My preschoolers were ready for something Halloween to do. Last week, we decorated for Halloween, and that just seemed to whet their appetite for all things Halloween. Instead of locking myself away and creating something for them to look at, I thought it would be more fun for them if we made something together.
We wanted something fun, simple, kid-friendly, but spooky, and it had to have glitter. You know how preschool girls can be, right?
This is what we came up with… A lighted ghost garland.
To have some Halloween fun while developing fine motor skills in preschoolers.
Card board (I cut a flap off of a large cardboard box we had)
1 strand of twinkle lights (I used some blue from my Christmas light collection – I can spare one strand, my husband assures me.)
Black and white paint and paintbrushes
Plastic ghost decorations (available from Walmart for $0.99)
First, cut five rectangles from the cardboard about 12 inches by 4 inches in size. Three will be folded into rectangles that measure 6 inches by 4 inches. The other two can be cut into festive shapes – pumpkins, bats, ghosts. We chose ghosts. These will start as rectangles measuring the same as the other three rectangles. When cutting the shapes make sure that both halves of the cardboard are the same.
Next, have the children paint the outside of the rectangles. The inside of the rectangles isn’t going to be seen, so it doesn’t need to be painted. After the outsides have been painted by the children, take a moment and smooth out their strokes to give a smoother finish. Then add the glitter.
Now, wait 30 minutes for the paint to dry.
Now it’s time to add the embellishments. We added simple eyes and mouths for the ghosts in black and painted on the letters BOO, one on each of the three remaining rectangles.
It’s a good idea at this point to let the paint dry for another 30 minutes to an hour.
This next step is a step that a grown-up needs to do – and that is to cut holes for the lights to be pressed into to create the lighted garland. I used my strong scissors and sliced a ¼ inch slice in every place where I wanted a light to be pushed through.
After the slits were cut, I invited my preschoolers to push the lights through each of the slits. When doing this, be sure to start in the middle of the strand of lights with the middle of the first O. After all the lights have been pushed into the slits, tape or staple the bottom of the cardboard together.
Next, skip about ten lights and start on the next letter O. And then repeat the process for the letter B.
After all the letters are in place, it’s time to add the ghosts (or pumpkins, bats, whatever Halloween shape was chosen.) From the last of the letters, we spaced another 5 lights out and then added the cardboard ghosts.
Finally, we twisted five of the 10 twinkle lights, between each of the letters, together and placed the plastic ghost around them.
Finally, hang and plug the lights in.
My preschoolers wanted the lights off for the rest of the day so they can see the Halloween decoration they made – a lighted ghost garland.