Halloween Books

I thought it would be fun to share some of our favorite Halloween-themed books.  Considering how we decorate our house (which you can see here), of course we have favorite Halloween books.  Thanks to their dad, my girls do have a pretty high tolerance when it comes to scary things.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

Room on the BroomWe LOVE Julia Donaldson!  We’ve enjoyed every book we’ve read by her (The Gruffalo books and A Gold Star for Zog are two of our all-time favorites).  If you enjoy Donaldson’s creativity, repetitive text, and lyrical rhyming, Room on the Broom won’t let you down.  In it a witch loses her hat, bow, and wand and then meets a dog, parrot, and frog who help her find her items.  In exchange she gives them a ride on her broom and together they learn about friendship and teamwork.  And a dragon even makes an appearance!  What more do you want?Room on the Broom picture

Zombelina by Kristyn Crow

Zombelina

Zombelina
I wasn’t thrilled when my husband came home with this book but it quickly won me over.  Zombelina is the cutest zombie I’ve ever seen!  Her family is very similar to The Munsters or Addam’s Family.  She loves her ballet class that her mom signs her up for but at her recital she runs into a little trouble when she scares away the audience.  This is really cute and you don’t need to be familiar with scary zombies to enjoy it.

Goodnight Goon by Michael Rex

Goodnight GoonThis is a parody of Goodnight Moon and a welcome break if you are tired of reading the original (like I am).  It is a bit scarier than some of the other books on our list.  But if your kids are older or not too sensitive, the pictures and the text are hilarious.  It follows the exact same format and rhythm as the original just this time a goon, witch, monsters, and a werewolf are involved.Goodnight Goon

Where’s My Mummy? by Carolyn Crimi

Where's My Mummy?
Where's My Mummy

The girls picked this one out.  I’ll be honest, it’s not my favorite but my daughters LOVE it!  I think it’s the repetitive text (what little one doesn’t like repetition?).  They also think it’s funny that Little Baby Mummy who is playing hide & seek with Big Mama Mummy is not scared of the monsters but is scared of a little mouse (oops, spoiler alert).  The monsters are shown in very friendly ways so the book is just the right level of scary and funny for toddlers and preschoolers without being too much.

 

Spooky Fog Machine Effect

This weekend we finally got up all of our Halloween decorations.  Well, almost all.  It’s never fully done until the big day.  And if you have ever visited us IRL you know that we go all out for Halloween.  Well, my husband goes all out.  He creates his own little mini-haunted house in our front yard.

Part of our front yard set up

Part of our front yard set up

So why am I bragging to you about this?  I wanted to share our cool fog effect because it was super easy and makes the yard super eerie.  Basically you are making the fog cold so that it will float along the ground instead of just billowing up into the air.

How cool does it really look?  You can see a video of our front yard with the fog floating along HERE.  Or scroll down to the bottom of the post.

Materials:  Styrofoam cooler, plastic mesh, adjustable rain gutter extension, duck tape, fog machine with liquid fog, optional paint

All the necessary supplies assembled

All the necessary supplies assembled

Directions:

Start with the cooler.  It needs to be stryofoam so that you can cut holes in it.  We picked ours up from a convenience store and then painted it gray to camouflage it.  You are going to cut holes in either side to allow the fog to travel through the cooler and cool down.

The cooler cut and painted.

The cooler cut and painted.

Use the plastic mesh to make a tunnel instead.  You want it to be mesh (instead of a more solid material) so that the ice can really cool the fog while leaving a path through which it can go

Plastic mesh to make the the tunnel

Plastic mesh to make the the tunnel

The mesh tunnel placed inside of the cooler.

The mesh tunnel placed inside of the cooler.

Then use the plastic extendable rain gutter to make the outer tubes.  You can pick this up from the hardware store and just cut it in half.

Extendable rain gutter prepped for the project

Extendable rain gutter prepped for the project

Attach a piece of the rain gutter to the holes on either side.  One end will hook onto the fog machine for the fog to enter and then the other piece is where the chilled fog will exit.

With the rain gutters added to each end

With the rain gutters added to each end

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The rain gutter attaching to the fog machine

And here is the finished product.  It really is quick and easy to make.  It also is sturdy since we’ve been reusing it each year.

The finished set up

The finished set up

Huge thank you to my friend Kendra who discovered this on the internet and sent it our way.  We’ve tweaked a bit and this is what has worked for us.  Enjoy!

Religious Easter Eggs

P1020337I saw these religious printed plastic eggs on Oriental Trading but I didn’t want to pay for them.  I wouldn’t say they were expensive but once you factor in shipping, they are a lot more than the dollar packs of plastic eggs you can get.  So I made my own.  On some I used paint pens and on others stickers.  All told it took me less than an hour and cost less than half what the others would have been.  Like I said before, I want this Easter to keep the focus on Jesus and this was just one more cute, quick way to do that.

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Easter Egg Printable

Easter Egg colors1With the Easter holiday approaching, I’ve really wanted to keep the focus on the true spirit of the holiday, Christ’s resurrection, but I certainly don’t want to toss out our family traditions of Easter egg hunts and baskets.

So, here is one attempt to make our traditions support our faith more.  I had my husband make this printable for us to accompany dying Easter eggs.  The girls colored each section and then we cut the pieces and turned it into a puzzle. (My girls had a very hard time leaving the white section blank).  I laminated the sections to help it last.

Download Easter Egg Colors Printable here

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Shamrock Cutting & Pasting

Shamrock cover picOf course the shamrock is perfect for talking about the trinity (just ask St. Patrick) so I wanted to do an activity with the girls.  I couldn’t find one that I really like–many had just the words (which my girls can’t read yet) or I wasn’t fond of the pictures–so I had my husband design this one for us.  During the gluing (I had to do most of the cutting), we talked about what the words and pictures meant and how God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit (a very hard concept for them) are separate but the same.

Here is the printable: Shamrock Activity

I printed the shamrock pieces on cardstock and then the inner images on regular paper so that it was sturdy but not too heavy.

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