Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Potato print Halloween bunting - a step-by-step guide

Did you see the Halloween bunting in our list of Halloween activities to do this half term?

Norland’s Sewing Lecturer, Kate Jaeger, has provided step-by-step instructions so you can create your own spooky bunting for your house this Halloween!

Remember, making Halloween bunting is lots of fun, but make sure that a child is always accompanied by an adult.

Step 1

Create a cardboard template from a cereal packet or something that is a similar size to the size of bunting you require. Buy or find some fabric – old sheets are ideal.  Lay your cardboard template on to your fabric, draw around and cut out.  You will need two fabric triangles per piece of bunting.

Step 2

Find some inspiring Halloween images and draw, with a small kitchen knife, onto a cut surface of half a potato. Carefully carve spooky shapes out of your potato.

Step 3

Put on an apron and get out some child-friendly paints. Fabric paint is ideal, but any paint will work if it is not going to be hung outside. Find an old sponge and dab paint onto the potato shapes. Press shapes onto scrap fabric until you are happy with the print.

Step 4

Print the fabric triangles creating fun Halloween effects. After you have printed the fabric triangles, leave them somewhere to dry.

Step 5

Place printed triangles together with plain triangles, right sides together.  Sew the triangles together along the two longest sides. Turn triangles to the right side and iron. Top stitch if you have time.

Step 6

Sew triangles into bias tape or onto ribbon.

Step 7 

Hang up somewhere and enjoy your spooky Hallwoeen bunting! 

Have you made this Halloweem bunting? Send your images to us on social media by tagging us @NorlandCollege.

Monday, 21 October 2019

10 spooky activities to do you with your children this Halloween

We have asked some of our fantastic students, staff and Norlanders for some tried and tested activities that children will love this half term and Halloween! 

Remember: it’s important to enjoy these activities together but stay safe! Younger children should always be supervised by an adult. Please ensure that older children are supervised and practising safe techniques when using sharp implements such as scissors and knives. All children should be accompanied by an adult when trick or treating.

Halloween activities

1. Pumpkin apple prints 

There are so many activity ideas on the theme of pumpkins. A simple activity is to print apple pumpkins. For this all you need is an apple, orange child-friendly paint, a black marker, googly eyes, non-toxic PVA glue and paper. Then you cut the apple in half, dip it in the paint and print onto the paper, wait for it to dry and decorate. Perfect for creating invitations for a spooky Halloween party.

2. Pumpkin painting and carving

For painting, all you need is a small pumpkin for each child, paint brushes, child-friendly paints and a cover for the table. Each child paints their pumpkin however they wish and then they are left to dry before they’re used as Halloween decorations. Older children will enjoy helping you to carve a pumpkin by drawing the face pattern for you to follow and younger children can assist by pulling out the seeds, which adds a sensory experience. Add a lighted tealight and pop on your doorstep.

3. Pumpkin bowling

Collect plastic bottles and paint them with white and black child-friendly paint to look like ghosts. Find a small round pumpkin or orange ball. Roll the pumpkin at the ghosts and knock down as many as you can.

4. We’re going on a leaf hunt

See how many different coloured, shaped and sized leaves you can find, along with any other treasures you discover, on a nature walk. Ask the children to place their leaves and treasures into their buckets. You can make the leaf or treasure hunt as simple or as detailed as appropriate to the ages of the children, and it’s great way to develop language and observation skills. For example, try spelling out words with conkers with children that are learning to read, or create a face with conkers for younger ones. 

You can add sticky sticks for variety by covering sticks you’ve found on previous walks with double-sided tape for the children to stick the leaves and other things they find onto. After your hunt, bring everyone together to show each other what they have found. You can use the different leaves you’ve found to create leaf prints – just dip them in paint and press onto card – or stick the leaves onto card using non-toxic PVA glue to create a beautiful pattern or add some marker pen features to create leaf-hedgehogs.

5. Throw a Halloween Party

Children of all ages will love to get involved in planning, preparing and throwing a Halloween party. If half term falls ahead of Halloween, then planning and preparing for the party will keep small hands busy. You can create invitations, craft decorations such as Halloween bunting or pumpkin wool pom poms that you can hang onto string, or draw scary faces using a black marker onto orange and white balloons to recreate pumpkins and ghosts. 

