I have been enthusiastic about celebrating holidays ever since I was a child.
I really enjoyed all the routines and traditions that go along with them. Both of my children take after me in this respect and they both love holidays. They are particularly excited about Halloween, so I thought I would decorate our house for the holiday. I had visions of magazine-worthy holiday showcases in my mind. I wanted to make Martha Stewart proud. Then reality hit when I realized that all of my Halloween decorations could fit in a shoe box with space left over. I bought a few gourds and mini pumpkins for my mantel, but I wanted more.
Since the kids are so enthusiastic about Halloween already, I decided to have them help me make decorations for our house.
This turned out to be a great way to distract them from their obsessions over costumes and candy. The bats and ghosts that I made are quick and easy. They may not look like anything in a designer’s rooms, but they certainly look nice in a real home where children live and play. There are various ways for children of all ages to help craft these decorations. I will tell you what I did, but there are also plenty of ways to vary this simple Halloween craft to your own liking.
I decided to make ghosts and bats, but you could come up with any Halloween or fall themed shape that you want, such as colored leaves or pumpkins. For the ghosts and bats, I bought white and black foam sheets that I found at a craft store. You could also use felt if you prefer. If you don’t feel like buying either of those, you can always use construction paper, although your decorations will be more fragile and less durable.
At first, I tried drawing my own ghost and bat shapes, but they ended up looking like blobs, so I decided to find a template online. If you or your older children are feeling artistic, you can create your own. Simply draw directly onto your material if you want each decoration to be unique, or cut out your design to use as a template for a more uniform look. If you would rather go the easy route, search for a template online or use this one that I found. Print out your template, cut it out, and trace the shapes onto your black and white foam sheets or whichever material you are using. If you have smaller children, you will have to cut out the ghost and bat shapes yourself. If you have older children, go ahead and let them cut out all the shapes. This is a great way to get your children to practice using scissors without them realizing that it is work.
Next, it’s time to add eyes to your creations.
I bought a pack of googly eyes from a craft store and let my children glue them onto the ghosts and bats with basic white school glue. Just be careful if you have small children because the eyes are small enough that young ones could swallow them. If you don’t feel like using googly eyes, you could also find eyeball stickers to use or even paint your own right onto your shapes. At my house, the ghosts and bats started off pretty tame with two eyeballs to each shape, but by the end my kids decided to make cyclops ghosts and bats with three or more eyeballs. Luckily, this still looks cute and fits right in with the Halloween theme.
Next, I used a hole punch to create two holes in each shape.
I made holes in the top of each of the ghost’s hands and in the top of each of the bat’s wings. If you don’t have a hole punch, you can make a hole using the pointy end of a pair of scissors, although the edges won’t be quite so neat. Then all you need to do is tie some string or yarn into the holes. This will allow you to hang them up. I used orange yarn to keep with the Halloween theme, but feel free to use whatever you have on hand. Again, this is a great task for older children.
Finally, hang them up! Be creative about where you place the decorations around your home.
Older children can help hang them up in higher places while younger children should stick to lower spots. Some of my favorite ideas were hanging ghosts and bats from my ceiling fan and draping them over my lampshade. You can also hang them places such as doorknobs, light switches, and picture frames. Just make sure to hang them up high if you have small children who might swallow the eyes. You will have fun making these with your children and your house will look incredibly festive.