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!

Create Your Own Thankful Jar This Thanksgiving!

Treat your children to a new family tradition that is both fun and educational. Have kids create “thankful notes” by drawing a small picture of what they are thankful for. Older kids can use a word or two in addition to drawings.

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It will be fun for kids to create their own little drawings and kids of all ages can participate! Have kids create a “Thankful Note” for 3 or 4 days in November.

Put all of the notes in a jar marked “Thankful Jar”, you can even have the kids decorate it.

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On Thanksgiving Day pull the notes out of the jar and share with the whole family!

10 Benefits of Dress Up Play

preschool-schoolskills_2036.jpgIt’s one of our favorite times of the year…Halloween! And, with Halloween season comes spooky creatures, candy, and, of course, COSTUMES! Did you know there are tons of developmental benefits to letting your little one dress up in costumes and play? That’s right! When your little one puts on that pirate’s hat, they are transforming their world and pushing their minds to think outside the box!

There’s more going on under that pirate’s hat than you’d think! Read below to learn the many developmental benefits of pretend play and dressing up in costumes!

10 Benefits of Dress Up Play from Sarah Baldwin, M.S.Ed., at Bella Luna Toys:

1. Brain Building

Dress-up engages your child’s brain and memory. Dramatic play requires kids to remember what they’ve seen or heard. They remember how their mother behaves when performing household chores when they are imitating her. Or they recall the details of a fairy tale they’ve heard before acting it out.

2. Vocabulary Building

Dress-up play builds vocabulary as a child decides what his or her character would say. It gives them a chance to expand their vocabularies with words and phrases that they might have heard in stories, but wouldn’t ordinarily use. Children may then begin to use these new words in conversations.

3. Problem-Solving

Who’s going to be the doctor? Who’s going to be the patient? Children must make decisions when they engage in dress-up play. They practice problem-solving problems when deciding on what costumes elements and props each character needs to act out a scenario.

4. Empathy

When a child is engaged in role-play, it helps her see the world through another’s eyes which increases empathy – whether pretending to be a parent nurturing a baby, a doctor taking care of an injured patient, or a firefighter putting out a fire. Dramatic play helps children understand the role that helpers play in in our lives.

5. Emotional Development

Children are constantly confronted with scary situations that they don’t understand – whether witnessing an accident in real life, or seeing violent images on TV. Children process their fears through play, which helps them make sense of the world, and overcome their feelings of helplessness.

By allowing children to act out their fears through dress-up and role playing, we are helping their emotional development.

6. Motor Skills

Children develop fine motor skills by putting on dress-up clothes, whether buttoning a shirt, zipping up pants, or tying on a pirate’s bandana

They use their large motor skills when engaged in role-play, whether they are jumping like a superhero, running like a baseball player, or twirling like a ballerina.

7. Gender Exploration

When children choose costumes and characters to be, they are able to explore different gender identities and the behaviors of those characters.

While boys often want to be superheroes, firemen, or pirates, and girls often want to be fairies and princesses, it is normal and healthy for children to try on different gender roles as they learn about the world. A child should never be ridiculed for pretending to be a different gender.

8. Imitation

Children are naturally imitative creatures. They learn about the world by imitating the lives of the adults and others around them. Through dress-up and dramatic role-play, children explore the lives of other people by imitating their actions, feelings and words.

9. Socialization

Dress-up play encourages cooperation and taking turns. Children learn how to negotiate as they agree on stories and rules. They develop interest in others and learn how to give-and-take.

10. Imagination

Children’s imaginations are limitless, and have not yet been hardened and constrained by the “realities” of the world. Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf education, believed that imaginative play in early childhood is the key to creative thinking during the adult years.

When children engage in dress-up play, their imaginations are given free reign. There is no limit to who, where, or what they can be.

 

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Don’t forget to reserve your spot at one of our Gymboween parties this month! Dress up your little one for a spooktacular good time! Click here to find a location near you.

L is for LOVE!

There are a million ways to express love for your little one, whether it’s physical affection, quality time, words of affirmation, active listening…you name it. Any acts of love are supporting your child’s early development and have a huge effect on how they decide to take on life!

L “L” is for LET your little one(s) know they can take risks! When children know they are loved and safe, they build confidence and are more comfortable testing their limits and taking risks. it helps them build the confidence to take risks and try new things.

O “O” is for being ON their side! Children need fans! Your love and support lets them know that somebody is always on their side in life. Having someone cheering them on makes them excited to improve and learn new things.

V “V” is for showing they are VALUABLE! It’s great to show love and encouragement after your little one reaches a new milestone, but it’s also important to relay that your love is because of WHO they are and not only based on WHAT they’ve done.

E “E” is for EVEN when they make mistakes! Kids actually learn MORE when they fail then when they succeed. So, encourage them to keep on trying and reassure them that failure is OK! If they know they are allowed to fail, they will push themselves to try new things!

 

Show your little one(s) how much you love them at Gymboree Play & Music!

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Our Year in Review

By: Lauren O’Brien

Wrapping up the year always sparks some internal reflection. We took a look back on moments and milestones of the year and realized we accomplished A LOT! So, we took the liberty of doing a little math to help paint a beautiful picture of all things Gymboree Play & Music in 2018!

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*All numbers are based off of data for North America Gymobree Play & Music locations  

Some Relatable Holiday Memes to Get Us Through the Greatest Time of the Year!

We know the holidays can be both joyous and nightmarish for parents. So, to help get you through the season, we’ve scoured the internet for some hilarious memes. Enjoy!

First, let’s get the obvious out of the way…nothing is going to be how you envisioned or planned…

With holiday pictures…

expectation vs reality holiday

And maybe that cute holiday treat you found on Pinterest that looked so easy to make…

Just remember that you’re not alone…

So, take the advice of flight attendants – take care of yourself before others…

Because, for a lot of you, December 1st means Elf on the Shelf!

At first you might get really creative…

Eventually you might start using it for evil…

View this post on Instagram

This. Is. The. Truth! 🙌

A post shared by Sharyn Kauffman Brigantic (@sharynbrigantic) on

 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM EVERYONE AT GYMBOREE PLAY & MUSIC! 

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]