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Halloween Spookies

Last year our decorations were the simple construction paper cut-outs of early childhood. I love making Foot Print Ghosties with kids – so easy and fun.

This year I didn’t really plan on doing more than that, but we made hard apple cider recently. The recycling bin was really full, so the empty plastic jugs were just sitting on the counter. I kept looking at them. They were staring back at me. What to do? Surely there is something interesting to do with 10 plastic gallon and half-gallon jugs? Something fun…

I got on to Pinterest. I ran a search for kids crafts and milk bottles. Naturally, a metric ton of ideas came up. Ultimately I settled on this skeleton – partly because it was so cool and partly because it used a lot of jugs.

When it came to the actual making of the skeleton, there wasn’t a lot of hands-on that a six- and two-year old could do. The cutting and hole punching was too much for their size of hands. But they had a blast “identifying bones” and chasing each other with unattached limbs, and so on.

We named him Apple Jack in honor of his origins.

We didn’t have any glow-in-the-dark pens, so we left Apple Jack plain and I strung some Christmas lights through his torso. Hanging there in the cobwebs he looked really good. But we realized he could look better. We could go Pirate.

Bandana, sword, flag… Perfectly spooky for little kids.

Apply regular white glue in a ghost shape to parchment paper. You can add black paper eyes and mouth while the glue is wet, or draw the face on with a sharpie later. Let the dry for a couple of days. The glue breaks easily, so before you peel them off the parchment, cover each one with packing tape and press it down firmly.Also, we made glue-ghosts.

Drying with paper eyes and mouth in place.

Ghost with tape and blue line.

Cut around the ghost shape – we traced the shapes onto the paper with sharpie and the glue picked up the color so when I cut I also removed the blue outline.

All cut out and ready to hang.

Using white thread or fishing line and a sharp needle, carefully punch a small hole and thread through the top to hang them up. The dried glue is patchy and almost transparent and wonderfully ghostly.

Finished and hung to spook us out.

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The Happiest Mom is encouraging teenagers to trick-or-treat at her house. I completely agree with her. Kids grow up so darn fast anymore; surely we can spare the ones who cling to the magic of dress up (or even just the magic of free candy) a fun-size candy bar or two? And, though I don’t have teenagers yet, I am pretty sure I would rather have my kids out trick-or-treating at 15 or 16 than doing all manner of other things… Don’t sneer at kids for having fun, but tease them gently if they aren’t dressed up.

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