It’s officially time to start getting festive. Our Christmas tree is up and indoor decorations are done. With all these bucket list items getting crossed off, we had to do another… write a letter to Santa.
I mean.. there’s less than a month until Christmas, we HAD to make sure he knew what Mila wanted this year.
The letter to Santa is very important in the eyes of kids who believe in him. When Mila realized that Santa was going to see her letter, she had that look Ralphie did in A Christmas Story.
It was all very official business.
After brainstorming her thoughts for the letter out loud, she decided it was time to write. Since Mila only knows how to spell her name at the moment, I got to help her out a little in the writing and spelling part of this.
Her letter to Santa states:
How do you do? Thank you for giving me Christmas presents. I would like a big doctor thing.
She’s a lady that knows what she want! Hopefully she’ll actually become a doctor one day since that’s the only thing she wants at the moment. Besides becoming a mommy like me… her words.
Anyways, I wanted to share this big moment because there’s a lot of learning going on in this simple letter.
Not only did she practice her writing skills and can prove she can remember and write her name, she drafted and wrote a letter! That’s pretty big for a three year old. Just because she didn’t physically write it, doesn’t mean there wasn’t any thought or work put into it.
It also showed her emotional intelligence with the thank you’s and asking Santa how he was doing.
These are all social skills that are all important to learn… simply by just writing a fun letter to Santa! Learning really is everywhere you look.
Fingers crossed Santa gets her letter in time. She used special stamps to help it travel quickly.
I’ll keep you all updated on if he does.
You can find the ‘Letter to Santa’ template at The Letter Vee. Some of the other stamps come from Three Little Crumbsnatchers, she also has the cutest Christmas activities you can print out for free. I’ll be posting them this December, so keep your eyes peeled.
Does your child or did they write letters to Santa? I’m thinking of recording Mila too. I think it would be cute to look back on. Let me know in the comments if you think that’s a fun idea or not.
The holiday season goes so quick! I’ve been thinking of Thanksgiving Treats and how to make them festive. Eventually, I came up with these Rice Krispie Turkeys.
All made from leftover Halloween candy, these turkeys are cute and perfect for Thanksgiving.
All I used to make these turkeys are:
As I mentioned above, everything I used to make these came from Mila’s candy stash. We got a ton of mini Rice Krispie treats and this seemed like a fun way to use them. There was always an abundance of candy corn left from the Fall Scarecrow Snack Mix.
I ended up cutting little slices of a twizzler to make the turkey’s wattle. Yes, that’s what it’s called.
Then, of course, we used eye sprinkles to complete the look.
To assemble, you simple just press everything into the Rice Krispie. It’s not too difficult. One tip I’d give you is to use your hands to hold the shape of the Rice Krispie while pressing everything else in.
That way none of the ‘feathers’ or eyes fall out.
To complete the look, I added a craft feather to the back. I think it looked adorable. I’d suggest wrapping washi tape around the feather so it doesn’t stick to the Rice Krispie.
Another added bonus of this fun Thanksgiving treat is that Mila loved helping make the faces too! This could end up being a really fun activity for Thanksgiving day with the family. Im always looking for kids activities to keep them busy and smiling.
Either way, these Rice Krispie Turkeys are tasty, easy to make, and will be perfect for your Thanksgiving Day.
What foods or treats do you make for Thanksgiving or Friendsgiving? Let me know in the comments.
Are feathers the googly eyes of November? I think so! This Fine Motor Turkey Activity is the BASTE way to play while prepping for Thanksgiving.
Another huge positive for this activity is you only need two things: feathers and a colander.
You can make a turkey face too if you’d like.
You can find feathers at any dollar store for only a dollar and you get a ton of them. You can use them for so many other crafts and activities throughout the year too. They also make for a great sensory object.
For this Fine Motor Turkey Activity, all I instructed Mila to do was make a turkey out of those materials.
Mila had fun sorting the colors and making the turkey look ‘silly.’ It gave me time to make dinner and it would be a fun race for the kids on Thanksgiving Day.
I truly believe the simplest activities make the biggest impact.
As usual, Mila did an amazing job and I know other kids would like this activity too.
I love how this activity could be used for little kids too. It’s a great sensory activity that works on motor skills!
