Category Archives: Halloween

Dinosaur Halloween Birthday Party

Last year my daughter wanted a dinosaur birthday party, and since her birthday is on Halloween we combined the two themes.

We started the party by having kiddos work on a personalized dinosaur bag and foam magnet. It was a great arrival activity!

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My husband then read a Dinosaur Halloween book called T-Rex Trick or Treats. It was a PERFECT literature connection between our two themes- I liked the book so much that I based all our party activities on it!

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Our games included pin the skull on the dinosaur,

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jumping our dinosaur inflatables around on our parachute,

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t-rex trick or treating,

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and making dinosaur witches brew. All the images from our signs are from the book- loved how it worked out!

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The kids got to take a small bag of our brew home as part of their goodie bags.

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Treat table included this fruity monster and other dino foods:IMG_0957 IMG_0948 DSCN9765

We also handed out dinosaur books to kids- you can never have too many books! And yay for educational ones, too!

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I hope these pics inspired you to create your own amazing dinosaur party!

Happy teaching!

Rainbow Unicorn Halloween Birthday Party

My daughter is obsessed with rainbows. And unicorns. And her birthday is on Halloween. I wanted to incorporate all of that into one party theme…. and this is what I came up with.

A Rainbow Unicorn Halloween Party!
First- the decorations:
Rainbow streamers, paint card samples, and pom poms everywhere.

 

Even the pumpkins on the front porch were decked out in colored ribbon to fit the theme.

Treats:
Rainbow slush. So good!


 We made rainbow cookies by adding food coloring to different sections of the dough, sectioning them into little beach balls, rolling those balls into a snake, and then spiraling the snake into a circle. 

A picture of our treat table

One useful idea: Use Ikea plates/cups/utensils instead of purchasing paper products. They are better for the environment, pretty stinking cheap, and you can use them again and again! Plus they are in the rainbow colors- perfect for our theme!

Rainbow M&M treat jar/ balloon weight

Cupcake stand decorated with rainbow ribbon. Even the cupcake wrappers are rainbow colors!

 Of course the birthday girl got a special cupcake complete with a mini unicorn.

 Activities:
We started out decorating trick or treat bags with rainbow stickers and markers. Once they finished that,  they could work on making a rainbow fruit loop necklace.

While the kids worked, the adults mingled. I am still shocked at all the people we fit into our house!

Once the kids were done with their bags, Aaron read them the story “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. Its a tradition to incorporate storytime into Boo’s birthday parties. I pick out the book- and Daddy reads it!

We all came dressed in rainbow colors- except Boo who was wearing a rainbow shirt.

In the basement, we had unicorn races. I made my own stick horses using socks and a broomstick and added a foam cone to make it a unicorn.

We also played with a colorful parachute and rainbow balls. The kids had a riot with this activity!

Our culmintating activity was rainbow trick or treating. We have 6 doors upstairs that I decorated with tissue paper. Luckily I had some awesome volunteers who stood behind each door and passed out candy that was the same color as the door.

The actual day of Boo’s birthday (Halloween) I used rainbow streamers to create a path around our entire house leading to a special treasure: a giant diamond paperweight. Fake, of course 🙂 A special treasure for my most valuable treasure!

Happy Teaching! And Happy Party Planning! 🙂

Fall Bucket List

It’s time for fall! YAY! I love everything about this time of year and wanted to make sure we accomplished everything fun fall related- so we created a Spooky Pail List! I am excited to share our ideas!!

Yellow and Orange popsicle sticks in a festive Halloween pail

Just like our summer bucket list, I color coded our activities. I decided to keep it simple- completing our summer list got to be a bit of a chore- and while we didn’t complete it we still managed to do about 100 activities! It was WAY too intense. This is what I came up with- and yes, I only used fall colored popsicle sticks which I purchased at the Dollar Tree (that store is my one true weakness).

Yellow Popsicle Sticks (food and treat ideas)
fall cookies
pumpkin pie milkshakewe had this last year and it was SO good- even my husband who hates pumpkiny food liked it!
bake pies
caramel apples

other Yellow ideas that we MIGHT do:
homemade chili
homemade bread bowls
caramel apple cider
plus 50 more fall treat ideasthey look SO good!

