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Cute not Creepy: Halloween Activities for Little Ones

Whilst I was browsing the Halloween items in my favourite craft store, Riot*, with Harrison a few days ago, we had a little discussion around making Halloween cute rather than creepy. Now that Harrison is a big boy of, ahem,¬†eight, he wants to purchase all of the sinister skeletons and bags of creepy hands (best not ask!) but I had to explain that this just wouldn’t be suitable with a two year old in the house! When I made a googly garland a couple of weeks ago, people loved that it was a bright and cute Halloween option, so here’s a round up of ideas that your little one will love!

You may also notice a reoccurring craft material running through this post ūüėČ

Googly Garland

googly wreath final.jpg

Aside from being a little time-consuming, this garland is actually really easy to make. All you really need is some cardboard, heaps of pompoms, googly eyes and a glue gun! Here’s how to make your own version:

  1. Cut out a piece of cardboard into a circular shape with a craft knife (definitely an adult job!)
  2. Make an o-shape by cutting an inside circle.
  3. Use a glue gun to attach a variety of sized pompoms. I went for bright colours but you could choose a more traditional Halloween theme.
  4. Repeat process as above with a variety of googly eyes.
  5. If you want the garland to hang, attach a ribbon to the back with either a staple gun or glue gun.

Create a Monster

For the very young, try a playdough invitation to create. Zoey had a whale of a time sticking googly eyes onto her monster and even better still,  this is a great fine motor skills workout. These little monsters were made using store-bought playdough (we used the Tutti Frutti scented variety) but if you want to make your own, click here. 

You’ll probably notice throughout this post little ‘invitations to create’ – this is so that the final creation is really up to the individual. To do your own, either use a¬† circular paint tray (as featured above) or a plastic serving platter.


Potion Making

Got a Harry Potter obsessed kiddo? Then this is perfect! As any fan knows, there’s plenty of Halloween references in the film and Potions is one of the core lessons. We hunted the garden for supplies and added googly eyes plus glitter for a bit of a decorative twist. The pipette you can see Harrison using isn’t essential, but we added it for a bit of a fine motor / hand strengthening workout.

If this puts you in mind to make a more permanent sensory jar, click here. 


 Zack the Baby Zombie

baby zombie

Did you forget about Halloween altogether? Then my friends, this is the activity for you! Zack literally took 10 minutes to pull together – thanks in part to the gigantic bloodshot googly eyes from Riot!¬†We actually used the inside circle of the googly garland for this activity, but here’s a quick ‘how to’ on creating your own:

  1. Cut a cardboard circle with a craft knife,
  2. Colour with either paints or pastels. We used a mix of black and white pastels to create the grey. This was only a quick job as the brown of the cardboard box kinda adds to his appearance!
  3. Use either gigantic googlies or make your own. We personally think he looks cuter with oversized eyes and a smaller head!
  4. To make him extra adorable, we added chenille stick hair and stuck the whole thing together with our trusty $10 glue gun.

Sensory Tub

halloween rice

Whilst Zoey is a little too young for some of the crafts we created, she definitely didn’t miss out entirely. I made up a neon rice tub for her and added in some foam bats, pompoms and googly eyes. To add a little skill¬† based dimension to play, I also included tongs and scoops so that her teeny fingers and hands could get a workout.

If you’re wondering about the colour of the rice, it is actually made from non-toxic pre-mixed neon paint from Little Sprout (no vinegar in sight – hoorah!), To make this version of coloured rice:

  1. Squeeze a blob of paint into a sandwich bag along with a cup of rice (adjust quantities according to your preferences)
  2. Use fingers to squish the paint into the rice or better still, get a small person to do it for you!
  3. Place on a tray covered in baking paper and leave to dry overnight.

