Friday, October 31, 2008


I was experiencing technical difficulties all day so I never was able to post some last-last minute projects. Oh bats! I wish you all a safe and festive Halloween Eve. Tomorrow is Dia de los Muertos! A favorite holiday here in scrumdilly land. Check back tomorrow for some calavera and picado papel projects...make sure you have some glitter!

Here are some nifty links for you:
*el balero
*Day of the Dead Book list
*Easy Fun School
*Free Kids Crafts
*scrumdilly-do's cascarones project
*Crayola's sugar skulls activity
*tissue paper flowers from Crafty Chica

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Last Minute Halloween Projects

I'm not sure if I will be able to get pictures here for ya. I'm up to my eyeballs in craft bits for Felt Club which is on November 16. However, I need to get all the bits finished by November 6 as we are taking a road trip to Portland. How crazy is it that I am returning the day before the big event? Yikes! So, without further ado, let's whip up some Halloween craftiness shall we?

It's all about orange. You can do this with any color really, a secondary color is best so that your wee ones can have a blast mixing up their own colors. Since Halloween is tomorrow, let's think about pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns and the color orange!

Orange Collage:

Gather up all your orange bits you may have on hand. Pull out the orange crayons, markers & paint. You can use orange bits of felt, fabric or construction paper. Get slap-happy with orange glitter, confetti, pipe cleaners, ribbon, stickers, glue, feathers and whatever else you can find. Hand your kidlet a paper plate or piece of cardboard and some glue and have them create an orange collage. Let them search for orange through old magazines. List all the things they can think of that are orange.

Mix paint:

Set out some yellow and red paint and have your wee ones mix up their own orange. Give them a paper plate or have them cut out a pumpkin shape and paint jack-o-lanterns. Make sure to give them some white and black paint as well. Ask them what they think will happen if they use just a little red in their yellow. What about a lot of red? What about adding black?

Orange shaving cream:

Grab a resealable plastic bag and some old fashioned shaving cream. Skirt a bunch of the stuff into the bag and add a drop of red food color and a drop of yellow food color. Seal it up and hand it to your wee one. Let hem squish, squish, squish away to mix up some orange fluff. Snip a corner off the bag and let hem squeeze out the glorious goo onto a plastic tray (the lid of a storage container will work) or a cookie sheet with a ledge on it. Finger paint fun for all!

Orange snacks:

Serve up a muffin tray style lunch sponsored by the color orange! Use cheddar cheese, goldfish crackers, cheese puffs, oranges, cantaloupe, mac & cheese and whatever tickles your fancy. Whip up an orange juice and banana smoothie and enjoy!

Perpetual Jack-O-Lantern:

Make a felt board pumpkin. Grab an old cereal box or gift box and cut out a large pumpkin shape. Wrap it up in orange flannel or felt and cut up some black and/or yellow felt shapes. Instant funny face fun! Talk about the shapes you see and if your kidlet is scissor happy, have them cut out the shapes themselves. You can even use this next year as a design board for before you cut into the pumpkin!

For a few more ideas, check out these links:
*Monster Munch from Woman's Day
*More Halloween crafts from Woman's Day
*Slime Punch from
*Popcorn Balls from Country Living
*Halloween Crafts also from Country Living
*Nifty Halloween Templates from Matthew Mead

Stay tuned for even more last minute projects and nifty things to do with all that sweet trick or treat loot! Have a Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Midnight Pictures You Can't Resist

Here's a classic from my childhood. You've probably done this before, even with your kidlets. turning it into a jack-o-lantern picture makes the old wax resist seem new again! Have fun!What you need:
*heavy white paper (you can use a paper plate in a pinch)
*crayons or oil pastels
*black watercolor or watered down tempera/acrylic
*paintbrushesscrumdilly-do it!

