Halloween Fun

It is the night before Halloween, and we are in final prep for the big day.

Our pumpkins are carved.

I just finished frosting 60 cupcakes for the boys' Halloween parties at school.

Special{surprise} Halloween lunches have been packed.

And supper is ready to stick in the oven prior to trick-or-treating.

Are you ready for the Halloween fun to begin?  Happy Halloween, everybody!  Stay safe.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

5 Easy Halloween Treats

Special treats are an important part of Halloween celebrations, but moms are busy -- especially this time of year.  So, I have put together a list of 5 {Easy} things you can bake for Halloween.

These Halloween treats are easy to make, but definitely cute enough for Halloween parties and classroom treats.

1)  Candy Corn Ginger Crinkles - What is easier than baking a recipe you already know and love, and then adding a "Halloween twist"?  I baked my favorite ginger cookie recipe, and after the cookies came out of the oven (and they were still hot), I added a piece of candy corn to the top of each cookie.  So simple! 

2)  Mini Cupcakes...with a tiny surprise - This little cupcake is guaranteed to delight little ones, and they so simple to make.  I used a chocolate cake mix to make mini cupcakes, and I frosted them with ready-made chocolate frosting.  Then, I topped each cupcake with a Halloween ring I got at the dollar store.  {Don't worry, I washed all the rings well before inserting them into the cupcakes.}

3)  Wormy Cupcakes - These cupcakes are so much fun for little ones.  My boys think the idea of eating dirt and worms is hilarious!    I used a chocolate cake mix to make the cupcakes, and my boys used ready-made icing to frost them.  Then, they dipped the cupcakes in "dirt" aka cookie crumbs, and added some gummy worms.  What kid wouldn't get a kick out of this creepy treat?

4)  Cookie Pops - Isn't food just more fun when it comes on a stick?  Well, these cookie pops are no exception... and they are super-simple to make.  All I did was insert sucker sticks into Ready to Bake Cookies, and baked them according to the directions on the back of the package.  Don't you just love a good shortcut?

5)  Pumpkin Cut Out Cookies - Sometimes an old-fashioned cookie is the most fun.  Kids love to roll out dough and cut it into shapes.  We used a pumpkin-shaped cookie cutter, and ready-made icing tinted with green and orange food coloring.  My boys thought it was as much fun making these treats as it was to eat them.

Doesn't this great list inspire you to head to the kitchen and start baking?  Which treat are you going to make?  

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Pumpkin Headband

This Halloween craft is fun for anyone, but it is especially great for toddlers and preschoolers.  I just finished crafting it with 7 little ones, and it was a big hit.  :-)

Want to make one with your child?  Just follow these four easy steps:

1) Cut out a pumpkin shape from orange construction paper and a pumpkin stem from green construction paper.  Glue the stem and googly eyes onto the pumpkin.  Draw a nose and mouth with a crayon or marker.

2) Cut two 1 1/2 inch strips of paper, and decorate them with stickers.

3)  Staple the ends of the strips to the pumpkin.

4)  Size the headband to the child's head, and staple the ends together.

Isn't this pumpkin headband a great/simple craft for Halloween?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)
** If you haven't already "liked" me on facebook, I would love to have you join me here.

10 Easy and Inexpensive Halloween Ideas

Here is a great list of my favorite Halloween posts {past and present}Click on the links for more info and full tutorials.  So much fun all in one place... I can barely contain my excitement!  

1)  Magic Pumpkin Seeds - Carve a pumpkin and plant the seeds in sugar.  The Halloween moon will work its magic.

2)  Booing - Sharing fun treats with neighbours is a super-fun Halloween tradition.

3)  Dollar Store Signs {2 versions - "Along Came a Spider" & "BOO!" } - Both of these cute signs started out with $2 wooden plaques from the dollar store.  Such easy and expensive transformations!

4)  Book Fairy - A fun tradition that allows clever moms {and dads} to limit the amount of junk food consumed by their little ones.

5) Lunchbox Note - Use cheesecloth and googly eyes to make a child's Halloween lunch box extra special.

