Showing posts sorted by relevance for query arts and crafts. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query arts and crafts. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query arts and crafts. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query arts and crafts. Sort by date Show all posts

Recycle Scrabble Games for Language Arts Literacy Centers

How to Recycle Scrabble into a Literacy Center for Sight Words and Language Arts 


Scrabble. Kids love it! Don't be a stickler for the rules. Let your preschoolers play by their own rules or follow these. You'll be amazed at their ability to sound out sight words or guess what the word will be when it's finished. Scroll down to see how we recycled Scrabble games into a literacy center for sight words. Enjoy!

How to Recycle Scrabble into a Literacy Center for Sight Words and Language Arts
How to Recycle Scrabble into a Literacy Center for 
Sight Words and Language Arts.

How to Use Scrabble as a Preschool Literacy Center

Things to do with Scrabble: Recycle, Repurpose, Reuse. We placed all of the letters right side up in the Scrabble box. We built sight words like Foot and made magic by switching the two o's for two e's to get Feet. See if you can think of more words. The kids were giggling as they realized what was about to happen.

Tree. Leaf. Leap. Roof. Reef. Wreath....

Think of patterns to keep your little reader on the right track. Let them guess. Guessing helps them learn new sight words.  For example, I built coal but my son said it was cola. His mind saw all of the letters for cola. Praise them on a great guess and awesome letter recognition. Then, show them how coal can magically become cola!

Then, Jake thought this was the coolest thing he had ever seen.  Don't force it. Don't make them read it if they'd rather build nonsense words on the letter rack. Whatever they choose to do they have tangible letters and they are visualizing them. Letter play reinforces letter recognition, and if it's fun they will keep coming back for more.

Help them spell their names or yours. Let them build words and have you guess what they are- even if they aren't real words. Keep encouraging them to use letters in a fun way. My son began reading at two and half without the "Your Baby Can Read" products.  I never did flash cards or forced it. It just happened with fun ideas.  Never underestimate the power of "WORD WORLD" and "BETWEEN THE LIONS".

You will need more letters to spell "PIZZA". Make your own from cardboard or collect old games at garage sales. Scrabble Letters are great for crafts:  personalize picture frames, Greek paddles, or toy bins.  Let your imagination run wild. SCRABBLE is more than just a game.

Each time your kids do a craft project with the letter, they are learning!  Just be careful, the tiles could pose a choking hazard for little ones.

Oh and a post note:  In kindergarten, Jake read at 12th grade level! Thanks to PBS and fun. Don't expect those results, just appreciate that your child is learning and enjoying it!


Recommended Reading:


100 Write-and-Learn Sight Word Practice Pages: Reproducible Activity Pages*

Homeschool Projects

Preschool Activities

















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*We also use affiliate links, if you make a purchase we get a tiny commission. Kids Creative Chaos participates in the Amazon LLC Associates Program*, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for blogs to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon properties, including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com. We also offer Tapinfluence, Google Adsense, SoFab, and Izea ads here. Thanks so much for helping us keep the lights on! :)


Earth's Water Supply Lesson Plans for Elementary

Elementary Lesson Plan on Earth's Water Supply for World Water Day

Where do we get water? How does it get to our faucet or in our water bottles? This lesson and curriculum on the water supply and water cycle will answer these questions. Scroll down for quizzes, science experiments, companion art projects, and more Earth's Water Supply Lesson Plans for Elementary students. When is World Water Day? When is Earth Day? Keep reading!

This post contains Amazon affiliate links, if you click and make a purchase, I get a small commission. Thanks so much for helping us keep the lights on!


Earth's Water Supply Lesson Plans for Elementary Homeschooling



Earth's Water Supply Lesson Plans for Elementary
Where do you get your water?

World Water Day is March 22. Earth Day is April 22. 
Arbor Day is often also April 22 or the last Friday in April, depending on the state. 

First things first,  watch this short video on clean water. We recommend "Flow" and "Tapped." Here is a very good, free excerpt from Tapped. "The Story of Bottled Water" is also good and free to watch. Netflix has a similar film about the Nestle Corporation Water

the story of bottled water
The Story of Bottled Water.

