Halloween

Here are some fun activities to spice up your homeschool at Halloween.

Origami Bats

Making origami bats is really easy.  Start with a piece of square, black paper.

1. Fold the square of black paper in half on the diagonal and make a nice, crisp crease.

Origami-Bats-(9)

2. Fold down the top 2 inches of the triangle.

Origami-Bats-(7)

3. Now use chalk to draw some guide lines.  First you’ll draw the inside lines as shown below, and then add a second parallel line right by it.  You’ll fold each side flap in along the inside lines you see here, and then back out along the outer lines. This makes the wings.

Origami-Bats-(4)
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4. Make ears by cutting a notch out in between the wings.  (Technically, traditional origami doesn’t use cutting.  We like to cut the little ears, but they are still cute even if you just stick to traditional paper-folding methods.)

Origami-Bats-(22)

5. Flip your bats over so the crease is on the back side.  Add wiggly eyes.  You can also add other chalk features if you want to.  This year we stuck with wiggly eyes and white chalk, but sometimes we make these with green, red, purple, or yellow spooky eyes!

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Voila! Cute little bats!

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Fabulous Facts About Bats

  • Bats account for around a quarter of all mammal species.
  • Bats nurse their babies (one of the qualifications of mammals).
  • The bumblebee bat, which lives in Thailand, is the world’s smallest mammal.  It weighs less than a penny.
  • Some flying fox bats have wingspans of up to 6 feet.
  • Hundreds of plant species rely on bats to pollinate them.
  • Like cats, bats are groomers.  They spend a lot of time taking care of their fur.
  • A single little brown bat can eat up to 1,000 mosquitoes in a single hour.
  • Fishing bats have echolocation so sophisticated that they can detect a minnow’s fin as fine as a human hair protruding only 2 millimeters from a pond’s surface.

Germinating Pumpkins

Cut the top off of a pumpkin and scoop enough guts out that you have room for soil. Make sure to leave pumpkin seeds inside because those are the seeds you will observe as they germinate. Fill the pumpkin with soil and begin watering it and making sure it has sunlight. You’ll see baby pumpkin plants sprout within a few weeks.

Halloween Wax Resist Art

Artists often use “tricks” to make their work look unique or take on unusual properties.  Let kids try out this cool wax resist technique.  It incorporates art skills that even young children have, but creates a really unique look.

Materials:

  • black paint
  • foam brush
  • water in a small bowl or cup
  • paper
  • crayons
  • color wheel (optional)

First, review the color wheel a bit.  Mostly discuss which colors are cool and which are warm, and have each kid choose one or the other.  In that color scheme, they will draw a simple picture, pressing down hard with the crayons.

Halloween-Wax-Resist---the-coloring-phase
The key is to REALLY PRESS HARD.  The more wax you transfer to the page, the better!

 Next, quickly paint over the drawing with a thin black paint wash (put a few drops of water in a small squirt of paint and stir it to mix it well). Use quick and light strokes and go over the whole paper.  The wax will resist the paint, so it won’t stick!  We liked running a paper towel over the top of the painted surface to help even out the paint and remove any excess.

Halloween-Wax-Resist---the-painting-phase

Coloring-the-Haunted-House-Wax-Resist-Art
One really neat trick that you can try is using white crayon for part of your scene.  Here’s a haunted house, but it isn’t too haunted . . . yet!
Halloween-Wax-Resist-Art-007
Now check it out! When I painted over it with black, the ghosts seem to appear out of nowhere!  That’s the magic of drawing with white crayons.

Paper Pumpkins

Cut one-inch strips of paper and then attach them with brads or staples at the top and bottom. Add a construction paper stem and a curled ribbon for the leaves and you’ve got a perfect decoration for Halloween.

Halloween Lanterns

Create Halloween paper lanterns by folding sheets of construction paper in half, hot dog-style, using a ruler to mark increments (approximately 1 inch, but we just used the width of the ruler), and then cutting along the lines, leaving a 1-inch uncut border on the open side. Unfold them and create a roll, stapling the top and bottom. Add a handle and a face to each lantern.

Halloween Writing Prompts

Here are some fun writing prompts to try this Halloween. Each of these is the first line of a Halloween story. You write the rest…

  • First line: The moon was full and the trick-or-treaters had just gone home…
  • First line: Meow! Even the black cat was scared of the creature coming down the street…
  • First line: The candy had better be worth it, because I was covered in slime.
  • Write a poem about 5 little ghosts.
  • Make an acrostic poem using the word HALLOWEEN by writing the letters vertically on your page and then describing Halloween with words that begin with each of its letters.
  • Write a description of a friendly witch with vivid words that tell who she is, what she looks like, where she lives, and what she does.
  • Write about entering a haunted house and see how many onomatopoeias you can use (maybe Mom will give a treat to the one who gets the most!)
  • Make a list of the things you love about Halloween.
  • Write about the best costume you’ve ever worn.
  • Create your own original Halloween monster and make a character sketch of it.
  • Use each of these words as you write one paragraph about a bat: flutter, fly, dark as night, swooping, swirling, catching insects, scaring, staring, screaming, strolling.
  • Write a 5 senses poem about Halloween. Each line will begin with “Halloween is…” You fill in words pertaining to each of the senses.

Halloween is children filling the streets in colorful costumes and sacks of candy. (sight)

Halloween is fresh wind and musky leaves that somehow smell fresh even though they’ve fallen. (smell)

Halloween is furry monster costumes and warm coats covering silky princess dresses. (touch)

Halloween is sweet chocolate and sugary suckers dancing across my tongue. (taste)

Halloween is Halloween is dogs barking, footsteps padding, and tiny voices shouting “trick-or-treat!” (sound)

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