Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Week 8: Halloween

Theme: Halloween
Note: I realize that many families of various faiths choose to not celebrate Halloween.  For our family, not only is Halloween my husband’s actual birthday (bringing about even another reason to party), but for us it is also an opportunity to invite friends into our home and get to know our neighbors.  My husband and I very much believe in building relationships with our actual neighbors as a reflection of God’s design for us as followers of Jesus.  Unlike any other holiday, Halloween brings your neighborhood to your door.  For our family, though, as we celebrate Halloween, we do steer clear of anything evil in appearance, so in our projects and celebration, you will not find any ghosts, goblins, witches, or devils. 

Objective: To enjoy a variety of projects in preparation for Halloween.

Letter of the Week: G 

Note: At this stage (2-3 year olds), we will focus simply on capital letters only.  It is also important to understand that this introduction of letters is simply to familiarize our children with letters.  We are not expecting them to be proficient with these letters.   

Special Items Needed: 

·         Pumpkins

·         Paint, paint brushes, paint shirts

·         Halloween costumes


Painting Pumpkins

Since my boys are 1 and 2 ½ years old, I decided to not even attempt carving pumpkins this year and instead opted for letting them paint their pumpkins.  I simply put large t-shirts over them, put washable paint on a plate, offered a handful of different size paintbrushes to each of them, sat them outside and let them just create.  Our pumpkins did not turn out looking “Halloween-ish”; however, the boys had an fun time and truly decorated their pumpkins on their own!  (I should add that as soon as their pumpkins were painted, I did have to take them straight to the tub and soak them as not only were their pumpkins painted, but so were they!)

Halloween Costume

While I haven’t attempted this yet, I am hoping sometime later this afternoon to let my 2 ½ year old try on his Halloween costume to get familiar with it.  Some toddlers may not be comfortable in a pretend type of outfit, so it may be helpful to practice wearing the “pretend outfit.”  I may also let my son wear his costume all day tomorrow as he is not a fan of changing clothes in the middle of the day.  If wearing it all day will help enable us to wear it tomorrow night, then that’s what we’ll do.  You may find that your toddler is ready and willing to dress up and pretend; however, if you have a toddler who is particular about things, this “practicing” of the costume may be a helpful exercise!

Roasting Pumpkin Seeds

Because we opted to paint pumpkins this year, we will actually be roasting our pumpkin seeds after Halloween, so as not to cut into the pumpkins (and keep them fresh) as long as possible!  Click here for step by step instructions on roasting pumpkin seeds.

Halloween Party

We will have having a birthday party/Halloween party tomorrow night!  To make things simple, I have made my husband’s birthday party an annual “Chili Cook-Off” so I am not spending all of Halloween trying to make dinner for a crowd.  This allows a potluck type feel to our party but with a little more pizazz! 

Not only will we judge the best chili (and have an awesome prize for it!), but we will also send a crowd of parents out with the little people to go Trick or Treating!  While some of us do that, another group of grown-ups will be handing out candy and serving hot chocolate in our front yard.  We are fortunate enough to live in a location that has rather comfortable weather on Halloween, so hanging out in the front yard is actually desirable.

For more Halloween Party ideas, click here to check out my friend's recent blog post on the same topic.

Letter Work

I continued our regular letter work with the Letter “G” by following the activities we’ve done with previous letters (see below for an explanation of each activity). 

Coloring the Letter “G”

To introduce the later “G,” simply draw an outline (or Google a template of the letter “G” to print).  We will talk about the letter “G” and will color it. 

Letter Search

We will continue our work on the letter “G” by trying to identify the “G” in words that start with the letter “G.”  It is important at this stage to choose words that start with the letter “G” and only have that “G” in them.  Write the words in all capital letters.  Make a game of searching for the “G.” 

Rainbow “G”

We will also practice tracing the letter “G.”  This may be a bit difficult for some children, so please pass on this activity if it is too stressful.  We will do a “Rainbow G,” by tracing the outline of a capital letter “G” in multiple colors.

For additional Letter “G” activities, click here. 

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