6)  Classroom Treats {2 Candy Alternatives -- "Eye" treats and Photo Cards} - Perfect "treats" for little ones to share with their friends.  No need to worry about cavities!

7)  Googly Eye Vase - Little ones will love this simple craft that uses lots of glue and lots of googly eyes.

8)  Oreo Ghost Pop - Simple and yummy treats the kids will love to make.... and eat!

9)  Dollar Store Spider Frame - This decoration is simple to make and looks "Spooktacular" on a hall table or mantle.

10)  Milk Jug Pumpkin - Recycle old milk jugs into adorable jack-o-lanterns.  Just add some orange glow sticks for some glowing Halloween fun.

Is there one project/activity you are looking forward to trying?  I'd love to know which ones are your favorites.  Happy Halloween!!!!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)
** If you haven't already "liked" me on facebook, I would love to have you join me here.

{Halloween} Treat... Candy Alternative

My older two boys wanted to bring a "non candy" treat to their friends at school, so this is what I came up with.  These Halloween Photo Cards are really simple and fun!

Here is how you can make some for your little ones to hand out to their classmates:

1)  Take a picture of your child making a fist and holding their hand out.  I used a dollar store tablecloth as a fun/festive backdrop.  (You could also add words using Picmonkey or another photo editing software, but this is totally optional.)

2)  Cut slits (above and below the fist) using an X-Acto knife.

3)  Slide in a pencil, plastic snake, or anything else you find that would fit.

That's it!  Happy Halloween!

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)
** If you haven't already "liked" me on facebook, I would love to have you join me here.

ECM Kids' Craft Club - #8 {Halloween Fun}

Welcome to the 8th edition of the {East Coast Mommy} Kids' Craft Club {an easy and inexpensive way for kids to have fun crafting and to experience the excitement of getting their very own mail}.  If you want to join the club, you can find more info hereFor everyone who is already a member... this month, we are making two Halloween crafts!

Are your supplies ready?

OK.  Let's get started.

To make the Halloween Tic Tac Toe game:
1)  Color the pumpkin pieces.
2)  Cut out the pumpkin and ghost pieces.  {Little ones might prefer to cut little squares around the pieces instead of trying to cut around the outline of the pieces -- see photo.}
3)  Use the pumpkins and the ghosts to play Tic Tac Toe. 
Tip:  Use the little bag the googly eyes came in to store the pumpkin and ghost pieces so that they don't get lost.

To make the Bat Puppet:
1)  Cut out the bat.
2)  Add googly eyes and a red sticker nose.
3)  Secure the popsicle stick to the bat using tape.

I hope you enjoyed making this craft, and I hope you have a very HAPPY HALLOWEEN.  {Don't forget to leave me a comment, or send me an email.  Your comments help me improve the club, and I love hearing from you.} 

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

Don't forget... Assist young children when using scissors, and be careful of the small parts included with this kit, as they can be a choking hazard for children under three

Review and Giveaway {My Pretty Playhouse} - CLOSED

And the winner is:
I have 3 boys who all much prefer to use their imaginations and play with 'guys and animals' then electronic toys! This would be a huge hit in our house :)

I could not be more excited about this giveaway.  I get offered a lot of products to review, but I only accept items that I know I can honestly endorse, and this giveaway was a "no brainer" for me.  I absolutely LOVE this cardboard house that kids can help build and decorate. 

It's called "My Pretty Playhouse" from Cascades Boutique, and you can read all about it here.  My boys are having a fantastic time with their playhouse.  {They call it their "secret clubhouse".}  I love a toy that allows little ones to be creative!!!!!!

This playhouse retails for $34.99, but I am giving you the opportunity to {WIN} one.  Fun, right?

Just leave a comment below letting me know whether your kids prefer electronic toys or toys that allow them to use their imaginations.  {Don't forget your email address so that I can contact you if you win.}

Good luck!

