There is a long list of reasons why sensory play is so important for young children. It helps with social skills, physical skills, communication skills, self-regulation and more. But the best thing about sensory play is that it's pure fun.
This simple activity is a great sensory play idea that can keep little ones busy for hours, indoors or outdoors. Fill a bin or small kiddie pool with regular birdseed, and watch the seeds of imagination sprout as your little birdies play. Kids love the feeling and the sounds of playing with their sensory bin, specially designed for fall.
Making homemade play dough is a favorite project for toddlers and preschoolers. They love the mixing, the texture and, of course, all the play; and it's an easy project to do with items right from your pantry. But you can make this project even more scent-sational by adding in some pumpkin pie seasonings, to give your dough an extra sensory kick that little ones will love.
With the holidays coming up, this spice play dough would be fun for entertaining little ones while parents are busy cooking, too.
Halloween is over, but the candy remains for days after. And the remains of the remains means lots of candy wrappers. Use this candy wrapper frame as an excuse to eat a few more pieces of candy while creating a fun memento. What could be sweeter than a picture of your cute little ghost, goblin, Elsa or Olaf in a candy frame?
Decoupage is a simple crafting method that uses glue and pieces of paper to create unique projects. If you can cut and glue, then you can decoupage. Even little ones can have fun making this fun candy wrapper picture frame.
This magical mixture of Halloween and bowling is the perfect recipe for a great party game! The spooky take on a classic can be played indoors or outdoors and is a spooktacular activity for children of all ages. After making the pins, let your little ghouls and goblins have a go at them by rolling a pumpkin down the lane.
I didn't grow up in Los Angeles; and although I have Latin American family, we are not of the Mexican or Guatemalan variety - meaning I arrived in SoCal knowing next to nothing about Day of the Dead. I've gradually pieced together the whole fascinating cultural and historical puzzle, discovering how many Halloween traditions we actually owe to the Native Americans who were in the city of angels before us, before the Spanish, before Christianity. El Día de los Muertos is a rare opportunity to understand several layers of angeleno culture, while celebrating something that looks a heck of a lot like Halloween.
While LA offers many Day of the Dead celebrations, the most authentic may be the novenarios, the nine nights of revelry leading up to November 2. Many Spanish-speaking countries have novenarios leading up to Christmas, but there is a similar build-up to the Day of the Dead, and here in LA it is most celebrated, not surprisingly, on Olvera Street. I've been curious to check out this traditional celebration for years, but between ghost trains and haunted houses our last week of October has always been booked solid. Not to mention that whole parking downtown thing. This year I finally decided to take the sugar skull by the horns and go see what it's all about. Curious?
This Halloween decorating project is a perfect mix of art and science. Mix the light and airy texture of cheesecloth with the stiffening property of starch, and the results are a real scream! These supernatural spirits can stand on their own, or be hung from the ceiling to create a really eerie effect.
As we prepare for Halloween with our kids this week—buying high-tech costumes that sometimes seem like they came from a studio wardrobe department, or getting crafty in the new age of Pinterest perfection—it's made us think back to our own childhood get-ups. For a bit of fun, we asked our writers to share pics from Halloweens way past, and we've created a gallery of low-tech costumes that we wore when we were kids. (Our trip down memory lane involved a lot of old Polaroid scanning.)
I had forgotten how often we used to dress as hobos, Raggedy Ann, and Native Americans in the '70s. Remember those funky Ben Cooper, Inc. boxed costumes we used to pick up at the drug store? I still recall the sensation of poking my tongue through that scratchy mouth hole in the mask all night long; I knew it was a bad idea, but I couldn't seem to stop myself. And trying to get through the night without ripping the accompanying thin plastic sheet printed with our favorite pop-culture icon— ever wonder why the face of the character had to be printed on the chest of the costume, too? Why? Why!
Call it the November 1st dilemma: Halloween was great, your kids looked adorable in their costumes and went to all that trouble to trick-or-treat, but now you're stuck with 10 pounds of candy. Your instincts tell you to get the stuff out of the house as quickly as possible, since keeping more than a few pieces on hand isn't ideal from a health standpoint, not to mention your future dental bills. Also, if you're anything like me, it's hard to resist the siren call of the Mini Twix. I'm here to tell you that you can actually do some good with all of that candy, right here in Fairfield County! So don't just toss it out, instead you should check out these great ideas for what to do with all those sweets.
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