    • Intestines – cooked noodles (perciatelli) with a little oil to prevent sticking
    • Toes – cocktail franks

Directions:

If you don’t have a long rectangle box, you can easily construct one using cardboard/foam board and duct tape.  I was lucky enough to have had a delivery of long wall shelves and the shipping box was the perfect size for this project.  Once you have your “coffin,” start to plan the placement of your containers inside the box that will hold your “body parts” and draw square holes on the top of the box lid.  These are where hands will reach inside the box to feel the “body parts” so make sure they are large enough for a hand to easily reach in and out.  Use scissors and cut out the holes.  Remove your containers from the box and set aside.  Use black spray paint and cover the entire outside of the box.  Let dry.  Meanwhile, prepare your “body parts.”  Once box is dry, place filled containers in “coffin” and use black tape to keep box closed.  Cut black felt 1/2″ larger on each side than the square holes and cut an “X” in the middle of the felt.  Glue the felt over the holes.  This will help conceal the contents of your containers.  Drape distressed gauze over the “coffin” and around the holes.  I also created the following sign to help set the mood:

coffin-mystery-box-2016

dsc00962-2Mystery boxes

What you need:

  • 4 empty cube tissue boxes
  • Construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Gauze
  • Googly eyes, various sizes
  • Foam monster mouth sticker
  • Pencil
  • Glitter glue
  • Wax paper
  • Felt
  • Body parts:
    • Mummy toes – baby carrots wrapped in gauze
    • Monster eyes – peeled grapes
    • Frankenstein ears – dried apricots
    • Spider legs – pipe cleaners

Mummy Box Directions:

Remove plastic around tissue box opening.  Cut a piece of wax paper to size of box bottom and secure inside bottom of box using glue stick.  This will help prevent any moisture from damaging the box.  Cut construction paper to size of box sides and attach with glue stick.  Attach eyes with glue stick.  Next, wrap gauze around the box and secure with glue stick.  Lastly, cut felt to size of box top and cut an “X” in middle of felt.  Secure to top of box with glue stick.  Insert carrots with gauze wrapped around the middle.

Frankenstein Box Directions:

Remove plastic around tissue box opening.  Cut wax paper to size of bottom and secure inside bottom with glue stick.  Cut green construction paper to size of box sides and attach with glue stick.  Cut black construction paper in the shape of jagged hair and attach around top sides of box.  Cut black construction paper into strips for mouth and eyebrow and attach with glue stick.  Cut white construction into half ovals for eyes and attach under eyebrow.  Cut black construction paper into small circles and attach with glue stick for pupils.  Cut felt in shape of box top and cut “X” in middle, attach on top of box with glue stick.  Insert dried apricots.

Monster Box Directions:

Remove plastic around tissue box opening.  Insert and glue wax paper (cut to bottom size) to inside of box bottom.  Cut construction paper to size of box sides.  Place paper on cutting board and use end of scissors to puncture little holes in paper.  Attach the paper so that the rough/bumpy side is on the outside with a glue stick.  Next, use various size googly eyes and attach with glue stick.  Attach the foam monster mouth sticker.  Cut felt to size of box top, cut “X” in middle and secure with glue stick.  Finally, insert peeled grapes.

Spider Box Directions:

Remove plastic around tissue box opening.  Cut construction paper to size of box sides and attach with glue stick.  Draw spider web on box with pencil and trace with glitter glue.  Let dry.  Attach plastic spider if desired.  Insert bent pipe cleaners.

dsc00963-2Poke-a-Pumpkin

What you need:

  • Large cardboard/foam board
  • Construction paper
  • Desired pictures to decorate the board
  • Orange plastic cups (number will vary depending on need)
  • Orange napkins
  • Rubber Bands
  • Variety of “tricks” and “treats” to insert inside cups
  • Glue gun
  • Glue stick

Directions:

Use glue stick and attach background construction paper to board and dry.  Cut out pictures, label, and pumpkin stem and plan your design with cups on the board.  Use glue gun and glue bottom of cups to board.  Use glue stick and attach the label, pictures, and pumpkin stem.  Let dry.  Place your “tricks” and “treats” inside cups.  Secure napkins over cup tops with rubber bands.  Kids will then use their hands and poke through the napkin to receive their prize.

dsc00960-2Halloween Treasure Bottles

These are a fun activity to do at a class party and make a perfect take home gift.

What you need:

  • Clean, empty, dry, water bottles with label removed (I like the shape of the Fiji bottles)
  • Small grain bird seed
  • Small search objects such as buttons and beads (I found Halloween button shapes at Jo-Ann’s as well as other beads)
  • Search labels printed and cut to desired size
  • Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors

Directions:

First be sure your bottles are clean and dry.  Try using Goo Gone if you have any difficulty removing the labels.  I found that it helped to remove all the sticky glue under the label but needed to wash the bottles thoroughly as it left a greasy feel on the bottles.  Next, add some birdseed to the bottom of the bottles and then an object or two.  Continue alternating birdseed and objects until your bottle is almost filled.  Don’t overfill as you will need some space inside the bottle to shake the contents around.  Use hot glue or other strong craft glue around the inside of the bottle cap and screw on tightly.  Use a hole punch to create a hole on the corner of your label and tie around bottle top with ribbon.

 

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Captain Hook Ring Toss

I created two options, one with Captain Hook’s image and label for my daughter’s first grade class and the other without for my older son’s class who thought Captain Hook was a little “young” his big fourth graders.

What you need:

  • Large piece of cardboard or foam board
  • Construction paper
  • Large piece of paper for map
  • Pencil
  • Black Sharpie marker
  • Pirate hooks
  • 6 glow sticks and 6 connectors
  • Glue sticks
  • Hot glue gun
  • Pictures as desired to decorate

Directions:

First, glue construction paper in desired pattern on cardboard with glue stick and let dry.  Next, create treasure map.  To do this you will need to distress the paper by first tearing and cutting the edges.  Then use cooled dark tea and brush over the paper.  Let dry and repeat until desired color is reached.  After final dry time, plan the treasure map and placement of hooks and other pictures if using.  Once you know your placement, glue map paper to board with glue stick and dry.  Place hooks on paper and sketch with pencil your map around the hooks.  When you are happy with the design, trace over the pencil with marker.  Then use the glue gun and carefully glue the hooks onto the board.  Attach any pictures or labels with glue stick.  Finally create the rings by connecting two glow sticks until you have three rings.  Happy tossing!

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