Halloween crafts and activities do not have to be complex. My preschooler’s favorite Halloween Craft are these Googly Eyed Monsters! Not only did she have a spook-tacular time making them, she loves making sure everyone sees them when they come in our home.
The best part about these monsters, you only really need to go buy googly eyes. Everything else are pretty common household items.
To set up this craft for Mila, I cut some squares from old cardboard boxes. We love to upcycle and reuse items. If we can make memories by doing that, I’m all for it!
Then, I put out the colors of paint she wanted to use. I tried to persuade her to use more Halloween colors. She insisted on blue though, but I think it turned out super cute even though it’s not a traditional color.
I let her free paint and do whatever she wanted. They didn’t start off as monsters, just as big blobs.
If you have older kids, they’ll be able to do this next part on their own. I went in and drew outlines of monsters with her blobs. She might be able to do it now, but I just follow her interest and patience level with these types of activities. There’s no right or wrong ways to outline them. Just let their artwork speak to you!
When the monsters were finished and dried, Mila put the eyes where she wanted them to be. Let your child pick out how many eyes and the eye color they think they need. It’s so cute to see how they end up seeing their monsters.
Then, you can hot glue a pipe cleaner on the back of the cardboard pieces to hand them. This is an optional step, but I love it.
I love this little progression picture. This activity came out so adorable and I’ll definitely be hanging these up throughout future Halloweens. At first, Mila was afraid of some of her pictures. Now she thinks they’re cute. She’s really getting in the spooky mood!
Another day, another fall activity! Today’s play is a Pumpkin Washing Sensory Bin.
We love sensory play for so many reasons. To summarize all of its benefits, it helps children’s brains in a ton of ways! It also gives me a minute to do a chore or task that needs done around the house too.
Now that it’s spooky season, I’m finally letting Mila pick pumpkins from our pumpkin patch on the side of our house. It led straight to this activity.
Before we paint or decorate these pumpkins, I thought they needed to be cleaned off. Instead of me just doing it, I thought it would be so much fun for Mila… and I was right. All I had to do was set up this station.
The only thing I told Mila was that the pumpkins needed cleaning and she could use more water and soap if she needed.
Let’s just say… she went to work right away!
This activity is so simple and Mila had came up with a big story of why they needed washed. She pretended they came from a different farm and not just outside our home. I always love listening to how her mind works.
That’s what makes sensory play so fun for everyone.
I actually left this activity out for the next day and she kept on playing. Lets hope painting or carving pumpkins goes this smoothly too.
Do you paint or carve pumpkins?
I’ve done both, but I’m thinking Mila may like painting more than carving this year. I’ll keep you all updated when it happens!
Another week, another activity box! This week’s activity box theme: FARM!
The last two weeks, Mila and her class have been learning about farms. To extend her learning about it, I thought some farm themed activities while she’s at home and when she’s off on Fridays would be fun!
This theme is also a ton of fun because we live in a rural area where a lot of people have farms and farm animals. We can go to different ones and actually see them. It was also a great time because we were just at our county fair where we saw all of the students’ farm animals and 4H projects that they worked so hard on. It was a way to be active while learning too!
Since we can’t go back to the fair or a barn every day, this activity box was perfect for her learning.
There’s a ton more activities you can do too, this just was easy for her to take to her grandma’s house on her day off.
I hope you love everything that’s inside. Let me know if you have other suggestions.
I’ll never stop saying this: WE LOVE BOOKS!
Books help kids discover and learn about the world around them when they can’t get out and see it. Plus, it helps teach them lessons too.
These books are all ones that we’ve read so many times. I think Mila’s favorite is the farm sound. She’s had it since she’s been really little and it helped her learn different farm animal sounds. She also loves the Peek-a-Who and can even read it to me… more like look at the pictures and remember what it said.
We also love the Usborne “That’s Not My…” series and have almost all the farm animals. Sandra Boynton books are a big hit with Mila and this one always makes her laugh.
Lately, Mila has been obsessed with sheep, so The Sheep Who Hatched an Egg has been a new book that we’ve gotten. It’s a really cute book about sheep’s hair and caring about others. I’m unsure how super farm related it is, but Mila’s obsessed!
Painting and play dough are our two go to activities in our house. Mila loves them both and plays with them for a long time.
