Monday, October 30, 2017

Halloween fun.

Now that I have kids, Halloween might be my new favorite holiday.

Everett wants to be everything for Halloween. I've tried explaining that he has to choose one costume, and his response is, "Mom, I want to be all the things, because all the things are my favorite."

He'll look around and whatever he sees in the moment is what he wants to dress up as for Halloween. “Mom, I want to be a bench. No, a tree. No, a butterfly. No, a flower. No, a napkin. No, a dog."

This is an occurrence that happens multiple times a day, even though he already has his costume.

“Mom, I know, I can be an dinosaur astronaut penguin!”

I do get it though. I also want him to be able to be everything. Choosing only one thing per year to dress up as seems like a missed opportunity for a three year old's imagination, so we may be stocking up on some extra costumes to build our dress up wardrobe. Why would you want to dress like a young boy, when you could be a dinosaur or a dragon or a penguin or a pirate or a princess?

In addition to dressing up, we are having fun incorporating Halloween into our “school” lessons. I am not a crafter, but I am a teacher, and my current favorite part of parenthood has been planning and doing “school” with Everett. You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but I am a teacher at heart, and I am surprised by how much I am enjoying being a "preschool teacher." Like when I was a high school teacher, I take pictures of our school adventures so we can have an end of the school year slide show. I just can't help it. 

In case anyone is looking for fun activities to do with extra Halloween candy or pumpkins, I've included the activities we have done below. 
Growing pumpkins and creating a spider web geoboard:
We attempted to grow pumpkins in our garden this year, which only yielded two small pumpkins, one of which has already rotted. That gave us one to do something fun with. I found an idea to turn a pumpkin into a geoboard, and thought it would be fun to create a spider web and spider. First, we read The Very Busy Spider and talked about what a spider looks like, what a web is for, and how we might make a web. Everett put most of the push pins in and hammered them just for fun, but he needed some help with the rubber bands. He designed what he wanted the spider to look like and named her Charlotte, after Charlotte's Web, which we are slowly making our way through. We finished by reading a couple chapters from Charlotte's Web.

Counting pumpkins and making structures:
First, we read Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer, two of our favorite books, and I told Everett that today he would be an architect and an engineer, and we talked about what that means. Then, Everett placed the pumpkin candies next to each number to practice counting.  Finally, we attempted to make structures using toothpicks and candy. It was challenging, so I referred back to Rosie Revere, and how she didn't succeed on her first try. I asked Everett what else we could use to make the pumpkins stick together, and he had the idea of making a pumpkin play dough toothpick structure. We finished our lesson by reading our Halloween books.
Pumpkin candy science experiment:
In an effort to use up our pumpkin candies, I found a science experiment about dissolving them. To start, we read Ada Twist Scientist, talked about what it means to be a scientist, and I told Everett that he was going to be a scientist today. Everett helped measure and pour the liquids, and made guesses and observations. We finished our lesson by reading our Halloween books.
Pumpkin crayon melting:
Grandma gave us two little orange pumpkins, so I was looking for something to do with them, when I came across the idea of melting crayons on a pumpkin. First, we read some crayon books (The Day the Crayons Quit, The Day the Crayons Came Home, and for Cambria, The Crayons' Book of Colors and The Crayons' Book of Numbers.) Then, we dumped out our jar of crayons to collect the broken pieces, and Everett used a screwdriver to smash them. He got to choose what pieces and colors he wanted to use and what order he wanted them in, and he helped me hot glue them on. Then, he used a blowdryer to melt them, and I helped him when he needed it. It was fun. We finished our lesson by reading our Halloween books.

Pumpkin catapult:
In an attempt to still try to use up those pumpkin candies, I decided it would be fun to make a catapult, try to launch the candies as far as we could, and then measure the distance. We reread Rosie Revere Engineer, which we had read earlier in the week, and talked about how we were going to try to make something that could make pumpkins fly. My original idea was to make a catapult out of popsicle sticks, and I found an example to follow, but Target was out of popsicle sticks, so I thought we could attempt to make one with sticks. Everett couldn't help make the catapult at all, but luckily, he is very good at collecting sticks, so that was his job while I attempted to put them together. It worked well enough. After launching pumpkins and measuring the distance, Everett launched them and I tried to catch them. Then, we tried to launch them at each other, which was funny. Finally, we discussed what else we could try to make fly, and decided to make a pterodactyl fly in the backyard. We finished our lesson by reading our Halloween books.
Happy Halloween!

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