Now, watch this video on how water is cleaned and used via the sewage treatment plant. This excerpt from, "Big River" teaches how water is filtered for nitrates. 


The Nitrogen Cycle from PBS is an interactive learning chart. Also, print and read this downloadable Nitrogen Cycle brochure from Stem Sims. It has quizzes and articles to help you learn more indepth about the cycle of Nitrogen!

If you want to learn more about big business watch GMO vs. NON-GMO. This is a full length documentary.

We have a Brainpop subscription, if you go in as an individual you can pay monthly, but you have to commit to a full year. You can also get a Brainpop Jr. subscription for children in K-3. No affiliate here, we just love Brainpop.

video on the water cycle
There are free lesson plans and activities on Brainpop.

If you subscribe to Brainpop, you can watch a video on the Water Cycle and this video on Water Supply. Brainpop has a daily free video, so click over either way and learn something new. While you are there, read the info about the Water Cycle in the left sidebar. For younger kids (K-3), watch this version of the water cycle.

Lesson Plans for Earth's Water Supply


Water Cycle infographic
The Water Cycle infographic.
Review the Water Cycle infographic above. Grab some paper and markers and draw your own version of the Water Cycle. When completed, share it with classmates or family and hang it for display. To show what you have learned, draw a Water Supply infographic without the help of a cheat sheet! :)

After all you've learned, visit this water supply quiz from the EPA or this (Brainpop) quiz on the water supply. If you have a Brainpop subscription, also do the activities and fyi for water supply.

Free Water Cycle Worksheet Printable PDF.

Learn about the Scientific Method (from Brainpop) so you can start an experiment about Science Projects.


Water Science Experiments:




Just for Fun:

Need a break from all of this school work? 

Play a free online game about Water or do a Water Word Scramble



Arts and Crafts Component:



Recycle Water Bottles into flowers
Water bottle recycling craft.



Recommended Reading:



The Water Cycle: Evaporation, Condensation & Erosion (Earth's Processes)

The Magic School Bus on the Ocean Floor

The Magic School Bus Wet All Over: A Book About The Water Cycle



Homeschool Nature Study Ornithology

Homeschool Nature Study: The Science of Ornithology

My kids have been taking a Homeschool Ornithology Class. They love it! The instructors have great ideas for a Nature Study on Birds. So, in today's Free Online Homeschool Lesson, I wanted to share some of the fabulous things they've done to learn about birds! Make sure you click on all the links for fun, educational videos, games, and free printables.

If you are in Indiana, discover the world of birds at the Eagle Creek Ornithology Center. Meet a Raptor every Wednesday and Friday at 4:00 p.m., and enjoy special bird programs Saturdays at 2:00 p.m.

These lessons are meant to be done over the course of week. If you choose to do a science block, you can complete the projects in one day.

Homeschool Nature Study Ornithology
Can you name this juvenile bird?

Homeschool Nature Study: Ornithology

Define Ornithology: The study of birds, including their behavior, natural history, physiology, ecology, and identification. Can you answer these bird vocabulary questions.

Grab your Journal. Run to a window or go outside on a hike. List 10 birds in your yard or neighborhood. Describe the birds. This free printable is perfect for your bird journal.

For example: 
Small, Red bird with orange beak. Tufted head. 
Seen year round = Cardinal.

If you don't know what type of bird it is, make sure you have a detailed description for your search. If you have access to a camera, snap a photo. If not, draw a simple sketch. It doesn't have to be a work of art. Just good enough to help you remember details about the birds camouflage, beak, size, habit, etc.

Do you know what makes a bird a bird? Is a Platypus a bird? Is a bee a bird? Is an airplane a bird? Is a penguin a bird? Think about why or why not? Then, watch this video.





The Cat in the Hat also knows a lot about that.
Learn to draw: Trace a Bird Printable
(Recommended for ages 2-5 yrs. or everyone who is young at heart.)