Orange Popsicle sticks (activities)
nature walk/ hike
corn maze
pumpkin patch
hay ride
football game
apple orchard
city’s annual pumpkin walk
play in a leaf pile- and take pictures
“boo” our neighbors (so if you happen to be my neighbor and you are reading this- kindly disregard what I just wrote)
leaf art
decorate a pumpkin
scary movie
13 Days of Halloween countdown
Mummy on the Move

other Orange ideas that we might do:
spider ring hair
sprouting pumpkin seeds inside a pumpkin

We are going to be adding Brown Popsicle sticks to our container in November- these will be our Thanksgiving related activities.
Here are some ideas:
thankful rolls
thanksgiving countdown activity for kids- looks super cute!
little turkey cookies
yarn ball thankful turkey

Hope you all have a wonderful fall! Happy Teaching!

Spooky Safari Halloween Birthday Party

My daughter’s birthday is on Halloween- it’s so fun! We try and have a Halloweenish birthday party for her every year. We had an “ABC’s of Halloween” party when my daughter was into her alphabet, and a “Bibbety Bobbety Boo” princess Halloween party when she loved Cinderella. This year we went with a safari theme since my Boo is totally into animals! She loves the weird animals no one has ever heard of- like the ibex and the okapi. Boo even wanted to be one of them for Halloween- but poor Mom had no idea how to make either – and luckily for me she ended up choosing a tiger costume. Phew!


The Invitation
Simple and fun! I got the clipart from Shannon’s Digital Scrapbooking.



The Guest List
When asked who to invite to her party- my daughter told me “everyone”.  We opted to just invite some close friends, family, and friends from her church class and preschool.


The Food
You can’t just have pizza and salad on animal safari! We braved it up and ate predator pizza, safari salad, and skeleton bone breadsticks. Drinks were found at the water hole, and although I forgot to tell people the official name during the party- we had ibex ice cream sundaes. 
Treat jars included tiger eyes (eye ball candy from the Dollar Tree) and okapi brains (gunny worms).

The Decorations
Green and black streamers gave us the scary jungle feel. We listened to Halloween music- including Halloween background music that actually sounds like a haunted forest so it was PERFECT for our spooky safari! I hung skeletons and Halloween decorations from the dollar store. The kids table had little Halloween pails with animal crackers. There were signs for all the food- as well as a welcome sign and animal footprints leading guests to the party room(since the party was held at our church).

The Games
Every year we read a story at the party. Two of the years I actually made books! This year I was lucky enough to find the book Jungle Halloween. It was a perfect book for the young audience (3-5) and it went so nicely with our theme!

After the story, we went to the gym and played hippos in mud (similar to musical chairs but kids walk around in a circle and try to get stuck on brown pieces of construction paper-aka mud). 

We also had a jungle frog jumping contest with frogs bought at the dollar store. This was a riot! The frogs were also part of the party favors for the kids to take home. 

On your mark…., get set….., go!
After the frog jumping contest the kids huddled together and played with the frogs 🙂

We played a short game of animal charades. I had pictures of different jungle animals folded up in a basket, and guests would pick an animal and act it out  while everyone else tried to guess.

We took a short cake/ice cream/open presents break, then it was time for our final game! The kids went on an animal safari to three different parts of our spooky jungle- the snake pit, the haunted forest, and  bugs & bones land. Each room had plastic creatures (animals/snakes/bugs/skeletons….based on the theme) that the kids could hunt for. I had purchased what I THOUGHT was a bag of little spotting scopes for the kids to take with them on their hunt- but they ended up being little noisemaker whistles (why do some party stores not label their favors!) So if I were to do anything different- i would have made sure that the kids take a scope or toy binoculars to take with them! The kids had a blast with the safari and it was a great culminating activity before the kids went home.

Happy Teaching!

Big Pumpkin Printables

One of our most favorite Halloween stories EVER is Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman. We have probably read this book at least 50 times this year (if not more!) We love the silly storyline, the flow of the text, and the lessons on cooperation. Those who embrace literacy know that when you find a book you love, you just don’t read it… you celebrate it! 
I put together some fun learning activities that go along with Big Pumpkin that I wanted to share with you. Just click on the titles of each activity to download the file. Enjoy!!

Big Pumpkin nomenclature cards– This was one of our favorite activities! Recently we tried our hand at some pumpkin nomenclature cards, and while they were fun- they were also frustrating (lots of words that looked very similar, small font, too many cards). This time we played it like a game.