For older kids, you could do a timed activity where they either need to put all the feathers in OR take them out the quickest. It’s simple for kids of all ages.
What sort of activities do you do during Thanksgiving? Or does your family play any fun games?
Like with all sensory activities, I let Mila explore the different materials. She was familiar with everything, but the beads threw her off. We usually only use beads for threading activities… or making bracelets.
It was fun to watch her interact with these materials with the thought of making a turkey too.
Obviously, she pointed out the feathers and eyes for the turkey, but everything else she made up on her own. I had a canvas with a brown circle glued down on it. This became the base of the turkey.
Then, I let her glue down everything else and put the items where ever she wanted.
This is how it turned out:
She says the beads were the turkey’s necklace, the candy corn it’s ears, and everything else is normal.
I just love her quirky turkey.
To extend this activity, you can have your child describe the texture and feeling of the items. You could also do a fun counting game with them too.
No matter what, it’s a great way to make memories with your child.
I have a few Thanksgiving and turkey activities lined up. As always, I’d love to hear about your traditions or activities you do too!
Mila and my’s favorite part about this October was her Tiny Ghoul Gang Party. It was a fun way to get all of her friends together and celebrate Halloween!
She had been asking me for weeks about having a party. For some reason she was convinced that her birthday was this month… and not six months away. Instead of fighting that battle for six more months, we invited her preschool and dance friends over and had a Tiny Ghoul Gang Party.
When I first decided to throw this party for Mila, I came up with a pumpkin painting party idea. She loves painting and crafts and I figured her friends would too.
I had a ton of Halloween activity ideas pinned and saved on Instagram. There’s so many creative people in the world, I’m so thankful they share their ideas! It was easy to find things for the kids to do.
Thankfully it was minimal prep too!
The main party activity was pumpkin painting. We literally laid down an old blanket and table clothes, set out paint and brushes, then let the kids have at it. Honestly, they went right to wanting to paint pumpkins which took me by surprise. If I would have known that, I would’ve got the paint out beforehand. Thankfully, there was a great group of parents who immediately jumped in and helped out!
Besides paint, we also let the kiddos put googly eyes on their pumpkins to decorate too! They all turned out adorable.
This activity is messy. Obviously. If I were to do this again, I’d have found more tables or gotten pallets for the kids to use. Just to stabilize the pumpkins and keep the brushes and paint upright.
I just talked about these in another blog post. They’re one of my favorite Halloween activities and went pretty well with a big group of girls. The hardest part was finding the letters of all the girls’ names.
Before the party, I made all of the brooms. If I would do this activity again for kids, I would have their name beads already set out or put in a bag.
Again, there was an amazing group of parents their with us that helped out!
Technically I had three sensory areas set up, but we only got to two. The one sensory play idea that wasn’t used was a potion making station. I think that was fine because it ended up getting cold, which is never good mixed with wet clothes.
The one bin that was used the most was the spaghetti bin. There were eyeballs, fingers, and spiders that the kids could find. But, a couple of them (mostly Mila), ended up just eating the spaghetti… yum. They all did seem like they loved playing with this sensory bowl.
Maybe for the next Halloween party, I’ll do multiple cold spaghetti bowls.
In the other sensory bowl was ‘monster soup.’ It just had torn up tissue paper, Halloween colored sensory items (balls, pipe cleaners, etc). The girls really enjoyed this too!
Bobbing for Apples:
Like I stated above, the cold and water don’t really mix, but the girls really enjoyed trying this. It’s just your classic bobbing for apples game. The ones who participated did really good… the others volunteered to just eat the apples.
Halloween Egg Hunt:
Mila helped prep this activity. I found Easter eggs that looked like jack-o-lanterns at Target. We filled them up with candy and Mila spread them around the yard.
I’m not sure how well she hid them… but the kids loved running and finding them. It was an easy activity and got them playing independently.
We also had a few throwing activities that I didn’t get pictures of. One was to throw rings around pumpkin stems. Again, easy set up and fun! Then my mom found this game where you throw a ball in pumpkin styled cups. What kid doesn’t like throwing?
I think all the kids loved what we had set up. There was Halloween music playing in the background, so we got to see some dance moves too. When the kids didn’t have a guided activity, they just ran, talked, or played on the play equipment too. I don’t think any of them were ever bored during the party.
