Showing posts with label games. Show all posts
Showing posts with label games. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

30 Halloween Activities

It's October!  I love everything about October: autumn in full swing, Halloween, wearing sweaters & scarves, Halloween, pumpkin everything, Halloween...

Okay, so I'm a little Halloween obsessed.  Halloween is MY holiday.  Growing up my mom always in charge of Easter and Christmas, but she left Halloween to my siblings and me.  We created haunted houses in our basement.  We came up with epic ways to decorate the house.  We designed our own pumpkin carving patterns.  So many good memories!

Although I'm late getting started (thanks to a surprise appendectomy) my kids and I wrote down 30 activities we could do leading up to Halloween.  Time to make some memories!  Here is what we came up with:

As we do the activities I will update this page to let you in on the fun.

1. Paint Rocks
2. Play with Popsicle Stick Puzzles
Making puzzles is one of my kids' favorite things.  These Popsicle stick puzzles are cheap, compact, and easy enough for a 3-year-old to put together on their own.  Click HERE to get your own free Popsicle stick puzzle templates.

3. Pumpkin Patch/Ghosts in the Graveyard
Your kids will love trying to find these balloon "ghosts" all around your yard.  Ours were even filled with goodies!

4. Make Bookmarks
5. Paint Nails
My girls love painting nails.  Time to get festive with some Halloween designs.  Click HERE for the free printable. 

6. Make Halloween Pennant Banners
7. Play with Slime
Even my girly-girls enjoyed squishing and squeezing their glittery slime creatures.

8. Beanbag Toss
9. Masking Tape Mummies
Make masking tape mummies of your kids.  They will love toting around their little mummy-me (it's like mini-me; get it?).

10. Make a Haunted House
I bought a haunted house kit from Walmart and put it together.  So cheap and easy to make!

11. Make Halloween Puppets
12. Make Pumpkin Owls
13. Make Wreaths
If your kids love to decorate, this is the craft for you.  Make paper plate pumpkin wreaths and let your kids hang them wherever they want.

14. Color Halloween Pictures
15. Play Grab the Ghost
An easy and entertaining game that will keep your kids busy and get them moving.

16. Make Paper Pumpkins
17. Pumpkin Bowling
18. Drink Witch's Brew
19. Mummy Wrapping
20. Play Witch Pitch
Help your kids practice counting as they try to toss candy corns into cauldrons.  This is also a fabulous group date game.

21. Have a Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Get out some pent-up energy by going on a scavenger hunt.  Add an extra level of difficulty and fun by doing it at night with flashlights!

22. Make Pumpkin Bracelets
What's better than making bracelets?  Making edible bracelets!  (Tutorial will be added soon.)

23. Have a Halloween Photo Booth
24. Carve Pumpkins
You can't go wrong with this classic Halloween activity.  I love watching my kids' reactions to the pumpkin's insides.

25. Decorate the Bat Cave
I let the kids decorate their toy room with bats.  They now call it the bat cave.  Princess even hung some bats from the ceiling.

26. Draw Bats in Cages
27. Decorate Suckers
28. Make Halloween Hair Bows
29. Decorate Treat Bags
Let your kids use paint and Q-tips to decorate their treat bags.  They will love showing them off on Halloween.

30. Make a Treat
I whipped up a nice, Fall treat (it's a favorite from my childhood).  We had applesauce sprinkled with cinnamon & sugar.  I topped it off with vanilla ice cream and some Halloween sprinkles.  This treat is fast, easy, and semi-healthy.

How do you celebrate Halloween with your family?

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Let's Learn About Families - Preschool Lesson

A Lesson by Bestie - She's amazing!

Lesson Topics: Letter C (hard c sound, writing letter c, & recognizing short words that start with c), Families (differences & similarities)

Letter C:
Bestie started the lesson by introducing Goofy and Brownie to the letter C.  She did this by showing them the C is for Car flashcard.  They talked about the hard c sound.  After they practiced making the hard c sound together, they traced the letter C.  

Activity: Letter C Words Princess Matching
Goofy LOVES the Little People Princess castle that Brownie has in her bedroom.  Bestie came up with a brilliant game using the castle to introduce the girls to short words that start with letter C.  She wrote short words starting with the letter C on white, round labels.  She made two of each word.

Bestie put one label on the bottom of each Little People Princess.

She put the duplicate word somewhere on the castle.  The girls had to put the princess on the matching spot on the castle.  Come on, tell me that's not the cutest idea you've ever heard of!  Goofy told me all about it the rest of the day.


Each child was asked to bring a picture of their family.  They showed their pictures to each other.  First, they talked about the things that were the same: a mommy, a daddy, a daughter, etc.  Then, they discussed the differences: Goofy's family is bigger than Brownie's, different hair color, Goofy has a brother and sister, etc.  Bestie explained that even though they are different, each family is good and loving.  

Art Project: Family Popsicle Stick Puppets
Bestie gave each girl this cute Family Puppet Printable to color.  When they had finished, they cut them out and glued them to Popsicle sticks.  Goofy had so much fun "playing house" with these puppets when she got home.

Homework: The homework assignment was to practice the letter C flashcard (shown above), write the letter C five times, and do something nice for a member of the family.

This is Goofy's letter C homework.  You can see that at first she traced the C's already written on the paper.  Then, I made the dash marks for her to trace.  She decided she wanted to circle the lowercase C for some reason.  Next, I helped her hold her pencil correctly and we wrote a couple of C's together.  Finally, she drew the two on the very bottom by herself.  They are backwards, but it's improvement from the zig-zag lines she usually uses when she pretends she is writing.

