Sunday, September 27, 2009

Halloween Kids Crafts - How to Make a Halloween Handprint Spider

Halloween is a time of fun costumes, candy and ghost stories. And what would it be without spooky decorations? Scary stuff hanging around the house sets the mood for the holiday much like decorated trees and mistletoe set the mood for Christmas.

Spiders aren't supernatural creatures like ghosts or goblins, but they are pretty scary. Yet they are not too scary for the little ones. Plus, spider crafts provide an opportunity to learn about living things.

Here is a cute and fun spider decoration for preschoolers to make. In fact, it's easy enough for even toddlers to do with a little assistance. It makes a great decoration to put on your front door or window to greet trick or treaters!

What You Need

*Card stock or construction paper (any color but black)
*Black tempera or poster paint
*Googly eyes


1. Using the paintbrush, paint your child's palm and all fingers except the thumb with black paint.

2. Have your child press his or her hand down firmly on the paper.

3. Paint the child's other hand in the same manner.

4. Have your child press that hand down on the paper, overlapping the first handprint and making sure the fingers are across from the ones in the original print. This will form the spider's body.

5. Have your child use the paintbrush or his or her fingers to paint any areas of the spider's body that are not filled in. Let the paint dry.

6. Glue on googly eyes. Let dry.


Cover the work area with newspapers. This project could get messy!

If you prefer, you could use black construction paper and a different color of paint.

If you want a spider cutout, trace the child's hand (minus the thumb) onto a piece of construction paper. Place the other hand so that it overlaps the first handprint, trace all but the thumb, and cut around the edges. Glue on googly eyes, punch a hole in the top, and hang up with a piece of string.

Your child might like to use paint in a different color to add a mouth and/or nose.

To really make the spider stand out, let the paint dry completely and embellish with glitter glue or metallic paint. Or you could glue on some pom poms or stick on some stickers.

To add to the educational aspect of this project, find a book or website that has lots of pictures of different kinds of spiders to look at with your child. Then encourage him to make a spider that looks like his favorite one.

Have fun with this, one of the many Halloween Kids Crafts! You can also go and have a look Easy Pumpkin Painting.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Craft Idea for a Group: Make a Mural - Even A Halloween Mural

Make a mural, in any theme you want. For Halloween you can use a Halloween theme as part of your Halloween decorations.

Most craft ideas are geared to individuals, whether kids or adults. Sometimes you'd like to have a craft idea that works for a group of kids working together. Making a mural together is an idea that works for a group. By working together, you are creating something to decorate a shared area.

Individual crafts can be displayed, but one unique item is often more effective than a group of items that are almost identical. In addition, sometimes kids' crafts like it or not, just become clutter when they are taken home, and it isn't long before Mom throws it out. This craft idea of making a group mural can be displayed for several weeks and will not become clutter in anyone's home.

The basic materials for a kids' group mural is freezer paper. Freezer paper is about 18 inches wide, and it is very tough. One side is plastic coated. That is the side that is designed to be placed against the food. You will have better luck drawing on and gluing things onto the other side.

Class or group murals can feature a number of different design elements:

  • You can mix up some finger paint and let the children make hand prints (or even foot prints!) on the paper.
  • You can let them scour old cast-off magazines and color catalogs for pictures they like and let them cut the pictures out and glue them on.
  • They can add scribbles, designs, signatures, slogans, or pictures using markers, crayons, or gel pens.
  • They can attach stickers to the mural as well. This craft idea is very flexible!

For making the mural, choose a topic that relates to the group in some way. If the group are girl scouts, for instance, and have been learning to camp, the mural can feature pictures of items related to camping. If you've been learning about dinosaurs, you can use them as a theme.

Here is an idea that is very suitable for a Halloween theme:

If you want a really messy project that makes a cute mural for fall, mix up finger paint in fall colors. The children can each make a tree by first laying their forearm in brown paint. Then they lay their arm on the paper to make the trunk of the tree. They should spread out their fingers so their arm print has five short branches at the top.

