Halloween means slime – right? We’ve tried a few different versions of slime before, but this recipe is hands-down the best for some gooey fun! As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, we like to make our Halloween crafts cute rather than creepy and Bob definitely fits the bill!
As a quick word of advice before commencing this activity with the kids, this is best done with older children (from 6+ really) because of the ingredients used – this is definitely not a taste safe recipe! Don’t do this activity unsupervised and make sure that hands are washed thoroughly after use!
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 😉
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:
Cut out a piece of cardboard into a circular shape with a craft knife (definitely an adult job!)
Make an o-shape by cutting an inside circle.
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.
Repeat process as above with a variety of googly eyes.
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.
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
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:
Cut a cardboard circle with a craft knife,
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!
Use either gigantic googlies or make your own. We personally think he looks cuter with oversized eyes and a smaller head!
To make him extra adorable, we added chenille stick hair and stuck the whole thing together with our trusty $10 glue gun.
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:
Squeeze a blob of paint into a sandwich bag along with a cup of rice (adjust quantities according to your preferences)
Use fingers to squish the paint into the rice or better still, get a small person to do it for you!
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:
Cut individual egg holders and paint black/ colour of your choice. We even covered some of ours in washi tape.
Once dry use a glue gun to add on the googly eyes.
Cut chenille sticks/ pipe cleaners into quarters to use as legs and glue into place.
Add decoration in the form of glitter, posca pens or pompoms.
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:
Paint tubes black / colour of choice and leave to dry.
Push one end of the tube inwards to create pointy cat ears
Use a hot glue-gun to add the eyes.
Add a nose, mouth and whiskers with either chenille sticks/ pipe cleaners or a posca pen.
Decorate with posca pens, washi tape or pompoms
set up invitation to create
Attach googly eyes/ pompoms with a glue gun
Decorate with washi tape or pens
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! 😉
If you’re reading this on May 4th, Happy Star Wars Day! We simply couldn’t pass up the opportunity to celebrate, especially since the seven year old is Star Wars crazy – so much so that I went completely overboard with his party theme last year!
Anyway, for those embracing the day with full abandon, here are 5 Star Wars activities to try with the kids.
1. Sith Slime
Wicked fun and easy to make, this quick activity with a science element is perfect for a post- school activity.
All you need is:
Purple or black food colouring
Glitter or stars
Star Wars characters
A plastic container or tray.
1. Measure out 250g cornflour
2. Add 60ml of shampoo and mix together
3. Slowly add some water
4. Mix again, lift the spoon out of the bowl to check. You will want it to be runny.
5. Finally add droplets of food colouring.
The science bit:
The molecules of the starch react when mixed with water to give the slime its viscosity. So when you (gently) lift the slime, it will be runny like liquid. However, if you press the slime more firmly, it should feel solid.
Essentially, the experiment assists with learning around solids and liquids. Depending on the age of your child, you can introduce this scientific vocabulary to them.
2. Ice Escape!
Ok so remember with Darth Vader freezes Luke Skywalker in Carbonite? This experiment is losely based on that.
We froze several of our Lego Star Wars characters in an ice-cube tray (alas our Luke was nowhere to be seen!) and left overnight.
We then set about planning our experiment. We wanted to find out which Star Wars character could escape the quickest.
We placed them in 4 locations around the house and garden (heater, fridge, outside and window) then made predictions.
We monitored the characters over 10 minute intervals to find out their progress. Which location do you think proved the quickest for escape?
If you wanted to, you could get your child to put the final results into an ‘er’ sentence. For example, “The warmer the location, the quicker the escape.”
3. Design your own spaceship
If you have more Lego than you know what to do with like us, challenge the kids to build a Star Wars spaceship.
We first did this activity at Harrison’s 7th birthday party and even made prizes for the winners. This is fantastic if you have some Master Builders in your midst. What’s more, it’s so simple – even if you’ve totally forgotten about Star Wars day, it’s an easy one to quickly set up.
4. Star Wars Small World
This sensory experience is great for a range of ages- even Zoey joined in on this one!
Which planet you choose will determine the base of the sensory tray. We used flour, water and cornflour for the snowy habitat of Hoth. A few weeks later, we repurposed our ‘Red Centre’ small world to become Jakku.
To make this more educational, you could ask a range of questions:
Which countries/ habitats are the Star Wars planets similar too?
Which Earth animals do you think could survive here?
Alternatively, just let the kids play. Small world activities are brilliant for language development!
5. Read a Book!
There’s a plethora of Star Wars books out there – trust me, I think we have them all! From the brilliant Jedi Academy series to Lego Star Wars encylopedias, there’s certainly going to be something that will appeal.
On a more serious note, it was the DK Star Wars books that first got Harrison really passionate about reading. Tapping into interests is just so important in the early years and we embraced his enthusiasm wholeheartedly. In the first instance we read to him but now he has moved on to the more advanced Jedi Academy.
I hope you will try some of the activities I’ve suggested. Please comment below if you do, or share any alternatives you may have! Below are some photographs from our Star Wars party last year: