Friday, October 31, 2008

easy treat

Need an easy and delicious treat for a class party, playdate, or just for yourself? These were so good! It's the basic Rolo Turtle from Christmas that a lot of people make, but being that it's Fall (& no nuts allowed in preschool), I used a candy pumpkin instead. Oh my yumminess!

Cover a cookie sheet with pretzels. Top each pretzel with a Rolo. Put in a 250-degree oven until the Rolos are slightly soft (not melted!). Take out of the oven, top each Rolo with a candy pumpkin. Let cool before serving (I put mine in the fridge to speed-up the process).

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Apple Print Pumpkins

Genius, huh? Never would've thought of that one myself.

details here

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

easy ghost cookies

Nutter butter cookies, dipped in white chocolate, with mini-chocolate chips for eyes.
from and everything nice

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

simple beaded pumpkin

One pumpkin and a handful of orange beads gets you an easy craft. It's on our list for a November craft.

(from Blissful Kids)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Meringue Ghosts

We're doing the 12 Days of Halloween at our house, and I had the activities all planned ahead. For one day, I lost one of the materials I needed for the craft, and I don't remember why the other one didn't work. BUT - this was an EASY & quick substitute activity.

Meringue Ghost Recipe, from Sunset Magazine

Pumpkin Patch

So I'm really starting to get in the spirit of Autumn/Halloween!
I used Wilton's Mini Fluted Tube Pan, yellow cake mix, store-bought frosting, and mini ice-cream cones (top cut off, upside down). Forgive my frosting skills, this was definitely a time when I needed my trusty friend Julie!
*Trim the edge of the cake after baked to make a more spherical shape.
*Color coconut to make "fall leaves" for the pumpkins to sit on.
*I figured this out after I realized I hadn't saved any white frosting to make green... add several drops of green food coloring to the orange frosting and it won't turn brown, you'll get the green above. Not brilliant, but still green.
Hope my directions weren't too vague. Leave a comment if I've utterly confused anyone!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Jack-o-Lantern Quesadillas

This is what we had for lunch today. I took red and yellow food coloring mixed with a bit of water, and brushed it on the face of the pumpkin with a pastry brush (or paint brush or your fingers if you're brave) after using a sharp knife to cut out a face. I put cheese on the bottom tortilla and nuked it to melt the cheese, then squished on the face.

Milk Jug Jack-o-Lanterns

I dropped something off at my neighbor, Chelsie's, house yesterday and she had one of these on her door step. Love them. Please excuse my lousy jack-o-lantern face, I'm terrible at drawing the mouths. Red and yellow food coloring mixed with water in a jug after you draw a face with a Sharpie. Awesome!

Friday, October 24, 2008

the smells of Autumn

My entire house smells of Autumn today, and I love it! I'm a big fan of cinnamon, so I decided instead of relying on my Spiced Cider Wallflower, the girls and I would do a couple projects using cinnamon. Enjoy!

Cinnamon Ornaments

I know this seems like a Christmas project, but we used pumpkin cookie cutters to make it more Fall-like. I was hoping to do Fall leaves, but all I could find in our masses of cookie cutters were the pumpkins.

Combine equal parts cinnamon and applesauce (store bought, homemade is too watery). Stir in bowl until a soft dough forms. Put on plastic wrap covered plate, gently smash out (or roll) to desired thickness. Cut with cookie cutter. Use a straw to form a hole at the top for hanging later. Let dry overnight (or longer).
note: for a more "sturdy" ornament, add 1 Tbsp white glue to 1 cup sauce/1 cup cinnamon; sprinkle counter with cinnamon before rolling.

Cinnamon Playdough

This is just the basic recipe for playdough, with cinnamon added. I used quite a few shakes of cinnamon, so food coloring wasn't an option.

1/2 cup salt
1 cup flour
1 Tbsp cream of tartar
1 Tbsp oil
1 cup water
cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
optional: food coloring

*Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Heat gently, stirring constantly. When the dough has a good consistency, remove from the pan and knead until smooth. The dough will be HOT, so definitely something for an adult to do!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

homemade pumpkins

Yesterday the girls and I made some homemade pumpkins out of cornstarch, baking soda, and water. Really, that's all we used and it was easy! I borrowed the recipe from The Write Start (a fantastic blog, by the way). She used her clay to make bricks with her son, but we thought we'd try pumpkins. They turned out cute!

Combine 1 cup cornstarch, 2 cups baking soda, and 1 1/4 cups water in pot. Stir over medium heat until mixture is a wet, mashed potato-like consistency. Scoop mixture onto a plate and cover with damp dish towel until cool. Knead. Roll small portions into balls or pumpkin-shapes, pinch the top slightly for the stem. Let dry overnight (we let our's dry for 24 hours). Paint (we used tempera paint) and use as you wish!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Free Halloween Downloads

I love free! Most of these are easy mom-projects to cute up the house or surprise the kids instead of things to do with the kids.

All downloads can be found here, at The Toymaker.

My favorites are the candy corn shaped box

and the Halloween banner.

There are also a bunch of pumpkin bookmarks.

easy fall owl craft

We collected some pretty leaves at the library yesterday. I think we'll save them until after our "12 Days of Halloween" are over so we can make this in early November.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh, the cuteness!

Aren't those great? Mini-pumpkins filled with mini-treats if you have a party or small scale trick-or-treating where you know each child well. A square or two of orange tissue paper gathered with green florists tape. Genius.

(wish I could remember where I saw the pic)

Trick-or-Treat Spider Bags

Oh, the cuteness. This doesn't shout "portable!" to me if you're planning to hit more than 3 houses, but for a preschool or afternoon neighborhood get-together or a quick run to Grandma's house, it would be perfect.

Paint 2 paper plates black (spray would be fastest and easiest paint. Cut out legs from construction paper and glue to the plates just before you glue the plates together. Add eyes and a pipe cleaner for a handle.

(via Ramblings of a Crazy Woman)

Here's another cute version from Blissful Kids. Follow the link for their directions.

Halloween Paper Lanterns

How cute are those lanterns? If you need or want to see a video with directions, head over here.

(via the Crafty Crow)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Halloween Books

I started a Halloween bookshelf on the sidebar... I'll be adding to it over the next couple of days (when I'm not being interrupted by 3 adorable and yet very needy kids).

What are some of your favorite Halloween books? Leave a comment - I'd love to add them to the shelf!

beginning sounds

Stella (my 3-year old) has a hard time with beginning sounds. She knows her letters, and can tell you what sound they each make, but when I ask her what "dog" starts with, I get this blank stare. So I dug out my favorite picture cards from teaching...

These are the best little picture cards I've found. Every picture is an actual photo, not some corny cartoon drawing (which don't get me wrong, those can be pretty cute). And there are tons of activities you can do with these.

To help Stella with her beginning sounds, I went through the cards and pulled out several that started with /p/, /b/, & /t/. I then wrote the letters on a dry erase board, and had her say each picture out loud (so I could make sure she was pronouncing them correctly, she has a bit of a lisp), then together we would listen for the beginning sound, and sort it accordingly. It was a slow start, but she loved the "game", and soon she was able to figure out the beginning sounds without my help.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Apple Print Apple Tree

How cute is that? It's on our to-do list for this week. Or next. Or when I get around to it (hopefully this fall). All the info at Ramblings of a Crazy Woman.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fun Halloween Ideas

Found a link today where a mom last year made a list of one Halloween-fun thing to do each day. Love it!