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MBK'S GUIDE TO SAFE HALLOWEEN FUN

 
 

Kids love Halloween! Give your kids some precious Halloween memories that they'll have for life -
while keeping them safe with these tips & treats compiled by Metroplex Baby & Kids

General Safety TipsTrick-or-Treating TipsCraftsRecipesPumpkin Carving 101

General Safety Tips
Anytime a child has an accident, it's tragic. The last thing that you want to happen is for your child to be hurt on a holiday, it would forever live in the minds of the child and the family. There are many ways to keep your child safe at Halloween, when they are more prone to accidents and injuries. The excitement of children and adults at this time of year sometimes makes them forget to be careful. Simple common sense can do a lot to stop any tragedies from happening.
 ● Help your child pick out or make a costume that will be safe. Make it fire proof, the eye holes should be large enough for good peripheral vision.
 ● If you set jack-o-lanterns on your porch with candles in them, make sure that they are far enough out of the way so that kids costumes won't accidentally be set on fire.
 ● Make sure that if your child is carrying a prop, such as a scythe, butcher knife or a pitchfork, that the tips are smooth and flexible enough to not cause injury if fallen on. Kids always want to help with the pumpkin carving. Small children shouldn't be allowed to use a sharp knife to cut the top or the face. There are many kits available that come with tiny saws that work better then knives and are safer, although you can be cut by them as well. It's best to let the kids clean out the pumpkin and draw a face on it, which you can carve for them.
 ● Treating your kids to a spooky Halloween dinner will make them less likely to eat the candy they collect before you have a chance to check it for them.
 ● Teaching your kids basic everyday safety such as not getting into cars or talking to strangers, watching both ways before crossing streets and crossing when the lights tell you to, will help make them safer when they are out Trick or Treating.
  Trick or Treating Tips
Trick or Treating should be one of the great adventures of Halloween for kids. They can get dressed in scary costumes and go door to door, begging "Tricks or Treats!" from neighbors or at the local mall. Lots of towns have a Harvest Festival so kids can Trick-or-Treat safely (see a complete list of area events). But going door to door is the stuff of childhood memories. It should be a fun time, without trouble and pain, so following some easy tips can keep your child safe every Halloween.
 ● Children should go out during daylight hours only unless accompanied by a responsible adult.
 ● Plan a safe route so parents know where their older kids will be at all times. Set a time for their return home. Make sure that your child is old enough and responsible enough to go out by themselves.
 ● Let your children know not to cut through back alleys and fields. Make sure they know to stay in populated places and don't go off the beaten track. Stay in well lighted areas.
 ● Stop only at familiar houses in your own neighborhood unless they are accompanied by an adult.
 ● Small children should never be allowed to go out alone on Halloween. Make sure an older sibling or adult is with them.
 ● Instruct your children not to eat any treats until they bring them home to be examined by you.
 ● Instruct your child to never go into the home of a stranger or get into their car.
 ● Make sure your child carries a flashlight, glow stick or has reflective tape on their costume to make them more visible to cars.
 ● Let them know that they should stay together as a group if going out to Trick or Treat without an adult.
Halloween Crafts
Plastic Spoon WitchPlastic Spoon Witch
This fun plastic spoon witch craft can be as intricate or as simple as you like. Either way, your child will enjoy this Halloween kids' craft.

What you'll need:
-Plastic spoon
-½ sheet of lime green felt
-½ sheet of purple felt
-1 sheet of black felt
-½ sheet tan felt
-Small scrap of white felt
-1 lime green chenille stick
-2 small wiggle eyes
-1 miniature light green pom pom
-10 miniature light purple pom poms
-1 gold chenille stick Scissors
-Hot glue gun
-Pattern

How to make it:

1. Cut a square of lime green felt large enough to fold over and completely cover the top portion of the spoon. Set aside.

2. Place spoon, round side facing down, on top of the green felt. Only the top section of the spoon will be wrapped, not the handle. Place a dot of hot glue onto the back of the spoon to tack it in place. Wrap the felt completely around the spoon top, gluing as you go, tucking and gluing ends of the felt into the back side of the spoon.

3. Cut out two identical dresses from the black felt. Lay one on the work surface and place spoon on top, positioning it so the top of the handle lines up with the neck. Place the other dress directly on top and tack in place at the shoulders and neck area. DO NOT glue.

4. Cut lime green chenille stick into four equal pieces. Fold each piece in half. Insert, open end inward so that loops are sticking out (these are the arms and legs) and glue in place. Now glue the rest of the dress together.