It was so much fun to see Mila’s favorite groups of friends come together.
I promise I had every intention of making this party have more food than dessert. It just didn’t manifest that way.
The food spread was mostly a dessert bar full of Halloween treats. To be honest, I bought all the desserts. I did not have time to make everything, besides adding extra Halloween sprinkles to the cake. Still, I loved how it turned out!
For the food, we had fruits, veggies, cream chicken, mummy hot dogs, and a skull meat and cheese plate. Plus, there were buckets of chips and a sweet Halloween mix too.
I was actually surprised with how much food was eaten. Of course I still had leftovers, but the majority of it was gone!
We also started a fire and had s’mores too.
To make it a little more special, I made Ghoul Gang shirts for the girls. I think they turned out adorable and even made myself a sweatshirt.
It made for really cute pictures and I love getting shirts, so I knew Mila’s friends would too.
We also made baskets for the kids to take too. It was just a trick or treat bucket filled with goodies for them to take home.
The best goodies for me was watching all of the ghouls having fun. Their smiles and laughs are the reason why any parent does what they do for their kids. I love that this group of girls get to grow up together. Just knowing Mila will have friends going into school and through life brings me so much peace for her.
I am so thankful for all the parents that let their kiddos come. Mila has talked about it almost every day since.
Throughout the madness of the day, Mila and I didn’t get a single picture at her party. This isn’t too crazy. We rarely remember to get pictures together.
Once we got home, she thanked me for her party and gave me a big hug. That’s when we got the picture.
I love being her mom and having the ability to do these types of things for her. Something tells me she’s going to be a kid that wants a party for all occasions. Fingers crossed we’ll be able to do it!
Even when life is crazy, it’s party days like those and the hugs after that make the hard parts worth it.
I can’t wait to see what we come up with for next year’s Halloween party.
Have you ever threw your child a Halloween party? What was your favorite activity at yours or Mila’s?
Mila and I have done a lot of fun activities to celebrate this month. I wanted to share Simple Halloween Activities you can easily put together before the big day.
All of these can have a version put together quickly at home, but they’re all fun for kids.
1. Potion Making
Mila has loved the idea of making potions this year. As always, water is a HUGE hit with kids.
Witch’s (or Warlock’s) potions help with gross motor skills and amps up pretend play. I always provide multiple bowls, jars, and spoons for her to use. Mila will sit at the island and play for a long time, especially if I keep filling up the water jar.
Emily, the shop owner, is a fellow Ohioan and does an amazing job putting together seasonal sensory kits. I’ve been wanting to order and was so happy that I was able to win this kit.
It came with everything I needed, I just needed to set up the bowls and give Mila water!
Not only was it fun for Mila, it smelled so good.
I’ve also set up DIY potion kits for Mila to play with too. All I used was jars, bowls, spoons, food coloring, and dish soap.
It definitely gives the potion making vibes and she had fun with that too!
One thing I want to try to make it a little more special is grinding up one of her bath bombs too. I think it would give off more bubbles.
The resin creatures, bubbles, and elixir in Little October House is just too cute to pass up! We’ll probably be doing more DIY potions the q few days since it’s been Mila’s favorite way to unwind after preschool.
If you’re looking for an easy activity to set up and only need two to Inca, look no further.
All you need for this simple Halloween activity is Play-Doh and googly eyes! If you’re really feeling fun, you could add pipe cleaners too.
To get Mila started on this one, I just told her to make monsters with a lot of eyes. That seemed to do the trick. She dove right in and made all different kids of monsters.
She even started singing her latest song she learned at preschool.
Watch out for my big scary eyes. Watch out for a big surprise… BOO!
One way to make it more educational is to have kids count the number of eyes or tell them how many eyes to put on each monster.
But, they’re learning SO many skills by just picking up the eyes and playing with the play-doh too.
3. Boolage (Halloween Collage)
As we all know, Mila LOVES stickers. To prevent her from covering any surfaces in our home, having her create a collage on a piece of scrapbook paper was a way better option.
She was so happy to see a little bowl full of Halloween stickers. I told her to create a picture with them on the page a she went to work.
This is a great simple activity that kids can really take charge! Plus, they get to be creative.
Hello more Halloween art!
