Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pin The Spider On The Web

This was a fun little Halloween game to play with the girls that snuck in a little bit of learning as well. I think it will be staying on the wall long after today is over though because they are both enjoying it a lot!


* black streamers
* blutac (or 'sticky tack')
* spider pictures
(we just used Google images)
* blindfold

Using streamers and blutac we created a spider web on the wall.
The idea of this game is essentially the same as 'Pin The Tail On The Donkey' but using a web and spiders instead.

Instead of a generic spider shape I decided to use pictures of common Australian spiders that the girls see often.
I put the spiders names on the reverse side of the picture before laminating them so that we could learn those as well.
We looked at each spider and talked about where we thought it got it's name, how venomous it was (or wasn't), where it liked to live and if we had seen them before.

The girls loved being blind folded and spun around before attaching their spider to the web.

We were trying to see who could get closest to the center of the web.

They both did very well!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Colour Mixing - Paper Plate Pumpkins

The girls added to our Halloween decorations today by making some paper plate pumpkins. Not only was it a lot of fun but they got to do some colour mixing and fine motor play as well. I think we will have to do a Christmas version of this activity, it was very popular!


* paper plates
* red and yellow paint
* brushes
* face shapes cut from a template
(available at the bottom of this post)

I made up some simple 'face shapes' for our jack-o-lantern plates and then printed out a sheet for each of the girls (our shape sheet is at the bottom of this post if you would like to use it too).

Before they started painting we had some fun arranging the pieces to decide where they would go.

The girls loved squeezing the paint onto their plates. 
At first they both added too much red compared to yellow and had to slowly add more yellow to get orange, it was great to watch them working it all out and seeing the different shades we ended up with on each pumpkin.

Bubble mixing her paint to get just the right shade of orange.

While the paint was still wet they added the faces to make their jack-o-lanterns.

We ended up with a whole pumpkin patch on the wall.

I love how they turned out and will be keeping them for next year!

Right click and open in a separate tab (at full size) and then print.


Witches Cauldron Sensory Play

The girls have been reading a lot of Halloween books from the local library and our own collection in the lead up to the big event. Their favourite ones are all about witches and in particular they have been enjoying The Witches' Supermarket by Susan Meddaugh.
Today I set up a mini 'witches supermarket' for the girls sensory play activity and it was a bit of a hit. Some of our 'ingredients' might be a bit too icky for some, there are lots of different yucky and not so yucky things you could include.


* cauldrons 
(ours were $1 from Hot Dollar but you could use anything; a bowl, bucket, empty plastic container)
* mixing spoons
* witchy ingredients
we had: 
slime (instructions here)
eye of newt (chickpeas)
worms (cooked spaghetti and black food colouring)
snails (cooked pasta shells and green food colouring)
maggots (rice)

The girls were very excited to play at being 'witches'.

A few cauldron essentials.

This activity provided a great imaginary and sensory play experience, lots of different textures to mix and squish.

Whenever we do messy play activities we set up a 'wash up station' nearby with warm water and a towel that the girls can use when the messiness gets a bit much.

Green Jelly Slime

As part of our Halloween activities I wanted to make the girls some 'slime' to use for sensory play. They aren't very fond of the cornstarch type so instead we tried making some using jelly, water and a blender. It turned out really well, the consistency was perfect and very very slimy!


* jelly (mixed and set)
(I made up a bowl using two packets, one green and one clear)
* water
* blender or stick mixer
(use with caution around kids!)

We made the jelly the night before and then in the morning just scooped it straight into the blender.

We gave it a quick blitz with the blender and then added water before mixing it further. We kept adding more and more water until we had the consistency we wanted.

We found that the jelly slime would solidify a little bit after sitting so it took us a few goes to get it just right. We used two packets of jelly and added around 1 1/2 cps of water all up.

Green jelly slime ready for some witchy play time.

Painted Witches Hats

Halloween is still a bit of growing event in Australia. 
It's not something I ever remember being around when I was growing up, except for on US television shows, and last year was our very first experience with Trick or Treaters.
The area we live in now appears to be quite into the Halloween spirit which is something I'm quite delighted about since our girls seem to love it. They love the bats and the lanterns and the 'spookiness', and they both have a special fascination with witches.
We are yet to go Trick or Treating ourselves but we still like to dress up and play Halloween games at home (and answer the door for all the little ghosts and princesses who knock!). The girls wanted to be witches last year and this year is no different, so we decided to personalise their witches hats in preparation for Wednesday!


* dress up witches hats
(ours were $2 each from BigW)

* old newspapers
* paints (we used acrylic)
* craft glue
* glitter/sequins/buttons etc...
* brushes 

First I stuffed the hats with newspaper so they would stand up straight and be easier for the girls to paint.

Then they got to work with their acrylics, craft glue and decorations.

This was after they had finished painting, once it was dry they used glue to attach all sorts of 'interesting' things.

I love the little details, like these eyes on top of Squeak's hat,

and these buttons on Bubble's.