The farm animal ‘paint with water’ activity book from Melissa and Doug is a huge hit. There’s 20 different animal scenes that are perfect for learning about the farm! I also love that there’s paint on the top of every single page. It came with a brush too! All you need to do is a have a little cup of water and they’re good to go! Mila loves to paint, so I limit how many pages she does at one time!
I always include play dough in Mila’s activity boxes. They help her use her imagination in play and allows her to make shapes with her hands. I thought she might use the different colors to make animals, grass, and maybe just a farm scene. Who knows what she’ll create!
Matching Game and Threading
These two activities are Mila’s favorites!
The first are the threading boards. We got these from Mila’s preschool sale and they’re a blast to work with. It’s helped Mila’s coordination and motor skills. Plus, the scenes are so cute. There are a ton of threading activities that you can find on Amazon as well. This set (not pictured) is so cute and from Melissa and Doug!
Mila’s other FAVORITE game is the ‘grab it’ game. Essentially, you fill the red thing with the scare crow up with chips that have animals in it. When it’s your turn, you grab a chip and see if it matches to your board (the green barn). The first to fill their board up wins.
This game is so educational for us. Not only does it help with matching and animal recognition, it’s taught Mila to take turns and we practice animal sounds too. I found this game at Aldi, but you could make one too. Personally, I would use matching cards with farm animals and then have each player grab them from the deck. Essentially it would be the same thing.
Some of the other items that are in her box was her sheep that her great grandmother made, resin letters (of course), and a quick piggy clean up activity.
You could add any stuffed farm animal and multiple ones. At this stage, they really get into pretend play and it’s so cute to see.
As always, I’ll suggest to get a set of resin letters from Beags and Bubs. They’re the best!
The quick piggy clean up activity is a hit and doesn’t take too long to make at all. All you have to do is print out or draw a piggy. Then, put it in a ziplock baggy. When it’s in there, you just use black or brown markers to make the pig ‘dirty.’ Then, instruct your kiddo to clean the pig with a paper towel or sponge. They can also make the piggy dirty by drawing on it too.
I wanted to share two things Mila has done in preschool that I think would be a fun addition to this box as well. They’ve done a TON of other activities, but I thought these were just the cutest!
First is a story that Mila told her teachers and they wrote down. I actually love capturing her stories and recording them. It allows kids to be creative and see the importance of their words. Also, it’ll be so cute and funny to read when she gets older too!
I think she did a pretty good job!
This next activity was something that Mila talked nonstop about.
It’s a cut out of a big with brown paint. So, they got the pig dirty. I’m unsure what type of paint they used, but if I were to do this, I would probably put a drop of dish soap in the paint and mix it. This way it helps with clean up! Plus, what toddler doesn’t like getting dirty!
I hope you loved all these activities and items.
Let me know in the comments how you felt about this activity box! It was a lot of fun putting it together and watching her interact with it.
Tim Burton is one of my favorite creative minds. So, we have some activities around this particular book and I want to introduce Mila to some of his movies this season too. Room on the Broom is fun for Mila at this age because she tries to follow along and does a great job! I have an activity for this too!
Our newest Halloween book is All Hallows’ Eve in Salem by Kristian James. I found it on Instagram and knew I needed to get it for Mila. The characters are adorable and I already want to plan a trip to Salem for Mila and I!
I promise, you’ll want to get this book for your kids too!
For this activity box, I didn’t use worksheets from Mila’s normal preschool workbooks. There’s none quite that spooky. I did find some cute worksheets that are perfect for the preschool and toddler level, coloring pages, and stickers!
I found the foam stickers and sticker book at Joann’s Fabrics, but this pack is cute from Amazon.
Stickers can be used for telling stories, counting, or making collages. Your child will lead you.
The little coloring page was also from Joann’s!
I found two printables that will have multiple uses. They’re both so cute and Mila really liked how they both looked.
The monster letters are from The Letter Vee. They’re so adorable and I’ll have Mila color them in first, then practice letter recognition with her resin letters.
I also had to print out this Halloween Countdown from Celebration Stylist! They have SO many cute Halloween printables. The Boo Banner hanging over the activity box is from them too! Plus a few other things that you’ll see in October posts.
Anyways, this countdown can be used as a countdown or to practice counting in general. I’m sure Mila will be using her stickers to do the countdown!
Potion Kit and Ghost Friends
You’ve definitely seen this fizzy ball before! They’re seriously such a hit with Mila. This month, we’ll be using them to make a witch’s potion. She loves using her ladle with our new bowl, so I’m excited for her.
