Ready? Get Set… Craft!
These Halloween crafts for kids are cute and so easy it’s scary!
Halloween falls at the beginning of the holiday and winter season. The days when you could banish your children’s boredom by sending them outside to play are, or soon will be, a memory until next spring. This in and of itself is more frightening to the heart of many parents than the ghosts and zombies that will soon accost the front porch seeking candy. Don’t worry, with a little preparation and creativity you may soon delight in the long cold days of winter so you can craft with your kids.
Let's Get Started with Rules and Supplies
A few ground rules and basic supplies will make all the difference in the world between a successful crafting session and a nightmare.
One: crafts are messy. Children are also messy. Putting the two together is a perfect storm of paste, paint, and miniscule pieces of paper and glitter that will soon be permanently adhered to your dining room table unless you take the necessary evasive action. You will find that an investment in disposable plastic table coverings, or a big stack of news print will be worth its weight in gold not only for mess prevention but also for easy clean up: just roll plastic table cloth up, mess and all, then toss it in the waste bin. Done. Other mess and stress savers include aprons, old t-shirts, and in some cases latex gloves.
Make sure your kids understand how to use scissors safely. They should know to walk, never run, when carrying them, and to always carry them point-down. If you have very young children, use safety scissors or have mom or dad do the cutting instead. Keep an eye on your kids to ensure no craft products are consumed! Sometimes, curiosity gets the best of a kid and earns you a trip to the emergency room. If you're working with any hot glue, make sure your kids know not to touch it until it has cooled. Always supervise your kids during craft time to ensure any mishaps are avoided.
Now that the scary mess is tamed and safety concerns are addressed, basic supplies are the next items on the crafts list. Having a well stocked crafts box means that even if you don’t have a specific craft planned you can get out the supplies and let the kid’s imaginations take flight. Must have items are: crayons, pencils, rulers, glue or paste and lots of paper both in plain white and colored varieties. Items that are not a must, but are certainly fun include: glitter, colored and plain craft pasta, markers, colored pencils, paint, mixed varieties of beans, felt, lace, ribbon, scraps of material, and stickers. This may seem like a lot of stuff, but it comes together naturally over time as you craft and is not expensive.
Halloween Crafts for Kids
You can craft any time of the year, but Halloween crafts for kids are so fun and with the advent of poorer weather there is never a better time to start.
The orange gourd that graces the front porch of most homes this time of year has so much craft potential. This year try painting your faces. Use stencils and tape to cover spots that are to remain orange and paint the rest. This is an easy way for a child to create their own Jack-o-lantern from start to finish without having to use a knife.
Other pumpkin fun includes decorating them with glow in the dark paint. You can paint faces, stars or handprints. Turn out the lights and watch them glow. You can also use paints to draw faces then top them with yarn for hair, sturdy construction paper for ears, ties, collars and ribbons.
Beyond faces, there is still more pumpkin fun. When you haven’t polluted the pumpkin’s flesh by burning a candle in it you can use it in your holiday baking. Pumpkin is fabulous and nutritious. Kids will love helping you use their creations to make pies or roasted seeds.
Sugar + Water + Cheese Cloth = Ghost
This is true, and so much fun. To begin combine at least two parts water and one part sugar. (Tip: the sugar dissolves much better in warm to hot water.) Once the sugar is all dissolved, put several layers of cheese cloth in it to soak.
Now it is time to prepare the framework for your ghost. Do this by blowing up a balloon to the desired size and affixing it to a glass, vase or jar of the height that you would like your ghost to stand. Now begin to layer the cheese cloth over the balloon. If you would like your ghost to stand on its own then be sure to leave long portions of the cheese cloth trailing onto the work surface to support it once it dries. Layer as many sheets of cheese cloth as you wish; more layers will look floaty and airy, while fewer layers will create a more spectral see through ghost. Add folds and bumps as desired by shaping the cheese cloth with your fingers.
