10 Halloween Crafts to Try at Home

There is something about October that gives us extra permission to get exceptionally gooey, ooey, sticky, crafty, and glittery.

That said, we saw no problem with gathering some of the messiest, most colorful and awe-inspiring holiday crafts for your to try at home. As a disclaimer, some of these are more suited for parents to do alone and to use to decorate their homes instead, but others can done with children under a high level of supervision.

See which crafts topped our list below.

Cardboard Haunted House

This cute cardboard house is a take on what would be a traditional haunted house, except it’s toned down, there’s not a spook or a goblin in sight, and your children can use it through out the month of October for pre-tend play, or for creating stories should they have some small figurines laying around the house. This project might take a few hours, so we recommend calling a friend over to help you cut, glue and piece it together.

Although this was originally featured on the Parents website, we spotted it over at Project Kid. Check it out here.

Image Credit: Project Kid & Parents

Tissue Box Monsters

These cute tissue box monsters are a great way to repurpose old tissue boxes! Kids will love designing their own monster. And we love that every box can be unique! If you don’t have tissue boxes you can also do this with shoe boxes, you’ll just need to adapt the tutorial to cut out the mouth.

This craft was spotted at TheBestIdeasforKids.com.

Image Credit: TheBestIdeasForKids.Com

Black Cat Candy Dish

Black cats may be unlucky around Halloween, but what about a cat dish? This DIY black cat candy bowl, is exceptionally cute, and can be used as decor around your home, at your office, or even for a small Halloween party.

We spotted this cute cat here.

Image credit: Project Kid.

Halloween Party Poppers

Aren’t they sweet? Like – literally, like cute on the outside, but filled with small candies and chocolate on the inside. All you’ll need is empty toilet paper rolls, tissue, colorful pipe cleaners, some decorations for the faces and candy of course. You can stuff them with sweets and pop them open on Halloween.

This was spotted online at Onion Rings and Things.

Colorful Monster Headbands

The best thing about this craft is that kids can let their imagination go wild with different materials, papers, strings and ribbon. You can even add eyes or scrap book materials to bring your monster to life. This project can be done all month, and children will love it each time. If you intend to use really small scraps for this, we encourage you to keep a watchful eye on kiddos under 5 while they create this.

Get the tutorial at Fantastic Fun and Learning.

Walnut Pumpkin Craft

We know what you’re thinking, and yes, those are small faces painted onto walnuts. And they are oh-so adorable!

We spotted this on Instagram, from crafty mom influencer Amanda Kingloff.

The tutorial appears here on here website.

Image Credit: Instagram and Project Kid.

Paper Bag Monster Puppets

Fill your house with monsters — the good kind, obviously — this Halloween by making these colorful creatures out of paper bags and cut-outs.

We spotted this tutorial on Good Housekeeping, but the original tutorial is here on the IHeartCraftyThings website.

Drip Painted Pumpkins

Drip painted pumpkins are an oldie but goodie, and we love it because no matter how old it gets, it’s also a great way to use all of those broken crayons that have been accumulating around your home all year. For this project you’ll need crayons, pumpkins, and a hair dryer, or an appliance that has a low setting for heat. This project is not recommended for small kids or youth, but may be more appropriate for a skilled teen (with supervision) or an adult.

This particular photo and tutorial was spotted at momdot.com. Check it out here.

Halloween Spooky Eyeball Slime

Kids love slime. They love to make it, feel it, and play with it year-round. But if there was an “appropriate” time to let them create this sticky solution, Halloween would be it.

This eyeball slime is Borax free, and is fairly easy to do.

Checkout the slime recipe from Good Housekeeping here.

Image credit: Good Housekeeping

Haunted Halloween Cookie House

What if we told you, that you could create a gingerbread house, but with a spooky twist? This two-story monster mansion is decorated with everything from candy corn to Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal. With it’s cocoa cookie walls and frosting details, this haunted house frightfully delicious.