I’m doing a post about a different witch’s potion next month too.
Mila and I also made these little stuffed ghosts out of an old sweatshirt. We had a lot of fun with them and Mila liked drawing their faces (not pictured). It was so easy to do! I’ll post a video or blog about how to do this too!
These are just some fun ways for Mila to play and pretend. It’s always nice to have a little brain break.
As always, we love using resin letters in all of our activity boxes. I cannot wait to show you my new set from Beags and Bubs. It’s in the mail right now, but they’re ADORABLE!
Not pictured in this post were face masks. I decided to add them in there because masks are associated with Halloween snd the characters on the packaging are our Halloween costumes. Plus, anytime I can make time for Mila to practice self care, I do!
There were also crayons, markers, and some other tools to play with the play doh too.
This is probably my favorite activity box so far. I love letting her discover different holidays. This can easily be converted and customized to more boy themed too. All of the elements are perfect for both boys and girls though!
I can’t wait to start doing more spooky crafts and activities and share them all with you.
What are some of your favorite Halloween activities to do? Or what are your favorite Halloween books you enjoy reading this time of year? Let me know both in the comments.
Ahoy there mateys! If you’re looking to celebrate pirates or how they talk, your toddler or young child love this Pirate Sensory Treasure Hunt.
Recently, Mila has been watching Jake and the Neverland Pirates. She loves all the adventure and when they find treasure. What little kid wouldn’t want to live on a boat and find coins buried in the sand?
I think she is still obsessed with mermaids too and the ocean reminds her of them!
Anyways, I thought it would be fun to bring the buried treasure to Mila… with some sensory elements mixed in too. Let’s just say this little activity was a hit.
Here’s all you’ll need:
Other little pirate/ocean toys or stickers
I actually used my resin seek and find from Beags and Bubs as Mila’s treasure map. So, some of the items in the seek and find, I put in the bin. It was another cute way to use it!
To assemble this bin you’ll first need to put the items in the bin.
I probably could have added more coins and probably will next time. It just depends on how long you want this play to last. By the way, the ‘pearls’ were under the seashell!
Then, add rice for the sand and blue kinetic sand as water. I put the fish and mermaid under the ‘water.’
Personally, I put the kinetic sand down first. It helped me cover the fish first. BUT, the rice is way easier to spread than the kinetic sand, so it was just easier to do it this way.
After it was set up, I got out some pirate accessories and resin letters to set it up for her.
She had fun finding all of the treasure. It was so cute to watch her just dive in there. I think the hardest thing to find were the coins. They moved around in the rice.
After she did find everything, she prepped it for me to find things!
It was fun to play along with her.
Then, she used the bin for some pretend play while she warched Jake! Anytime she extends play makes the work behind it well worth it!
I personally love this bin and can see us doing more treasure hunts in the future. Mila’s down every time she gets to put money in her piggy bank.
Do your kids like pirates? What are some ways you’ve used them in your play? Let me know in the comments.
Fall is quickly approaching and that means leaves will be changing. A great way for kids to learn about leaves and fall is through sensory play. This Leaf Cutting Sensory Bin is a fun activity to welcome fall and practice important skills.
Mila and I try to go on a walk every day; with Max and Toby too. This past weekend, there were so many leaves on the ground. Since she was in awe of them, Mila started picking them up.
My pockets were full when we got home!
Even though I had planned this activity for September, it sort of just happened naturally.
Once we got home, I emptied the leaves in our sensory bin, set out her resin letters, and hoped the child safe scissors would work!
That’s actually best part of this sensory bin… you probably have everything right on hand!
Child safe scissors
All I did was do the steps above and let Mila explore the leaves. I did have to remind her how to safely use the scissors a few times though.
Without prompting, she talked about the different colors of the leaves, their texture, and if they are crunchy or not. It brought up a lot of different conversations that I really enjoyed having with her. It’s so amazing to see her mind work.
If you have scissors that cut different shapes, I’d suggest using them. Mila loved seeing the different patterns.
I also love that there isn’t a ton of creativity or prep for this activity. She actually took her time and played with the leaves. It was great for me to clean up while she played.
Another huge suggest is to get resin letters!
She’s been playing with them during our activities for the last few months and is recognizing more letters. I really believe they’re helping her become more comfortable with them. She’s actually remembering what letters are in her name and her cousin, Isla’s name.