Learn about different types of birds. When you click the link, you will see a series of bird videos that include:

Puffins, Eagles, Falcons, Snowy Owls, Snowy Egrets, Condors, Emperor Penguins, and more.

After watching the videos on all of the birds, list the raptors in your journal. What is a raptor? Visit Wordsmyth to find out.

Classify your birds with these Printable Flashcards.

Language Arts Component

Compare and Contrast. Write a paper with 5 paragraphs.
Remember to include a introductory paragraph (tell me what you are going to tell me), 3 detailed paragraphs in the middle (tell me), and a summary paragraph (tell me again).

Topic: Why isn't a Platypus a bird? Why is a Penguin a bird?

In the three middle paragraphs, give supporting details on each animal. You can write more than 3 supporting paragraphs if you need to, but don't forget your summary. Write this in a Google Doc. My kids send these docs to me. If you feel so inclined, I'd love to read yours. I may even publish them in an upcoming post! Send them to lora@theplayconnection.com. I'll send some feedback on your work.


Arts and Crafts Component

Build a Popsicle Stick Bird Feeder. This is a fun construction project. Use wood glue. School glue may break down when used outdoors.

How to make a Popsicle stick bird feeder.
Popsicle stick bird feeder.

How to Make a Bird Feeder from Popsicle Sticks

First, lay the ten sticks flat, placing glue on the connecting sides.
Then, stack the sticks in a perfect square in layers with glue on the connecting ends. Eight makes the perfect height. Next, cut four pieces of yarn about 2' long. String a piece of yarn under the second stick at each corner as shown. Pull all pieces of yarn evenly and tie a knot in the top. Let dry for 24 hours. After your feeder is dry, paste in some peanut butter and sprinkle in bird seed.

You might also like:

How to Make Origami Birds


Science Lab Component

Try this Fun Science Experiment: How does a bird eat? How does the beak's shape factor in to the equation? Try this fun science experiment.

Graphic Organizer for Science Experiment

You will need the following utensils and supplies:
Eye dropper
Salad Thongs
Nutcracker
Large Serving Spoon
Tweezers

Bag Popcorn (Bugs)
Glass of Water (Nectar)
Raisins and Small Log with holes (Bugs in a Log) You can substitute a cardboard tube for this if necessary.

Click on the link above for the printable companion worksheet.

Start with a Bag of popcorn. Experiment with each utensil. Your goal is to get the popcorn into your mouth or the mouth of your partner using each utensil. Which works best. What type of bird might eat something like popcorn? What does each utensil represent? In other words, imagine a bird with a similar beak. Next, have your science partner toss you some popcorn and try to catch it with each utensil.

Place the raisins in the cardboard tube or log. Use the utensils to remove the raisins. Which works best? Remember, you are a bird. You cannot use your hands. Make a note of your findings on the graphic organizer.

Finally, try to "drink" water from the glass with each of the utensils. Which one allows you easiest access to the drink? Which one takes the longest? Would you get frustrated if you were really thirsty and had to drink water with a nutcracker?

Label the parts of a bird.


Just for Fun

Flight School Game

Birds of a feather flock together? What does this mean? Where does the phrase originate? _____________________________


Recommended Reading:


United States Capitals Lesson

Leonardo da Vinci Design Wooden Ornithopter Model Kit*




Jake's Art - Homeschool Weaving Lesson - Make your own Loom - DIY Arts and Crafts

How to make a loom for weaving scrap fiber: A Homeschool Art Lesson

Jake's Journey in Art goes under the sea in this DIY weaving Homeschool Art Lesson we learned to Renew. Enjoy!


How to weave for elementary make your own loom
Our loom has both warp and weft framework to better illustrate 
the concept to young children.

To weave a textile, threads (or scrap fabric) are woven on a frame called a loom. The first vertical threads on the loom are called warp threads. Threads that are woven horizontally in and out of the warp threads are called weft threads.



Cut notches in the cardboard frame to keep yarn in place.