Set out your supplies making sure you are in a mess friendly zone. Children and watercolors cane get a little zaney. You are going to ask your kidlets to draw the most fierce or funny or wild looking jack-o-lantern they can imagine using the crayons. I did a test run with the three kinds of crayons I had on hand to see which would be most vibrant. I tested Paperchase, Rose Art and Cray-Pas. I thought the Cray-Pas (oil pastels) would be best but it looks like the Rose Art beat out. What do you think?Once you have your dazzling array of jack-o-lanterns. Set out the watercolors or prepared tempera. I used black bio-bolor with a lot of water mixed in. Hand them their paintbrushes and encourage them to paint OVER their picture. As you are doing this, start asking questions about the process."Do you think the paint is going to cover your pumpkin?" "Have you done this before?" "What is this process called?" "What other pictures could you draw for nighttime?" "What would happen if your picture was all in black as well?"We're focusing on black paint and jack-o-lanterns to make this activity Halloween-ish. You can of course use any color or as many colors as you like. Let your wee ones explore with the technique. Switch it up and give them white crayons on white paper like we did last year. Let your wee ones lead the way and you'll be surprised!

*ppsst...hey, if you won the candy corn contest I still need some addresses. Please email them to scrumdillydo (at gmail) .com. Thanks!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

drum roll please!

We have some winners now don't we? With 287 pieces of candy in the jar, there will be snappy Halloween prizes going out to:

*Margaux (225...poor Dawson!)
*Aaron (250)
*Mathilde (235)

Please email your mailing info to scrumdillydo at (good old) Make sure to remind me who you are and thank you so very much for playing1 I loved reading all the guesses and wish I could send everyone a goodie. Happy October and stay tuned for more monster making, midnight painting and of course, more fun with candy corn, cuz ya never can have too much!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Variation on a theme: ghostie blobs

**Yikes! I forgot to take pics for the steps with the faces and such. I am so sorry. I got distracted by the beautiful yellow crab spider that was hiding in my pink hollyhock
I'm all about the blobbiness and making old paint tactics look new again. When it comes down to it, children like to play. It's us grown-ups that think we need to reinvent the wheel when we actually don't...most of the time.

So, gather up some black construction paper or any other black paper you have along with some trusty old white paint, acrylic or poster or even some super watered down flour paste and prepare to set up a ghost factory for your wee ones!What you need:
*black or dark paper. The sturdier the better.
*white paint (acrylic, poster, tempera work best)
*splat mat or washable tablecloth for the creation station
*colored cardstock, black would be extra nifty
*glue stick, hole punch, those trusty phone book pages (optional)
*doodads like pom-pons, foam shapes, pasta shapes, glitter and/or stickers
*smock, apron, art shirt, or mess friendly clothes (it might get messy!)scrumdillydo-it!

Set up your work area. Kidlets and paint usually make for a mess. Make sure you are okay with them getting paint on themselves or their clothes. If not, you may need to try a different project or set them up with someone else and go grab yourself a latte or a visit out just for you.

Give each kidlet a sheet of dark paper and have them fold it in half like a book. Remember the fireworks paintings? We're doing the same thing only were using white paint only!Next up, blob up one side of paper with paint. Your kidlets can put the paint anywhere on one side, hopefully aiming for the center, but make sure they don't fill up the entire page. We're aiming for ghostie blobs here. Fold the paper in half and rub from the fold outward. Knowing how kids work, this is where the mess comes in. You will probably get paint oozing out of the sides. No worry as long as you prepared for the mess!Open up the paper and check out your ghostie creation. Add glitter to the wet paint while it is still wet if your wee one wants glittery ghosts. Set aside to dry and work on some more. While you and your wee ones do this, talk about technique. How much paint is too much? How little can you use and still get a ghost? Can you make a baby ghost? What about a pink ghost or a pale green ghost? If they wish to add some color, go for it!Once the ghosts are dry, have your wee ones add faces. They can make happy ghosts, scared ghosts, silly get the picture. They can use markers or they can glue on bits from the scraps you assorted. While you are waiting for the faces to dry, go read a ghostie story such as Ghosts in the House or There's No such Things as Ghosts. You can check out the scrumdilly-do bookstore for more fun Halloween titles.

