Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sshh...I cheated

(and changed my previous post titles)

I had planned to do thirteen back to back posts in honor of Halloween but the reality is, real life beckons and my responsibilities right now are mocking me big time. I will do my best to get back on track and finish up projects and take pictures and post...if only I had some children to borrow and put to work...the scrumdilly way. sigh.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

halloween fun: alien heads

Make Alien Heads...or monsters, sea serpents, clowns...what have you...

(pics will hopefully happen, please don't run away!

Alien antennae, monster hat, whatever you call it, this project is fun and can be made with items from your house. The only thing you really NEED to have are paper bowls, which can often be found at the dollar store. If your kidlet's noggin is too big for a paper bowl, you can use a plastic colander. All those holes are perfect for housing those creepy bits. This project is also an exercise inn design and concept. I have done many similar projects with kidlets as young as 4, You know your kidlet best so if you think this would frustrate them, just give them the supplies and let them get to crafting, otherwise, I encourage you to try it out from their design to the finished product.

What you need:
*paper bowls or a plastic colander
*glue, Tacky Glue would work best
*pipe cleaners, pom-pons, paper, etc.
*paint and or markers
*yarn or ribbon
*mess friendly work area

scrumdilly-do it!
Set out your supplies in a mess friendly area and grab a sheet of paper and a marker or pencil. Have your kidlet look at the bowl and/or colander and think about what kind of monster/alien hat they are going to make. They can pop the bowl onto their head and see how it looks to better visualize what they want. Ask them to draw it out onto the sheet of paper. This will be their blueprint for their hat.

To begin the hat making, discuss with your kidlet what they think they should do first. Do they want to change the color of the bowl? Should they paint it? Should they cover it in tinfoil? Paper? Fabric? Remind them to look at their picture as they go along. This is an exercise in planning and execution. Make sure to tell them it doesn't have to be EXACTLY like their picture but that their original drawing is to help them plan it out and visualize what they want to accomplish.

If their drawing includes all sorts of antennae and wobbly bits, brainstorm with them as to how they are going to stick them to their bowl. If they have a paper bowl, you can punch holes all over the edges with a hole punch, knitting needle or other pokey object. It goes without saying that your three or four year probably should not be jabbing their bowl with anything sharp so let them guide you as you add the holes for them.

Continue the dialog and process and check out the awesomeness that they create! Depending on your klidlet, you won;t have to guide them along completely, get up and move about and give them a chance to tackle this on their own, you know, except for the sharp object parts.

halloween fun: monster hands

Monster Hands!

Here is a fun project done in two parts that your kidlets can use to decorate the house. Bring on the lab!

What you need:
*two sheets of paper or a paper lunch sack
*glue (not a glue stick)
*paper clip or clothespin (optional)
*wax paper
*paints, markers, glitter, etc
*plastic bags like from bread or the grocery

scrumdilly-do it!

Have or help your kidlet trace his or her hand onto a sheet of paper or one side of a paper sack.

If using a sack, cut out the hand shape so that you have two hands. If using paper, use a paper clip or clothespin to anchor two sheets together (one on top of the other) and cut out two hands.

Remove the top hand and place the other on a sheet of wax paper. Draw a line of glue around the edge of the other hand, keeping the wrist area glue-free and place its match on top. You can use clothespins or paperclips to keep the pieces together. Allow to dry on the wax paper. The wax paper won't stick to the gluey mess.
Once dry, gently stuff the hand with a plastic bag or two, fiberfill or cotton balls. Draw a line of glue across the opening and anchor closed using a couple of paper clips or clothespins. If the paper rips, just add glue or tape over the rip.Have your kidlets go to town making their monster hand! They can paint, collage, color or glue it to their heart's content. Make it as funny or scary as you like. Do one side at a time and allow to dry. While you wait for it to dry, begin your next monster hand! Make a pair! Make a trio!You can do this with fabric as well or make big freehand monster hands from large paper grocery sacks. Oooh, make a large freehand monster hand on a pillowcase (inside out). stitch it up, decorate and you have a nifty trick or treat sack!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

halloween fun: tissue ghosts

a halloween classic: tissue paper ghosts

i can remember making armies of these ghosts (much to my mother's chagrin). i would often end up using an entire box of tissue and boy, did i get in trouble for that. you can make these with the traditional tissue, paper towels, tissue paper, fabric, cheesecloth or white plastic grocery sacks. whatever you choose, your kidlets will cotton to this like candy corn! this weekend, i whipped one up for the nephew (who is seven) and he made his own not ten minutes later and his had angry eyes!

what you need:
*tissue, tissue paper, fabric, cheesecloth or white grocery sacks
*scrap paper, newspaper, phone book pages, etc.
*string or yarn, twist ties or thin masking tape
*markers, permanent markers if using plastic

scrumdilly-do it!

Gather your supplies and get comfy. You can grab a box of tissue from the dollar store for cheap (i found cheesecloth there as well) but if using new supplies doesn't sit well with ya, see if you have any old white t-shirts or sheets you can cut up. Plastic grocery sacks can be cut up as well.. You will want your pieces to be about the size of a kleenex type tissue.

