October is an exciting time of the year for children. There are pumpkins to carve, apples to peel and lots of candy to consume. Lucky you, right? Most preschoolers tend to associate this month with dressing up for Halloween. So what can parents do to keep Spiderman and Dora the Explorer entertained until the big day? Start planning October craft activities now that will keep them busy — and keep you sane.
Inside a Pumpkin
Exploring the inside of a pumpkin is one of the best parts of carving a Jack-o-lantern. You can add to the fun by making a great Halloween decoration with simple art supplies. Begin by helping your child cut out a pumpkin shape from white paper with kid-friendly scissors. Using a paintbrush, cotton ball or — feeling brave, Mom? — little fingers, cover the paper with orange paint. Drop pieces of yellow and orange yarn onto the project before it dries. If you have pumpkin seeds, add a handful to the mix and bake the rest for a delicious snack.
Is that the aroma of a freshly baked, er, store-bought, apple pie in the air? Whether you are Betty Crocker or Sherrie Shopper, apple pies are certainly one of the yummiest October desserts for the family. Enjoy slices of apples sprinkled with cinnamon while making “apple peels” with your preschooler. Start by having your child cut out a circle shape from white paper. Using strips of masking tape, lay them down on the pattern. Next, pour red, green and/or yellow paint into shallow bowls. Choose a color and paint the entire project. When the paint is no longer wet, pull the masking tape up to reveal a “peeled” apple!
Candy Corn Collage
As Halloween approaches, the chances of you leaving the grocery store without a bag of candy are slim to zip. Making a candy corn collage with your preschooler will be a sweet treat — in more ways than one! Start by looking at a piece of candy corn together. What shape does it resemble? Help your child cut out a triangle from white paper. Next, divide the shape into three even sections by drawing two horizontal lines. Now, have fun tearing up orange, white and yellow paper. Using the torn pieces, recreate the candy corn by arranging the colors in the three sections with dots of glue. Eat some of the real thing while crafting to sweeten your time together.
Creating nature art is not only a great way to teach your child about the beauty of the world, but also to get him on their feet and out of the house! Take advantage of the crisp fall air by strolling outside with your family. Look for small nature items that can be easily carried in a bag. When you return home, arrange the items on a piece of poster board, making beautiful designs using glue, crayons, makers and other art materials. Continue this project throughout the week and soon you will have an original October masterpiece to brag about. If you’re lucky, maybe the artist will autograph the bottom for you!