Oct 16

Five No Carve Jack-o-lanterns

by Hannah Holt »


Sharp knives and preschoolers don’t exactly mix, but my four-year-old loves jack-o’-lanterns. We’ll carve a pumpkin or three this year of course, but I’m not going to let him wield the knife… yet.

In lieu, I wanted a few more hands-on pumpkin opportunities for him. Here’s what we did instead.

1) Painted Jack

Supplies needed: Paints (we used acrylics) and brushes

2) Masquerade Jack

Supplies needed: A paper plate, paints, sequins, feathers, tape or glue (I did the cutting for him)

3) Crafty Jack

Supplies needed: Wiggly eyes, a pom-pom, a button, tape or glue

4) Modelling Clay Jack

We both had fun with this one.

Supplies needed: Modelling clay (It will stick to the pumpkin.)

5) Chalkboard Jack

Supplies needed: Chalkboard spray paint, chalk

My son had fun with all of these, but I asked him to pick a favorite. He chose the modelling clay activity (and that was the easiest to do). So there you have it. Easiest is best. Happy pumpkin season!

Oct 10

No-sew Animal Hats

by Hannah Holt »


Last year for Halloween, I wrote a post about no-sew animal costumes. At the time, I had several people ask me about animal masks/hats.

Because I don’t sew (unless it’s astro-turf), this is the method I use. This post could also be titled… What to do when your child comes home and says this:

What You’ll Need

  • a balloon
  • tinfoil
  • newspaper strips
  • 1/2 cup white flour
  • 1 cup water
  • paint (or other decorating supplies)

1) Inflate the balloon until it’s about the size of your child’s head. Then take tinfoil and shape it around your child’s head. Shape any ears, beak or other animal features with the tinfoil as well.

2) Place the balloon in a bowl and let the tinfoil rest on the balloon (so the tinfoil will hold its shape better).

3) Mix the water and flour well. Dip the newspaper strips in the flour mixture. The newspaper should have a thin coat of paste. Cover the tinfoil with the newspaper. It will take a couple of coats. (You do not need to cover the underside of the tinfoil.)

4) Let the newspaper dry for 24 to 48 hours.

5) Once dry, paint the head piece the desired colors. This is what we ended up with:

6) Just for added measure I created a wattle by painting part of a kitchen glove red, and I glued on white feathers as well. Here is the final chicken hat:

By they way, do you know who a chicken’s favorite composer is?

Bach, Bach, Bach!

Oct 08

Columbus Day

by Hannah Holt »


Here’s a quick craft for Columbus Day. Total time to completion: five minutes.

Note: the boat will take on water after a while, but my son still had a lot of fun with it in the bathroom sink. You can always take it out; let it dry; and play with it again later.

Sep 19

Five Projects with Fall Leaves

by Hannah Holt »


Let your imagination take flight.

The leaves started falling this week. I’ve been collecting them almost as fast as they hit the ground. Here’s what we’ve been up to.

1. Leaf pressing. Just like flower petal pressing. Set them up in a cheap frame from from the local thrift store and… ta da!

2. Crayon rubbing. Always a classic fall craft.

3. Magazine cut outs. I took a few pictures from magazines (see the butterfly above and the dinosaurs below) and used them as a template to cut shapes from the fall leaves. Note: this works best if the leaves are still supple.

4. I made a leaf collage activity page for the kids. You can download my pdf template by clicking here.

5. We had a leaf scavenger hunt. You can make up your own or use the one I created.


Sep 12

DIY: Toy Maracas

by Hannah Holt »


A craft with a beat.

What you’ll need:

  • cardboard tubes
  • Saran wrap
  • packaging tape
  • rice
  • decorations of your choosing… we used finger paints

Step 1) Pull Saran wrap around the end of a tube and secure in place with packaging tape. Then place more packaging tape over the end of the tube. (The Saran wrap by itself is prone to punctures. The packaging tape provides a firmer seal.)

Step 2) Fill the tubes with 1-2 handfuls of rice. Using a funnel helps keep the mess down.

Step 3) Repeat step 1 to seal the other end of the tube.

Step 4) Decorate the maraca. We finger painted copy paper and used more packaging tape to secure it around the maracas.

Step 5) Have a dance party with the new maracas! (I like crafts that end with a party. Don’t you?)