Halloween parties 2.015

Just like last year we threw a Halloween party in our home. We invited the mums and their kids from the local Mums’ English Club. Also, we got a really kind invitation to a Helen Doron Halloween Party.

Here comes the summary of the party series:

E. had been preparing for Halloween for weeks. She decided it early what to dress up as: a Jack-o-lantern. My mum found this Jack-o-lantern costume in a second hand clothes shop and I made a little skirt to go with it. E. had an exact idea how to do her hair (a stem on the top out of her fringe and leaf hair clips).

Unfortunately, she couldn’t take part in the Halloween costume party at the kindergarten as E. had been ill for almost a week but I hope we could manage to compensate her.

My husband was on holiday to help me with the pumpkin carving and decor. I needed to work in the morning, so E. and Daddy went to the market to buy a big pumpkin and by the time I got home our Jack-o-lantern had been carved. E. scooped out the inside and Daddy did the carving. (This activity was done in Hungarian)

We wanted to put on the scary Halloween decoration in our living-room while E. was sleeping but she was over-excited because of the party and she couldn’t sleep a wink. Eventually, she ended up helping, which made the whole process really long. Mostly she took off what we’d put on.

Finally I prepared Daddy’s eye patch for his pirate costume (which was very basic: checked shirt, jeans, eye-patch and a head scarf). I dressed up as a mummy (which was E.’s idea. She loved to say: “Mommy, you’ll be a mummy at Halloween. A Mommy mummy”) with the help of some gauze that I wrapped around myself over a long sleeved white top.

Guests began arriving, bringing a lot of treats. (I’d also prepared some sausage mummies, healthy fruit and cheese snacks and some biscuits too.) And from that moment everything went in English.

There were four moms and their kids (twins and siblings too) and also 2 dads turned up. Even more moms wished to come but they got sick. What a pitty! Maybe next year.

The party was mainly about eating, though we also found some time to sing some Halloween songs and other traditional English nursery rhymes for the little ones. Throwing the Halloween balloons was one of the favourite hits with the kids.

The Halloween costume contest ended with 3 winners who received English children books for their outfits:

Ladybirds (the twins)

The witch

As I’d just broken our camera before the party, all of the photos were taken by our phones, hence the poor quality. Anyway, we could enjoy the moment instead of watching the happenings from behind a camera.

On the 31st we were invited to a Helen Doron Halloween party in the city centre. (E.’s ex-HD teacher invited us. How nice of her!). There were some colouring activities, we made a scary ghost lantern out of a jar, some gauze, googly eyes and a tea light inside.

There were a lot of fantastic costume ideas and a dark, scary room the children loved. E. went back twice. They needed to climb through spider webs and match X-ray photos with animals and body parts. And of course, at the end everybody could choose some candy from the trick-or-treat bag.
Thanks you, Zs, for inviting us. It was so much fun!

Spooky lights in the dark room
Zs. is showing an X-ray photo and the matching animal

They all managed to climb through the web
Funny costumes

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Scare you next year, too!

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Jack-o-lantern emotions – FREE printable

Last October was all about skeletons (this topic is still on and off) but this year E. has found her new favourite Halloween character: the Jack-o-lantern.

 

Jack-o-lantern Feelings

 

 

I made this printable with 6 kinds of different emotions:
  • happy
  • sad
  • angry
  • surprised
  • cheeky
  • scared
You can find this printable at the end of this blog post.
matching the words

I’ve also made word cards to it in the end, but the picture above shows these little pieces of felt (scrap) and the feelings written on them (with a permanent marker)

What you can do with these cards:
matching the faces
  1. Match the picture and the words
  2. Match the faces/emotions which are the same
  3. Play a memory game with 2 sets
  4. Place one set face down on the table. The players choose a card and don’t show it to anyone, then make a face expressing that feeling. The other players need to find out what feeling it is.
  5. (With bigger kids) Place one set face down on the table. The first player picks up a card and says I feel this when… and need to finish the sentence
  6. Identify body parts on the face (eyes, eye brows, nose, mouth)
  7. Identify shapes on the faces (This mouth is an oval, The eyes are circles. Can you show me a crescent mouth? What shape is this nose?)
So here is the printable. I hope you’ll find it useful:

Conker games

Whenever we go somewhere we MUST collect something. My pockets are full of stones, acorns, berries and conkers, just to mention a few. One day we visited Margaret-island (a small island on the River Danube, Budapest) and managed to collect tons of different fruit of various trees and bushes.

Rose hips, conkers, sycamore “rotors”, pine cones, acorns, London plane seed balls, wild pear, seed pods of China tree

 

So during E.’s nap time I put together this tray of all kinds of fruits and a magnifying glass. As soon as she discovered the tray she eagerly examined their texture, the surface and the inside of the fruit.

We collected a full bag of conkers and pine cones, half of which we took to E.’s kindergarten. The other half of cones we’ll use for decoration and Christmas ornaments (see a later post) and the conkers we’ve used to play games with.

Counting conkers
 
 

I put the conkers in a woven basket and placed the number cards on the table. E. needed to put the right number of conkers below the cards.

