Now that October’s here, with days getting chillier and afternoons more cozy, it’s a great time for family crafts. Here’s a Halloween decoration you and your child can make together. While this one doesn’t require much pencil and paper time, never fear—it still boosts those skills.
In first grade, we try to use lots of “tactile” activities like this one, which build hand-eye coordination and small motor skills that kids need for handwriting and keyboarding. So, follow the directions below and cut and paste away!
What You Need:
- A plastic tablecover to protect your table surface
- 2 large sheets of white tissue paper
- A roll of fat, fuzzy black nylon yarn (often available at a gift wrap store)
- 1 set of large “wiggly” eyes (find them at a craft or sewing store)
- Plain white glue (like Elmer’s)
- 1 spray bottle of liquid starch (found alongside laundry detergent at the store)
What You Do:
- Start by covering your table with plastic, or work on a flat surface which can get sticky with glue before you wash it off! Then, take one sheet of tissue paper and spread it on a flat surface. It’s usually pretty big—perhaps 20" x 24”—so leave some space.
- Now have your child pull out a long piece of black fuzzy yarn, and use it to make a big, blobby outline shape of a ghost. Arrange the yarn like a big outline and clip it where the ends meet. When your kid has arranged just the right shape, squeeze out a line of glue just under the yarn and stick the yarn to the tissue. If your child wants the ghost to have a mouth, he should take a little extra yarn, lay it down and glue that down, too. Remember, there’s lots of room for creativity here! Your ghost may or may not have arms; the smile may be crooked or straight ... or it may be a big round “O."
- Once you’ve got your outline and mouth all set, take the glue and make another line of it on top of the fuzzy yarn. Now you’re ready to lay the remaining tissue piece on top to make a “sandwich.”
- For ideal results, let the glue dry and harden—at least an hour. Then take out your liquid spray starch, and spray the whole ghost thoroughly. Hang it from a clothesline to dry.
- When your “ghost” is dry and crisp, clip the edges around the fuzzy yarn and glue on the wiggly eyes. Hang your “ghost” in a window and say “Boo”!
Julie Williams, MA Education, has been working in education for more than twenty years. For the last five years, she has worked in classrooms with primary-level students learning to read. She also taught English and History for seventeen years at Aragon High School in San Mateo, California. She is the mother of two young sons.