If you have a toddler who likely to eat the rice, you may want to go down the food dye route. You can see our other method for dying rice here


Egg Carton Spiders


Zoey is kinda obsessed with eggs and as a result we have plenty of egg cartons in the recycling cupboard. After recently taking stock of the aforementioned overflowing cupboard, I realised that I had rather a lot of cartons that needed using up! Here’s what you need to do to make your own spiders:

  1. Cut individual egg holders and paint black/ colour of your choice. We even covered some of ours in washi tape.
  2. Once dry use a glue gun to add on the googly eyes.
  3. Cut chenille sticks/ pipe cleaners into quarters to use as legs and glue into place.
  4. Add decoration in the form of glitter, posca pens or pompoms.


Cardboard Cats

cats 1

When I saw that my insta buddy Cara from @raising.kinley had made super cute Halloween bats, I knew that we wanted to get in on the action so we made a cat version. Not only because we are a little obsessed with cats, but because our toilet roll collection is getting rather out of control! To make these quirky little Halloween cats:

  1. Paint tubes black / colour of choice and leave to dry.
  2. Push one end of the tube inwards to create pointy cat ears
  3. Use a hot glue-gun to add the eyes.
  4. Add a nose, mouth and whiskers with either chenille sticks/ pipe cleaners or a posca pen.
  5. Decorate with posca pens, washi tape or pompoms


As always, we’d love to see your own creations, so please post below or tag us in Facebook/ Instagram posts!

Some notes on the crafts: I haven’t included age suggestions with these activities because I always feel its best to leave that up to you, the parents. Your judgement on age/ ability will be better than mine, however obviously always closely supervise the very young as some of the materials used here are pretty small. Whilst we use a low-temperature glue gun, it can still feel pretty hot if it gets on the skin so please keep that in mind – even with older kids!¬†


*Although I mention Riot a lot in my blogs and on my instagram feed, i’m not actually sponsored by them. However, I am open to offers! ūüėČ

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Heart Mobile 

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, it can be easy to get caught up in the annual panic of ‘what the heck do I buy?!’

I personally find that handmade objects are much more special than any shop bought alternative. So it got me thinking about inexpensive crafts that kids could make themselves.

This post forms part of a series throughout the week. First up, this heart mobile made from natural and recycled materials.

You will need: 

  • Shaving foam
  • String
  • Recycled paper or card (we used a white paper bag for the hearts)
  • Small tree branch
  • Food colouring or liquid watercolours
  • Cocktail stick or needle
  • Scissors

We started off one day in advance by making the marbled hearts. Of course, if you have the real kit, go for it but we used a mix of shaving foam and food colouring to create ours. Here’s how:

First off, spread a layer of shaving foam onto a plate. Use the back of a spoon to create an even surface.

The white paper bag pictured was used to make the hearts.

Next dot the food colouring onto the plate (depending on the type of product used, you might want to use a pipette.)

Using a cocktail stick, swirl patterns into the mixture, like this:

You will then need to press your paper hearts (or shape of your choice) into the foam. It’s best to press firmly so that the colours get absorbed into the paper.

Once you’ve completed the previous step, scrape off any excess foam. A pretty marbled pattern should be revealed! We left the hearts to dry over night before moving on to the next step of making the mobile.

For the mobile itself, you will need a branch. We checked ours for weaknesses and any sharp edges first.
The next part can be rather fiddly so younger children may need some assistance. Our seven year old found it to be a great fine motor skills workout!

Using a cocktail stick or needle, puncture a small hole into a corner of the heart:

Here’s where sewing skills come in handy because you then need to thread the string through the tiny hole and tie a knot to secure. Keep repeating this step for all of the hearts you made.

Finally, decide on how you want to display the hearts before tying the string to the branch. You should have one heart mobile for your efforts!

I personally love the contrast between the natural colours of the branch and string alongside the bright marble patterns of the hearts:

If you like this activity, please hit follow so you can keep updated on our crafts! 

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Fingerprint Hearts

When we found this box canvas in¬†Riot Art and Craft,¬†we were inspired to do something special. We initially did this as a Valentine’s Day activity, but it could just as easily work for Mother’s Day or even a birthday.