Check out this sweet treat over at Woman’s Day here.

Image credit: Emily Kate Roemer

10 Kid-Friendly Halloween Movies We’re Streaming this Fall

Between the prep work for Halloween treats, Halloween crafts and pumpkin decorating, you’ll have a lot to do (and supervise) in the coming weeks.

But if all the hubbub of the fall festivities leaves you and your little ones stressed, we suggest a good old fashioned holiday movie to pass the time.

We scoured the internet and came up with a list of 10 parent-approved Halloween movies for kids 7 and under.

See which movie titles made our list below.

Super Monsters Save Halloween

Preschool kids whose parents are the world’s most famous monsters try to master their special powers while preparing for kindergarten. Kids will love seeing the Super Monsters in action as they help spread the Halloween spirit around their neighborhood. And with a 24 minute runtime, this “movie” perfect to stream right before bedtime.

View this title on Netflix here.

Image Credit: IMDB

Dear Dracula

Dear Dracula is a family-friendly movie based on a graphic novel of the same name. It centers on a friendship between a shy boy and kindly Count Dracula, who fears he’s lost his touch when it comes to being scary and needs someone to remind him how it’s done.

Watch this title on Netflix here.

Image Credit: IMDB

Monster Family

Despite the title, the Wishbone family are far from happy. In an attempt to reconnect as a family, Mum and Emma plan a fun night out. However, her plan backfires when an evil witch curses them, and they’re all turned into Monsters.

Watch this popular film on Amazon Prime here.

Image Credit: IMDB

Spooky Stories 2

The Shrek characters parody the music video “Thriller“; B.O.B. and pals battle zombie carrots; and Megamind faces the effects of the Button of Doom.

Watch this film on Netflix here.

Image Credit: IMDB

Room on the Broom

A gentle witch with a ginger braid offers rides to a variety of animals on her increasingly crowded broom, much to her grumpy cat’s chagrin.

Stream this movie here on Netflix.

Image Credit: IMDB

True Tricky True Day

It’s up to True and her friends to save the day when a hungry Yeti sneaks a forbidden treat and fills the kingdom with Howling Greenies.

Watch this title on Netflix here.

Image Credit: IMDB

Ghost Patrol

Gabi and Spence, and the Spooky Dog, are the “Ghost Patrol“, Their Towns supernatural pest control, but they have never seen a real ghost. When they get a call to investigate the old Geist Manor, they are about to find the proof they are looking for – and a whole lot more.

Stream this title on Netflix here.

Image Credit: IMDB

Curious George A Halloween Boo Fest

Get ready for a spook-tacular good time with Curious George – in his first-ever Halloween movie. This fun-filled adventure is a bewitching treat for the whole family!

Stream this title on Hulu by clicking here. Or on Amazon here.

Image Credit: Amazon

Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie

It’s Lumpy‘s first Halloween with Winnie the PoohRoo, and their friends in the Hundred Acre Wood. The group discusses their plans for Halloween and for their first night of trick-or-treating. Until Tigger, warns his friends about the dreaded Gobloon that he spotted in the woods earlier, a monster that comes out every Halloween to search for somebody to catch and will turn them into “jaggedy lanterns” , but only if he catches them. Watch the movie to see how it ends.

Learn more about this movie and stream the title here.

Image Credit: Amazon

It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown

The classic film It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown follows Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, and the rest of the crew as they get ready for Halloween. As Lucy and her friends prepare their costumes for Violet’s Halloween party, Linus and Sally camp out in the pumpkin patch awaiting a visit from The Great Pumpkin.

Click here to see how to stream this title.

Image Credit: Amazon

Spooky Treats Toddlers & Children will Love

With Halloween right around the corner, and seasonal festivities picking up steam across the country, the pressure is on to plan a perfect (and mostly healthy) holiday bash your kiddos will love. We searched the internet high and low for the trendiest fall snacks of 2020 and we created a list of our top 5.

