A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Tag: Halloween fun

Halloween Snail Mail for Kids

Even in this age of technology everyone loves receiving snail mail….well, as long as it isn’t bills!  Seriously though, when you open that mail box and find a pretty colored envelope addressed to you, doesn’t it just bring an instant smile to your face?  I’ve been working harder at getting back to this long lost sentiment, and right now I have been focusing on Halloween Snail Mail for Kids.

In one of my posts last week, Flat Skelly Skeleton, I introduced a fun Halloween project for kids that can be mailed out.  This post builds upon that and gives you some ideas for follow-up “Skelly Snail Mail” you can send after you mail out Flat Skelly.  However, even if you have not mailed Flat Skelly, you can still use these fun ideas to surprise the kiddos.

Hand-Made Envelope With Craft Inserted ~

I used a standard sized (8.5″ X 11″) piece of colored card stock to create this envelope.  The package can be decorated any way you wish if you are hand delivering.  My grandchildren live close so that is the method I chose.  You can still make this if you will be sending it in the mail, just do most of your hand decorating on the opposite side so you have ample space to address it.

Directions ~
  • Place card stock in horizontal position
  • Fold bottom up 3/4 of the way
  • Crease the folds nicely by running a pen along the edges
  • Fold sides in about 1/4″ on both right and left sides
  • Crease folds
  • Fold top portion down
  • Tape left and right sides down to secure (making sure to leave top open to put mail in)
  • Decorate

The skeleton theme is being used on all of our mail this week since we have dubbed it “Skelly Mail.”  You obviously can use any Halloween images you wish, but following a theme does make it fun!  For the first package, I inserted a fun stained glass craft.  As always, choose whatever fun item you want to put in the package, but I am including a link below so you can see what I included:

Halloween Makit & Bakit Craft

These were a fun little activity that the kids really enjoyed and are so very cute to let them hang in their bedroom window, kitchen window or wherever you would like to display their artwork!  (Halloween is almost here now, but still check out this fun link to look at their other holiday choices for Thanksgiving and Christmas….get them ordered before they run out!)

Skeleton Hand with Treat ~

Here we printed out a skeleton hand image on a standard (8.5″ X 11″) sheet of white card stock.  We then carefully cut around the hand to cut out most of the white space.

Use this free link to print out your own copy of the Skelly Skeleton Hand ~  Skeleton Hand Full Size Image to Print and Cut.

I cut the space between the index finger and thumb apart so that I could insert the Halloween treat.  This makes it look as if the hand is actually holding the treat.

These fun ring suckers were found at our local grocery store.  However, if you cannot find them and act quickly enough, you can still get them delivered on time by using this link ~ Skeleton “Sugar Skulls” Lollipop Rings.  I plan to use the extra for our trick or treaters!

Pumpkin Tags ~

To add extra flair, attach a fun tag in a way that it is dangling from the skeleton’s hand.  You can create your own or I have made some for you to print out for free.  Bonus…these are cute but basic enough that you can use them for quite a few different things!  Print them out on cardstock…you will get 4 per page!

Use this link… Free Pumpkin Tags.  Once you have printed them, use a marker to write the recipient’s name.  I then wrote “5 Days ’til Halloween.”  This will add extra excitement for them to know they can officially start counting down the days until it is time to go trick or treating!

What’s Next You Ask? ~

As you can probably assume, I plan on adding a new fun delivery each day.  Be sure to tune in each day to see what I have added to this post!  I will be sure to give detailed directions for each creation!  I’m not really sure who is having more fun this week…me creating the daily mailings or the kids receiving them!  This Halloween Snail Mail for Kids is a lot of fun!

I hope your week before Halloween is filled with lots of spooky fun! 🎃

Love ~

Mimi

 

Flat Skelly Skeleton

Halloween shenanigans are in full swing…decorating the house, planning trick or treat costumes, fun at pumpkin patches, carving jack-o-lanterns, spooky crafts, fun snacks and more!  As a grandparent, I love to be as much a part of all this as possible, but realize it is not feasible to do so.  Flat Skelly Skeleton is here to help out with just that!