When we played this game we’d just returned home from the nursery and changed languages. You can hear in this video how she is mixing English and Hungarian, and also, me asking back “Sorry?” all the time in a silly way 😉

I’ve found a super-cute squirrel grid game on prekinders.com and although we didn’t have enough acorns or walnuts that squirrels love eating, we used our conkers as manipulatives for this game.

How does the game go?

E., Daddy and myself played so I printed 3 copies of the squirrel grid (of 20 squirrel) and put LOADS of conkers in a bowl. You’ll need a game die. Of course, the youngest starts the game, throws the game die and identifies the number on it. The player then needs to place the same number of conkers on the grid. We take turns and the winner is who finishes the grid first. (You can play it as an addition game with 2 dice if your child is older. If he/she is younger, you can use a special die with only 1-2-3 on it)

I’ll be the winner, not you Daddy.
Mind you! Conkers are slightly toxic, so it’s better to know that just a very few animals can eat it (like deer), but people and squirrels never.

 Name written in conkers

I prepared my daughter’s name, each letter on a different piece of paper. First, she put the letters in the right order, then following the lines of the letters, she placed the conkers along the lines.

 Krokotak conker mushrooms

What you need:

  • conkers
  • acorns
  • play dough

Not as good-looking as the original idea, but they represent our family: E. mushroom, Daddy mushroom and Mommy mushroom. (from right to left)

Last year we did some conker threading after making a whole on the conkers with the help of a screwdriver. If you haven’t had enough of conkers, check it out.

What do you play with at autumn time? Share with me in the comments.

Laminated leaves

I need to share another autumn fun. As soon as I saw it on pinterest I fell in love with it. Laminated leaves. I found the laminated leaves idea there; just click on the link to get to the original idea.

First, I pressed the leaves a little. They were not totally dry when I laminated them so they kept some of their flexibility during lamination. I didn’t add magnets as it was suggested, maybe next year we’ll do this activity again and display them on the fridge.

Then we did some of the activities the Teaching Mama recommended. (On that site you can find tons of great ideas to entertain and educate you kids of all ages. I can highly recommend to follow it.)

  1. Colour sorting

We only had yellow, brown and green leaves, unfortunately I couldn’t find red or orange ones at that time. Later on I added some more to the collection. (there is on orangey leaf you can find totally separated on the left side)

  • Arranging leaves by size
  • Matching similar leaves
  • Making leaf faces with googly eyes and pop-pom noses (I drew the mouths E. did the rest)
  • Making leaf people (revising major body parts like arms, legs, upper body and feet)

    You can see here the nice new orange and red leaves we found in the park. The big middle figure is Daddy, because “He’s soooo big”.

  • Using the laminated leaves as rubbing plates

 

I didn’t manage to take photos of this activity, but you can use the laminated leaves under a sheet of paper and use a pencil or crayon to rub on the sheet. The veins and edges of leaves will come through really nicely. Or you can check it out on the link above where the idea comes from.

If you liked this activity you can find more autumn leaves projects (click on the picture):

Or you can check out my Autumn pinterest board for more ideas.

Painting leaves – four autumn activities with leaves

 

As autumn has arrived we started to collect leaves every time we went somewhere. We were talking about the gorgeous colours of autumn leaves like orange, yellow, brown or red. We also observe the different shapes like circular, heart-shaped, hand-shaped as well as their edges (smooth, wavy, toothed).

I checked this image from the net to make sure I do not say anything silly.

Leaf rubbing gave us the chance to have a look at the veins:

 

 

Leaf prints

Then we had painting fun. E. chose the colours (I tried to direct her to the autumn colours with little success) and we painted the backside of the leaves and made prints. At first, we used too much paint, but then we could observe the beautiful prints the veins and the edges gave out.

First try

 

Second try with less paint

Another painting activity: outline of leaves:

I pressed some leaves and stuck them on a white sheet of paper with the help of small pieces of Cello-tape. Then we painted the leaves over creating an outline. This was a hit with E.

 

And finally a counting game with leaves:

I drew these bare trees for E. It can serve as a simple counting activity. Your child needs to stick as many leaves on the tree as the number shows.

I’ve prepared printable trees you can download at the end of this post.

As simple counting is not a challenge for E. any more I thought skip counting would raise her interest much more. And I was right.

 

Although it was a little too long an activity, she managed to finish it after my encouragement and help with the gluing.

Gluing

 

Adding the leaves

 

creating a leaf face with the glue

 

Mommy, this leaf is ill

 

There are not enough branches for 8 leaves, Mommy

 

Placing the magnetic numbers – finished!

First, I pressed all the leaves. It’s easier to work with them. Then I presented, showed and explained what to do with instructions like these:

  • Hold your paper down with one hand and rub with the other hand.
  • Let’s mix 2 colours.
  • Paint the backside of the leaf, like this.
  • You can add more glue this time because this leaf is big.

 

Finally, we displayed everything on our living room doors. E. shows her pieces of artwork to whoever comes to us.

 

And here on this link you can download the bare trees with numbers: