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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Parade

Today was our last day for Halloween discussion. We got out with a bang. All the children come to school dressed in their great costumes. We had a boxer, a Storm Trooper, rabbit, ballerina, football player, Tinkerbell, fairy, Minnie Mouse, Batman, Cinderella, witch, princess, and skeleton. (I don't have pictures, I'm very leery of posting children's pictures, sorry.)

All the children did very well. They all arrive at school with their costumes on. I am a big jack-o-lantern, and my aide was Tigger--they get a kick out of this. After everyone has arrived we march in a parade for our moms, dads, grandmoms, grandpops, aunts, uncles, etc. They did a pretty good job this year. I only had one shy one.


After the parade we put on a little "show." We were able to learn a total of five songs and fingerplays for the program. It's amazing, when practicing I think the neighbors could have heard us, but time for the show and we have trouble getting above a whisper. They really did well though--these are some of the best "singers" I have had in a few years. After the program we change into our regular clothes, family members go home and we finish out our day.

This week we made those beautiful glitter spider webs from Raising Creative and Curious Kids. Pop on over to this site to see how to make these great webs. Thanks for the great idea--they were gorgeous--I love glitter. We also made the skeletons from the silly styrofoam skeleton post. I even tried out my husband's skeleton song with them--it's not like it's stuck in my head or anything.

Wishing everyone a wonderful, safe, and spooky Halloween!

Here are a couple of books that I found for the craft. The first one and the one I read is "The Itsy Bitsy Spider," by Iza Trapini. This story basically begins as the fingerplay, but takes the spider on a few more adventures until he finds his home.

The other book is "Itsy Bitsy Spider," by Keith Chapman, illustrated by Jack Tickle. In this story a spider is swooshed by the wind and takes a wild ride from one farm animal to another. When will his ride end, and who will be waiting? Both are very cute stories.

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Black Like the Night

Appropriately, this week our color was black. I actually had more difficulty with this color than I anticipated. First I was trying to think of a way to "experience" black. We don't have black Play Doh, couldn't find black sorting objects, DID have a black puzzle, but the closet is low on black objects. Then as I was trying to put black items in the color box, I found many things with some black here or there, but total black was few and far between.

For the box I found three hand puppets: Shamu the whale, a black bear, and a black spider. We did have some fun with the spider. I'm not sure if the color box is getting old or if they had trouble finding items, but I was the only one to add items this week.

For our color book we colored a black kitten. Our manipulative page is a black bat that the children do paper ripping for. I give them the shape, we cover it with glue, then they rip black paper into pieces to cover him and make him black. This is VERY difficult for many of the children, but also very good for their development. They actually try to pull the paper apart and become frustrated when it doesn't happen. The activity can take longer than our usual manipulative activity. Because of that and our parade, we were a bit off schedule. So we will be doing the black bat on Tuesday morning.







Our snack was--again had trouble--raisins. I know they are not literally black, but they give a good black appearance. I thought about Oreo's, M&M's, or chocolate chips, but I didn't want to add to the sugar content for the week. I guess I could have done black olives, but I'm not sure how many would have been eaten.


So, this week I learned that next year for black I have some extra work to do to be ready, and maybe some shopping to do!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Cut Out Cookies

For anyone who has read some of my past posts, you know the kitchen is NOT my favorite place in the world. I try to get it, do what I have to do, and get out. Well, three times a year I will pull out all the stops and make cut out sugar cookies with my kids. Children love to be in the kitchen and these cookies involve that plus being able to decorate and be creative. Before I start, a warning--this activity will include a huge mess--but hey THEY had fun! These are the times that everyone will remember.


To make the cookies I look for the easiest possible way. First I purchase rolls of Pillsbury cookie dough. To add my own little touch, I sprinkle it with cinnamon before I roll it out. So, done with that--cookie dough complete--that was easy.


Now our decorating always involves painting. To make cookie paint you use confectionery sugar, milk, and food coloring. I don't have actual measurements for anything I use. I pour a good amount of the 10x sugar into a bowl, then I add a little milk. Start slow, about a tablespoon. Stir it up. If it seems to thick, add a little more milk. You want it to be about the consistency of tempera paint--easy to spread with a paint brush, but not too thin it won't stick. After I have the right consistency the food coloring is added and we get four beautiful colors to paint our cookies with. (I usually limit the number of colors, but feel free to do more.)