Get creative in the kitchen ahead of time by drawing with a black non-toxic marker onto the skins of satsumas to create little edible pumpkin faces. Cook brownies together and decorate them to create little graveyard brownies. Red or green jelly makes perfect slime and turning olives, tomatoes or pepperoni on a pizza into spiders using little slices of olive or red pepper will create a creepy pizza. Then use the activities listed here for the party itself, ask your guests to dress-up in a spooky costume and add fun with an age-appropriate creepy music playlist. Trick or treating as a group with parents is always lots of fun for children, especially if you forewarn your neighbours ahead of time!

6. Cotton wool ghosts

All you need for this creative task is to cut out some ghost-shaped pieces of white card, lots of cotton wool balls, some black card cut into eye and mouth shapes and lots of non-toxic PVA glue. Older children can help you to prepare the materials beforehand. Then children can stick the cotton wool balls to the ghost shapes and add the eye and mouth features on top, to make their own ghosts. Pop a hole and some string in the top, and you have another homemade decoration. 

7. Spaghetti worms

A simple and effective Halloween game and sensory activity that children of all ages will love. All you need is cooked and cooled spaghetti and age-appropriate prizes to hide in the spaghetti, such as foil-wrapped chocolate eyeballs, ping-pong-ball eyeballs, spider toys. Children can rummage around in the spaghetti worms for surprises, younger children can just play with the ‘worms’ in the bowl.

8. Potato-print bunting 

Why not make some Halloween-themed bunting using potato prints? All you’ll need are some images of simple Halloween shapes, potatoes, orange and black non-toxic paints, and plain white material (an old white sheet or scrap fabric would work well for this) cut into triangles using a cardboard template. You will need two triangles of material for each piece of bunting. Cut the potatoes in half and then cut out the shape on the potato – older children can help adults with this as part of knife safety awareness training – then children of all ages can sponge the paint onto the potato and then press onto the material. Leave to dry, then place two printed triangles with the plain side facing and sew the longest sides together, before turning them the right side around and ironing them. Sew the triangles onto bias tape or ribbon, then hang up and enjoy. 

Want to make this for yourself? Follow these step-by-step instructions for your very own Halloween bunting!

9. Witches potions and scented gloop

Have fun making witches potions with coloured water using food dyes, slices of lemon and orange, fresh aromatic herbs. Let the children combine baking soda and vinegar for exciting bubbling results. Use saucepans as cauldrons along with mixing spoons and whisks, and plastic bowls for the magic ingredients. Or make scented gloop together by mixing 2 cups of cornflour to 1 cup of water and adding various scented materials, such as lemon juice, vanilla or almond extract. Put the cornflour in the centre of a base – this could be a tray, plastic box or across a wipeable table – and pour the water (slowly!) into the cornflour, stirring gently. When you pour the water, you will feel the mixture changing as you mix! You can also add different colours (using food extract or children’s paint), fake spiders or a sprinkle of glitter - to add an extra sparkle! Please remember to keep reminding young children that gloop is not edible.

10. Monster making 

Express creativity by making monsters using lots of arts and crafts materials, such as crepe paper, animal-patterned wrapping paper, googly eyes, monster heads cut-out from card, feathers, spotty stickers and clothes pegs or lollipop sticks and non-tox PVA glue. The resulting monster puppets are perfect for performing a homemade Halloween puppet show. 

Or you could turn monster-making into a sensory activity by playing ‘guess what’s inside the monster’s mouth’. Together, decorate a box to make it look like a friendly monster, with a hole for its mouth. If you use kitchen roll or newspaper and glue as a papier-mâché, you can smooth over any stickers on the box or create features such as eyebrows. Attach some string or material to the hole to prevent children being able to see inside. Then put different everyday objects from around the house in his mouth, so that children use their senses to guess what’s inside the monster’s mouth by how it feels. Object ideas include a metal spoon, a toy car, a small musical instrument, a toy bug, a whisk, a banana, a wooden yo-yo and so on. For older children, who are less likely to be spooked, you could stick to the Halloween theme with spooky objects and children can be put into teams and given 20 seconds to guess an object. Add cooked and cooled spaghetti for a heightened sensory experience.

Did you enjoy one of these activities? Share your pictures with us on our social media channels by tagging us @NorlandCollege!