Our finished result has pride of place in our lounge as it just looks fantastic!
In actual fact, without the box, you could even send this to someone special who lives far away!

You will need:

  • Acrylics in complimentary colours
  • Mini canvas
  • Scrap paper
  • Baby wipes
  • Paint tray or similar
This mini canvas cost less that $5! 

It’s advisable to practise the heart shape first. All you need to do is dab the paint onto your forefinger and print diagonally in one direction, then the other to make the heart. We found that you only need a little bit of paint on your finger to avoid big splodges:

We tried out our hearts on scrap paper first!

Once you’re happy, you should be able to move on to the real deal. Here’s our final product:

And it’s as simple as that! If you want more activities for kids, please hit follow. Here’s how:

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Simple Mother’s Day Crafts¬†

Call me crazy, but I actually prefer homemade gifts on Mother’s Day. I think it shows heart: the effort and thought that goes into a craft or hand-made card means so much more. That being said, a beautiful bunch of blooms would never go amiss!

Beautiful Blooms

So I know I’ve just said that I love the real deal, but we loved making these egg carton flowers. The end result was really vibrant and fun!

You will need:

  • Egg carton
  • Scissors or craft knife
  • Glue gun or craft glue
  • Acrylics
  • Chenille sticks¬†

Start off by cutting up the egg carton using a craft knife. If you’re doing this with kids, it definitely needs supervision or an adult to complete this part for them.

Once each egg compartment is separated, you can begin to use scissors for the shape of your flowers:


Then you can start to paint up your flowers. We used non-toxic acrylic paint. This process took a few days, mainly because Harrison was completing the project after school.Once the initial coat is dry, you can start to decorate:

Leave the paint to dry fully before attaching the chenille sticks as ‘stems.’ If you don’t already have one, I seriously recommend buying a low temperature glue gun. Ours only cost $12 and it’s been a bit of a crafting revelation!

Once the glue is dry, you can start to arrange the flowers. We put ours in a recycled jar, with washi tape as decoration. For more recycled crafts, click here

Candle Holder

This is a fairly quick and just a little bit messy! It’s easy enough for toddlers to try under supervision too.

You will need:

  • A clean glass jar (coffee jars work well)
  • Tissue paper¬†
  • Mod podge glue¬†
  • Baby wipes¬†
  • Foam dabber or glue paster

modge podge 3

Start off by cutting the tissue paper. Whilst we initially thought that a heart shaped hole punch would look beautiful, it actually didn’t work on the tissue paper!

Next spread the mod podge glue over the jar, leaving space a few cm from the top. Then start to apply the tissue paper . Keep repeating this process until you have a layered effect.

jam jar holder

Once you are happy with the design, you can add a final layer of mod podge to seal in the design. You’ll need to go quite gently with the glue brush here, otherwise there’s the risk of tearing all that hard work!

candle holder final


Tissue Paper Blooms
I’ve seen some incredible creations on Pinterest, but these are made by my seven year old. Even better is the fact they’re still going strong months after we first made them!

You will need:

  • Tissue paper
  • Chenille sticks¬†
  • Scissors¬†

Start of by layering 3-4 sheets of tissue paper. You can choose to use the same colour or different shades. Then ‘concertina’ the paper, before tying a chenille stick around the middle like this:

Next you can choose to round off the edges of the flowers, or snip the ends to create carnation type flowers. Then you can fluff out the flowers and use sticky tape to join the ends.

The end result can be displayed in a vase ready for Mother’s Day!

This Ladybird ‘How it Works: The Mum’ book is hilarious!

You can also try a similar craft using doilies and chenille sticks. You can find out more here 
Handprints on Calico

Calico is a wonderful, durable fabric that is inexpensive to buy. I decided that I wanted a collaborative‚Äč art work for my Mother’s Day present so we’re turning this fabric from Riot Art and Craft into a giant wall hanging.

