Side note: As a teacher of young learners and teens, I have gotten into the habit of collecting supplies around the house that can be used in most activities and crafts. It helps feed the inner pack rat in me. (Well, honestly, my husband calls me a borderline hoarder. If it wasn't for him, I'd probably be one.
"Don't throw away that old toaster!"
"Why not? It doesn't work."
"So I could use it some day."
"It DOESN'T WORK."
"I can fix it."
Pause. "I'm going outside to throw it in the bin. Do not follow me.")
Anyways, I start collecting in the beginning of October to anticipate crafts for Halloween. Mainly, things like toilet rolls, yarn/string, plastic bags,broken toys, and cereal boxes. Also there are loads of fun and time filling things to do that can be found on the internet:
Coloring pages: http://www.crayola.com/free-coloring-pages/holidays/halloween-coloring-pages/
more coloring pages: http://www.freefunhalloween.com/halloween-coloring-pages/
printable finger puppets: http://smartypantsfun.com/halloween-finger-puppets/
printable Halloween masks: http://mrprintables.com/printable-halloween-masks.html
This year me and the kid are in the process of making decorations for the house. Now keep in mind she is 3 years old and we will not be keeping these decorations. Why not? Because a 3 year old made them. Lines will not be colored in. Things will not have the right color on them. Some may even be tri-colored with three of the worst colors to ever go together. Things will be cut crookedly. Monsters ears and accessories will be missing or half on. These decorations are not fabulous. Otherwise, I would be making money by selling them online and probably jailed for having a child sweat shop in my home. (Well, maybe something to think about when she is older and more coordinated. Hey, don't judge, where else will she learn about work ethics!?!)
***Oh, and for the OCD people, you may not want to try this. In fact, you might want to look away.This is gonna kill you.***
The bats were made from cardboard. I drew them and my daughter did most of the coloring before we cut them out together. The ghosts were made of string and tissue with balls of tissue inside them. And the 3 year old drew on eyes. As you can see, one or two of them have had more than one sloppy dot eye drawn.
GamesIf you already have decorations (or you just don't want to do that), you can try this:
Monster Bash Bowling Pins
(Missing two more. Stuck on ideas. Possibly will make a dragon and Bride of Frankenstein.)
These were created with toilet paper rolls, blank paper and a cereal box.
Once completed we will place them on the floor in a bowling pin formation. Then bowl with her small bouncy ball. Preparing for hours (or 10 minutes) of bending over, picking them up and placing them back in their right spots. Finally, a great way to sneak in my squat exercises!
No matter how much my thighs and buttocks strain in pain, my little ones smile and laughter usually remedies any discomforts.
Well...Each to Their Own
These activities may seem a bit much. Regardless, I like to keep busy and think of ways to keep my little ones from watching too much TV. No matter how much I could get done while they are glue to the tele. It's a very tempting activity but I always get a long, dramatic tantrum afterwards, and a less obedient child. Plus it is one of my bargaining chips. If I use it up too much, I have less to bribe her with.
Some of these things are as simple as clicking on the print icon. You can even let your little ones collect them from the printer themselves and start coloring. All without leaving your computer. I've done that many times. Color time for 3 year old means computer time for me. Yeah!
Halloween in Spain
In Antelope, Ca., houses in my old neighborhood are usually decorated with scary creatures, haunted houses pop up and dressed up people of all ages are wandering around the streets for a free snack (okay, candy. But those parents are only agreeing to this so they could get candy too. There is no way that 5 year old can carry (let only eat) that full pillow case of sweets.) I miss the sounds of laughter and 'Trick-or-Treat'. My mom playing the Sci-Fi / AMC channel's Horror marathon. Ahhhhh, and the free candy.
In Lugo, they don't go trick or treating. Schools have parties and kids go around with parents to cafes and bars dressed up in Halloween costumes. They are mainly dressed as witches because witches are seen as creatures of good luck. The young adults (and some not admitting to themselves that they aren't young anymore) are dressed in barley covered outfits. Regardless of how cold the night is because they have their gin and tonics to keep them warm! Sorry, just a bit spiteful and in mourning of my LBK (life before kids).
Anyway, I'm not sure about Halloween here, in Jaén. I'm dressing both the three year old and the baby this year. Not sure in what yet. That's my personal Halloween project! Yeah!
Last year, we walked around, then had Halloween cartoon day with candy.This year will probably be the same. We'll see how it goes.