April 24, 2014

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Just for Kids!

Plan a Halloween Party

Interested in hosting a Halloween party for you and your friends? Jan’s Free Content has some ideas for you and your parents to start planning!

Halloween Party Games for Kids

Pin the Hat on the Witch

What You'll Need:

  • Witch Decoration (the "jointed" type that allows you to position the arms and legs; you can usually buy this at Target, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, or a party supplies store)

  • Roll of white or brown kraft paper (or a couple of paper grocery bags)

  • Masking tape

  • Black construction paper, scissors

  • Black bandana or black mask with eyeholes covered to use as blindfold

  • Halloween-related party favors or little Halloween snack bags of candy

    Get free illustrated craft instructions by CLICKING HERE

    Do Ahead of Time:

  • Carefully cut off the hat portion of the Witch Decoration (see illustrated instructions by CLICKING HERE), and set aside the witch.

  • Using the hat, trace onto black construction paper (see illustrated instructions by CLICKING HERE)

  • Cut out hat (see illustrated instructions by CLICKING HERE)

  • Repeat to make enough hats for the number of children who will be attending the party

  • Use gold or silver glitter glue to write each child's name on the hat (see illustrated instructions by CLICKING HERE)

    Day of the Party:

  • Prior to the party, decide what wall or door you will use to tack up the witch for the Pin the Hat on the Witch game

  • Tack up white or brown kraft paper to protect the wall or door

  • Tack up the hatless with decoration, at the approximate height of your son or daughter (see illustrated instructions by CLICKING HERE)

    Game Time:

  • Make donuts of masking tape and put on top and bottom of the back of the black hats (see illustrated instructions by CLICKING HERE)

  • Hand out hats to children

  • Blindfold the first child, spin child around until he/she is facing the witch (about four steps away from the wall or door)

  • Pointing child in the right direction, have child walk toward the wall, and put hat onto the wall, pressing down to adhere tape (you might need to help)

  • Unblindfold the child

  • Blindfold each child, in turn, spin, and have him/her paste hat to the wall

  • Closest hat to witch's head wins the game (but you might want to reward all the children with a party favor)

    Be creative! Instead of Pin the Hat on the Witch, you could play "Paste the Face on the Pumpkin" or "Put the Skull on the Skeleton" by adapting those characters to the traditional Pin the Tail on the Donkey game.

    Spooky Musical Chairs

    What You'll Need:

  • Kitchen or folding chairs, one for each child minus one (that is, if 10 children are attending the party, you will need 9 chairs)

  • A cassette tape or CD of spooky Halloween sounds/music (you can usually find these types of CDs at Walgreens, party supplies stores, Wal-Mart, Target, etc.)

    Game Time:

  • Arrange chairs so that they are back to back, in a row

  • Have children form a circle around or line up on one side of the chairs (depending on how many children are playing)

  • If you have more than two more children than you have chairs (that is, 10 children are attending the party, and you only have 6 chairs), then play two games

  • Instruct the children that when the music starts they are to walk in a circle around the chairs and when the music stops, they are to sit down on a chair

  • The child left standing leaves the game

  • Take away a chair

  • Repeat until there are two children left and only one chair

  • The last child sitting on a chair wins the game (but you might want to reward all the children with a party favor)

    Instead of using chairs, and if you are playing the game on an enclosed patio or in the backyard, you can use the garbage bags that look like pumpkins filled with leaves to create "chairs" for the game. The kids will have fun flopping down on the bags!

    Competition games that leave one person as "the winner" are healthy and teach kids how to play fair and how to "lose." However, to avoid tears and tantrums, you can play the games several times in order to have several winners. Also, be sure to have enough party favors and little treat bags so that all the children get a prize and a bag of candy after each game.

    Jan K., The Proofer is a freelance copyeditor and proofreader. Visit Jan’s Portal for more information about Jan's free crafts, recipes, tutorials, other resource sites, and free content articles, as well as Jan’s freelance proofreading business services. Be sure to visit Mom's Break for free printable crafts and projects.

    Another Idea: Tell Scary Ghost Stories to add some ‘fright’ to your Halloween party.

    CLICK HERE for more Halloween Party Ideas for Kids!


    Kid Friendly Recipes and Treats:
    Recipes, tips, and photos courtesy of Britta’s Halloween Recipes

    Creepy Cheese and Crackers

  • Your choice of cracker
  • Orange cheese, preferably already sliced
  • A contrasting layer
    (Tip from Britta: Use white cheese slices)

    1.) For the version with a white background, cut the slices of cheese into cracker-sized squares.
    2.) Cut the orange cheese into jack-o-lantern shapes by hand, or use a miniature cookie cutter.
    3.) Lay the contrasting layer on the cracker, then top with the jack-o-lantern slice.

    Tip from Britta: For 1999, I used a cookie stamp on melted American cheese while it was cooling in a flat cookie sheet. After it cooled thoroughly, I trimmed away the edges and had what you see above with the purple background. For 2006 I finally had time to use my mini Halloween cookie cutters to cut the cheese shapes into white ghosts, orange pumpkins and white skulls.

    Creepy Crispy Crunchies

  • 3 Tbsp margarine
  • 4 cups miniature marshmallows
    (or 10 oz large marshmallows, about 40)
  • 6 cups rice crispy cereal
  • Orange and brown Halloween M&Ms (about 6oz)

    1.) Melt margarine in a large saucepan over low heat.
    2.) Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
    3.) Remove from heat.
    4.) Add cereal and stir until well coated.
    5.) Add the candy and mix until candy is evenly mixed.
    6.) Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray or line with waxed paper. 7.) Using a buttered spatula or waxed paper, press the mixture evenly into a 9x13" pan. Cut into squares when cool.