Recycle a piece of cardboard from a cereal box or a foam tray to make your loom. You might also like Native American Paper Bag Dress

Cut small notches into the top and bottom of your cardboard(ours are about 1/2", but 1" works well). Make them about 1/2" inch apart. Alex Toys has a great PDF on weaving here.




Spongebob Fabric for Toddler bed tent.

Warp your loom with yarn or string by taking the thread and taping one end to the back middle of your board.  Now, starting with your first notch on the left, begin wrapping through each top and bottom notch without skipping a notch until you get to the right side of the board.  Only the warp frame is required.

Now your are ready to weave your weft. Cut or tear scraps of fabric into strips. Your strips of fabric should be about 1" thick and at least 12"  long. You will need about 20 strips. 




The cat enjoyed the tearing of fabric strips so much 
he needed a nap after playing with them.

For extra ease for smaller children, we added a weft frame as well. Now the scraps of fabric can be pulled through the little squares for guidance. Pull your scrap fabric under the first warp, over the next, and so on. The yarn guide will help younger children see any mistakes made.

When you have completed your weaving tie off all scraps in groups of two at the edges of your cardboard loom, then you can cut your your thread/yarn framework.




How to make a loom - Elementary Weaving Lesson Scrap Fibers Make your own
Spongebob has his eye on you.

This is an easy way to get littles started in weaving. It is also helpful to cut a piece of cardboard about 1" by 3" with a notch in the end. Attach your scrap fabric by inserting it in the notch and use as a tool to weave the fabric through the loom, this is called a shuttle.




Alex Toys Native American Bead Loom Kit for weaving bracelets.

Once you advance your skills, you can weave many beautiful projects. Alex Toys has a Native American Loom for weaving bracelets.  It is a professional quality loom that makes incredibly authentic bracelets.  We are working on our patterns and will share them soon.



Kid's room cartoon character theme (that way we don't have to worry about matching or new fads).Check out the automobile sun visor we used as a headboard. 
It is simply nailed to the wall.

Jake loved the idea of using his toddler tent cover as scrap fabric for this project. We renewed an item that was dear to his heart. It had been ripped from rowdy play and was no good as a tent, but we saved it anyway in hopes to repair it or transform it into a pillow or some other creative endeavor. The SpongeBob fabric was the perfect accent for his room. 



Yep, we need a hanging stick, but the kids love it.  
Use favorite t-shirts, pillow cases, or doll clothes for your scrap fiber.

To display your beautiful work of art weave a "weft" stick horizontally through the top row and hang on a wall.  Jake loved his creation and couldn't wait for the stick. He wanted to see how it looked right away, so we hung it by a nail. A little droopy, yes, but he loves it.

Did he love the process?  Not so much.  Much patience is a necessary requirement of weaving. So, Mommy made the loom, got it started and Jake weaved the inner pieces to gain an understanding of the process.  Mommy tied and cut it off making sure Jake watched and understood. This is somewhat time consuming, but the end results are worth it.


Mayhem saw the weaving on his wall and wanted it for her room. Score! This project journey ended on a very happy note.   



Recommended Reading:


Learning How to Weave*

Party Time: SpongeBob SquarePants*






ADS DISCLOSURE: We've partnered with some wonderful advertisers who may sponsor blog posts or send us samples to test. Some companies pay us to review their products.

*We also use affiliate links, if you make a purchase we get a tiny commission. Kids Creative Chaos participates in the Amazon LLC Associates Program*, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a mean for blogs to earn advertising fees by linking to Amazon properties, including, but not limited to, amazon.com, endless.com, myhabit.com, smallparts.com, or amazonwireless.com. We also offer Tapinfluence, Google Adsense, SoFab, and Izea ads here. Thanks so much for helping us keep the lights on! :)


Active Learning in Early Childhood Education

What is Active Learning?
If you're an early childhood education director, teacher, or a homeschooler of a preschooler, you will benefit ChildCare Education Institute's CCEI122: Active Learning in Early Childhood course. This course is a great way to get continuing ed course credit for any ECE program, but it is also a wonderful tool for parents of toddlers and preschoolers to educate themselves for homeschool learning. So, what is the definition of active learning in early childhood education?



This post contains Amazon Affiliate links, if you make a purchase,I get a small commission.


Active Learning in Early Childhood Education Classes

Wikipedia describes active learning as:
Active learning is a form of learning in which teaching strives to involve students in the learning process more directly than in other methods. Bonwell states that in active learning, "students participate in the process and students participate when they are doing something besides passively listening."

Sensory Play = Active Learning
As a childcare professional, I am well versed in sensory play and its connection to cognitive learning. Here on the blog, you'll find many sensory play activities and other movement games for early childhood educators. However, I wasn't aware of much of the proven science behind these preschool activities until I took CCEI's online professional development course CCEI122: Active Learning in Early Childhood.





Active Learning in Preschool Early Childhood Education

This course presents practical methods for integrating movement and active involvement across all curriculum areas, including art, language arts, mathematics, music, science, and social studies.
The course only takes about an hour of your time. Be sure to print out the handouts or save them as pdfs so that you'll have access to note taking and a record of some of the valuable ideas and knowledge base taught in the class. At course completion, you’re issued a certificate showing that you've successfully completed the 1 hr. course. Here's mine:

ECE Certificate online


Through the years, I've taken many continuing education courses. The courses offered by ChildCare Education Institute are by far the most convenient. The courses are also very informative. They not only include valuable information and recent studies in the childcare industry, but they also include sample activities that you can try with your own students.

ChildCare Education Institute® provides high-quality, online training courses and programs, applicable to those who work in an array of child care settings, including center-based care, Head Start, family child care, prekindergarten classrooms, after school environments and more. Over 150 English and Spanish training courses are available to meet licensing, recognition program, and Head Start Requirements. CCEI also has online certification programs that provide the coursework requirement for national credentials including the CDA, Director and Early Childhood Credentials. CCEI, a Council for Professional Recognition CDA Gold Standard Comprehensive training provider, is nationally accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC) and is accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).


● 99 percent of students say they would recommend CCEI to others
● Over 4.4 million online course hours completed  
● Graduated over 12,000 early childhood professionals from CDA and other certificate programs
● Web-based coursework, available 24/7/365
● 30 hours of new content added each year
● IACET CEUs awarded for completed coursework at no additional cost
During the CCEI122: Active Learning in Early Childhood course, I had many aha moments. There were so many things that I've done in my early childhood programs where I missed valuable opportunities to incorporate movement and music in daily lesson plans for language arts, science, social studies, math, and art. The course lists out many different ideas and further explains how these activities aid in cognitive development and increase brain synapses.

ECE Certificate online

After taking the course, you’ll want to add more movement activities to your daily active learning activities. Here's a list of our most popular posts on early childhood games and sensory play ideas for preschoolers.
Circle Time Games for Active Learning in Early Childhood
Physical Activity Movement Games for Early Childhood
Marshmallow Movement Game
Sensory Tactile Alphabet Activity
Group Cooperation Games for Preschool and Early Childhood
If you're in need of continuing education for your career in early childhood, start here with our review of ChildCare Education Institute. CCEI offers many amazing continuing education courses for professional development in early childhood education. The extensive course list is sure to please even the most hard to please daycare providers and program directors. I encourage everyone involved with childcare and early childhood education to sign up for a course or two. It’s such a convenient way to expand your knowledge in early childhood education. Be sure to check it out!
Recommended:



Active Learning Tools







Fall Funtastic! Fun October things to do for Halloween in Indianapolis Indiana

Fun Fall things to do in October for Halloween in Central Indiana

At last... In the Fall of 2009, my kids suffered with the launch of my "Fun Kids" business. For them it was more like torture. This year, we were determined to find and do all of the fun things in October for the Halloween season.


Fun Fall things to do for Halloween in Indiana:  hayride at Beasley's Orchard.
Mayhem on a preschool hayride at Beasley's Orchard.