First, my daughter picked three cards (with both pic and word) from the pile.  It was her idea to turn the cards face down- to give it an element of surprise.  She also wanted to sit on her pink stool during the game which meant a lot of bending down…silly girl! Then she found the picture card match. The last step was to find the word match. I love that she had the decision power to pick her cards. And there were less cards to match. And of course it went with one of our dearest Halloween books!

To make the game- print out two copies of both sheets. Cut out the pics and words together on one copy, and cut the pics and words separate on the other copy. Then you are ready to find the matches!

Big Pumpkin pocket chart cards. This is a great way to look at how individual words make up a sentence as well as becoming familiar with punctuation (we had fun reading sentences with a “period” voice and an “exclamation point” voice). My daughter was able to switch out the witch/ghost/vampire/ and mummy cards on the chart as we talked about each of the characters trying to get the pumpkin off the vine.

Story summary paper book– Just a simple retell of the story as a printable book. There are no pictures so your kiddos can create their own illustrations!

Trace & Write word boxes– These boxes are great for kids learning to correctly write short and tall letters. I created these pages to go with Big Pumpkin because handwriting is a big focus of our “school time”.

Halloween Word Ladder– A very simple word activity where the word “bag” changes to “cat” (one letter at a time) in just two steps! Like I said, very simple….

Retell cards (no file here, go to the clipart site to download images and print)- I am in LOVE with the cutest Halloween clipart from Phillip Martin. It is adorable! Not only have we used it in our activities above, but I printed out each of the images on card stock as a visual aid while telling the story. (It’s destiny that Phillip Martin has super darling clipart for all the characters of Big Pumpkin!)

Fun story retell with pumpkin basket, paper bat, ghost potato head, and witch, vampire, and mummy rubber duckies. And the Little People house is the witch’s house, where she goes to make the pumpkin pie. 🙂

Happy Teaching!

Bat Words: Playing with the -at Word Family

Have fun learning all those -at words with these fun Halloween bats!

Playtime ideas:

  • Place bats around the room. Shout out one of the at words, and have your kiddo run and find the bat with that word. If your child found the correct bat, do a happy bat dance! If not, encourage and cheer them on until they do!
  • Play a batty game of I spy.  “I spy a word that begins with c  and ends with the -at sound. Can you find it?”
  • Once your child has mastered a word, hang that bat from the ceiling above their bed. Praise your little one for reaching to the sky! And just think, they will be waking up to -at words each morning! Yay for literacy!! 🙂
Happy Teaching!

my BOO apothecary jars

Decorating for the holidays is quickly becoming one of my favorite things to do. I saw THIS idea from Uncommon on Pinterest (I seriously am obsessed with this site). Once I saw this project, I fell in love!! I made a quick run to Hobby Lobby to get the materials. I grabbed some jars and letters… but needed the candlestick bases and finials. My father in law was SO kind to make some for me. The initial plan was to paint all the wood black… but after seeing the beauty of the natural wood, I changed my mind. Aren’t they BEAUTIFUL!!! He did such an incredible job and I am so thankful for his help. I just love the way they look!  I painted the letters, filled the jars with candy corn, added the ribbon, and they were done! I found the cool orange glitter ribbon to hang the letters at Michaels… so sparkly!

Although you might have seen these jars around the web, here are some additional creative tips for this project (thanks again to my father in law and his wife!!).

~In order to use less candy corn, I put cans of tomato paste in the center of each jar. It’s our hidden stash of food storage :).

~I didn’t want the jar to break and then have to somehow remove broken pieces of glass glued to the candlestick base. To solve this problem, the base has grooves designed specifically to keep the jar in place without the glue. So cool!

~My husband wanted the ability to remove the finial- in case we wanted to use the jars for another project. The finials have magnet inserts so it easily will stick to the magnetic top of the hobby lobby jar. These magnetic finials have already come in handy when I attached the ribbon… I was able to place it right under the magnet! Love it!

There are two things that I love the most, however- first is the incredible service provided by my father in law, and second is that I can use these jars for every season! Pinecones or nuts in the fall, ornaments in December, red heart candy in February, plastic easter eggs in the spring…the list goes on!

I know this is completely unrelated to teaching- but I just had to share! We have had a little lesson on cavities after nibbling away at the candy corn….

Happy Teaching!

