Thursday, September 15, 2011

5 Halloween Craft Ideas for Kids

Halloween is a really fun time to be a kid. After all, what could be more exciting than dressing up in costumes and running around the neighborhood getting free candy? But Halloween can also be a scary time, especially for younger children who might not enjoy all the talk about monsters, ghosts, and goblins. One great way to lighten up the spooky season is by engaging your kids with some fun Halloween crafts. Here are five ideas to get you started:

1. Pumpkin Hats

Supplies needed: Paper plates; hole punch; green string, yarn, or elastic; orange markers or crayons. Start by letting kids color the bottom side of a paper plate orange using crayons or markers. When they’re done, punch two holes in the center of the plate, about a half inch or so apart. Tie several pieces green string or yarn around these holes, letting the loose ends stick out the bottom of the plate (this is the “stem” of the pumpkin top. Now punch two more holes on opposite sides of the plate, at the outer edges. Flip the plate upside down on your child’s head, and tie two longer pieces of string to these two outer holes, and then tie them under your child’s chin to secure the hat to their head.

2. Advent Calendars

Supplies needed: Varies. Traditionally, advent calendars are used to count down to Christmas, but they can be used to help kids count the days until any special event. Help your kids make an advent calendar to count down from Halloween to Thanksgiving. This can also be a great way to help kids spread out all that Halloween candy over a longer period of time. Simply tell kids they can have one piece (or however many you decide) of candy for each day on the advent calendar. And be sure to have them set aside that amount of candy at the beginning, so they’ll have the right number of pieces to get them through the entire calendar!

3. Trick-or-Treat Bag

Supplies needed: Reusable shopping bag, scraps of fabric, fabric glue, fabric markers, glitter, feathers, etc. What better way to get kids excited about trick-or-treating than by letting them design their own trick-or-treat bags to match their costumes! Start by purchasing some inexpensive reusable bags at your local grocery store (look for the ones that are kind of square-shaped with flat bottoms and long handles). Then give the kids a pile of fabric scraps, feathers, markers, glitter, and other supplies and let them go crazy. If you have a group of kids, make it a contest to see who can decorate the most unique trick-or-treat bag.

4. Paper Plate Spiders

Supplies needed: Paper plates, crumpled up napkins or tissue paper, black markers or crayons, black pipe cleaners, plastic eyes, glue, a stapler. First, have kids color the bottom sides of two paper plates with black crayons or markers. Next, sandwich the two paper plates together, and fill the interior of the space between them with some crumpled up tissue paper or napkins. Use a stapler to staple the plates together—but for starters, just do two staples on opposite sides of the plates, leaving the sides open. Now take 8 black pipe cleaners and insert 4 on each side, between the plates. Staple them in place, all the way through the plates. To finish up, let kids glue a couple plastic “googley” eyes to the top of one plate, and you’ve got a fun Halloween spider!

5. Cheesecloth Ghosts for Trees

Supplies needed: Styrofoam balls of varying sizes, white cheesecloth, white string or yarn, a black marker. The fun thing about this project is that these little ghosts can be saved and re-used year after year to decorate the trees in your yard. Simply wrap the Styrofoam balls in sheets of cheesecloth, leaving plenty of excess to drape down the bottom. At the underside of the ball, gather the cheesecloth together and tie with a small piece of string or yarn. Now let kids draw faces on the ghosts using black markers. Use long pieces of string to hang the ghosts from the branches of a tree, and your kids can enjoy watching their homemade ghosts sway in the fall breeze.

Author Bio:

Ellen Bell works for Home Products ‘N’ More, where she helps market a variety of seasonal products. Don’t forget that Christmas is right around the corner! Check out Home Products ‘N’ More’s Christmas tree stand store and our selection of Christmas tree storage bags.

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