4. Halloween Letter Recognition
This activity is probably the most educational in this list. We love doing letter recognition in our house, especially with our Beags and Bubs resin letters.
But when I saw this printable coloring page from The Letter Vee, I knew I had a perfect match.
Not only can the duo be used to letter recognition, I’ve had Mila color the page with her matching the colors too.
I love all the possibilities you can use with these fun Halloween learning tools. Mila has used them both so much to talk about what she’s learned this month, spelling her name, and just having a little Halloween fun!
5. Threading a Witch’s Broom
We technically did these for Mila’s Ghoul Gang Party, but I wanted to share them here.
Threading activities are so helpful for kids this age. It really can teach them patience, how to use their hands, and (again) show their creativity.
Out of all the easy activities, this was one with a little more prep. All I used was pipe cleaners and yarn to make the broom. If you only have a couple to make, it doesn’t take that long!
Then, I set out the color beads and lined up the letter beads for their names.
I had a lot of help at the Ghoul Gang Party, but Mila’s made multiple ones of these in the week since. It could be used to make a fun gift tag or just a kids present to their favorite adults around Halloween time.
All of these Simple Halloween Activities have been a hit in our house. I’m sure they would be in yours too.
I’ve also shared other activities we did this year too. Here’s the list to get some more inspiration.
The best way to learn is through books! To introduce Mila to Halloween concepts, we’ve been reading a ton of different ones. Lately, Mila’s favorite has been Room on the Broom. We extended her learning by pairing the book with an activity to make handprint art.
Again, it’s another decoration that Mila and I will be able to look at in the future and remember our times when she was little!
I want to start off by saying, I most definitely helped Mila with this craft. Older kids could probably do this alone. But, I used hot glue, cut out the hat, and made the broom. Everything else she had a hand in making… literally.
First, I painted her hand with green paint. Then let her press it on the canvas to make the witch.
While it was drying, I assembled the broom and hat. For the broom I used this cute gold pipe cleaner for the base. Then I cut up ribbon to make the straw part of the broom. I combined them by making a loop with the pipe cleaner and twisting it off.
The hat was easy to make. All I did was cut out a witches hat on black paper and hot glued leftover pipe cleaner for the base of the hat.
When the green paint was dried, I hot glued down the broom and the eyes.
Next, we made the hair. I took a few pieces of orange yarn and braided it to look like the witch in the book. Mila loved helping cut out the pieces and was very impressed with how much it looked like the original witch. She’s finally impressed by my skills!
After that, we glued down the hat and added facial details and the night sky with a permanent marker.
Mila absolutely insisted on drawing the witch’s nose and the moon.
I absolutely love how this turned out… with all of Mila and I’s crafts. It’s festive and we put a lot of hard work into it. Doing a book pairing activity with her also underlines the importance of reading and teaching her that reading is fun and valuable.
Hopefully she’ll want to continue reading and extending upon those lessons in the future.
What’s your favorite Halloween book that we need to get next year?
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!
My entire house is fully prepped for Halloween! It’s been so fun to see the transformation. Our latest spooky DIY are these Skeleton Animal Glow Ups.
I have been back and forth with sharing these. They’re so creepy, but Mila loves them. Honestly, they’re sort of like a creepy Elf on a Shelf.
They were so easy to make and they fit our Halloween aesthetic. I found them at the Dollar Store for a dollar a piece. Not a bad price in my eyes; especially because it was a craft for both of us and they look so cute.
Cute as in… creepy. They can be both, right?
I will say, Mila had fun painting them, but it was a little tricky. She did them for a while, but I ended up finishing them.
If you do paint them and your kiddo wants to carry them around, I would suggest spraying them with a clear coat. It just helps the paint hold up a little longer. If you’re keeping them out of their hands, it should be okay!
Originally, I had them all on our dining room table. Like I said though, they’ve become our unofficial Halloween Elves on a Shelf.
I actually love how they turned out and will keep them for the years ahead.
Somehow they mesh really well with the white pumpkins and the general feel of my house. We like random things, so they make me smile.
Your Halloween decorations don’t have to be grand to make a statement. Sometimes all it takes is a little paint and a animal skeletons from the dollar store!
What’s your favorite way to decorate for this holiday: scary or pretty? Let me know in the comments.
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!