We only visited "Waterman's Farm Market" in Greenwood, Indiana to watch the pumpkin eating dinosaur, race big trikes around a track, pet a few goats, get swallowed up inside a stack-of-hay maze, and follow the trail in a field of corn on a very cold day during Fall-Break.  Oh what fun!  Waterman's is great, don't get me wrong; the kids love it.





This year, determined to make it up to them, I scheduled fall-fun into every spare minute.It started with a trip to "Trader's Point Creamery" during Oktoberfest; although the event seemed well received by others my kids gave it six thumbs down. It was crowded, hot, and we walked a lot.


However, it is a lovely fund-raising event for adults. Vendors sell their wares in a cozy farmer's market.  The farmer's offer crafts, fruits, jellies, jams, and warm, seasonal specialties.  If you come hungry eat here first.  The restaurant is closed while they serve gourmet burgers and organic items in the barn.  While these items were healthy and delicious my hungry kiddos didn't find anything appetizing (hot dogs ran out early) and my significant other spent around $40 on himself alone walking away in need of "real food".  Luckily, the dairy had cheeses and organic milk.

The kids did not enjoy the hayride thru the farm's hilly landscape to see the non-existent cows. The cows had come home for milking.  Nor did they dance a jig to the happy, live Polka Band.

Calves cried at the door to see their Mamas who were standing on the other side in line for the milking machines. The real pitchfork my son used to grab the hay was a big hit as was the tour of Milking time.

Not a big hit $13-40 pumpkins that were grown elsewhere. These were our first pumpkins of the season so the kids were overjoyed at the sight, but I bribed them with mega pumpkins two for $6 at Meijer. While they were kicking and screaming on the way out, I did notice a farm vendor selling little pumpkins for $1 each. C'est la vie.



educational corn maze at Jacob's Orchard in New Castle, Indiana.
Awesome, educational corn maze at Jacob's Orchard in New Castle, Indiana.

Needless to say, I had some fall-fun making up to do! On the next outing, I took them to a tiny apple orchard in my hometown, New Castle, Indiana. Previously known as Anderson's, the new owners renamed it "Jacob's Orchard" which made for a nice photo op for my son (and the 90 million others) named Jacob.

Unfortunately, Jacob had no desire to attend the event. He complained profusely until he spotted the inflatable tunnel. Success! Goat's, fortune-telling corn-maze, cider doughnuts made while-you-wait, apple slushies in apple-shaped bottles, and if you feel like it, You-Pick apples, sealed the deal. The price is right too.

Jacob's Orchard in New Castle, Indiana: Cider Doughnuts!
He got hurt the first time but went back for more.
Jacob's Orchard Giant Apple
The angry faces say, "Let me go play".
Hay tower at Jacob's Orchard in New Castle, Indiana.

On a "No Pre-school Friday", Mayhem and I visited "The Old Farm Market" in Avon to purchase old-fashioned pumpkins and giant gourds. Bummer, the have gone out of business!


Mayhem with Fall Pumpkins and Gourds for Halloween.
Mayhem with Fall Pumpkins and Gourds for Halloween.
Pirate Statute
Mayhem with a Pirate, Arrgh!
Fall Break called for a trip to our local Zoo Boo and the world famous "Indianapolis Children's Museum" for trick-or-treating, pumpkin bowling, and a scare-free haunted house entitled, "Skeletown". My little one tired out after the first treat-post preferring to be carried and then tip-toed timidly thru the haunted house expecting a fright at every corner. It hadn't occurred to me that, at four, this was the first haunted house she would remember.


Skeletown
Vampires, Indians, Scouts, and Racecar Drivers oh my!
Class field trips took us to  "Country Pumpkins" in Zionsville and "Beasley's Orchard" in Danville for hayrides to pumpkin patches topped off with a free mini-pumpkin. You might want to start logging a pumpkin tally about now.

preschoolers and pumpkins
Preschoolers and pumpkins.


Finally, Halloween weekend arrived.  The kids enjoyed our trip to "Westside Retirement Village" for a safe treating experience. The residents were sitting in the lobbies handing out candy and we were pleasantly surprised by a haunted garden on the way to more candy-giving seniors, six thumbs up here.  