Again, check out Beags and Bubs, Danielle makes amazing custom sets. I actually have another on the way!
Do you think your child would like this activity? What activities do you use to talk about fall or the leaves changing with your young child? Let me know in the comments.
When you have a little artist, walls and flat services are prone to getting drawn on. Since life is all about compromise, we transformed our front door into a DIY Chalkboard Paint Door.
It’s a really simple and fun switch. Plus, you’ll get the cutest drawings constantly.
So if you can remember, I posted a mom tip about how to get crayons off of walls and cabinets. There was also a permanent marker incident that took some time to get off.
The best solution for our family was giving Mila a space to create.
Since I wanted to paint my door black for a long time, it was the perfect reason to buy chalkboard paint!
You can buy chalkboard paint at any hardware store. There’s different colored chalkboard paint, I just preferred black. I know there’s a TON of different ways to make chalkboard paint all over the Internet too.
One suggestion I would make is to paint a base coat in whatever color you want your door.
Chalkboard paint is more expensive than regular paint. So, if you have a base color coat, you won’t need as much blackboard paint.
Always trying to save money!
I love that I’m able to celebrate Mila’s creativeness without losing my sanity with cleaning all the time.
If you don’t want to paint a whole door, you can easily frame off a piece of a wall to create the same effect too!
Would you create a blackboard space for your child? Or what’s your favorite way to encourage your child to be creative… minus the mess.
Looking for other ways to making parenting easy? Check out these mom hacks!
Back to school is an intense time for students of all ages. For children going to school for the first time they might be a little nervous. To help ease them into going their first year or just back to school in general, I created a Back to School Activity Box.
Mila will be starting preschool next week and I wanted her to realize how much she knows already. This box will hopefully give her that confidence she needs to succeed.
I made sure to add different activities that would hit all content areas that are tons of fun!
Even though the theme of this box is back to school, it’s mainly centered around the alphabet, colors, and shapes! Everything Mila needs for preschool. As always, these are just suggestions and if you do a Back to School Activity
As always, I’m always encouraging Mila to read and explore different books. This set of books goes from a beginner level to a little more advanced for her. The A to Z by Sandra Boynton is a great way to get kids saying their ABC’s and just introduced to the alphabet. How to Bake a Book is adorable. I love how it talks about the components of a book and what makes a story… well, a story.
The hardest book in the bunch is I’m Allergic to School! It’s definitely targeted to elementary school kids, but I think it’s fun to read Mila the poems. She likes to listen and it has higher vocabulary that helps her learn more.
There’s a ton of different back to school books, but these are what we have on hand. As always, I’d love more recommendations in the comments.
Mila LOVES puzzles and putting them together. We have a ton at home that she does all the time. Even though these are more educational, she also enjoys floor puzzles too. I really love these three puzzles (even though she has hidden the black piece in both her color puzzles). They’re very educational and get her used to letters, words, and colors. The alphabet puzzle is a great way for her to understand that every word has a letter, since there’s pictures under each one.
Her name puzzle was off of Etsy and was totally worth it. She already knows how to spell her name and I’m pretty sure these helped the process! Plus, it’s adorable.
I had to add a little science in her box. I try to do a few science experiments a week for her. She likes seeing reactions. This fizzy bomb reminds me of a bath bomb, but it has a little charm in it for her to get. It’s so important to introduce science and get kids interested in the subject as early as possible! I also have different science experiments posted on the blog that have really interested Mila too!
No surprise that I added play-doh to this activity box too. It was such a hit in both the Dino and Mermaid box. Play-doh is open ended and can help kids create with their hands. Plus, it’s a great for sensory play too!
To help her work with shapes, I added these mats with the page protectors from Target. In the box is a roller and kid safe knife to help her cut our shapes if she pleases.
You can also use play-doh to talk about colors and have them roll out different shapes too!
I love educational play! Mila has been so interested in workbooks, coloring books, and flashcards for a little while now. You can find these on Amazon, Target, or Walmart. I actually found a lot of things at the Target dollar spot.
Instead of ripping out pages in her alphabet booklet, I just let her explore the whole thing this week. Of course you can use whatever letters or workbook activities you’d like.
My favorite alphabet coloring book is A B to Jay Z, which name has changed. It has a ton of different pop starts that correlates to the particulate letter in the alphabet. It’s such a fun way to learn. You can purchase the new coloring book here.