5. Cut a strip of purple felt for the belt, wide enough to cover the waist area. Tack seams in the back. Cut a square from the black felt for the buckle. Cut a smaller square out of the center of the larger square and set the small piece aside to use on the hat. Glue buckle to the front of the belt.

6. To make the hair, cut a four inch by three inch rectangle from purple felt. Use scissors to fringe one of the long sides. Tack to the back of the “head”, lining up the center of the felt hair with the top third of the spoon. Wrap hair around the head and trim where needed. Glue in place. Note: You’ll want to leave about a quarter-inch gap around the forehead area.

7. Cut two identical hats from the black felt. Just as you did with the dress, lay one hat on the work surface, place the head on top and then arrange the second hat on top of the head. Line up hats and glue in place.

8. Cut a skinny strip of purple felt out for the hat band and glue in place as you did with the dress belt. Glue the small black square you cut from the belt buckle to the center of the hat band.

9. Add a necklace by piping some hot glue around the neckline of the dress and place light purple miniature pom-poms in place.

10. Cut a small point nose from the lime green felt and glue just the large end of it to the center of the face so that the it sticks out a bit.

11. Cut out a tiny strip of white felt and cut it into four small squares. Glue on for the mouth.

12. Glue on a miniature green pom-pom near her chin to create a wart. Glue on two wiggle eyes.

13. Cut an eight inch by three inch rectangle from the tan felt. Use scissors to fringe one end, about two inches inward. Roll up the felt to create the broom bristles and glue together as you roll. Insert gold chenille stems into the bottom end of the bristles and glue in place. Tie a thin strip around the base of the broom and trim the ends. Insert the bottom of the broom handle through the loop hand and down to the foot. Tack with glue to the hand and the foot.

Fun Halloween Finger Puppets
Friendly Ghost Flag
Finger puppets have long been a favorite for kids. This year, make some fun and ghoulish creatures to put on your hands. Invite your friends over to make some with you.



What you'll need:
-
Patterns (Pattern 1, Pattern 2)
- Construction paper (black, white, orange, green, purple, yellow)
-Black craft pen or Sharpie marker
-Scissors
-White craft glue
-Hot glue or tape

How to make it:

1. Print off both sets of patterns.

2. Cut out the patterns and trace onto construction paper: white for mummy and ghost, black for cat and vampire, orange for pumpkin and green for witch. If you prefer, place the construction paper on the table, place pattern sheet over the top and use a ball point pen to trace the lines on the printed pattern, creating an indent on the construction paper underneath. Cut out finger puppets.

3. Use a black craft pen to decorate each puppet. Draw wiggly lines across the front of the mummy, draw lines and facial features on the pumpkin, and draw a face on the ghost.

4. Cut pieces of construction paper out to decorate the witch’s hat and dress, as well as the vampire’s purple face and shirt, and the cat’s yellow eyes. Use white craft glue to stick them on.

5. Once you are finished decorating the puppets, wrap the bottom square section around your child’s finger for sizing. Remove from finger and hot glue them back together to form the tube.
  Spooky Eyeball BucketSpooky Eyeball Bucket
This spooky eyeball bucket project is perfect for little ones. For really young children you can help them along by cutting out the eyes ahead of time.

What you'll need:
-Black plastic bucket
-Sandpaper
-Yellow construction paper
-Black marker
-White craft glue
-Black craft paint
-Scissors

How to make it:

1. If there's a design on the bucket, sand it down with sandpaper then scuff up the rest of the bucket (see image).

2. Paint the bucket with black paint. This step is not necessary if the bucket is already black and does not have a design (see image).

3. Draw several sizes and shapes of eyes on yellow construction paper. Cut the eyes out, keeping the two eyes stuck together rather than cutting them out individually (see image).

4. Turn the eye shapes over so that the pencil lines are underneath.

5. Draw eyeballs on with black marker (see image).

6. Glue eyes all over bucket.

Tips:

1. For a more colorful bucket, use yellow, orange and red construction paper eyes.

2. Scuffing up the plastic with sandpaper helps the paint and glue stick to the surface better.

3. Use this as your trick or treat bucket or fill it with popcorn or candy and use as a fun centerpiece.
Friendly Ghost FlagFriendly Ghost Flag
This friendly ghost flag looks great hanging in a tree or near your front door.


What you'll need:
-1 white garbage bag
-Large branch
-Scissors
-Purple and black craft foam
-3 large buttons
-6-8 flat marbles
-White craft glue
-3-4 feet of yarn
-Clear sturdy tape, such as shipping or packaging tape


How to make it:

1. Lay branch on work surface.

2. Place closed end of plastic garbage bag near the branch. Insert branch into the bag, poking through the side, running branch through the bag and out the other side (see image).