To make the leaves, the children make fingerprints all around the top of the tree using paints in other fall colors. If you add a few drops of dishwashing detergent to finger paint when mixing it up, it will be easier to clean off the children's arms. Do make sure they have old clothes or smocks for this craft idea.

Little preschoolers will like making a mural with an animal theme. You should probably find and cut out animal magazine pictures to start with, and then let the children choose the ones they like for gluing down.

Glue sticks are neat to use with small children. They will paste some of the pictures upside down. Expect it and do not scold them. It is the process that is important in this craft idea. The children can also use animal cookie cutters dipped in finger paint to stamp animals on the mural, too. You may need to tape the paper to the table so it doesn't slide around while the children work.

As Halloween Id approaching you can of course use a Halloween theme for these murals.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

How to Carve Your First Pumpkin

So you’re ready to carve your first pumpkin? Congratulations in joining the ranks of many who rank pumpkin carving as one of their favorite Halloween activities. To avoid a huge mess you’ll have to clean up later, the first thing you’ll need to do is prepare your workspace.

Choosing Your Pumpkin Carving Space

Select a flat work area. Lay down several layers of newspaper being sure to overlap them.

Gather Your Supplies

  • Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin Carving Kit or Butcher Knife & Serrated Paring Knife
  • Permanent Marker
  • Container lined with a garbage bag to deposit your waste
  • Lighting Source of Your Choice (Candle, glow sticks, etc.)

Preparing Your Pumpkin for Carving

Turn your pumpkin on its side. Using your permanent marker, draw a large circle on the bottom of the pumpkin. Be sure it’s large enough to fit a large spoon and your hand inside. By cutting out the bottom (instead of the top) you’ll make it easier to place your light source in it. Using your large butcher knife carefully cut out the circle. Make note of the best side for carving your chosen design or face.

Let the Fun Begin

It’s time to clean out your pumpkin. Using your hands, scoop out the seeds and put them in the garbage bag, unless you want to put them in a bowl for later roasting. Using either a wooden spatula or serving spoon, scrape out the meat. Hopefully you have already decided on which side you will be carving the face, as this will need extra removal of the flesh.

Draw Your Design

After the pumpkin has been cleaned out, it is time to draw the design of your choice. Use a semi-permanent marker or a pencil and draw your design on the pumpkin.

If you don’t have an artistic mind it’s ok. You can use a stencil available on several Internet sites or one that may have come in your tool kit. Take a copy of the design and place it over the pumpkin. Secure this with masking tape. With a needle, push pin or nail, start poking small holes through the paper and into the pumpkin. Make sure you do them close enough as this is the pattern from which you will carve.

It’s Finally Time to Carve

Preparation pays off. Now, let’s get carving this pumpkin. Be particular in your carving as any little slip with the knife is likely to ruin your design and may cause injury. With your paring knife or other preferred choice of carving tool, carve along the pattern lines cutting all the way through the rind. Cut away from yourself and into the pumpkin. After each feature has been cut out slowly push out the cut pieces from inside the pumpkin.

Hint: Keep your blades as sharp as possible to ensure accuracy and ease of carving.

Clean Up

Take your newspaper and fold it over on all sides, keeping your pumpkin “gunk” on the inside. Once folded, throw it in the trash can or garbage bag.

Congratulations! You’ve now carved your first pumpkin. Once you’ve finished and cleaned up the mess, place that baby out on the front porch and add your lighting. Show it off for the entire neighborhood to see. Don’t forget to take a picture too – after all you only have a first carved pumpkin once. Enjoy!

If you feel pumpkin carving is a little dangerous for the kids, why not do pumpkin painting instead? Kids love it and there are now sharp knives around! Easy Pumpkin Painting has all the info, templates and more that you need.

Go And Have A Look At Easy Pumpkin Painting Now!

If you are looking for more Halloween Crafts, you will find some very good ones at Fun Kids Crafts.