Mummy lantern

This Halloween was quiet. E. wasn’t so excited about it this year and Baby Sis is too little to understand it at all. The party we wanted to throw had to be cancelled as some families got ill some other went away for the long weekend.

Therefore a calm and peaceful (not at all frightening) family fun took place on the 31st.

E. and Daddy went to buy a pumpkin in the morning and after decorating our living room with some Halloween decor …

… Daddy carved the pumpkin. (We made it lit up with led tea light inside as last year due to the flame the pumpkin got cooked on the inside and rotted away quite quickly. Not to mention the fact that led tea lights are more baby-friendly). E. drew the eyes and the nose of this year’s jack-o-lantern.

Then came a little crafting. Mummy lanterns. (The original idea came from last year’s Halloween party at our Helen Doron school).

At first I wanted to make only 2 mummies, but E. had something different on mind. She wanted a mummy family.

What you need:

  • 4 baby food jars (2 little and 2 bigger)
  • 4 (led) tea lights
  • gauze rolls (cheap at the chemist’s)
  • 4 pairs of googly eyes
  • glue
  • cello tape

How to make them:

  1. Wash the label off the jars
  2. Fix the end of the gauze on the jar with a little cello tape
  3. Wrap the gauze around the jar (make one or two layers only or the tea light won’t be seen through)
  4. Fix the gauze with cello tape when finished with the wrapping
  5. Glue the eyes on
  6. Add the tea lights
Mummy family with pet spider 💀👻

Of course, we didn’t miss out on a Halloween party altogether as in our Helen Doron school a spooky-crafty fun Halloween was organised for the kids on 29th and we were invited.

The party was just as fantastic as the last year’s. Here come the pictures:

E. dressed as a (pretty) ghost
Baby Pumpkin with her gourd

Healthy snacks were served: Jack-o-tangerine, Frankenstein fruit mix and ghost popcorn

Dark and scary room with some English activities was on again:

Crafty part: painting a gourd with glow-in-the-dark paint (we missed that as we were a little late) and Halloween card (see bellow)

Plus a bit of colouring

 

This Halloween was much more quiet and relaxed as in the previous years. But to be honest, life’s hard enough with two small kids, and without the hassle of a home party (preparation, decoration, snack making, throwing the party itself, then the cleaning up) it was pleasant and peaceful for me too.

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Crafty Mommy Workshop – Autumn

After a lot of thinking and preparation I managed to hold my very first Crafty Mommy Workshop with Autumn crafts and activities.

Quite a few moms have asked me about the activities we’ve been doing with E. since she was small, so I thought it would be a good idea to have a craft session for mommies (instead of telling everyone separately).

The workshop was in Hungarian as English-speaking moms didn’t sign up 😞. The main idea was that moms could learn some easy to make activities and at home they can work them out with their kids.

I collected autumn activities around 5 major topics:

  • Conkers
  • Leaves and trees
  • Halloween
  • St. Martin’s Day (Márton nap)
  • Thanksgiving

I dedicated 1 hour to go through the activities, however, they proved to be too many as we couldn’t cover the last 2 topics. Still, I hope the 2 moms who turned up (other 2 cancelled 😞) will benefit from what they heard at the workshop.

The original ideas of these activities are either from other blogger moms or mine. I mainly came up with  the conker games but here I’d also like to pay tribute to the pages I read and “steal” ideas from:

 

Leaves and tree activities:

  1. Paint and stamp with the leaves
  2. Paint around the leaf
  3. Laminated leaf rubbing (or just place leaves under a white sheet of paper and rub it with autumn colour crayons)
  4. Leaf lacing
    Although I didn’t print the free printable leaves, just used our laminated leave that I’d punched on the sides. Shoelaces are pretty good for threading, but if your child has any difficulties with the small ending you can add some cell tape to make the end firmer.

  5. Make leaf faces and  people out of (laminated) leaves

  6. Leaf shred pictures autumn images and animals too
  7. Count the leaves with free printable
  8. Stamping leaves on a tree with toilet paper roll
  9. Popsicle stick tree
    KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA
  10. Make a hedgehog/squirrel with leaves

What else to do with leaves:

  • collect them
  • group them by their size, colour
  • make them stand in a line from the biggest to the smallest
  • paint them, colour them, trace them
  • press them
  • make a crown out of fresh autumn leaves

The participants got a nice pack of goodies to work with at home, like 10 laminated leaves, a punched leaf with a shoelace for the lacing, some magnets so they can stick the leaf faces/people on the fridge, popsicle sticks, squirrel/hedgehog templates and the counting leaves free printable.The third topic we could cover was Halloween. Here are the crafts I showed to the moms:

  1. Cotton ball ghost
  2. Baby food jar mummies (I’ll soon write a post on this in detail)
  3. Jack-o-lantern faces with shapes
  4. Pumpkin emotions
  5. Toilet paper spiders, monsters with googly eyes 
  6. Skeleton out of cotton buds

In the mommy package there were some toilet paper tubes, googly eyes, black pipe cleaners, cotton balls, baby food jar, a roll of gauze, black cardboard, orange construction paper and, of course, two printables: the black shapes for making Jack-o-lantern faces and the pumpkin faces showing different emotions.The other topics were postponed and due to the lack of time we agreed to have a similar session with winter and Christmas activities. We had a wonderful time together and I’ve been planning our next session excitedly.

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!

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:

Jack-o-lantern faces with shapes

Everything centres around pumpkins and Jack-o-lanterns. It seems a never ending story. However, we could revise some shape vocabulary while making Jack-o-lanterns.

If you want to prepare this activity you just need:

  • thicker orange felt (or card board – the felt gives another interesting feel of it)
  • black construction paper or cardboard or more felt (for the shapes)
  • green construction paper (for the leaves)
  • brown cardboard (for the stem)
  • hot glue gun (or other glue)
  • scissors
Preparation:

  1.  Draw and cut out the pumpkins from the orange felt (I didn’t use a template, just drew 3 similar pumpkin shapes on the felt – I used a dark orange marker – then I cut along the lines)
  2. Out of the brown cardboard (which was actually an old postal box) I cut out 3 stems.
  3. I couldn’t find green construction paper at home so I used some scrap wrapping paper to cut out the leaves.
  4. I glued the stem and the leaf on the back side of the orange felt pumpkin 
  5. I printed shapes for the eyes, nose and mouths for our Jack-o-lanterns. (Click on the link to find the printable) I copied the picture above in a word document and made it size A4. After having printed it (I can’t print on construction paper) I attached it to black construction paper and cut them out (it takes a while but it’s worth the trouble)
  6. I placed everything in a big envelope and presented to my sweetheart.

Of course, she needed to wear her Jack-o-lantern costume

While she was placing the shapes, she named them. We also matched the same shapes. And talked about feelings expressed by certain mouth forms. (Another post is coming on emotions and pumpkins)

We did this activity again… and again… and again…