No-Bake Pumpkin Cookies


October is the perfect time to make this no-bake treat, whether you use canned pumpkin or mashed fresh sugar pumpkin. Because there’s no oven involved, even toddlers can put the whole recipe together! Older kids can help with the measuring, too.


  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In a bowl, combine the oats, sugar, raisins, cinnamon, and ginger.
  2. Add the pumpkin and vanilla, stirring until the mixture is moist.
  3. Using your hands, divide the batter into 15 to 20 portions, rolling each into a small ball.
  4. You can transfer to the fridge to chill for a few hours, or eat right away if the kids can’t wait!


More Spider Fun!


Between spider lanterns and spider rocks, we’ve been having fun with all manner of creepy-crawly arachnids leading up to Halloween. Today we not only made a new spider, but gave him a web to call home!

For the spider, invite your child to color on two paper plates with crayons however they like. Preschoolers can draw their own spider face, but I helped by drawing a spider on one plate and letting Travis have free reign on the other.


Punch a hole in the center of one plate, and thread through a knotted piece of string. You’ll be able either to hang your creation, or to jump it about like a jumping spider once complete!

We then glued 8 strips of black construction paper onto the inside rim of one plate before gluing the two plates together.


Let dry completely before the play begins.


Paper-Plate Spider (4).JPG

I had leftover cooked and cooled spaghetti on hand, so for Itsy Bitsy’s web, we got nice and goopy again!


Fill a shallow plate with glue, and show your child how to dip the spaghetti strands in the glue before arranging in a “web” on waxed paper.


Travis couldn’t wait to get his hands on the spaghetti, and very quickly decided they also looked like worms. I finished our web while he had a blast stirring the worms around and making them “wiggle” a nice reminder that toddlers are very good at creating their own games no matter what materials we present to them!


Let the web dry completely, then peel off the wax paper. Because the web is very delicate, I found it was best to leave some of the wax paper behind as backing.


Don’t forget to add one of your spider friends to live inside!



Spaghetti Monsters


If ever there was a time for oopy goopy fun, Halloween is it! Travis is too young for classic Halloween gags like a bowlful of spaghetti “brains,” but it’s the perfect time to play with cooked spaghetti and make friendly “monsters” instead.

Present your child with a bowl of cooked and cooled spaghetti. Demonstrate how to take a handful of spaghetti, dip it in a shallow plate or pie tin filled with tempera paint, and then smear onto construction paper.


I thought Travis might be hesitant to get so messy, but he dove right in! He had so much fun dipping the spaghetti in the paint that I had to remind him to transfer over to the paper on occasion.


When the paint is dry, finish your friendly “monsters” with googly eyes and any other scraps you have on hand, like ribbon, yarn, or fabric.


The silly looking monsters are a nice way to decorate with non-threatening creatures around the house, making sure the holiday isn’t too scary for little ones.