For each ghost, you will need two squares of tissue, etc. Pick up one piece of tissue and wad it up into a ball. You can have your kidlets race to see who wads theirs first or you can have them make monster-hulk faces as they wad/squeeze.Next, hold the balled up piece of tissue in one hand and plop a nice flat sheet over the ball with the other hand and twist to create a neck.Tie a piece of string or yarn to secure the neck. If you stick with white, it will blend into the ghost, you don't have to just check with your kidlet. Twist-ties would be awesome with this, you could also use cut pipe-cleaners.
Using your markers, add your face. Warn your kidlets that due to the tissue's texture, if the pens are held to the surface for too long they will weep into the paper and make big splotches of color. Some kidlets may begin experimenting with this while others may have a mini freak out. I remember discovering this on my own and being frustrated at first but then figuring out how to make the face quickly and being quite proud of myself!

Ta-da! You're kidlets have made their first ghost. Now it is time for an army of them!

You can hang these up in your doorway or home. I would not recommend hanging them outside unless you used plastic bags. They can be tied to a long sting for a banner or they can be "stitched" together with a needle and thread. Your kidlets can also glue them to a foam wreath or make your own wreath from a spare piece of cardboard. There are all sorts of boo-tee-ful things you can do with these ghosts! Have fun and don't forget to add your pics to the flickr group!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Halloween Hoots & Howls

How about some poetry fun!Halloween Hoots and Howls
Written by Joan Horton
Illustrated by JoAnn Adinolfi
Published by Macmillan 2008

From poems that rhyme to poems that don't; to poems that are spooky or just plain silly, Halloween Hoots and Howls can be used as a jumping off point for your kidlets to create their own Halloween fun. My favorite is the inaugural poem titled "I'm Dressing Up for Halloween". You can have your kidlets illustrate their own version of the character's costume and they can then write their very own tribute to theirs!

Friday, October 2, 2009

now you see it now you don't, now you see it again...

Need a quick project to amuse the wee ones? Put together a (tiny) batch of magical disappearing "ink" and let the fun begin.

What you need:
*baking soda
*shallow dish or jar lid
*white paper
*paint brush
*grape juice

scrumdilly-do it!

This recipe is not as full proof as as a good batch of traditional invisible ink but it also doesn't require any flames or heat. It has a bit of wow power and you can whip it up in a moments notice. Just know that some kids won't be know the type, the ones who can perform their own magic tricks and the ones who know exactly why the sky is blue? For those kidlets, let them do their own experimentation. Science is always a cool thing.Gather your supplies and set up as you would for any painting project.

Add a tablespoon or so if baking soda to your lid or dish and cap off with water. A little goes a long way.Have your wee one paint up their paper however they choose. They can practice their letters, draw a picture or decorate their paper with shapes and such. The heavier the paper you use, the more "sticking" power your ink will have. Explain that they are painting with magic ink or invisible paint. Ask them if they can see the paint as they work with it. Engage in the process and follow their cues.Once they are finished, set aide the paper to dry. Set up a kitchen timer and ask them to guess how long it will take for their pictures to "disappear".Once dry, set up a new dish with a small amount of purple grape juice. Talk about their invisible drawings and ask them if they can guess what will happen when you add the grape juice to the mix. Have your kidlet paint over their pictures with the grape juice. The baking soda paint will turn green when it reacts to the grape juice (It's because of the acidity in the two).Make sure your kidlets use their grape juice lightly. The more they paint with the grape juice, the quicker the baking soda will dissolve and the paper will become a green mess. You can help curb any disappointment by telling them the ink will disappear, reappear and disappear all over again.

Check out more recipes here.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

monster mush

I was one of those odd kids who ADORED oatmeal. ADORED it. But, then again, it often came in a tan and green pouch chock full of dehydrated apples and brown sugar. Still, Cap n' Crunch had nothin' on me, it was the oatmeal that did me on. Here's a kooky yummy recipe to kick off October. It being the month of tricks and treats, this bowl full of goodness is surprisingly good.**

What you need:
*1 cup rolled oats (not the quick or instant kind)
*1 cup water
*3/4 cup of green juice
*dash o salt
*a gummy worm or 2
*dried fruit & nuts
*milkish drink of choice

scrumdilly-do it:
Pour your liquids into a small saucepan and bring to a low boil. I used the green machine as it was pretty much the only green juice I could find, plus you get all sorts of vitamins in it's tasty!Once your liquids come to a boil, add your oats and a dash o salt, give it a stir and turn down the heat. Allow your oats to simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about ten minutes.

Remove from heat, dollop some of the cereal into a bowl and dress with your goodies. You can let the kids do this part or nit, it's up to you. Add nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc. You will not need or want to add any sweetener as the juice will have already flavored the whole shebang. Add you milk or soy if you will, top it off with a gummy worm and dig in!The heat from the cereal will melt the gummy worm in a matter of moments. The residual flavor and ooze from the candy will add an additional bite to the cereal. This is the part that I'm not the biggest fan of as I don't like cherry flavoring but kids? Kids LOVE faux flavors!

So there ya go, a hot bowl of monster mush, Happy October!

**What? Gummy worms in my breakfast cereal? Are you crazy? Here's the deal. If yer tot is an oatmeal lover then omit the worms. If you need to figure out ways to get yer kidlet to try the stuff, add the worm. One worm isn't too far off from those juicy fruity bites that kids often have in their lunches. Get the kind by Black Forest and you've got a smidge (a teeny tiny smidge) of Vitamin C in the bowl. Got a kidlet with an awesome imagination? Skip the candy and add dried cranberries, cherries and raisins and call 'em bugs. This is just a guideline to get you to think outside the box. I am not encouraging you to serve up a bowl of corn syrup for breakfast. But I am encouraging you to try really is yummy, except I'm really not a fan of the worms...they're ooey.