When the ghosts are dry, help your wee ones cut them out and glue them first to a phone book page (not necessary but adds a little depth to the ghost and uses up that phone book!) Cut them out again and glue to heavier card stock. Punch a hole somewhere on the side and loop some yarn or fishing like through the hole. Hang the ghosts in the hallway or by a window. Make a bunch for a neighbor. Run them through a laminator and loop a piece of painters tape to the back and stick them on a window or wall. You've now created a circus of ghosts! Have your wee ones give them names and create stories about them. Ask you kidlets to tell you about them, write it down or record them and save for future Halloweens. Most of all, have fun!
**Yikes! I forgot to take pics for the steps with the faces and such. I am so sorry. I got distracted by the beautiful yellow crab spider that was hiding in my pink hollyhock! I'm so sorry!**

For older kidlets you can vary this to make Sugar Skull blobs for Dia de los Muertos. I'll see if I can muster up a few for you to use as a reference.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

dandy candy, what's your guess?

Winners announced tomorrow.

Take a closer look will ya? In this jar I have dumped oodles and oodles of candy in a variety of shapes and sizes. There is candy corn, peanut butter m&ms, apricot wedges & black licorice bits. The jar is your average sized pasta jar repurposed just for this bit of scrumdilly-fun! Top three guesses (without going over), one in each age category will win a halloween pack from scrumdilly-do! To play, leave a comment here with three things:

1. your guess
2. your name
3. your age category

Age categories are:

X. 9 months-3 years
Y. 4-6 years
Z. 7-10 years

Get your counting on and guess, guess, guess away! Contest closes October 20 so that I can mail out the prizes before Halloween (not my strong point)! Lookie here for some of the prizes:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

doodle monsters to the rescue!

Doodle Monsters are nothing more than amorphous shapes drawn by yourself or your wee ones. To have a successful fleet of them however one needs to have the patience to doodle them out. And, as with any true scrundilly-do project there are two levels, TWO, just for you to take these monstery-bits with you. Let's start with the easiest bit first, Doodle Monsters!

Any L.A. local folks out there? Did you ever watch Popeye Cartoons early on Sunday Morning. Do you remember Tom Hatten, the host? He would do this thing where he would open up your mail in which you mailed him a blob or doodle of some sort and he would then turn it into something artful! Doodle Monsters are a little bit of the same idea only instead of artful we're going for MONSTERS!

what you need:
*paper, paper, paper. drawing paper, newspaper, origami paper you name it.
*pencils, pens, crayons, markers. It all up to you and may depend on your paper choices.
*hole punches, glue stick, glue. paint. all optional.scrumdillydo it!

Set your paper out and doodle yourself up a shape. You can warm up with lumpy circles or ovals but get a little wacky and create some dazzling doodle shape. Add loops, swirls and long jagged tunnels. Simply doodle.Once done, cut it out and add glue to another piece of paper and then cut that out. You can do it one more time if ya like or not, it's all up to you. I glued my doodle monster to a page from the phonebook and then some black paper. Now, if you are doing this with a friend or family member, trade doodles. Use whatever you pulled on hand to turn that doodle into a monster of sorts! Marker will work just as well as any collage cits. Add an eye or a zillion eyes. Give it a mouth or two or three. Add arms and legs. Add spots, dots, zigs or zags. It is all up to you as to how that doodle becomes a monster! Back your monsters with a stick of some sort and have a duel between the doodle monsters and the cauliflower monsters. Alls fair in puppet play and monsters! OT, you can punch a hole at the top and loop some invisible fishing line through it and you have a monster dangler to protect you and your Halloween loot from your greedy older sibling. Make a whole fleet to hang and you are good until next October.

Once you feel like a professional doodle monster maker, we can move on to turning your doodle monsters into bean bag monsters! Coming soon!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy October!