    More Recipes:

  • Pumpkin Dip
  • Pumpkin Soup Recipes
  • Pumpkin Rice Crisp Treats
  • Pumpkin Pudding
  • Pumpkin Cookies
  • Pumpkin Bars
  • Pumpkin Pie


    Pumpkin Carving Ideas and Tips

    Want to carve a pumpkin for your Halloween party? You’ll need just a few things to get started, but be creative! Make a happy face, a zombie face, or carve something unique to you!

    A few things you’ll need:

  • Pumpkin (Any size will do)
  • Cloth or Newspaper to place the pumpkin seeds and other goo on
  • Colorful markers or pens
  • A carving knife (be sure to let your parents do this part)
  • Metal spoon or wood spoon to scoop out pumpkin gunk
  • Pumpkin Face Patterns (CLICK HERE for some printable pumpkin patterns)

    Swan’s Pumpkin Farm has some carving tips for you and your parents. CLICK HERE to learn how to pick out the best pumpkin and for design ideas! Be sure to let your parents do the carving, but be creative with your design, and have fun!

    Want some more ideas for your pumpkin masterpiece? CLICK HERE to learn how you can make your very own Pumpkin Head, Pumpkin Spider, Pumpkin Totem Pole, and Lollipop Pumpkin.


    Trick or Treating Dos and Don’ts

    When Trick or Treating, the Los Angeles Fire Department has some helpful tips to remember:

  • A Parent or responsible adult should always accompany young children on their neighborhood rounds.

  • Remind Trick-or-Treaters:

    *By using a flashlight, they can see and be seen by others.
    *Stay in a group, walk slowly and communicate where you are going.
    *Only trick-or-treat in well known neighborhoods at homes that have a porch light on.
    *Remain on well-lit streets and always use the sidewalk.
    *If no sidewalk is available, walk at the farthest edge of the roadway facing traffic.
    *Never cut across yards or use alleys.
    *Never enter a stranger's home or car for a treat.
    *Obey all traffic and pedestrian regulations.
    *Always walk. Never run across a street.
    *Only cross the street as a group in established crosswalks (as recognized by local custom).
    *Remove any mask or item that will limit eyesight before crossing a street, driveway or alley.
    *Don't assume the right of way. Motorists may have trouble seeing Trick-or-Treaters. Just because one car stops, doesn't mean others will.
    *Never consume unwrapped food items or open beverages that may be offered.
    *No treats are to be eaten until they are thoroughly checked by an Adult at home.
    *Law Enforcement authorities should be notified immediately of any suspicious or unlawful activity.

    For more safety tips, CLICK HERE!

    Trick or Treating Alternatives

    The Los Angeles Fire Department has some fun alternatives to trick or treating:

  • Find a special event or start one in your own neighborhood.
  • Community Centers, Shopping Malls and Houses of Worship may have organized festivities.
  • Share the fun by arranging a visit to a Retirement Home or Senior Center.
  • Create an alliance with College Fraternities, Sororities or Service Clubs for children's face painting or a carnival.


    Costume Ideas

    Halloween is the one time of year that you can dress up as your favorite superhero, role model, baseball player, or favorite cartoon. This year, try something new and dress up as your favorite comic book character or favorite Disney princess.

    Need some ideas? Here are a few options to tell your parents about:

  • Ariel from The Little Mermaid
  • Belle from Beauty and the Beast
  • Spiderman
  • Batman
  • The Incredible Hawk
  • Snow White
  • A Fairy
  • Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Minnie Mouse
  • Goofy
  • Donald Duck

    Still unsure? Visit the links below for more costume ideas!

  • Halloween Costume Ideas from Family Fun.com
  • Halloween Costumes for Kids Who Use Wheelchairs
  • Halloween Costume Ideas from Kids’ Turn Central

    Online Halloween Games for Kids

  • Fun Collection of Online Halloween Games
  • Halloween Candy Game
  • Halloween Crosswords to Print
  • Halloween Word Searches to Print
  • Halloween Jokes
  • Halloween Coloring Pages to Print

    Sources:

  • http://www.youthonline.ca/halloween
  • http://www.thepumpkinfarm.com/carving_tips.html
  • http://www.jansfreecontent.com/publish/Halloween/Halloween_Party_Games_for_Kids.shtml
  • http://www.lacity.org/lafd/hween.htm
  • http://www.britta.com/Hw/hwr.html


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    Holiday Film Favorites

    We've made a list of Christmas movies (and checked it twice) that are sure to help you get in the swing of the season. From traditional classics to some you may not have forgotten, we've got you covered!

    Babes in Toyland
    A Christmas Story
    A Charlie Brown Christmas
    Frosty the Snowman
    Christmas with the Kranks
    Elf
    Home Alone
    The Holiday
    The Family Man

    Looking for more? CLICK HERE for more holiday film favorites!

    Good ole' Fashion Family Fun

    The holiday season is a time for peace, love, joy and of course, family time! So why not celebrate the Christmas cheer with some good ole' fashion family fun!?

    Here are a few traditions you can start this year with your family:

    - Set up a Christmas Tree (fake or real, small or large, just make it fun for the whole family!)
    - Decorate! Even just a few strands of Christmas lights will do...
    - Go Caroling! Singing Christmas tunes are a sure fire way to get you in the Christmas spirit!
    - Do a random act of kindness. Don't forget what the season is all about! Why not buy a cup of coffee for a stranger? They'll smile. We're sure of it.

    CLICK HERE for a few more ideas to get in the Christmas spirit!