You will need:

  • Calico Fabric (or even a bedsheet!)
  • Non-toxic acrylic paint
  • Hands of various sizes!
  • Wooden branch
  • Colourful yarn or wool

The craft itself is pretty self explanatory: simply coat hands in paint and then stamp onto the calico!

For the next part, fold the top of the calico over the tree branch/ wooden pole and use a glue gun to secure the top of the fabric to the underside. Finally, attach yarn to either end of the branch – you could even choose to plait the yarn or thread beads for extra decoration! (More photos to come when our project is finished)

Magnetic Flower Pegs

Simple to make, but again may I recommend having a glue gun handy for this one!

You will need:

  • Felt
  • Wooden pegs
  • Glue gun
  • Magnetic tape

First cut out the felt into the shape of flowers – this is a great way to practise fine motor skills!

Next, use the glue gun to attach the flowers to the wooden pegs. Once dry, you can place the magnetic tape on the back. We are going to use ours to display photos and notes on the fridge.

We also made fingerprint gift bags using pre-made calico bags from Kmart.


I hope you have found some ideas you like for a Mother’s Day craft session! Please also see previous posts on Fingerprint Hearts and our Heart Mobile for more ideas. Also check in regularly with our Instagram feed which is updated daily, Comment below if you have more ideas for us to try!

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Activities for ANZAC Day

With ANZAC Day just around the corner (25th April), I thought I’d share a few activities for you to try with the kids at home.

ANZAC Day is one of the most significant events in Australian and New Zealand calendars. It marks the first major military action taken by ANZAC forces in World War One. You can read more about it here.

But how to make the importance of the events that took place relevant to young children? It can be tricky to convey the significance when the wars happened such a long time ago. My best advice is via books, crafts and art.

Doilie Poppy Art

Poppies are the symbol of peace used for both Remembrance Day and ANZAC Day. The poppies grew on many parts of the Western Front as the battle-scared landscape recovered. 

Watercolour Poppies

This is our chosen poppy craft for ANZAC Day. After reading about the significance of the poppy, we set about using liquid water colours and droppers to create our poppies. Follow the photographs for instructions on how to make them yourselves:

Use a dropper to spread the watercolours. We used red, blue and black.
Lay doilies on top of one another
Pinch together and tie with a pipe cleaner – great for fine motor skills!

ANZAC Biscuits

Available at Target and Big W

This is a beautiful book by Paul Cummings and Owen Swan. It tells the story of a little girl called Rachel. She makes ANZAC biscuits for her father who is fighting in the trenches. This actually used to happen: ANZAC biscuits would be sent in tins to the soldiers because they could last the journey – amazing! I love that by reading, you can get a history lesson without realising!

We haven’t gotten around to making any this year yet, but why not try making ANZAC biscuits with your children after reading the book? To try a recipe, click here.

Usborne See Inside The First World War

Available on Amazon

You can always count on Usborne to make any subject appeal to children. This is a really informative read for slightly older kids – I’d say from 7 onwards.
Although the book doesn’t focus on ANZAC Day itself, it makes for a brilliant overview if your child begins to show more of an interest in what happened during the First World War.

Fingerprint Poppies

I first did these with a year 3 class to mark the 100th anniversary of Remembrance Day. They are simple enough to try with a range of ages ‚Äď all you need is some paint and fingers!

As you can see from the picture, we created a display with our poppies by cutting them out and sticking them onto a green background.

Food Pouch Poppies

Simple enough for the little ones to do. We used our huge collection of food pouch lids to create some loose part poppies.

Food pouch lids are brilllaintly versatile for a whole range of activities. They also help with building strength in the hands and fingers for developing fine motor skills.

Clay Poppies

I can’t take credit for this one. Harrison made this clay poppy in school a few years ago. They formed part of an incredible outdoor display at his old primary school.

If you have some air dry clay and acrylic paint, this would be a wonderful activity to try with older children.

I hope that you will be able to try some of these activities over the ANZAC weekend. Please comment below and let me know how you get on!