The Flat Stanley Project is an awesome project that our children were able to take part in back when they were in elementary school.  Have you been lucky enough to be a part of it as well?   The teacher provided a template of “Flat Stanley” for the kids to color.  The kids then mail him to various friends, family members or anyone of interest.  The recipient takes Stanley along with them for a day, taking pictures and writing about his visit.  Once done, they mail him back along with the pictures and journal notes.  It is a great literacy program that also teaches geography in a very fun way.

Flat Skelly Skeleton ~

Flat Skelly is similar to Flat Stanley.  This is a fun way for grandparents (or any friend or family member) to be a part of Halloween activities…even if they are not physically present.  I have made it super easy for you to print out the fun Flat Skelly Skeleton poem along with the Jointed Skeleton template. Then all you have to do is mail them to your favorite little ghoul(s).  They will be so excited to share all of their Halloween fun with you!

Flat Skelly Skeleton Poem ~

Click here for free download of Flat Skelly Poem

Jointed Skeleton Directions~

Click here for FREE printout of Flat Skelly Skeleton

 

I found this free skeleton printout by Preschoolactivities.us.  You can use the link next to the picture above to print out or go to their website with the skeleton coloring page Preschoolactivities.us skeleton coloring page.  There are also other free options on Pinterest if you wish to use a different image.  Print these on copy paper or card stock.

You have options regarding how you wish to mail these to the little ones.  You can leave the skeleton template in tact so that they can cut out the pieces or you can pre-cut and put the pieces, along with the brads, in an envelope.  The option you choose will depend mostly upon the age of the child you are sending to and whether they are skilled with scissors yet.

Whoever ends up cutting and putting the skeleton together will need these instructions ~

  1. Cut out each skeleton part
  2. Let your child color and decorate, if desired
  3. Insert small brads at each joint to make Skelly movable (see below for more information on brads)
  4. Tape a popsicle stick or cookie stick to back of the skeleton

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*Types of small brads to try ~

Brads are two pronged paper fastners that usually have some type of decorative top.  There are different sizes, so pay attention to the details.  The mini-sized ones may be the best option for Flat Skelly since he is a bit smaller printout.  Below are some fun varieties:

Mini-sized, multi-color brads

Assorted colors of brads ~

Halloween brads ~

*****************************************************************

Once you introduce your children to the world of “brads” in crafting, the possibilities are endless.  They are such a versatile and inexpensive item to add to your craft baskets.  I even use them for scrapbooking!

There have been numerous spin offs of the original Flat Stanly that are so much fun to explore.  This project is a little different in that the child is receiving Flat Skelly instead of sending him to others.  They then have the responsibility to make sure pictures get taken and if of writing age, journaling about their fun experiences throughout the month of October.

You can take it a step further and get them a little “Flat Skelly Skeleton” journal to use for their journaling.  Here are some fun ideas:

Fun Vintage Style Skeleton Notebook

Dancing Skeleton Journal with blank pages

Wide Ruled Skeleton Journal

Sending Flat Skelly As A Package ~

If you live far away or like to send snail mail to the recepient of this awesome Halloween activity, here is what you will need to remember:

  • Skelly Skeleton Poem
  • Jointed Skelly Skeleton (or cut out pieces and put in envelop if sending to smaller children)
  • 8 brads
  • Popsicle or cake pop stick

Send it in a festive envelope.  I used a large manila envelope so there would be no fold creases.  Use stickers or color fun Halloween images on the outside.  What child would not be excited to receive this special delivery?

It’s no secret how much my family loves Halloween.  Even if you don’t love spooky things, you can enjoy Halloween with your kids.  To me, it is not just about the 31st….it’s a whole month of family fun!.  Whether it is as simple as coloring with your kids, crafting or making festive foods, you will create memories to last a lifetime.

Other Halloween Festivities to Check Out ~

Last year I shared some Halloween ideas:

Fun food ideas for Halloween!  Lots of fun ideas…including the infamous Feet Loaf!!!

Halloween Gingerbread Houses!  Buy a kit or make your own….it’s great fun either way!

You’ve Been Booed!!! 👻  This is an annual MUST in every neighborhood!

The month of October just really flies by way too quickly!  Don’t let these festive opportunities get away from you!  You may just find that you have more fun than your kids do!  Be sure to follow me if you aren’t already by entering your email…I promise you I won’t overfill your inbox….only good things coming and at good intervals!

Happy Haunting to all of you!