I also gave Mila more stickers to play with this week. Like I mentioned above with the play-doh, you can have kids sort the stickers by color OR give them a pattern to follow. Mila does this for a little while, then loves to give herself tattoos. BUT stickers are always a hit in our house.
Another pop-it has made an appearance too. If your kiddo doesn’t have one, try it with them. It’s so relaxing for them and I want to make a post about different activities you can do with them too!
Resin Letters Match
You all know how much I love resin letters. I think they’re so valuable in learning them. Anything that Mila can pick up and inspect really helps her grasp what she’s learning. I also printed out an alphabet mat and used the page protectors for her to match them on their.
The opportunities are endless when it comes to using these letters. You can have your child organize them however you’d like. You can use them with sight words or really anything.
Again, if you’re looking to buy resin letters, I’ll always shout out Beags & Bubs. She makes amazing sets that you can personalize!
Here’s a list of other activities we’ve done in the past that could be easily incorporated in the box. I’ll also be posting some extra things this weekend and next week that you could use too. Stay tuned!
Another week, another activity box for Mila to explore. This week is a Mermaid Activity Box. Since summer is still here and she loves the beach, I thought it was a perfect time to do this theme. It’s fun, education, and a hit with Mila.
Although I over-themed it for mermaids, this could easily be altered to be more about sharks, fish, or any other ocean creature too.
Like the Dinosaur Activity Box, the Mermaid Activity Box is filled with sensory items, toys, books, and educational activities for toddlers and preschoolers. All of this fits inside a book box from Target so it can easily travel from place to place.
These boxes are such an easy way to help promote learning for you little ones with multiple family members and friends.
Every time Mila sees me start to take items out of the box and put new ones in, she gets so excited to see what she’ll be working with. I think by just getting her to sit down with the sensory toys, books, and activity worksheets, it’ll help her prepare for preschool. it can be a huge adjustment to start learning how to sit down for crafts and activities the first time they go to preschool.
Anyways… here’s what’s all in the Mermaid Activity Box.
I’m a big supporter of Mila reading books every single day. Even if she’s making her own words up with the pictures. Books help kids understand concepts, worlds, and places they don’t have the opportunity or option to explore.
These four books are amazing. I’ve definitely showcased three of them on past posts before. They’re just that good!
In all of these books, we love the stories, but the illustrations are just gorgeous. I think they really capture the ocean vibes with all the blues. Mila’s favorite for a long time have been the That’s Not My… series. She loves finding the mouse and learning new words that describe what the books about.
I’m always on the look out for more books too. If you have fun ocean, sea, or mermaid inspired books you think we’d love, let me know in the comments.
Sensory Play Items
We love sensory play. There’s SO many options for kids to learn by feeling and exploring.
The beautiful resin letters are from Beags and Bubs. I shouted Danielle out last week for her letters and knew I had to showcase them for this activity box. She also created the seek and find activity too (the clear circle in the top left) and the sand play-doh. I would 100% recommend her to anyone. Her Instagram feed is beautiful and she can make custom letters that will be perfect for you child.
I also added her mermaid pop-it. Mila is just amazed by pop-its. Whenever she gets overwhelmed, i’ll give her one and it calms her. This one is adorable, but can easily be carried around too.
She also always loves slime and I gave her blue play-doh too. The seashells were included so she can make impressions in the play-doh. This will allow her to extend her play and be imaginative with the toys too.
I have a ton of different sticker and coloring books for Mila. She loves them both. For her sticker books, I usually have another page or cardboard for her to put them on too.
The two pictured above were found at Joann’s for cheap! The marker page was actually 70% off. Mila likes the way the black feels and I love that it’ll help her stay in the lines. I also have other coloring pages from older coloring books that she loves to color in.
Like with the Dinosaur Activity Box, I flipped through Mila’s workbooks and found mermaid and ocean themed pages for her to use. Usually preschool workbooks will have a huge range of themes they use in their books, which is awesome for using different themes!
Again, I love preparing her for preschool by giving her these pages now. It helps let her know that learning can be fun!
There’s also a ton of printables on Pinterest you can find for activity pages too!
Although they’re not added in this picture of the activity box, you can add so many other crafts and activities too. We’ve done so many ocean and mermaid themed sensory play and crafts that Mila has asked to do over and over again.
These crafts and sensory components can be put in bags or Tupperware containers to help organize them.
Wondering what crafts and sensory ideas you can do, check out this list: