Halloween is a great holiday because we get to dress up in costume, explore the creepy dark side of life, and act jovial. I work with some very young toddlers and know that in the first few years Halloween can be intimidating and scary. It was my goal to give a fun introduction to Halloween so that every child felt comfortable. To introduce some Halloween imagery I read “Mouse’s First Halloween”.
Our Halloween Bunting (also known as pennant) project was loved by both parent and child.
For this project we used the following supplies:
- large index cards
- foam rollers
- two hole punch
- colored markers (purple, orange, and green)
- chalk pastels (purple, orange, and green)
- Halloween imagery made from foam sheets (cat, ghost, haunted house, jack-o-lantern, witch’s hat, spider, and bat)
- tempera paint (black)
- glitter (black)
- ribbon (we used plastic gift wrapping ribbon but this could be fabric or even yarn)
We first decorated the blank side of the index card with simple marker and chalk drawings. The chalk is fun because you can spread and blend it with your fingers or palm. Kids love any excuse to get art materials on their skin so most responded positively to my encouragement to rub the chalk. We also practiced using the long side of the chalk to cover more area. For children 4 and up I suggested trying patterns such as stripes. I limited our palette to orange, purple, and green in honor of Halloween.
After making a colorful background we carefully made holes using a two hole punch. For safety and success I have students stand on their feet and use two hands to push down the handle. Then we know no fingers are near the punch.
Using foam rollers we coated the foam shapes with black tempera. I had seven different options to choose from. A cat, ghost, haunted house, jack-o-lantern, witch’s hat, spider, and bat. I researched images on the internet and then drew them free hand on foam sheets. I cut them out using scissors and an x-acto knife for small interior shapes such as the eyes on the ghost, cat, and jack-o-lantern. We rolled paint on one table and printed our images on another.
The tempera coated foam can get slippery so I demoed how to press down firmly and pat for a solid print before I set the students free. Some younger students needed help positioning the image on the card but all loved to press and peal to reveal the finished image.
After printing each card we went directly to the glitter table because there is only a thin coat of paint from printing foam. We used black glitter on black paint and it came out so crisp and clean and added the special punch that glitter does!
The final step was to string each card onto a ribbon. We used gift wrapping ribbon but you could use anything from fabric to thick yard.
Each student did at least four images if not all seven. Here is a proud student holding her Halloween Bunting.