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(Second-rate) Halloween Crafts for Kids

This is a picture of a house around the corner from ours. Others just like it, equally or more Halloweened out, are starting to pop up all around town. And the girls LOVE it.

Which is fun, on one level: “Wow!” the girls will say as we stroll past a house with plastic tombstones in the yard, fake cobwebs stretched across the windows, orange lights along the roofline and an inflatable witch and ghost standing on the porch, “This is a really good Halloween house!”

On another level, it’s problematic: They want to know when we’re going to put our Halloween decorations up.

I can’t exactly tell them that, um, I don’t really think it’s tasteful to put that much plastic, made in China crap all over your house. How about just some pumpkins and chrysanthemums?

So, instead, I hem and haw: “Well, you know, we don’t really have a lot of Halloween decorations…”

“Then you can buy some at the store!”

“I’ve got an even better idea,” I finally think to say. “Why don’t we make some decorations?”

And so, over the past few days, the girls — with Alastair’s and my help — have transformed our house into a tasteful, understated Halloween wonderland by creating half-assed, rudimentary Halloween decorations, using the simplest of materials. (In keeping with the proud Baby Squared tradition of half-assed crafts using rudimentary materials.)  See the pictures below – and prepared to be inspired! And completely underwhelmed!

And, I know, I am violating my own no-more-than-one-slideshow-a-month rule. But this just lends itself so well to it. And it’s short, I promise. And funny, I hope! Please forgive me. In the spirit of Halloween. And also please forgive the fact that some of these decorations are a little hard to see, because they’re in the windows, behind the screens. I just wanted to show them “in situ” so you get the full effect. Enjoy!

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  • Post-it Note Pumpkins 1 of 6
    Post-it Note Pumpkins
    This was the girls' own idea. Step one: take a zillion post-it notes and draw a pumpkin or two on each one. If desired, write "Halloween" above each pumpkin. Affix with scotch tape to door, pumpkin side out. (Thereby rendering post-it stickiness irrelevant). Watch the confused look on delivery people / mail carriers' faces!
  • Paper Pumpkins! 2 of 6
    Paper Pumpkins!
    I cut the pumpkins and vines and shapes for eyes and noses out of construction paper. They made the mouths. I provided glue sticks and glitter glue. Bada bing, bada boom. Elsa made the paper plate thing below, which is apparently a "cat pumpkin." I'm not quite sure what this means.
  • Spooky Ghost and Vampire 3 of 6
    Spooky Ghost and Vampire
    Make ghost and vampire out of construction paper. Let children draw faces. End of instructions. (It's a pretty good vampire I made eh? Took some doing, believe you me.)
  • Mischeivous Witch and Paper Plate Ghost 4 of 6
    Mischeivous Witch and Paper Plate Ghost
    Daddy cut out and drew the witch (I told him the warts looked like freckles, which hurt his feelings a little). He also cut out the ghost, but Elsa wrote "boo" all over it, and added the paper-plate curves around it to represent the echoing of his mournful wailing. Pretty cool.
  • Ghost-in-a-tree 5 of 6
    Ghost-in-a-tree
    Here's one guaranteed to delight your neighbors! Stick a rubber ball inside an old sheet, draw a face, and tie it to the tree in front of your house. Unexpected and spoooooky!
  • Sock Bats 6 of 6
    Sock Bats
    OK, this is actually a sort of *good* craft project. Alastair saw it in a book, and did it with the girls this morning. I don't know what he was trying to prove. "I hate crafts," he said when I called him on it. (What are you trying to do; ruin my blog's rep as a source of lousy, half-assed craft ideas?) "We were just stuck inside all day in the rain." Fair enough. But I hope he doesn't let it happen again. Oh, and I asked Clio what she wanted to name her bat, and she said "Nocturnal bat. Because he's nocturnal. And fraternical. Because he looks different from Elsa's."

 

The upshot is, the girls are happy. I’m happy. Our house looks a wee bit…er…cluttered / strange. Especially the front door. But at least it doesn’t look like a pop-up Halloween store vomited all over it.

Closer to Halloween proper, we’ll get some pumpkins, carve them, and call it a night.

Of course, then there will be the issue of Christmas…

 

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