See who made the list below, and check out the recipes on their blogs by clicking through the hyperlink in each description.

Bon Appétit!

Mesmerizing Mango Halloween Platter

Aside from the noteworthy visual appeal of this platter, it actually packs a lot of Vitamins A & C. So whether you or your kid picks up the bat tortilla chips with mango salsa, or the apple monsters with mango, you’re sure to enjoy the sweet zing of the mangos that have been strategically incorporated throughout this platter. We spotted this on Foxes Love Lemons. Go check it out.

MONSTER RICE KRISPIES TREATS

We would be remiss if we crafted this list and left off good old fashioned rice crispy treats. And since these ones have a fun twist, we couldn’t leave them off our list. We spotted these over at Chelsea’s Messy Apron. She did a blog on different 3 ingredient Halloween treats and we loved this one the most. Head over to her blog to see this, and other recipes.

Whole Food Healthy Halloween Platter

We spotted this tray of treats over at Fork & Beans. We added this to the list because it gives parents more options. Obviously you can go candy crazy on Halloween (and no one would blame you), but liked this because they built a pretty platter with easy Halloween snack ideas that you can actually feel good about feeding to your family.

Harvest Chex Mix

This Harvest mix is the ultimate fall treat! Not only is it easy to make, but your little one can easily keep it in a cup in their stroller, or you can store it in a galloon zip lock bag while you’re out and about. This should take you no more than 15 minutes to make. We spotted this recipe over at the Made to be a Momma blog.

HALLOWEEN CHOCOLATE COVERED PRETZELS

We spotted these delectable treats over at Garnish and Glaze. Chocolate Covered Pretzels are a longstanding holiday snack, but their creative spin on this ghoulish snack makes them irresistible to look at, and even harder to deny. Their recipe requires 17 ingredients that you can use to create bats, mummies, pumpkins, monsters, or all!

Engage In Play At Home

April 16

There is nothing more fun than spending quality time with family and loved ones! But during these uncertain times of staying in place and social distancing, finding activities for your little ones to do at home can be challenging.

We at Gymboree Play & Music are committed to taking care of our community. We recognize how hard it can be to come up with creative ideas for every moment of the day. That’s why we have compiled a list of activities encouraging exploration and self-expression that will keep your little one engaged in play from the comfort of your own home.

Create a Daily Routine
A routine creates a sense of security for your little one and will provide a calmer family environment. Our friends at HOMER have created a “build your own learning routine” that focuses on movement, story time, and so much more. Check out their colorful routine that can be applied to ages 10 and under.

Click the image to view all the routines.

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Play Dress Up
We have mentioned before that dressing up and costume play has tons of developmental benefits that encourages problem solving, empathy, and builds confidence. Get the scoop on all the benefits of engaging in dress up play by reading our past blog–10 Benefits of Dress Up Play

Bubble Ooodles
Everyone loves bubbles and your little one will stay safe with bubble play! Children learn and develop from early sensory experiences. Bubble Ooodles use touch and movement to engage the senses. Not only that, but Bubble Ooodles are non-toxic and are an easy clean-up activity. 

Build a Fort
Introducing fort play has many benefits to early development that includes problem solving skills, planning, and creativity. Building a fort can be as simple as throwing a blanket over a table. Not to mention it’s fun!

Get Outside
If you have a yard, your little one will have fun exploring the world around them. A bit of sunshine can certainly turn those frowns upside down. Outdoor play improves physical development that is important for growth and movement of the body.

Messy Play
Messy play is essential to your little one’s cognitive and physical development. Messy play activities such as finger painting and shaving cream sensory bins can provide your child with hours of messy fun. Read our seven tips to “Keeping Messy Play Clean”.

Gymboree Play & Music Video Library
If you need to schedule some screen time for your little one, check out our Gymboree Play & Music YouTube channel where we offer playful videos that support a lifetime of learning. Our teachers will guide you on different adventures such as Story Time, Play Time Fun, and Art & Music Activities.