Gina (aka East Coast Mommy)
Rules {I am a mom... I can't help it}:
  1. The winner of the contest will be chosen by the Random Number Generator.
  2. To enter the contest, you must leave a comment on this post.  Contest is open to Canadian and US residents only.
  3. This contest is not being hosted or sanctioned in any way by facebook.
  4. Contest closes on October 31, 2012 at 11:59pm.
  5. Prize will be accepted as awarded.
  6. Winners will be contacted via email and will have 48 hours to respond.  After 48 hours the prize will be forfeited, and another winner will be selected. 
Please note:  I was provided with this product (free of charge) for reviewing purposes only.  No monetary compensation was received, and all opinions are 100% my own.

{Halloween Decor} from a Dollar Store Frame

How adorable is this simple Halloween decoration made from: a $2 frame, some leftover scrapbook paper, and a glittery {purple} spider from the dollar store?

Want to make one in four easy steps? 

1)  Remove the glass from a cheap {dollar store} frame.
2)  Cut a piece of scrapbook paper to fit the frame.
3)  Use Mod Podge to attach the paper to the back of the frame.  Let dry, and then add a coat of Mod Podge on top of the paper {to make the decoration more durable}
4)  Use hot glue to attach a spider to the middle of the paper. 

Easy, right?  Doesn't it look cute on my hall table?

Are you crafting any cool Halloween decorations this year?  I'd love to hear about them.  I am always looking for new ideas.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)
** If you haven't already "liked" me on facebook, I would love to have you join me here.

BOOING.... the tradition continues

Last year, we started a Halloween tradition with the boys --  "Booing" the neighbours.  "Booing" {or "Ghosting"} involves leaving treats, a note, and a "You've been Booed/Ghosted" sign for your neighbours.... secretly.... kind of like a "Secret Santa" for Halloween.  If you haven't tried it, you totally should because it is a ton of fun!  

Here is a picture of my boys heading out on their "secret mission" this year.  I found some adorable ghost buckets at the dollar store, filled them with mini chocolate bars, and off they went!

... and here they are last year.  {I swear they enjoy this more than trick-or-treating.}

There are tons of different {free} printables on the web that you can use.  I designed one that you can find here, or you can google "booing" and you will find a bunch.

Do you think this is something your littles ones would like?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy

Dollar Store {Halloween} Sign

Last Halloween I made a cute purple sign out of a $2 wooden plaque from the dollar store.  {You can find the tutorial for it here.}  I was so happy with how it turned out that I decided to make another one this year.

Want to make this adorable "Along Came a Spider..." sign?

First, get the plaque ready for decorating. 
  a)  Lightly sand the rough edges.
  b)  Paint the edge of the plaque black.  {You don't have to be neat because you will be applying scrapbook paper next.}
  c)  Cut some festive scrapbook paper to fit the top of the plaque, and apply using Mod Podge.

Then, decorate the plaque.
  a)  Create a label that says, "Along Came a Spider...".  {I used Picmonkey, but you can use whatever you are comfortable with.}
  b)  Apply the label to the top of the scrapbook paper using Mod Podge, and apply another layer on top of everything to seal it.
  c)  Apply some embellishments using hot glue.  {I used purple, glittery spiders from the dollar store.}

I love purple Halloween decorations, don't you?  Or, do you prefer the traditional orange and black?

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

*Originally a guest post at Plaid Crafts on October 3, 2012. 

Non-candy Halloween Treats {Glasses}... with free printable bag toppers

My three year old attends a preschool {one morning a week} that has a strict "no candy" policy.  I still wanted him to have something to pass out to his friends for Halloween, so I came up a cute and inexpensive "non-candy" Halloween treat.

I found some crazy plastic glasses at Walmart {6 pairs for $2}, which my boys think are hilarious.  :-)  I put a pair of glasses in a "snack bag", added a tag that says, '"Eye" am lucky to have a friend like you!', and stuck on a googly eye for an extra touch of fun.  {You can find the free, downloadable tag I designed here.}

I think they are adorable Halloween class treats, don't you?  Do you have a great "alternative to candy" you want to share?  I would love to hear about it.

Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

** If you haven't already "liked" me on facebook, I would love to have you join me here.

Don't miss any of the fun....