The nights are darker, there’s a smell of chimney smoke in the air and suddenly everything has gotten just a little bit festive! Autumn is such a wonderful time for little ones, with so many sparkly events and so much potential for themed sensory play, arts and crafts and rainy days spent cooking up little storms in the kitchen.
With Halloween suddenly upon us, we thought we would start this lovely season off with a spook-filled bang, and bring you a DIY list of quick, cheap and easy crafts, costumes and recipes, to help you create a little hassle-free Halloween at home.
These are adorable, either as a stand-alone or along a string to form a garland. Perfect for ages 4+ or younger with some extra help from a grown-up.
You will need:
– Black or green string
– Orange Paper
– Green Paper
– Tape or a glue stick
– Black felt tip
Start out with a rectangular sheet of orange paper or cardstock. Popular paper sizes you can use include A4, Letter size (8.5″ x 11″), or 9″ x 12″. Cut two 1-inch wide strips off on one long side of the green paper. Set one aside for your lantern’s handle and one for the pumpkin’s rim. Position the orange paper in a horizontal position. Using a black marker, draw a face at the centre of the paper. Colour inside the eyes, nose and mouth. Stick a green strip across the top of the paper. Once the eyes, nose and mouth are completely dry, fold the paper up in half. Draw a horizontal line one inch from the long side opposite the fold. This line is just a guide for cutting and may not be necessary for more mature crafters. Starting from the paper’s folded side, cut a straight line about an inch from one short side, all the way up to the horizontal line. Continue to cut more slits about 1 inch apart until you reach the opposite short side of the paper. Fold the paper up in half again so that the crease is folded the other way. Transform the paper into a lantern by forming it into a tube shape. Overlap the long edges at least ½-inch. Glue or tape at the top and bottom of the overlap. Glue the ends of the green paper handle on the inside of the lantern’s top edge.
Ask your little one to help with the steps – this is a great activity for developing fine motor skills.
You will need:
– white wool
– round black dot stickers or vinyl cut into eyes and mouth shape
Help your little one cut a length of wool about 30cm and put to one side. With the palm of your hand facing you at a 90° angle, start to wrap wool around and around to begin forming your ghost. The more you wrap around, the fuller your wool ghost will be. Cut the end of the wool off. Carefully slide the wrapped wool off your hand, keeping it in the loopy shape, and about one-third of the way down, tie the 30cm length of wool around and knot in place to form the ‘head’. You can then use the excess to form the loop, or if you wish, tie another piece of wool around and knot into a loop. At the ‘feet’ end of the ghost, cut through the loop and fan the wool out. Stick the eyes and mouth shapes in place and hang up!
Spooky Chocolate Apples
You will need:
– Chocolate (your favourite chocolate is fine however chocolate melts offer a better finish and come in a range of colours)
– Lolly sticks (again your choice which you prefer to use)
– Sprinkles – for spooky Halloween sprinkle apples
– Worm shaped gummy sweets cut in half – for ‘rotten apples’
Push the lolly sticks into the apples. Melt the chocolate – roughly half a cup per apple (I always like to prep more just in case). Coat the apples with the chocolate and add the sprinkles. For ‘rotten apples’ coat in green melting chocolate (or white chocolate with green colouring added, then add the little half worms, close to the lolly stick. Place the apples on a plate and leave to set.
DIY No-sew Tutu
– Tulle (roughly two metres) in your desired colour
– 7/8″ ribbon in your desired color
– Measuring tape
Measure the child’s waist, as well as from the waist down to the point where you’d like your tutu to fall. Cut your strips of tulle to double the tutu length. If you buy tulle on spools it’s much easier because it’s already cut to a width of about six inches, which is perfect for tutu making. (If you can’t find it on spools you can also buy it by the yard. You’ll just have to cut it all into six-inch wide strips before cutting those strips to the length needed for your tutu). You can use a little or a lot of tulle, it’s up to you. Cut the tulle into strips of your needed length and set aside. Cut your ribbon. Add 48 inches to your waist measurement and cut the ribbon this length. This will ensure nice, long ends to tie a pretty bow with. Heat seal or glue the ribbon ends with a lighter so they don’t fray. Find the middle point of the ribbon and fold it. Tie a knot on each side right at the 9 1/2 inches mark. Now you will have 2 knots 19 inches apart in the middle of your ribbon. Between these 2 knots is where you’ll knot on your tulle. Start knotting! For a super fluffy tutu use three strips of tulle for each knot. Gather your three strips together, fold in half and slip the folded part underneath the ribbon. Grab the two long sides of the tulle and bring them up through the fold, pull tight, and slide all the way over to the left knot in your ribbon. Continue knotting on and sliding the tulle all the way over until you reach the other knot in your ribbon. Tie around your little one and fasten a bow and you’re done!
Tutu costume colours and ideas:
White – Ghost / Mummy
Black – Cat / Witch
Green – Monster
Blue – Zombie
Purple – Vampire
Rainbow – Unicorn
Halloween Sensory Bottles
Small Halloween objects (erasers, spiders, confetti etc)
Voss plastic water bottle (these bottles are FANTASTIC for sensory bottles) or any bottle of your choice (empty and dry)
Begin by colouring your rice by adding poster paint to a sandwich bag along with a cup of rice. Seal the bag and mix the rice until each grain is coloured. Pour the rice onto a large tray, spread it out and leave to dry. Once dry, pour the rice into the bottle, along with the spooky objects (leaving space at the top for movement). Close the lid tightly and seal with the glue. If you like, you can cover the sealed lid with a layer of tape.
Tip: glow in the dark paint really brings these spooky sensory bottles to life. For a glitter globe bottle, simply replace the rice with corn syrup and water.