 

Engage in play at home with even more Gymboree Play & Music activities!

 

 

3 Reasons To Use Gymboree Play & Music Bubble Ooodles At Home!

You can now bring home the Gymboree Play & Music fun and learning with Bubble Ooodles! Our world famous bubbles have been entertaining children for decades. Here’s 3 reasons that Bubble Ooodles can benefit your child in the comfort of your own home.

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  1. Bubble Ooodles create a sensory experience at home – Babies learn and develop from early sensory experiences. Bubble Ooodles engage texture (touch) and movement (sight) to engage the senses.
  2. Familiarity and practice – Children use Bubble Ooodles in our Gymboree Play & Music classes and using Bubble Ooodles at home allows children to practice their gross/fine motor skills and hand/eye coordination. They also feel the familiarity that comes with a common task that they are doing both at school and at home.
  3. Bubble Ooodles are non-toxic and easy to clean up! – Moms love the ease of use that comes with using Bubble Ooodles which is safe on indoor fabrics!

Buy Gymboree Play & Music Bubble Ooodles from Gymbo’s Bubble Shop — you can choose from three different bubble products: Bubble Ooodles Refill (8oz or 16oz) or Bubble Ooodles with Wand and Tray.

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From one of our Gymboree Play & Music teachers – “I highly recommend the bubbles not only for children but for pets as well; what makes them so fabulous & original is that they last so long on surfaces!!

 

 

At Gymboree Play & Music, Halloween means IMAGINATION!

By: Lauren O’Brien

halloween imagination

In honor of Halloween, this month at Gymboree Play & Music we are focusing on building confident learners through IMAGINATION!

Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” Encouraging your child’s imagination fosters cognitive and social development, which helps them build their critical thinking skills — an important element of early childhood development. Imagination also builds social-emotional development by allowing children to create different resolutions, thus boosting children’s confidence, which can be used in interactions with others.1

Fortunately for parents, children often have great imaginations and creative visualization can come very easily to them; but there are still ways to help your child’s early development even further!

And, since Halloween is all about imaginary monsters, princesses and spooky creatures, it’s the perfect time of year to work on building that imagination! So, when your little one says a shark has eaten your leg or there is ice cream in that empty bowl…play along =)

Here are a few fun and easy Halloween IMAGINATION activities:

ART PROJECTS:

  • Leaf People: Collect fall materials like leaves, sticks, acorns, and pine cones and make a fall collage, a leaf-man or whatever your child’s imagination creates!
  • Pumpkin Painting: This allows your child to get a bit more imaginative than carving because there are no knives involved!
  • Pumpkin Faces: Grab some white paper plates, orange paint, black paper (for the eyes and mouth), and paint brushes to create pumpkin face masks!
  • Styrofoam Spiders: Just a styrofoam cup, pipe cleaners, googly eyes and markers to make silly (or creepy!) spider decorations.
  • Hand Print Trees: Draw your child’s handprint on some construction paper, use brown paint for the trunk and branches (wrist and fingers) and then glue some fall-colored tissue paper on for the leaves.

MUSICAL ACTIVITIES:  Turn up the stereo volume, get out some instruments and bust out those dance moves. Let your child freestyle dance and/or play some instruments (like maracas) to whatever beat they hear!

OTHER IMAGINATION ACTIVITIES:

  • Halloween Treats: Take those imaginations to the kitchen! Make some fun halloween treats.
  • Build a Fort: Turn a fort into a haunted house!
  • Dress up: Who doesn’t love some creative dress-up?
  • Free Play: Allowing your child unstructured playtime provides them time to truly use their imagination!

1. [Nurturing Creativity and Imagination For Child Development]

April At Home Activities: Simon Says, Hopscotch & Obstacles Courses!