Mimi

 

Pappy Got Boo-Booed! 🤣

One of my favorite annual Halloween memories is our house getting “Booed.”  The doorbell rings…the kids run to see who it is…instead of a person they find delicious Halloween treats festively displayed on the doorstep.  Quickly, everyone darts outside to see if they can catch a glimpse of who has left this Boo-tiful gift for them.  Sadly, those years have faded into the past for us.  But wait….we may be getting older but that doesn’t mean we can’t still take part in this Halloween fun!   So this year…Pappy got Boo-Booed!

You’ve Been Booed!

If you are not familiar with this FUN Halloween tradition, below are images of the 2 documents needed to carry out the plan:

 

There are a lot of fun images you can find on the internet but many you have to pay for.  I created these images and have included the link to download for free:

Once you read the page labeled You’ve Been Boo-ed, you will understand what all you need to do.  Basically, you need to print out 2 copies of each of these pages, put 2 goody baskets together and choose who your phantom will visit!  It’s that easy.  When you get visited by the phantom, then you need to put your copy of the We’ve been Boo-ed! page in your front window.

Now, you are probably wondering why this is titled Pappy got boo-booed!  As stated earlier, our days of enjoying this activity with our kids is long gone.  Enter our grandchildren!  I must say that I had not initially thought of doing this for Addi and Max until our daughter, Lauren, asked us to do so.  Our other daughter, Karleigh and I were the phantoms last year.  This year I asked Pappy to help out!

We made a grand plan of how to deliver the goodies to our grandchildren without getting caught.  Let me tell you, if you have seen their house, you understand this is no easy feat.  It’s guarded like Fort Knox, hard to get in and out of and windows galore.  Need I remind you that we are now 50+!!!  But we are old athletes.  We can do this!  Right????

Pappy Got Boo-Booed!

So, we park far away and decide to tackle this feat on foot.  We trek to the front porch, crawl under the windows, ease up to the door, place the goodies on the step, knock and run!!!  WELL, Pappy steps in some mud and sprawls face first onto the sidewalk.  Amid concern (well, a little anyway) and much laughter, he rolls like the young quarterback he once was and hightails it out of there!  We made it safely to our hiding place.

Did I mention our son-in-law got home while all this was going on.  I wish you could have seen the confused look on his face.  We wait for what we believe is a good amount of time to trek back to our truck and head home.  Both winded and standing by our get away vehicle, Brad looks over at me sheepishly and states, “I don’t have my keys!”

Seriously?  We have to go back to the scene and retrieve said keys from somewhere in the mud!  Yes, our son-in-law is still sitting in his truck as Brad creeps back by and searches for the lost set of keys.  Do you wonder what he is thinking about his in-laws???

We finally escaped, unseen by the grandkids I might add!  However, as you guessed, Pappy did not remain unscathed by this little incident.  YES, he got a Boo Boo!

Suffice it to say, we are adding new “You’ve Been Boo-ed” memories to our family photo albums.  I just wish I had taken my camera on this little escapade to capture Mimi and Pappy to add to the photo album along with these cuties!

It is now late in October, but if you have never done this before, please remember this for next year and add it to your Halloween family traditions.  Hopefully, you like the fun images I created and will use those next time!

Happy Halloween!

 

Spooky Stuffed Pepper Pumpkins

Have you planned your Halloween night family dinner?  I mean, you still have a couple of days to figure it out, right?  Well, if you are still searching, I have a great idea for you.  Spooky stuffed pepper pumpkins were on our menu last night and wow!  Seriously, the whole family loved them!  And, if that sounds good, let me fill you in on the rest of the kid-friendly Halloween menu!

Kid’s In The Kitchen ~

   

What I love most about this menu is that the kids were able to get involved.  Aprons were thrown on (I think this is pretty important for these recipes I’m about to share) and the fun began!  I should mention, however, that a little prep was done before the kids arrived.  We were packing a lot of stuff into one night so that was a huge help!

Stuffed Pepper Recipe ~

FOLLOW THIS LINK TO PRINTABLE VERSION OF STUFFED PEPPER RECIPE!

As mentioned earlier, some steps were done before the kids arrived.  It is important to get some of the cooking done ahead to make it easier for them to participate!  Otherwise, they will quickly lose  interest.  Here is what I did earlier in the day:

EARLY PREPARATIONS ~
  • Slice tops off of bell peppers
  • Cut jack-o-lantern faces in the peppers
  • Boil peppers
  • Cook meat mixture

The kids were very excited to stuff the peppers, add the cheese on top and find the right bell pepper top to fit on each one.  Finding the tops were somewhat like a puzzle which makes it even more fun!  I then placed them in the oven to start cooking and make room for the snake breadsticks!

