Bearing in mind that I
like love to make things and I take every opportunity to encourage others to have a go too, you’ll probably understand why I really enjoy going in to school to help with crafting sessions. I’ve volunteered to do a halloween activity with the youngest class. One aspect that I have learnt is that preparation is everything. A run-through with my own children is a definite must.
This weekend we tried out three different halloween themed craft activities. I’m glad we did. One was a flop, one suited a different age group and the last was perfect. ( I feel like the Three Bears!)
Starting with the middle activity. I wanted to use egg cartons for this craft, as I have lots to use and that makes it easy for school. With some clever cutting and sticking, we managed to make a cup shape out of the cartons and a circle for the base. The children painted them and drew a jack-o-lantern face.
Next they stuck tissue paper leaves on to the base, to make it look like a leaf pile. In the garden we found beech nut cases or cupules. They make the most perfect miniature hedgehogs. The children glued gold coloured seed beads for the eyes and used big blobs of glue to stick the hedgehogs on top of the leaf piles.
For the final touch, we used thin elastic to hinge the cup to the base. Our pumpkin hedgehog houses were complete. At first glance, they look like pumpkins.
Open them up and they reveal a little hedgehog inside.
Now for the flop. This did not go down well as it involved lots and lots of glue. I should have known better than to try this out on the child that eloquently communicates her loathing of everything papier mache related.
It looks good, but I did have to finish it. There is an insect caught inside the web, which is fun, but I shall not be taking this activity into school. Not all children like glue on their fingers.
Final project is the one I will take into school. Thanks to Pinterest, I found an egg carton bat. We love bats, especially as we hand reared a baby bat this spring. Mention a bat and the usual reaction at school is vampire. Hmm. I wanted to take it from a different angle.
We made the bats roughly along the same lines as shown. I discouraged the children from adding fangs, pointing out that the only time we ever saw our bat’s fangs was when he was yawning. Did they want to make a sleepy, bored bat? Maybe not. We opted for blue sequin eyes which would sparkle in the dark. Once they were dry, thin elastic was threaded through the top, so the bats could be hung up and bounced.
We added a moth to the elastic. This summer, we have loved watching the bats swoop around the garden catching anything small that flutters. I wanted my children to remember these evening experiences. The moth is a pipecleaner with colourful fleece for fast flapping wings. The bat and moth can slide up and down the thread. Lots of moths were caught by our egg carton bats. So good to have another chance to talk about the food chain.
By the end of the weekend, I had found the right halloween project, recycled some egg cartons, had lively discussions about food chains and added another pin to my “Done and Dusted” board. Oh, and my children had fun too. Hey, that’s not bad.