Spring is here and, you know what that means….PLAYTIME! April is Wobble month here at Gymboree Play & Music. Balance and coordination are vital for our kiddos in their development. Let’s get our wobble on with some fun games and activities!

Best part of all? All the below activities will be taking place at your local Gymboree Play & Music!

SIMON SAYS and FOLLOW THE LEADER! Positive benefits for your little one AND they do what you say!

Screen Shot 2018-04-09 at 7.32.37 PMSimon Says and Follow the Leader is so much fun because your child will do anything you do!

Hop on one foot, skip, crab walk, stand on one leg…get creative with different poses and movements to help your child learn how to balance and practice coordination.

HOP, HOP TO HOPSCOTCH! There’s a reason it’s a classic. Kids love it AND it helps with balance and coordination in so many ways.

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The classic Hopscotch has so many benefits. Not only do kids love it, the game helps children master body control and the movements build body strength, balance, eye/hand coordination and more! For an extra challenge and to get even more out of this game, play it without switching feet — the more one-foot hopping, the better! This takes the skills of standing on one foot to the next level.

OBSTACLE COURSE! What’s a better (and fun) challenge than a good ‘ol obstacle course? Our child development experts and trained teachers come up with awesome obstacle courses for kiddos — way better than the pillows, blankets and boxes that we all grew up with!

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Try this at home! Stairs, hills, crawl spaces and stepping stones all challenge a toddler’s balance and coordination. Create a (safe) obstacle course for your toddler — set up pillows and boxes and have your toddler crawl around and through the boxes and step on the pillows, without touching the ground.

There are also great obstacle courses at local parks — climb the stairs up to the slide, bounce on the wobbly bridge, find a balance beam or crawl through tunnels.

April At Home Activity: Bubbles! Bubbles! Bubbles!

Spring is here and, you know what that means….PLAYTIME! April is Wobble month here at Gymboree Play & Music. Balance and coordination are vital for our kiddos in their development. Let’s get our wobble on with some fun games and activities!

Best part of all? All the below activities will be taking place at your local Gymboree Play & Music!

BUBBLES, BUBBLES, BUBBLES! There are so many ways bubbles help kiddos with balance and coordination. And, who doesn’t love bubbles?

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Get those bubbles out at home! Bubbles help our little ones with so many skills — hand/eye coordination, gross and fine motor skills, and visual tracking skills.

There’s holding the wand and bottle, understanding how to dip and blow the wand; tracking the bubbles with their eyes; and using their hands to find and pop the bubbles.

Babies are mesmerized when they see floating bubbles. Blow bubbles in the air and catch them. This will hone their focusing skills and promote their hand-eye coordination as they stretch their arms, balance and point their little fingers trying to grab a bubble!

Toddlers love an extra challenge. Have toddlers balance on one foot to catch a bubble in the air. This will promote good coordination and balance.

April At Home Activity: Play Ball!

Spring is here and, you know what that means….PLAYTIME! April is Wobble month here at Gymboree Play & Music. Balance and coordination are vital for our kiddos in their development. Let’s get our wobble on with some fun games and activities!

Best part of all? All the below activities will be taking place at your local Gymboree Play & Music!

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PLAY BALL! Throwing, rolling, kicking, catching…they all help your little one learn balance and coordination skills.

Learning to throw, roll, kick and catch a ball is a great way for little ones to work on their balance and coordination skills!

Try  rolling a large, light ball back and forth on the floor with your child or throw a balloon in the air and catch it to promote good balance skills.

Activities like kicking a ball requires balance and coordination as your little one has to shift weight to one leg, while attempting to strike the ball with the opposite leg.

Practice at home! There are so many ways balls can help with balance and coordination in your child! Simple catch is great. Or have them try to catch the ball in a basket, rather than using their hands. Kick a ball towards a target while walking or running is another simple way to improve balance for kids. You can also bring out bats or sticks and have them strike an object into a goal. The possibilities are endless!