SNAKE BREADSTICKS ~

We followed a festive breadstick recipe that we found on Pinterest from Flawlessfood.co.uk.  They give very detailed instructions to make this delightful Halloween side dish.  It is a perfect accompaniment to the spooky stuffed pepper pumpkins.  Follow this link for Snake Breadsticks from Flawless Food!

Our breadsticks did not turn out as professional as the ones  from Flawless Food, however, the kids had a blast making them.  If you prefer a deeper color, please follow their directions and paint the wash on for the last 5 minutes of baking.    This being said, I wanted the kids to be able to complete this step, so to keep any burns from occurring, I had them paint the breadsticks before baking.  They still turned out adorable and the kids were delighted when they came out of the oven.

OREO TRUFFLE BATS ~

Many of us have already discovered this sinful dessert of Oreo truffles.  What is even more amazing is while they are always such a HUGE hit, they are truly so EASY to make.  We went a step further for our Halloween themed dinner and made them into bats.  This was achieved with a little help from One Sweet Appetite.  YOU ARE DEFINITELY GOING TO WANT TO PIN THIS BAT OREO TRUFFLE RECIPE FROM ONE SWEET APPETITE!!

Below you see Addi’s  Oreo truffle bats!  *We have officially lost Max’s attention at this point!  😂 Please note that if you are making these for something other than a Hallowhttps://mimiblog.org/aob6een family dinner, you may want to do these on your own. 😁

She truly had so much fun with every step of this recipe, from crushing the oreos and rolling the dough into balls to adding the finishing touches.  We had bats with different eyes, bats with 1 eye, and bats with 3 eyes.  Much laughter was heard while creating these masterpieces.  Since we had such a packed evening, we tried to concoct our own method of attaching the bat wings.  Next time I will definitely follow the instructions from One Sweet Appetite.

Addi was so perplexed on how we were going to make the bat wings.  I pulled out the wax paper and she started laughing.  “Mimi, we can’t eat paper!”  I then drew bat wings on the wax paper.  My little princess was understandably still confused.  It was when I taught her how to cover the bat wing stencils with melted chocolate that it started to make sense.   She was amazed that we could create our own chocolate images this way.  Once again, follow the link above for more detailed instructions on this fun step!

Needless to say, we had a VERY busy night filled with festive Halloween recipes!  We topped it off with the annual pumpkin carving.  The kids went home with full bellies and carved jack-o-lanterns.  More importantly, we created another fantastic evening of wonderful family memories!

Happy Halloween!

 

 

 

Making Halloween Gingerbread Houses With Kids

Gingerbread house making and decorating has found its way into the month of October.  What a fun Halloween craft idea to do with kids!   Whether you choose to make everything from scratch or select from the fun Halloween gingerbread house kits in stores, it will be spooky fun!  You really can’t go wrong either way.  A fun day is ahead when you plan on making Halloween gingerbread houses with kids!!!

The Basics of Gingerbread Houses ~

You must first decide if you are going to make gingerbread cookies from scratch or use an alternative ingredient, such as graham crackers.  Either way you choose to go is great and may be dictated by what your family likes.  Obviously, if you are making gingerbread cookies, you will need to do that ahead of time.   Here is a GREAT gingerbread cookie recipe for you to print out!   Create some extra family fun by having the kids throw on their aprons and do the baking with you!

What You Will Need ~

Plan ahead on what toppings you want to have available.  You may already have some great ideas on what will be included, but if help is needed, here are some festive ideas:

  • gumdrops
  • candy corn
  • pumpkins or jelly pumpkins
  • candy eyeballs
  • baking chips in several flavors (chocolate, white chocolate, butterscotch)
  • M & M’s (holiday ones are a plus!)
  • chocolate kisses
  • candy skeleton bones
  • various colors of icing in tubes or plastic bags
  • candy buttons

Here are some handy links to some of the items that are a bit harder to find in the stores:

The “Glue” ~

Next, you need to decide what you want to use for the “glue.”  Probably the most popular option is icing.  You can make your own or use store bought.  Be careful to not use a super creamy icing, as it is harder to make things stick!  Another option is burnt sugar.  I love Mel’s Kitchen Cafe’s post on this, which includes the directions for burnt sugar.    Check out Mel’s Kitchen Cafe post on haunted houses using burnt sugar!  *Might I suggest you save this recipe from her post as well.

