Halloween Touch and Feel Game: Mystery Bags

Halloween Touch and Feel Game: Mystery Bags

Kids (and adults!) will love this fun Halloween game -- create your own DIY touch & feel mystery bags!

I wanted to create something easy but fun for the holiday with a little spooky but not to scary.  These mystery touch & feel bags were just the ticket!

I promise they are not so creepy (even though you could easily make it spookier if you'd like) -- it's always the anticipation that gets kids as they slooowwwly put their hand in the bag wondering what it will feel like.

This is so simple to do and such a fun activity for parties, trick or treaters or even as a Hallowen science experiment.  And I bet you have what you need right in your house (along with the free printable bag tags we have for you below ;)

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20+ Fall & Halloween Games for Kids

20+ Fall & Halloween Games for Kids

Seasonal games are a big hit in our house! 

Playing charades, BINGO, outdoor challenges or heading out on a scavenger hunt is always a lot of fun -- but ramp it up a notch this year with these Fall & Halloween themed games.

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15 DIY Fall Garland Crafts for Kids

15 DIY Fall Garland Crafts for Kids

Fall has finally arrived in our neck of the woods! 

This past weekend, it was 90 degrees (ugh!) and then whoosh! Fall weather swept in with those cool nights and gorgeous days.  And when the weather changes, it always puts me in the mood to pull out the seasonal decorations :)

A few years back, I realized that many of our holiday decorations were either things the kids made at school or store-bought items.  As our kids started to get older, I knew I wanted to have some family-created items that would become cherished parts of our holiday traditions.

One of the perfect group crafting item is garland!  So I thought I would round-up some beautiful Autumn strands that you can make together (as a family or even in a classroom) and are perfect for Fall, Halloween or Thanksgiving.

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44 Fun Fall Activities for Kids (& Families!)

44 Fun Fall Activities for Kids (& Families!)

It's Fall!  Time for all those great outdoor & indoor activities the kids love to do in Autumn -- and it's also a great opportunity to enjoy some time together as a family too!

With such a great mix of nice weather, fun holidays, seasonal day trips and changes in nature, we always like to pull together an ULTIMATE list of Fall crafts & activities each year -- some traditional things that kids LOVE to do along with new ideas for outings or projects that might just become your next favorite family tradition!

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7 Ways to Get Rid of Your Extra Halloween Candy

Not sure what to do with that extra Halloween candy?  We've got a few awesome ideas on how to get rid of it (no eating required)!

I’m always amazed at how much candy we accumulate during the week of Halloween! 

I think my kids must look  extra good in their costumes on some years because we end up with waaayyy more candy than I think we should have -- and more than we will ever eat.

One of our favorite traditions is to dump it all out on Halloween night and sort it into groups -- then Dad takes his share (like as many Reese's as the kids will let him grab :) and the kids do the whole "bleah - I won't eat these" type of thing.

And then I look at what's left -- STILL too much candy.

In fact, when my daughter pulled out the candy container this week, there were still a few pieces of candy in it from Easter.

Some candy is good – but too much of a good thing just takes up space ;) not to mention tempts my peanut-butter-cup-loving-husband a little to much.

So what can you do with all that extra candy? 

We’ve got a few really good ideas for you!

 

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20 Alternatives to Candy for Halloween Treats

Have you ever considered NOT handing out candy for Halloween?

Let me tell you about the year I handed out pretzels -- It's a HUGE family joke so I'm sure I've mentioned it before.

To my defense, they were pumpkin & bat shaped pretzels in these cute little Halloween-themed bags ....

BUT that didn't seem to impress MY kids at all. 

All I heard was "What if my friends stop by?  They'll think you don't like Halloween?" 

Well that's totally not true given some of the fun ways we hand out candy and the cool Halloween decorations we have at our house!

But I wasn't going to waiver -- I was going with pretzels that year!  Every other house would hand out candy so there would be more than enough of that to go around, right?

Then came Halloween night ...

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55+ FREE Pumpkin Carving Stencils for Kids & Teens

Looking to create a pumpkin that reminds you of Star Wars, IronMan, the LEGO movie or even Game of Thrones?  Try this awesome list of stencils for the most awesome pumpkin carving ever!

Every year, we have a family pumpkin carving session for Halloween -- like many families, it's one of those holiday traditions you look forward to (along with toasting those yummy seeds!)

The kids love to find pumpkin stencils for their favorite book or movie character each year.

We know first hand that it can sometimes take longer to FIND the right stencil than actually carve the pumpkin ;)  Last year, we looked for more than an hour to find a really great Ironman stencil. 

Our last 100 FREE Pumpkin Carving Stencils was so popular, I thought we should share some *NEW* ideas so you can quickly find the cool patterns you'll need to carve the most awesome pumpkin ever!

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The BEST Halloween Decoration: Ideas for the Front Porch and Trunk or Treat Event

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias and its advertiser. All opinions & design ideas are mine alone. #TrickOrSweet #CollectiveBias

 

Every Halloween, we run into the same dilemma -- who will hand out the candy at our house?!

It all started the first Halloween BOTH the kids were old enough to trick or treat.  As we dressed to head out the door, my son asked "But if we all go, who will hand out the candy?"

We told him it would be fine if we were gone for a little while but it wasn't fine for him --

"What if my friends come while we're gone?  They won't think we do Halloween!"

Hmmm....it certainly is a dilemma.  We love heading out with the kids on Halloween night and visiting with the neighbors.  But I also like all the neighborhood kids to be excited when they stop by our house and not see a dark porch.