My teenager appreciated the duality of the elderly enjoying the children. Such a cute idea transforming a pathway into a spider garden- a giant spider waved happily at the end of the trail to lull visitors into a sense of well-being just before a friendly, smiling ghost popped out to say, "boo".  Unfortunately, the happy boo had my littlest jumping out of her skin.

Now, we aren't known to be a greedy family but while we were waiting for Daddy to complete his projects at work we needed to pass the time, so, we stopped off at "Church of the Master American Baptist" for trunk-or-treat before meeting up for "Ghoulish Garfield" . Forget about icing, Indy Park's Garfield Park, put the cherry on top of the cupcake. Picture perfect.   


The haunted conservatory is scary. My teenager let go of her six-year-old brother's hand  to grab her Daddy's! Daddy carried the shaking little one with one arm and held Sam with the other arm while I led the way with Jake. Seconds after telling a witch he wasn't scared at all some 'air' caused Jake to stick to the floor. The same 'air' that had Sam unglued (go figure, it was literally just air from a blower of some sort). Kudos to the spookmaster.  

The exit led directly to the hayride. "I'm never coming to this park again," exclaimed Jake!  "I know, I got worried when it said, 'not suitable for small children'," winced Sam. No one wanted to take a hayride but the clown taking our tickets (literally) assured us it was only a means of transport so off we went. Unfortunately, we were short on time. The ride leads to the Arts Center to decorate pumpkins and then to the Burello Family Center for refreshments and such. Time was running out so we opted to stay on the wagon.  Neither of us felt the need to walk back to our car toting frightened children through a dark park. An amazing ride thru the park with the full-moon and stars above made for the perfect ending to a fall-fun evening.

I question my sanity, as I remember my first haunted house at the age of six. My uncle was playing Frankenstein. It must have been a scare-free time for everything was well-lit. The coffin and vampire are burned into my psyche forever. Dracula chased us into the next room as my aunt shooed him away with her purse. I recognized my uncle right away - he's well over six feet tall - still I worried about Dracula.

Could Frankenstein stop him from sucking our blood? Could he pry the casket open if the venomous vampire tossed me inside? I have no idea what treasures the other rooms held.  While the smell of alcohol wreaked from the vampire's fangs the smell of fear drenched my aunt's persona. I could not be consoled by their trifling claims otherwise. Isn't it odd that Halloween is my favorite holiday?  

Thanks to that fateful day, I've never met a Creep I've liked since.  To be sure, we're going to have three kids who have an irrational fear of air.


Trick or Treating in Avon's Washington Township Park.
Trick or Treating in Avon's Washington Township Park.
Trick or Treat.

Then, I took the kids to "Washington Park" in Avon for the non-scary, trick-or-treat trail. It's a nice hike thru the woods. Candy stations are sprinkled along the trails, cute, carnival-style games abound, and the kids enjoy a costume contest and $1 pumpkins all before dark.  This one is perfect for even the littlest tykes unless they discover an urgent need to potty. (Don't worry Jessica, we made it back to the public restroom, but I overheard one little boy who had to go behind a tree.)


Super Easy Halloween Costumes
Super easy Halloween Costumes: The kids were done with puppies, ladybugs, clones, hulks and pumpkins. So we went with comfortable costumes; that's a ghost puppy and a skeleton kid.
Halloween Party Activities
Halloween Party Activities: Bobbing for Rubber Duckies!

Tomorrow I present, "The Princess and Wanda Witch" at Garfield Park Arts Center, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

Wanda Witch, lead actress in our skit.
Join us but don't dawdle; I have to hurry home to take my kids trick-or-treating, hand out candy, and visit the festivities at "Spirit of Life Church" in Clermont. 

It's hard work making up for lost time. Mayhem has had several different costumes to celebrate the season.


Recommended Reading:

Five Little Pumpkins (A fun Halloween book for children)

A Ghost Went Trick or Treating