Plan Ahead for Making Gingerbread Houses ~

Plan ahead and have all of your ingredients set out in bowls for everyone to easily reach.  It also helps the kids get their creative juices flowing when they can see all of the items they have to work with out in front of them.  Of course, it makes it even more fun if you serve a fun Halloween drink in a festive cup to enjoy while they are building.

Remember, the idea is not perfection when you are making these works of art with your kids.  The fun is in letting them make decisions and then you all get to enjoy it together!  Just have FUN making Halloween gingerbread houses with your kids!

Positivity and Pumpkins!

I am absolutely positive I love pumpkins!  How about you????  Do you love fall and pumpkins?  We are on the downslide of 2020 and everyone is ecstatic to close out this crazy year of 2020!  While I cannot agree more, I am also very excited about these next three months and all of the fun with family and friends….whether it has to be with masks or not!  Right now I just want to think about positivity and pumpkins….so let’s celebrate the good times ahead in the months to come!

Look at these faces⬆⬆⬆….they are living life to the fullest!!!  That’s what we all need to try to focus on…trying to find the positive and fun in every situation!  I mean, even the jack-o-lanterns have a constant smile, right?  How can you not smile when you look at those toothy (or lack of thereof) grins of the jack-o-lantern?

Positivity Challenge ~

Who’s with me???  I am challenging each of you to print out the attached Pumpkin Positivity Challenge and complete the task listed for each day!  It’s only for one week!!!  Let’s do this together and see how much better we feel.  It’s amazing how small things can make a big impact…on you as well as on others you interact with!

Positivity Jar ~

You can take it a step further and cut the pumpkins out to place in a jar.  (Of course, ignore the Daily # titles).  Tie a cute little ribbon around the top of the jar.  Voila…you have a colorful and festive fall decoration on your desk.  Pull a pumpkin out each day and follow the challenge listed.

Whichever way you choose to join the challenge, just click the green link below to get your printable copy.

Print Your One Week Pumpkin Positivity Challenge!

The image above  is a sample of what you will be printing when you click the green link above!

I know we all just want to make some good memories in 2020 before this year comes to an end.  Let’s get started doing that!  Have a super weekend and remember….smile…it’s contagious!

The Best Halloween Picture Books

Are you tired of reading the same Halloween picture books to the kids every year?  Yes, there are always the favorites that everyone looks forward to each year, but maybe it’s time to spice up your collection.  You are going to want to try this list of the best Halloween picture books.

Last year I hosted a Witches’ Tea Party for the kids.  I’m not sure who had more fun…me preparing for the big event or the kids when they got to partake of it.  I will do a separate post on that later, but suffice it to say that it was a huge hit!  As I was planning all of the festivities for that day, I was overjoyed to discover that there are actually books titled The Witches’ Tea Party….how frightfully awesome!  (I was happy to see that there are other crazy Halloween lovers like myself out there in the big world 😉)

Below are some of the new books I have purchased over the last couple of years…and one that I am ordering this week to add to our spooky collection of Halloween books!  There are also some fun FREE printable coloring pages🖍 included at the end of this post!!!! Continue reading

Planning for HALLOWEEN!!!🦇

The verdict has not yet been reached, but many statistics are showing Halloween 2020 will still be taking place!  I am hoping that is true.  It may look a little different than the past years, but surveys are showing that a high percentage of people are still planning to celebrate whether it be the traditional trick-or-treating or through new social distancing events.  Not to mention, it is now more socially acceptable than ever to wear a mask!!!  So let’s start planning for Halloween now!!!

I am so excited to announce that I have partnered up with HalloweenCostumes.com to share the amazing costumes, accessories and decorations they have…many being UNIQUE to their company.  AANNNDDD…..we have coupons!!!  Get Coupon Codes Here!!!👻

I’ve been perusing their site, and I must say I am completely hooked!  We all know I LOVE Halloween, and I am beyond excited about all of their unique products.  Here are pics of some of my favorite costume ideas…

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