So we needed to create a good way to hand out the candy while we were off enjoying ourselves.

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Halloween Glitter Glow Sensory Craft

I want to introduce you to our newest craft project -- we call them Frank, Pete & Mike :)

What else would you call a monster, pumpkin and mummy, right?

We loved making the Halloween Salt-dough Glitter Garland last year so I thought we'd try our hand at another glittery Halloween craft.

But we uped the anty with these -- we wanted something that was not only fun to make but was also interactive and had a sensory component to it.

Not to mention their awesome ability to go from day to night so the kids can enjoy it 24/7 -- they can even be used as a fun nightlight during the Halloween season :)

 

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40 Family-friendly Fall Activities

This Fall, we want to continue to inspire families to connect & make memories together with a great list of Fall activities you'll love! 

Do you know what I love about the Fall and Halloween season?

I adore the fact that adults enjoy it just as much as the kids!  I think so many of us are kids at heart -- heading to the pumpkin patch, the idea of dressing up, a hike in the woods and who doesn't love candy ;)

I know firsthand that it can be a busy time -- school events, sports practices, shorter days and things that need to get done around the house.  My husband & I were just lamenting that it's hard to find time to unwind as a family.  I firmly believe that you have to carve out time to connect -- otherwise those everday tasks begin to take over.

As with The $0 Summer activities that we shared over the past few months, our goal is to help you find free or low cost ideas for family fun this Fall -- and today, we have 40 fun ways you can get out & enjoy life together!

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18 Autumn Scavenger Hunts for Kids {w/free printable}

Enjoy Autumn with this awesome collection of Fall Scavenger Hunts for kids that will inspire you to get out & explore this season!

Do you know what I love most about Fall?

I mean aside from the beautiful foliage, super easy leaf activities that kids love to do and the fact that I can pull out a few of my favorite sweaters :)

I love that Fall has four mini-seasons -- it's the one time of year where I feel like there's a new start to the world every few weeks.  Think about it, many of us consider the back-to-school time as early fall -- warmer days followed by cooler evenings.  Outdoor play sessions begin to shift to the late afternoon and nighttime walks reward us with a peek into nocturnal life.

Then the weather shifts and Part 2 of Fall begins -- cooler days and nights, plus the gorgeous leaves that begin to change.  Enter leaf crafts, trips to the pumpkin patch and so many fun outdoor activities!

The next two 'seasons of Fall focus around holidays -- there's Halloween season followed by Thanksgiving.  The environment around us seems to move from cool & creepy to quiet & grateful overnight.

And with all this change, there is so much to observe & enjoy at this time of the year -- it's a wonderful time to head out on a scavenger hunt, or two, or 18!

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Great Ideas for Non-Candy Halloween Treats

While I'm a BIG fan of Halloween and all the fun that goes along with it, I'm always bothered by the amount of candy we accumulate during all the holiday festivities.

Let's see, there's the trick-or-treat event at the zoo (we love the zoo in the Fall!), the kids' class parties, all the "You've been Boo'd" notes we find on our door and then the candy from Halloween night.

We accumulate a LOT of treats -- so much so that we usually need to find ways to get rid of the extra candy.

So I am always on the look-out for some non-candy treat options -- especially ones that I can use as fun 'treats' for those special kids in my life (my own, neices, nephews, neighbors, etc).

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The Best Early Reader Books with Seasonal Themes

Entice your kids into more reading time with these fun holiday-themed Early Reader (ER) books & tips that are perfect for beginner readers!

I've shared before about some of the struggles we had when our kids first started reading independently

If you have kids who are learning to read on their own then you know any parent who makes it through this stage deserves a freakin' medal of honor!

I am not kidding about this -- the loooong sessions on the couch, the tears and yelling "I can't do this", the way the kids will voluntarily offer to clean their room instead of doing 5 minutes of reading homework -- it's all true.

Helping kids learn to read can be one of the most challenging activities a family needs to do.

Did you catch that word?  NEEDS -- yep, a totally necessity.

Because once a child learns to read independently, a whole new world opens up to them!

And that other word - family.

Learning to read independently will not "just happen" during school hours.  It's so important for parents (and every other adult in a child's life) to assist with this activity.

But back to the issue -- learning to read is a struggle.  So how can we make it more enjoyable and entice the kids to WANT to practice?

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5 Tips for Creating Awesome Halloween Costumes

I did a little math this week and came to an odd realization --

We have 2 kids and somehow over the past 17 years, I've helped them to create more than 50 costumes!

I know -- there's some crazy math there since Halloween only comes but once a year.

However, in the kid world, costumes aren't only created at Halloween.  Sometimes one is needed for a play or fun day activity.

And on some years the school sends home a note letting you know that the costume your child chose that year won't be accepted in the "themed" holiday parade they've decided to host in place of the normal party.

So in addition to cook, chauffeur, barber and chief planner, I can now also add "costume-maker" to my resume ;)

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31 Free Printable Halloween Games & Activities

Enjoy counting down the days with these free printable Halloween games & activities -- one for each day in October!

My kids are telling me that October begins this week (where the heck did September go?!)

Which means it's time to countdown to one of their most favorite holidays -- Halloween!

Dressing up, candy, carving pumpkins, candy, decorating, more candy...

As I'm sure you know from reading some of our Kids in the Kitchen posts, I'm not a big fan of the whole focus-on-the-candy part of the holiday (even though chocolate is a wondeful thing ;)

Instead, I love to surprise them with a fun paper crafts, word games, scavenger hunts and other quick & easy Halloween-themed activities!

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