Now we are ready to go. There's rolling, cutting, baking, painting, and sprinkling. We have a great time and we make a big mess, but it only happens a few times a year. Good luck!








Okay, time to clean up! Hey, where did everybody go?

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Skeleton Song

So, I have had some searches for songs about skeletons. I checked all my resources today and guess what? No skeleton songs. So I called on the lyric man to come up with a great song about a skeleton. He did it. I think my husband might have missed his calling. I think it's pretty cute.


This song is to the tune of "Row, Row, Row Your Boat."


Show, show, show your bones.
Give your friends a FRIGHT!
It's fun to be a skeleton
On Halloween night!

Watch/listen to the song.

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Ghoulish Ghost Hangings

Children love crafts that are 3-D. I think it brings the idea so much more to life for them. I have a ghost windsock that is really cute. Sometimes, it doesn't last too long as many children love to see him "fly" around they room, but hey--they're having fun.

For the craft you will need:

white crepe paper
18 x 3 inch strip of white paper
white paper
glue
scissors
white yarn
black crayon

First I gave the children 10 strips of crepe paper and the long strip of paper. I had them put glue all over on edge of the long strip of paper, then place the crepe paper strips on so they hang.

After all the crepe paper was glued on, we put glue on one edge and made a circle. I then punched two holes in the strip and tied a piece of white yarn so the ghost can hang.



Now the children should have a white piece of paper that they can draw a ghost shape on. If the children are younger, you can have a shape for them. My one ghost shape is a little intricate as my "muse" asked me to copy a certain picture. Have the children draw a face then let them cut the ghost out.



Finally, glue the ghost onto the circle. Now, it's ready to "fly" around the room.


The book I would have for this day is "Woo! The Not-So-Scary Ghost," by Ana Martin Larranaga. This is a very cute story about a ghost that is tired of having everyone tell him what to do. So he runs away and tries to be scary. He winds up on a farm and some funny things happen to him. He finds his scare and is glad to make his way back home.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Batty Bat

Batty is our second handprint Halloween activity. Very easy--not as many steps as the witch.

You will need:

black construction paper (we use a lot of that at Halloween)
white crayon
eyes (wiggle optional)
glue
scissors

First take a piece of black construction paper and have the children place both hands on the paper, fingers wide. Trace around both hands with the white crayon. Here if you have older children, let them cut these out--if not you will have to cut them out for them. When tracing, trace up the wrist a little for gluing purposes.

For the bats body the cut out is fairly simple. I drew mine freehand. Since this would be symmetrical, you could draw half a body on the fold of a paper. The next step in to a) cut this out yourself, or b) have the children cut this out. (You can see my freehand drawing is far from symmetrical, so I am probably better off with the fold cut:). Whenever I make a new project, my first pattern is done on oaktag so that I have a template to trace for future use.













Finally all the pieces get glued together. The bats wings should come out of the back of the body shape--the children should put glue just on the wrist part of the hands. Finally--add a little face with a white crayon and those adorable wiggle eyes and he's ready to head off into the night sky.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Crafty Witch

Using handprints is a fun way to create many different types of craft projects for children. I have a book at the school that I will have to get and let you know where it's from. We get many cute projects from the book. I have a couple of Halloween handprint crafts to share with you. These were done in our Pre-K rooms.

Our first project is a witch. For the witch you will need:

green construction paper
black construction paper
black crayon
glue
scissors
product for hair

If you look at the project you will see the first thing to do is to trace the children's handprint on the green paper, if they are older they can do this themselves. (I didn't have greenpaper on hand.) The hand must have the four fingers together, and the thumb would stick out--for the witches nose. Then allow the children to draw and eye and mouth, a few children even added a wart for the nose.

There are two general shapes that you will need from the black construction paper. One is a hat shape, the other is the top of the outfit shape, it looks like a little mound. Here again, you may have these drawn and let the children cut them out, or you can allow them to come up with what types of clothes' shapes they would enjoy and let them cut them out, or you can have them cut out already for young children to glue on.

The hat gets glued next to the part of the hand that is the palm--this is the top of her head. The "shirt" gets glued behind the pinky finger--you try to let the fingers show to simulate a chin.













After those pieces are in place, you add the hair. Our teacher used a straw-like product called Excelsior she got from a craft store. You could use yarn too--anything that looks stringy. You might have to use some tacky to make sure this sticks well.


There you have it a wonderful witch to help you celebrate Halloween.

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