Tag Archives: halloween

Toddler Food: What Miss G Eats {23: Halloween Edition}

Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, St. Patricks Day, or Halloween, one of the things I love most about holidays is preparing special themed meals and snacks for our little lady.  Here is some Halloween-inspired food she enjoyed this year…

IMG 1508Breakfast // Wholewheat flax spiderweb pancakes. (Just put your pancake batter into a squeeze bottle, use it to draw an asterisk, then connect the points with swooped lines.)

IMG 1755Snack // Jack-o-lantern oranges. (G seriously couldn’t get enough of these.  Simply draw a face on a room temperature orange with black Sharpie.  I did mine just before giving them to her – I don’t know what I’m talking about, but I’m not especially keen on the possibility of the marker fumes seeping through the peel.)

IMG 1362Lunch // {A slightly scary-looking} Jack-o-lantern quesadilla. (Just 2 red or orange tortilla shells cut by hand – think kitchen scissors – some cheese, black beans, and veggies.)

IMG 1756Snack // Home roasted pumpkin seeds.

IMG 1536Dinner // Roasted pumpkin soup with goat cheese, fresh parsley, and a grilled cheese on the side. (Not overly Halloween-ish, but you see what I’m going for, right?)

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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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Trick-or-Treating

Though we were hopeful, the rain didn’t let up in the least for Gracen’s very first time trick-or-treating… In fact, come dark, it was pouring down so hard that the rain was hitting the asphalt and then bouncing back up at us.  While not ideal for trick-or-treating, what are you going to do? We layered up our little fox, grabbed our umbrellas, and headed out with the goal of visiting at least a handful of houses. 

IMG 1363After stopping by Uncle Brett’s house for a quick visit, we made our way down his street.  Grae was so excited, and within a couple of houses, she had the knock, “trick-or-treat”, and “thank you!” down pat.

IMG 1371After carefully making her way down the steps, she’d squeal, “Different house! Different house!  Yook for yights… Yook for punkins!!!”

IMG 1378Then she’d quickly find another and shout, “Go to dis house!”  The girl was into it.

IMG 1381After looping around, visiting the houses on the other side of the street, and making our way back to our car, we headed back to our neighbourhood.  By then, the rain had lightened up quite a lot, so we headed into the backyard to light some sparklers.

IMG 1389I’m not sure where I originally saw it, but I remember seeing someone using a plastic cup as a sparkler shield during 4th of July festivities with their kiddos.  Brilliant, really.  Before heading out I had cut a tiny ‘x’ on the bottom of an extra party cup we had from Gracen’s birthday party, so all we had to do was poke our extra long sparklers through just a bit, and light them. 

IMG 1400It worked like a charm. 

IMG 1402And since I only poked them through a little bit, the part Gracen was hanging onto didn’t get hot at all.

IMG 1405Gracen happily held on until the sparklers were about half way down, then she’d pass them to one of us, and ask for a new one.

IMG 1415Before heading in, we quickly snapped a couple of shots of Gracen and I, because although we always have a ton of photos of Grae and Bradley together, pictures of Mama and Grae are few and far between.  (Sadly, by this point I was soaking wet falling apart mess, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.)

IMG 1428Inside, Gracen dumped out all of the treats she’d collected. Can you tell we had infused them with an equal amount of healthier “treats”?  Haha!  Who says people don’t hand out stamps, stickers, pretzels, seeds, crackers, organic fruit leather, and organic yogurt-covered raisins (a HUGE treat in our house)?  ☺

IMG 1423Grae then sorted the piles into a “Gracen pile” and a “Mama/Papa pile”, giving us all of the delicious, but terrible for you chocolate and candy, and happily giving herself all of the ‘Mama approved’ treats (that’s our girl!)  

Have you ever seen a child so excited for freeze-dried strawberries when there’s a plethora of chocolate bars, chips, and cheezies in front of her?

The night ended with a treat feast, a glow-in-the-dark bubble bath, and a tired little lady falling asleep to the sound of fireworks filling our neighbourhood.

 
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A Halloween Visit to Papa’s School

IMG 1274It’s been a busy day for us so far… After an early morning visit to SweetSalt Baked Goods & Playscapes for coffee, fresh bread, and ghost cookies made with organic flour and pumpkin, and a Halloween celebration at Strong Start, we headed to Bradley’s school for a little visit.  

IMG 1277Gracen was so excited to visit her Papa and show him the treat bag she’d made at school and even more excited to go from one classroom to the next, popping in to say hello to all of the lovely teachers.

IMG 1280What she wasn’t excited about, however, was leaving without Papa in tow.  Poor little lady cried her most pitiful cry and ran back to Papa twice after already saying goodbye and escaping Mama’s grasp. ☹

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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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Gracen the Fox

Weeks and weeks ago, I asked Gracen what she wanted to be for Halloween.  Without hesitation, she exclaimed, “Fox! A BROWWWN fox!”  Her response kind of surprised me because we haven’t really spent much time talking or reading or learning about foxes.  And at the time, I wasn’t convinced she’d have the same answer a week down the road.  But was I ever wrong.  Although she wavered a tiny bit between a being a brown fox and an orange fox, never once did she change her mind about the fox part itself.  So, Gracen the fox it was.  

I knew I wanted to make her little costume (making her Halloween costumes is just one of those things, like making her birthday cakes, that I want to do until she’ll no longer let me), but I had no clue how I’d do it.  So while I’d been collecting materials, I hadn’t actually started putting anything together until last night when I realized that our Howl-o-ween Play Gym had crept up on me and was the very next morning.  Oops.  So I kept it super simple (I highly recommend starting costumes with a hoodie) and just added ears, a tail, and tummy fur to a little brown hoodie, and made a mask to go along with it.  Here’s Gracen the fox…

IMG 1089

IMG 1092I’m still hoping to make little clawed mittens and clawed black boot covers before Halloween night, but we’ll see what happens…  All that matters right now is that Grae absolutely adores the costume and is already asking about when she can wear it next.  Soon, Baby Girl, soon.

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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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