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.
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.
It’s almost fall, so that means it’s time for autumn themed play. This week, we made pumpkin spice play dough.
Not only does it smell amazing, it’s a ton of fun to play with… for kids and adults!
One BIG thing about this recipe is that it makes a lot of play dough. I was actually really surprised with how much there was after I made it. Honestly, I would suggest cutting this recipe in half. Unless you want to gift some to others!
The best part of this DIY play dough is that it’s only four ingredients and you don’t even need to cook it like other recipes.
2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
Dash of pumpkin spice
It’s crazy that you can make good smelling play dough with only four ingredients… really only three main ones if you don’t want it to smell like pumpkin spice.
Mila helped make everything! We measured out all of the ingredients and she helped pour everything in. At first we started stirring it with a fork, then it got too thick and we had to start mixing it with our hands.
For the pumpkin spice, we poured a lot more than a dash. We poured it in until we could smell it!
She ended up playing with it for a long time. I think play dough really calms her. It’s also fun to watch her do pretend play with play dough. Another way you can challenge your toddler or preschooler to play with play dough is to have them make different shapes. It’s fun to watch them try to figure out how to make the shape with their hands.
To store this play dough, just keep it in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Mines in a ziplock baggie with all the air pushed out.
Before Mila plays with it, I just have it on the counter to warm up a little bit.
I’ve been trying to take more videos, but I’m forgetting to take pictures… oops. Thankfully I can share them on here.
It’s fun to watch the memories live instead of just pictures. I’ll try to do both!
I can’t wait to see all the times Mila plays with the play dough throughout the season. If we think of more fun ways to play, I’ll share them here with you.
Have you ever made play dough before? What’s your favorite type to make?
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:
No matter if your little needs to stay busy after school or during the day, activity boxes will help! This week, Mila has been enjoying a Dinosaur Activity Box.
Filled with books, educational worksheets, sensory objects, and dinosaur toys, Mila has been engaged with this activity box all week. Every time she goes to pull something out, she can explore a new way to play. That’s what makes these boxes so intriguing to kids.
I’m actually really happy that Mila is interested in dinosaurs. Here’s a little secret… dinosaurs are one of my weird fears. I mean they’re extinct. Since Mila is interested in them now, I’ve learned a ton about them. Thank you to all the authors who have simplified the terms and information to toddler books. I really think the dancing dino books have been a huge help into getting Mila interested in them.
Anyways, since Mila is in a weird in between of waiting for preschool while I’m at school, I thought putting together activity boxes would be perfect.
This is a low prep solution to keeping her engaged while she’s with my mom. I can imagine babysitters would love this idea too. All my mom has to do is grab the box and take it. Next week, I’ll have a different theme with similar activities.
Here’s what’s in the box…
Mila learns best with books and activities. We’ve collected a ton of books in her three years, but they have paid themselves off with all that she’s learned.
A few months ago, we actually did a fun activity with Dino Dance by Sandra Boynton. Mila actually remembered it when she saw her activity box and flipped to their dances. It’s so nice to know she has that information stored somewhere.
The other books are just as valuable. We love them all and read them even without talking about dinosaurs…
It turns out, Mila loves worksheets. She loves the idea of ‘working,’ so it’s made learning a breeze.
I went through all her different workbooks and found the dinosaur themed ones. Some of them talk about the letter ‘d’ and others are working on prewriting. Either way, they are her level and she’s learning.
I’d definitely recommend starting your toddler or preschooler with worksheets at home. Target and Amazon always has amazing options!
Resin letters are a must to add to any activity. I love that they help familiarize kids with the alphabet in a fun way that they can hold in their hands.
For this activity bin, I obviously put ‘dinosaur’ in an egg for Mila to explore. She matched them up with the letters on the books and we went over them too. This particular set was made by one of my students. However, I love Beags and Bubs‘ resin letters on Instagram. I bought a custom set a few weeks ago and have used them a ton. They’d be a great Christmas or birthday present!
Pretend play is Mila’s favorite way to play. She likes to make up different voices and scenarios. I HAD to include them in her bin.
Not only did the dinosaurs dance, they played all types of different games with them too. Mila likes to make the dinosaur toys act out the books as well. She could pretend play for hours. This was no different than usual!
I also added some sensory play items in there for her too. She loves the different textures of the play-dough and slime. In this bin, I only put in ‘dinosaur colors,’ which are greens and blues. This way she can make foot prints, try to make dinosaurs, or just give her brain a little break.
Some of the other sensory items I added were beads, a dinosaur egg, and play-dough moulds.
Overall, this activity box was a success! Mila loved it and I love watching her learn.
I have a few ideas for future boxes, but would love to hear what you all would like to see too! Let me know in the comments!
Then check out these dinosaur inspired activities:
If you’re looking for a fun, ocean animal themed animal craft that’s not a mermaid, you’ve came to the right spot. This Cupcake Liner Octopus is easy to do and turns out looking cute!
When I say easy, I mean that Mila made her octopus with little assistance by me. Yay for independence and growth.
I also like that even though we LOVE mermaids, we’ve done so many this year. It was nice to switch up the ocean themed activities with a different sea animals. Mila remembers them from our trip to Ripley’s Aquarium in Myrtle Beach, which helped a lot!
The best part of this activity, you can find everything at your local dollar store for less than $5! Here’s what you’ll need:
First, have your child pick out what colors they want the octopuses to be. In our pack of cupcake liners we had pastels: pink, yellow, blue, and green.
Mila picked pink for her (of course) and yellow for me.
Then, to help your toddler succeed in this craft, cut four, long strips of scrapbook paper and tissue paper. These will be the octopus’s legs.
Then, glue together a strip of tissue paper and a strip of scrapbook paper. The scrapbook paper should be on top of the tissue paper. I folded them in the middle to help my guide where they should meet.
Mila did help me with gluing, but she doesn’t have the scissor skills yet to cut long strips. She enjoyed cutting some small pieces off though.
While the legs are drying, take two of the same color cupcake liners and glue them together. This reinforces the octopus and makes it stronger if you want it to hang longterm.
Then, it’s time for the googly eyes. Mila matched the octopuses’ body color with their eyes. She’s been obsessed with googly eyes so I knew I needed to have a craft that had them in there. It was a success.
Just glue the eyes on to the cupcake liner. For this, I flattened the liner to make sure they stayed.
After that, I had her used a marker to draw a smiley face.
Now it’s time to put the legs and body together!
I assisted her with this a lot because it’s a little tricky for toddler.
Take one of the legs and put glue on the center of the scrapbook paper part. Then, place it in the inside of the cupcake liner. It should look like the octopus has two legs dangling down.
After, flip it upside down again, repeat the gluing, and rotate how you put the legs so it’s opposite. You want to make a little ‘x’ in the middle.
While the first two strips dry on the octopus, help with the other one or wait until it dries a little more. I found it dried better if it was flipped on the octopus’s head.
When it’s strong enough make another ‘x’ with the remaining legs.
The legs should look like a star when they’re laying down. It’s hard to explain, but simple to do.
If you’d like to hang then, just take a string and scrapbook paper and glue it on top of its head. I put the string under the paper to give it a little more strength.
Now you’re all done!
Mila was super proud of our Cupcake Liner Octopus and I think they both turned amazingly cute.
If you try this craft out, let me know in the comments. Also, if you know of a cute octopus book, I’d love for you to share it too. It’d be a great idea to pair this craft with a book for other toddlers.
After that, check out how these other moms incorporated mermaids and sea creatures in their day too!