13 Day Countdown to Halloween… Ready to Go!

Tomorrow (October 18) is the first day of our Halloween countdown! I am SO excited! It’s not to late to join in the fun….Here is a recap of our countdown ideas (Mummy on the Move, 13 themes, pumpkin patch numbers. Education Cube countdown blocks, and a song) as well as a link to the cover of our Halloween Countdown folder.
First, to aid us in our countdown is our Mummy on the Move (Halloween version of Elf on the Shelf). I read my daughter the little poem I wrote like 7 times before she went to bed…. and she was SO excited to wake up so she could find where the mummy was hiding!! So much so that she had a difficult time falling asleep. (Do you remember those days when you were filled with so much anticipation that sleeping was difficult? 🙂 I HIGHLY recommend doing this with your little ones- I can tell this will be a wonderful new tradition for our little family!
Our 13 day countdown consists of 13 themes to help us celebrate this fun, festive season! Click on the links below to go to my blog post about each theme! Each post is FULL of great ideas I gathered on Pinterest and google searches. (Click HERE to go to my Pinterest board dedicated to the 13 day countdown to Halloween- there are some new pins that weren’t included in the posts!)
There are 13 pumpkins that will help us count down (you can download the pumpkin numbers file from this post) I taped the pumpkins to a wall in our kitchen… classy, I know :). The idea is that every day my daughter will pick the numbered pumpkin from the pumpkin patch that corresponds with the number of days left to Halloween. So tomorrow she will pick 13 since there are 13 days until Halloween, and then Wednesday she will pick 12, etc.  
I also put together simple and kid friendly Halloween Countdown blocks using my Education Cubes. 
Click HERE to get a song I wrote that goes along with our 13 day countdown. 
And finally- While I was getting everything ready for our witch day tomorrow, I thought it would be a good idea to put all our themed activity pages (and any crafts or games that will fit) in a folder. Here is a link to the cover for our folder.
 I am going to show my daughter this special, spooky folder and hype it up as much as I can- she is sorda on strike from learning pages right now. The goal of this activity is to just have fun! Plain and simple!!

Happy Haunting!!!

Countdown to Halloween Blocks for Kids

Can you tell by all the bazillion posts this month that we are excited for Halloween! As most of you might already know, Halloween is my daughter’s birthday. So we go all out and celebrate! (completely random info: i used to hate Halloween until I became a mom. i love having holiday fun with my little family!)
I had a craft day with some neighborhood friends and made these darling countdown to Halloween blocks.

I wanted my daughter to have a set in her room that would be child proof- so she could countdown right along with Mommy! And as soon as I thought about making a countdown set, I KNEW I needed to use my Education Cubes! (Seriously love these- they are an amazing tool for all those kids that need hands on learning!)
I used the number cards in the Education Cube set.  One cube has the digits 0-5 and the other cube has the digits 0, 1, 2, 6 (which also doubles as a 9), 7, and 8.
I made the base out of a kleenex box, and since we didn’t have any empty ones, well…. let’s just say this countdown will come in handy if my daughter has a runny nose 🙂

You can download the kleenex box cover HERE, or easily make your own.
Then voila! You have an easy, kid friendly, educational (think of the counting backwards lessons…) Halloween countdown! Wahoo!

Happy Teaching!

visit the Show & Tell to get and share Education Cube ideas

Mummy on the Move! (Halloween version of Elf on the Shelf)

I have heard about the Elf on the Shelf Christmas idea for awhile now. I have never read the book, but from what I have gathered, there is an elf that moves around every night watching the kids and reporting back to Santa if they have been naughty or nice. Sounds fun, and I would love to do that for Christmas this year.

And Halloween.

I searched around online and couldn’t find anything,  so I had to kick my creative gears into motion and come up with my own idea. I came across this fun and pretty easy tutorial on movable mummies from Family Chic which I made. (I added batting to make the mummy more poofy since my husband said the mummy looked anorexic! ha!). Any mummy doll would work- preferably the ones that bend, because then you can have more fun! Amazon has a little mummy doll that is part of a Halloween set that looks fun, and Toys R Us has a mummy plush doll.
Here is the plan: The night before our first day of our Halloween countdown, I will read my daughter this short Mummy on the Move story I wrote (I have to add that I haven’t read the Elf on the Shelf yet, so any similarities are purely coincidental!).
During the night I will hide the mummy somewhere in our house. In the morning, my Boo will search the house and find him (it is a boy, since according to her all the bad or scary guys are boys!) 
I am really super excited to have our little mummy on the move at our house! This is just another fun holiday activity to get us excited for Halloween!
Happy Haunting and as always… Happy Teaching!
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