3. On the side of the bag that is attached to the branch, use scissors to cut two triangles; these will create the space between the head and arms. (Note: Cut only the two sloping sides of the triangles so that all of the pieces remain attached the bag. See image)

4. Tape the excess bag that you just cut, attach it to the branch.

5. Cut two ovals from black foam for eyes, and a simple mouth as well. Glue to the head portion of the bag (see image).

6. Cut out a simple bow tie from purple foam and glue under smile.

7. Glue 3 buttons down the front of the ghost’s body.

8. Go to the bottom of your ghost, which is the open end of the bag, and cut a triangle type pattern to create a jagged edge (see image).

9. Line up the jagged triangles on top of each other. Glue flat marbles in between a front and back jagged triangle. You do not have to glue them to every one, just put enough in to give your ghost some weight.

110. Tie yarn to one end of the branch. Wrap around several times to secure well. Tie the other end of the yarn to the other end of the branch, thus creating your hanger.

Puffy Candy Corn
Puffy Candy Corn
This puffy candy corn activity is a fun idea that will keep kids intrigued as they create their 3-dimensional work of art.

What you'll need:

-1 sheet black construction paper
-Tissue paper – white, yellow, orange, cut or torn into ½” squares
-White craft glue
-Scissors
-Pencil with eraser
-Pattern

How to make it:
1. Print off the pattern and cut it out.

2. Glue pattern to the center of the black paper (see image).

3. Line the top section of the candy corn pattern with white craft glue.

4. Place a square of white tissue paper on the pencil eraser and twist the paper around the eraser. Now with the tissue paper on the eraser, press it down into the glue. Continue until all top area of candy corn is covered.

5. Repeat this process for orange in the middle section and yellow in the bottom section (see image). Let dry completely.
Halloween Treats
Roasted Pumpkin SeedsRoasted Pumpkin Seeds
These lightly salted, toasted pumpkin seeds bake up golden brown in the oven and are best served warm. They make a healthy snack anytime, perfect for camping and hiking trips. Add your favorite popcorn seasonings for variety.

Ingredients
-pumpkin seeds, clean and dry
-2 tablespoons of cooking oil salt

Cooking Instructions
Place pumpkin seeds in a zipper bag and coat with oil. Spread onto a cookie sheet and salt lightly. Bake at 250 degrees F for 45 minutes. Great trail food!
  Caramel Candy ApplesCaramel Candy Apples
Add the sights and smells of a carnival to your kitchen with these crackling, crunchy caramel candy apples. All you need are six wooden craft sticks for this recipe.


Ingredients

-6 apples
-1 (14 ounce) package individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
-2 tablespoons milk

Cooking Instructions
1. Remove the stem from each apple and press a craft stick into the top. Butter a baking sheet.
2. Place caramels and milk in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave 2 minutes, stirring once. Allow to cool briefly.
3. Roll each apple quickly in caramel sauce until well coated. Place on prepared sheet to set.
Pumpkin Carving 101
A well carved pumpkin will impress your friends, neighbors and best of all, your trick-or-treaters.

Carving a pumpkin into a Jack-O'-Lantern freehand is the traditional way of doing it, is very easy and only takes a few basic tools. A large spoon or ice-cream scoop, a thin bladed knife and some newspaper will get you started.

With a long, thin bladed knife, cut out the top of the pumpkin around the stem of the pumpkin. The hole should be large enough to allow you to scoop out the guts (seeds and stringy membrane) by hand and with a large spoon. Generally, the size of the hole should be about two-thirds the diameter of the pumpkin. While you can cut a round circle out, you'll find that cutting a five or six sided opening will work the best. As you cut out the top hole, angle the knife so that the lid and hole will be somewhat cone shaped. This will help prevent the lid from falling into the hole. Now you can use a large spoon to scrap the inside walls of the pumpkin clean.

Inspect the surface of the pumpkin to decide the best side to carve you face. Now, visualizing the face you want to carve, use your knife to carefully cut out the individual parts of the face or you can pre-marked the pumpkin by using a Crayon to draw the face onto the surface of the pumpkin and cut through the lines you drew. When you are finished cutting, carefully push out the pieces to view the final results.

Make sure that you have scrapped the bottom of the pumpkin flat, so that the candle will sit level in the pumpkin. We prefer the traditional use of candles to illuminate our Jack-O'-Lanterns. A Votive candle, placed in a clear glass candle holder is safer and will actually last longer. Also, plain white candles give off the most light and will illuminate the inside of your Jack-O'-Lantern the best.

Thank you to Halloween-safety.com, Kaboose.com & Pumpkincarving101.com
 
 

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