The Back to School gear has finally been cleared away from the supermarket shelves, and a host of pumpkin, ghost, skeleton, monster, witch and vampire regalia has been added to fill the void. It’s that time of year when our thoughts turn away from making sure pencil cases have been replenished with Crayola felt-tipped pens, which at any other time of year seem to be pretty extortionate, and look towards ensuring we have tickets for the Chislehurst Pumpkin Hunt. Yes, Halloween is upon us!
I love Halloween; for me it is one of the many activities that makes autumn autumn, and I look forward to it every year. I love dressing the kids up in fancy dress that isn’t marketed by Disney, making food look inedible on purpose, and doing lots of Halloween-themed crafts! I do, however, find that we end up repeating the same crafts year upon year; I am not very imaginative, and as I have a strict budget I often find we are fairly limited as far as Pinterest goes.
So when one of my favourite crafty bloggers, Kate Williams from Crafts on Sea, wrote her first book, all about Halloween crafts no less, I literally jumped at the chance to review it (I mean literally – nothing like looking keen and all)! Kate, like me, believes in “making kids’ crafts as cheap as humanly possible” and, quite honestly, this book couldn’t have been more perfect for my family if I had written it myself.
The book is called ‘30 Halloween Crafts for Kids’ and features 30 “totally achievable” Halloween crafts for kids.
The Best Bits…
All of the crafts are indeed “totally achievable” and do not require any specialist materials (just a rummage round the house for things that you already have). There was such a variety too – from messy crafts, to ones that didn’t make any mess whatsoever (perfect for my mess-phobic boy), and everything in-between.
Most of the ideas come with tips to help you get maximum enjoyment out the particular activity; whether that be tips to help the activity run more smoothly, tips for extending activities for older/more advanced children or simplifying them for younger children, as necessary, or tips for further ideas along the same line of activity (useful if you have warring siblings that insist on making different things)! I found the activities perfectly suited to my 2 and 3 year olds, though I can imagine much older children enjoying them just as much, particularly with the suggested extensions.
The fun and chatty nature of the instructions brought Kate’s real experiences of the crafts to light and made it a joy to read!
So, what did we make?
Well, so far we have attempted most of the book. And, as of yet, I have not had to go out to buy a single item! Granted, we do have a well-stocked craft cupboard for-the-most-part, but even if you just have a bit of card and some paint you can still do a large proportion of the crafts in the book!
Our Favourite Activity…
My favourite activity so far has been the “Bubble Wrap Ghost”, and Kate has kindly given me permission to share our experience of this activity with you!
I loved the idea of this craft for a number of reasons. Firstly, it can be done without making any mess whatsoever, so it is perfect for E (he did happen to be sleeping when I had planned to do it though, so in the end I just did it with A, but I have saved it for him to do on another occasion). Secondly, I got to use my glow in the dark paint (I had some left from an event I ran a while ago and was so happy to get it out again)!
For this activity you will need:
Glue, scissors, sellotape
(We also added glow in the dark paint – this is just an added extra and not actually needed at all)!
In order to minimise the mess I made a bubble wrap glove for A to wear; I simply wrapped a piece of bubble wrap loosely around her hand and arm, folded it over at the fingertips, and taped it all together.
Then I simply let her loose with the paint; all she had to do was cover the bubble wrap in paint and then print it onto the black card until she got a shape she was happy with. She enjoyed it so much that she ended up making quite a few!
Once the white paint was dry we repeated with a layer of glow in the dark paint on top of the white.
Finally, when all of the paint was dry, we glued on some eyes and a mouth for each ghost (which I had pre-cut using some additional black card) and they were complete!
The results were quite wonderful, particularly in the dark!
We have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and it really has been eye-opening seeing how much can be done with just a few simple household materials!
‘30 Halloween Crafts for Kids’ is available to buy on Amazon now!
Disclosure: we were kindly given a pdf copy of the book for the purposes of this review; however, all opinions are my own.