Once you have the shape and thickness you desire, let your creation dry; it will take at least over one night. When the ghost is dry it will be very stiff. You can now decorate your ghost with eyes, lace, felt, patches and hats as you desire. To remove the balloon pop it with a pin and then pull the cup out of the bottom. Boo!
There are so many things you can do with felt, but a Halloween favorite has got to be finger puppets. To create the base use inexpensive knit gloves. Those tiny stretchy gloves work great. An alternative is to create your own base by tracing the fingers or hands of your child, allowing a ¼ inch seem allowance and either stitching it together or using hot glue to stick two sides together. (Glue works best when only doing individual fingers.)
Once the bases are made use felt to create faces, clothes, and shoes of your favorite Halloween figures. Ghosts, witches, pumpkins, mummies and Dracula are all fun. If you want to add a bit of pizzazz use googly eyes or yarn for hair.
This is the season of dress up, so why not create a mask? Use a basic paper plate, the kind that you have to double and triple up in order to hold potato chips. Fold the plate along the mid section and cut it in half. (If the plates are small then hold the plate to the child’s face before cutting. The cut should fall across the bridge if the nose.) A nice effect for fancier masks is to cut a higher spot in the middle for the nose, then dipping down on the sides to cover the cheeks. Cut out the eye holes and use a hole punch to make a hole on each side where yarn or ribbon will be used make ties.
Now that the mask pattern is ready, let the kids decide what kind of mask they want, and turn them loose. They can use paper or crayons to create spots or stripes for animals. Feathers or glitter for birds and fancy party masks. Yarn and tinfoil crowns are great for a princess mask. The sky is the limit here, and to think all you needed to add to your basic craft kit was a paper plate.
Wands at the Ready
This is a fun craft for fans of a certain teenage British wizard. To create the base of the wand use odds and ends of tinker toys, dowels or even a stick. Once the wand shape is chosen let your budding witch or wizard decorate it with paint, glitter, ribbons or scraps of cloth.
This is a fun craft to make an all day event. Start the day with a nature walk, during which the perfect wand stick is selected. Come home for hot cocoa, wand decorating, and maybe a movie?
This craft combines the harvest fruits of the season with the spooks of Halloween. It is very simple. Start with your favorite variety of apple. Now, stop! No matter how delicious this apple looks, don’t eat it. Use a carving knife (the blunt edged pumpkin carving knives are a safer choice, especially for younger kids) and cut pieces of the apple away to create a face. For the best end results fashion your carved face after a plump cheeked person.
Once the apple is carved, either place it in a sunny window or a food dehydrator. It will take 24-48 hours to shrink. Once it does the transformation will be surprising and fun. What once looked like a round cheeked granny now looks like a shriveled hag. Hang these witch apples by their stems in a window or use in a center piece.
Pipe Cleaner Spider
These spiders are spooky, yet cute! Gather the following supplies: pipe cleaners, black puff balls, hot glue, and glue gun. To assemble the spider, size and shape are up to you. You can use one large puff ball, or one large for the body and a smaller for the head. Once you have the body shape you like, use the pipe cleaners to make the legs. For long-legged spiders don’t cut the pipe cleaners, just bend them in the middle for knees, and then again about a half inch from the bottom for feet. Use hot glue to attach them to the body. Adding accessories like googly eyes or a red hour glass is fun. You can go all out by dressing your spider up like a witch, mummy, princess or pirate. Or, create a dead one! Create your post-mortem arachnid by simply making any kind of spider you like, then rolling it on its back and folding the legs back onto themselves! Make two ‘x’s’ for the eyes, and perhaps a little red tongue poking out of the mouth or a grave marker.
The list of Halloween crafts for kids by no means ends here. A few more ideas to keep the fun rolling are: paper bag puppets, a Halloween night-scape, a shoe box diorama, shoe box Dracula’s coffin, and dream catcher to ward off bad dreams.
|Haunted House Ideas
|History of Halloween
|Crafts for Kids
The image featured at the top of this post is ©cmallard / Pixabay.