When I was a kid, the Halloween countdown began the day after Halloween. I would immediately start planning my costume. It would drive my mom batty! What better way to celebrate Halloween by making it a month long affair? If you're not into Halloween you can tweak most any of the projects I'm going to share with you this month for fall or spring harvests!
Let's kick off Halloween month with a "use what you have" wreath! You may think a child would be uninterested in making a wreath for your door but hey, it involves paint, it involves glue and it can involve mess, or not, if your kidlet is not of the mess monster variety.

What you need:
*cardboard ( a cereal box will work)
*old phonebook or newspaper
*paint ( you can use whichever kind you have on hand)
*sponges or brushes or hands if you're brave
*scissors are optional but you will need them to cut out the wreath
*pipecleaner, soda tab, paperclip or wire to hang
*large bowl or plate
*wax paper (optional)
scrumdilly-do it!

Set up a mess friendly workspace. Use an old vinyl tablecloth as a splat mat or a sheet or put newspaper down on your work surface.

Breakdown the cereal box so that you have a large piece of cardboard. Have your child use a plate or turned over bowl as a stencil for the wreath. You can turn it into a hunt and/or a lesson in measuring and size concepts. "Which bowl will fit?" "How big do you want your wreath to be?" Turn the plate or bowl over and hold in place while your wee one traces a circle around it. You can of course ask your child to simply draw a large circle. Find a smaller bowl or round object to use for the center of the wreath. Trace. If your kidlet is able, have her or him cut out the first large circle. Cut out the center circle to complete the wreath shape. Set aside.Bring out the newspaper or phone book. Tear pages of the phone book out for easier workability. Set out your paint and challenge your wee ones to cover as much of the paper as they like. They can use any color they want but if you want to make the wreath more Halloween-like limit the color palette by first discussing what colors remind them of Halloween (or fall or spring). If you want to up the challenge set out only primary colors and let your kidlets mix the paint. You can turn it into a lesson of "what makes orange" (or green or purple). They can then paint using whichever means you've set out for them. Set the pages aside to dry. Phone book paper is pretty thin so set out a minimal amount of paint. The good thing is phone books are thick beasts. If the paper tears, just grab another sheet.Once dry, have your wee ones tear up the paper! Tear it up! They can cut it into strips if they like or you want them to practice with scissors but tearing is something most children don't get an opportunity to do. Tearing allows for fine motor skills, it encourages the pincher grip and allows an opportunity to experience cause and effect. "How long a strip can you tear?" "How small?".Once the strips are torn, liberate that glue and have your kidlet cover their cardboard wreath with it. Talk about how they are going to use the glue. They can paint it on, they can dab it on or they can pour a bug glob and use their hands to smear it all over the place! You can also begin by asking your wee one how they want to cover the wreath with their torn paper. Some may want to layer, others may want to crumble and glue. Do you remember making tissue paper pumpkins? You would wrap the small square of tissue paper around the end of a pencil, dab into the glue and press. There are a great many ways your wee one could do this, let them choose. Use a sheet of wax paper beneath the wreath shape to prevent sticking to the work surface. A plastic place mat or tablecloth will work as well.Your child can now cover that cardboard however they choose. They can add layer upon layer if they like. They can paint instead of glue. You can make this an ongoing process, take a few days if you like. Attention spans run short. Once dry, add your hanging attachment to the back, add embellishments such as a bow or candy, hang; and let the celebration begin!Since this is a "use what you have" project don't feel limited to newspaper and phone book pages. We have a stack of phone books that always seems to grow so I thought let's use this! You can use pasta, rice, fabric, colored paper, whatever you have on hand. This is a craft project that may appear to be project based but it is not. When you allow your child choices and freedom to create how they choose they develop important reasoning skills, autonomy and pride in their work. It is when you don't allow for creativity and wiggle room that keeps them from the process and from learning about the world around them. It doesn't matter if they finish the project it matters that they have fun while doing it. Happy October!