Tag Archives: Halloween activities for toddlers

Pumpkin Seed Sorting

Pumpkin Seed Sorting TrayThis little activity just came about organically.  Gracen and I were scooping out the insides of a pumpkin and she began collecting all of the seeds and carefully placing them in a neat pile off to the side. 

IMG 1515A couple of bowls, some “tools”, and a tray later, and she had herself her very own sorting station.

IMG 1519Though she could have collected the seeds much more quickly using her hands, she really liked the challenge of getting underneath the slippery little seeds and scooping them up into her spoons.  Great sensory play and fine motor skill development all in one {totally unplanned} activity? Yes please.

IMG 1521She even took the fun one step further and sampled a raw, goop-covered seed.  She slowly nodded her head and said, “Mmmmm… Yummy”, but her little scrunched nose and furrowed brow told me she felt otherwise. ☺

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Painted Polka-Dotted Pumpkin

Last year, we all carved our pumpkins together.  And though Gracen had a blast scooping out pumpkin guck, sorting seeds, and watching the carving action, she didn’t really get to take part in decorating her own pumpkin.

So this year, we decided to switch it up a little.  Brad and I still carved our pumpkins, but in order to let Gracen be fully in charge of decorating her very own garden-grown pumpkin, we set her up a little pumpkin painting station.

IMG 1237IMG 1242IMG 1244With a handful of brushes and little containers of purple, green, orange, black, and glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint, Grae got busy beautifying her pumpkin.

IMG 1252IMG 1257It was  the best of both worlds, because not only did she get to decorate her pumpkin, but she also got to help us do all of the fun messy parts of carving ours.

IMG 1269After having her fill of icky gunk scooping, it was back to pumpkin painting. She covered  the entire thing in a thick layer of paint and then we let it dry overnight.

IMG 1525The next day, we used a little trick I learned years and years ago and cut a hole in the bottom of the pumpkin (no need to mess with trying to get a lit candle in through the top – you simply set your candle down on a surface and place the pumpkin on top).  Together, we scooped the insides out and used our apple corer to polka dot the pumpkin’s surface (which worked brilliantly, btw).  

IMG 1533Gracen loves it.  It glows just like Mama and Papa’s jack-o-lanterns do, and we were able to preserve almost all of her painting masterpiece.

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Pink Sparkly Slime Halloween Treats

Slime Halloween TreatsBright and early this morning {while still in pajamas}, Gracen and I put together some little Halloween treats for her “yittle dance class fends”.  While a little non-traditional, I wanted to make something Gracen-friendly (she hasn’t had refined sugar / junk yet) and call me a downer, but between sweets from family members, school, and trick-or-treating, I think most kids get more than enough junk on Halloween as it is.  Our alternative?  Mini mason jars filled with sparkly slime. ☺

IMG 1165First off, Miss G helped me collect a few ingredients from around the house… Warm water, Borax, food colouring, glitter, and white glue.

IMG 1166To get us started, she emptied a generous amount of white glue into a large mixing bowl…

IMG 1169Then added some warm water…

IMG 1171A single drop of gel food colouring (she chose pink which isn’t particularly Halloween-ish, but I figure it’s perfect for a group of teeny tiny ballerinas)…

IMG 1175And a liberal amount of glitter.

IMG 1176Then we stirred everything up really well until the mixture was smooth and all of the glue globs had disappeared.

IMG 1178After setting our glue / water mixture aside, we added some Borax to the remaining warm water…

IMG 1180And stirred it well.

IMG 1182Then it was time for the magic!  While Gracen gently stirred the glue / water mixture, I slowly began pouring the water / Borax mixture in.

IMG 1187In just seconds, we could see the liquid starting to thicken up and come together in a large mass.

IMG 1188Once everything had been well mixed, I poured out what little excess water was left and Grae began kneading the slime.  Before long, the slime was firmer, less sticky, and ready to be packaged.

IMG 1189But not before sneaking in a little play time first though. ☺

IMG 1193Afterwards, we separated our pink sparkly concoction into 12 mini mason jars, which we already had on hand from the individual mason jar cheesecakes we had at  Gracen’s recent 2nd birthday party.

IMG 1202With our slime divided into containers, it was off to the computer next.  Gracen chose some fluorescent pink paper and the pumpkin clipart, I chose the fonts, and together we came up with these super simple labels.

IMG 1203A little orange marker and a dash of sparkle, and here’s the finished product.

 

Sparkly Slime (adapted from this recipe)

  • 2 cups of white glue
  • 1 1/2 cups of hot water
  • 1 drop of gel food colouring
  • 1 teaspoon of fine glitter
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons of Borax 

Combine the first set of ingredients until the mixture is smooth and free of glue blobs.  

In a separate measuring cup / bowl, combine the second set of ingredients until the Borax is dissolved into the water.

Slowly pour the Borax mixture into the glue mixture, stirring as you pour. When the slime comes together in a large mass, pour off the excess water and kneed the slime for a few minutes.

Package in pretty little mason jars and gift to your friends on Halloween.

* One thing to keep in mind is that while clear Elmer’s glue will work just fine for this recipe, the ‘environmentally friendly’ version will not.  Trust me. We tried it. TWICE. *

* Also, if you’re wondering about the safety of Borax, this post is extremely helpful. *

For more fun, join Mama.Papa.Bubba. on Facebook here.

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Howl-O-Ween Play Gym

This morning my little brown fox and I headed out to our first official Halloween event – ‘Howl-O-Ween Play Gym’ at our local community centre.  Gracen was super excited and happily announced different costumes as she saw them.  Her favourite? An ridiculously cute broccoli costume worn by the baby brother of two little girls in her Ballet with Billie class.

Here’s our morning in photos…

IMG 1054Gracen the fox.

IMG 1049Making music.

IMG 1059Jack-o-lantern (quite possibly the trickiest craft ever for wee ones 4 and under!)

IMG 1066Foxes teeter totter too.

IMG 1071IMG 1076IMG 1077Decorating a cookie for Papa.

IMG 1081So spooky.

IMG 1087Costume model.

♥ 

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Felt Board Jack-O-Lanterns

Felt Board JackolanternsHere’s a new {Halloween-themed} felt board activity I whipped up for Miss G this afternoon while she napped.  It was a super quick project and couldn’t have been more simple to put together.

IMG 0994All you need is some felt (I just use the cheap craft store stuff for felt board activities), a really good pair of scissors, and maybe some fabric glue if you want make your pumpkin stems green like I did.

IMG 0995I often cut out my shapes freehand, but since I wanted 3 distinctly different pumpkin shapes, today I quickly sketched them out first.  

IMG 0997Next, I cut out my pumpkin shapes, as well as some green stems for the tops.

IMG 0998Using Aleene’s OK To Wash-It fabric glue, I attached the stems to the pumpkins and set them aside to dry.  Of course, you could stitch them on or use regular craft glue for this job instead.  Or, another thought…you could not attach them at all and let adding stems to the pumpkins be part of the designing process.

IMG 1000While the glue dried, I worked on cutting out some jack-o-lantern eyes, noses, and mouths.  I did this freehand, making up the shapes as I went along.  Folding the felt in half in order to make symmetrical noses and mouths / two eyes at once made the job a lot faster and easier.

IMG 1007When Grae woke up, she was super excited to find a new activity waiting for her and got to playing right away.

IMG 1016She designed and redesigned the jack-o-lanterns again and again, sometimes very cautiously and sometimes more abstractly.  She even ended up using eyes as eyebrows and upside-down mouths as moustaches (two things I wouldn’t have thought of!)

IMG 1023

For an easy and inexpensive felt board DIY, click here.

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