Goofy and Brownie are learning so much from Bestie!  

Here are some other fun family-themed crafts:
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Saturday, March 1, 2014

"Thinking of You" Heart Game - Made by Kids

This Valentine's Day we had a Mystery Dinner and I decorated the table with sparkly little hearts.  After dinner, Princess asked if she could have the hearts.  I said yes and didn't think much of it.

The next day I started finding these little hearts all over the house.  When I asked Princess about it she said, "I want to let everyone in the family know that I am thinking of them by leaving them a heart to find."

I never knew where I'd find a heart next.

Sometimes they'd be in obvious places...

Other times I was surprised - the refrigerator of all places!

I caught Princess sneaking a heart into Goofy's coat pocket.

I found one in my jacket.

We all started to join in on the fun.  When I found a heart I'd hide it somewhere for Princess to find.  It helped us keep a nice feeling in our home.  We were more thoughtful, more kind, and more loving.

You could use this idea for a family home evening to teach love at home.

Sometimes it takes the genius of a child to remind me what is most important.

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year's Countdown 2014

Welcome to a new year here on Pinning with Purpose!  2013 flew by!  I hope you had a wonderful New Year's Eve.

As a kid I remember watching the celebrations in Time Square on the TV, waiting for the countdown, and finally going outside to bang pans.  But what about all that time before the actual countdown?  Why let it go to waste?

Last year I did a Balloon New Year's Countdown.  The kids loved it and so did I.  We enjoyed having something to do each hour before ringing in the new year.  I decided to do another balloon countdown this year.  I added some new activities and kept some of the favorites from last year.  

"Let's make a party of it!" I thought to myself.  So, we invited some friends over this year and I'm so glad we did.  It made our night that much more fun!  

I did some easy, not to mention cheap, party decorating before they came.  Can't have a party without a few decorations after all (you must know by now that I don't party without decorations).

Here was our dinner set-up.  I put black and yellow streamers around the house, some 2014 signs in the windows, and some gold coins and necklaces on the table.  That's it.  Nothing fancy.  

Here is the balloon countdown I made this year.  The kids couldn't wait to get started!  All day they kept asking, "Is it 6:00 yet?"  

Princess was excited to be the first person to pop a balloon.  It said to eat dinner and see if you get the lucky coin.

Here's how the lucky coin game works.  When you serve dinner you stick a coin in someone's meal.  You can either bake one into a muffin or just place it in whatever you are serving for the night.  Whoever gets the coin in their food is going to have good luck for the year.  

I put fake coins in the other meals so no one felt left out.

Princess got the REAL quarter, so she is going to be the luckiest this year.  

Goofy popped the next balloon.  It said it was time to dress up for the party and get faces painted.

My girls will take any opportunity they can to get dressed up.  Face painting was an extra bonus.  

Belle (a.k.a. Princess) wanted to her 2014 to be the same color as her dress.

Bud thought face painting was pretty fun.

This year I wanted to have a box full of little trinkets that represent the things we have done during the year - things like ticket stubs, pamphlets, pictures, etc.  I designated a box and let the kids decorate it with stickers.

The girls were very excited about this project.

They nearly spent the entire hour decorating.  They were very thorough.

They even decorated the inside of the box!

The next balloon told us to have a toast to the New Year and play a game.

Our guests arrived at 8:00, so this was the perfect time to have our toast and appetizers.  I am so glad Bestie, her husband and her daughter, Brownie, could come celebrate with us!

I made my mom's bacon wrapped water chestnuts.  They are delicious!  (The recipe is at the bottom of this post.)

My kids love the chocolate and sprinkle-covered rims of their glasses of milk.


This was Brownie's first New Year's toast.  Do you think she was having fun?

The kids chose to play Perfection while the adults talked and ate.  

Bestie popped the next balloon on the countdown.

It told us to make Time Square sparkle balls.  

I gave each child a foam ball and a dowel.  We poked a hole in the bottom to hold the ball on the skewer (kind of like a wand).  I hot glued the tip of the skewer and inserted it into the hole.  Then I hot glued around the bottom of the ball where the skewer and ball meet for safe measure.  

The kids then each picked some gems.  They pointed at where they would like the gems to go.  I put a dot of hot glue in the spot they chose and they would stick the gem on.  Each Time Square sparkle ball was very different.  Brownie has a thing for green gems.

Princess was all about the pink gems.

The kids were pretty excited about their sparkle balls.

Being silly.  

Next we played glow-in-the-dark ring toss.  I simply used glow sticks to make the rings and a baby stacking ring center for the target.  

What's that?

It's Goofy using her ring as a crown.  She wasn't terribly interested in tossing her ring.  Why should she throw it when she can wear it?

Princess had a blast trying to get her ring on the target.

The adults played too.  Hubby was the official winner.

Brownie and Princess having a blast.

Of course, our last balloon told us to make noise.  To keep my my family tradition, we banged on some pots and pans.

Brownie had lots of fun.

Princess really went to town making noise.  She didn't stop until we made her about 5 minutes later (that's all our nerves could handle).  

I sure had fun ringing in the new year with my little family and best friend.  Happy New Year to you all!  

Mom's Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts
1 pkg. bacon
1 can whole water chestnuts
1 c ketchup
1 c sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cut each piece of bacon in half.  Wrap the water chestnut with the bacon and hold together with a toothpick.  Spray a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet) to keep them from sticking.  Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes.  

Mix the ketchup and sugar together in a bowl.  When the bacon-wrapped water chestnuts are done cooking, dip them in the ketchup and sugar mixture.  Bake again for another 20 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly - they are best when warm.   

I dare you to eat just one!  

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