Halloween Countdown Day 17: Books By Flashlight

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Sometimes power outages can be a pain, but if October gives you a power outage… read spooky books by flashlight!

Of course, there’s no need for a real power outage to do this activity on your countdown to Halloween list. Just dim the lights, pull out all your battery-operated tea candles, and make it a spooky story hour!

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The kids loved the little flickering candles, and moved them all around as we read at our “campfire.”

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Travis was my expert helper to shine a light on the words as I read. The game is also perfect for hidden picture books (Try Bear’s Spooky Book of Hidden Things by Gergely Dudas), to shine the light on just the right spot of each page.

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Lift-the-flap books are also tailor-made for flashlights, shinign brightly as each flap is lifted for a big reveal.

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Some of the just-scary-enough books we read included:

Little Blue Truck’s Halloween by Alice Schertle

Laugh-Out-Loud Halloween Jokes by Rob Elliott

Llamas in Pajamas by Russell Punter

Click, Clack, Boo! by Doreen Cronin


Pete the Cat Trick or Pete by James Dean

And no problem if you don’t have any Halloween books in the house. Simply make up your own ghost stories!

What’s your family’s favorite Halloween book? Please share in the comments!


Mix and Match Monsters

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After playing with felt faces to make happy and sad people, it felt like it was time to get a little more Halloween-y and play a version with… felt monsters!

For each monster body, I simply drew free-hand on a piece of felt and cut out the shapes. My monsters were fairly cute and definitely not threatening. Think bubbly round buddies and short stubby limbs.

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I then hot-glued black felt onto white circles for a few monster eyes, but mostly, I relied on pre-cut pieces of felt to form additional facial features.

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Time to make some silly faces! Veronika was delighted as soon as she saw what we were up to. She loved making a three-eyed monster with a smile. “She’s happy!” she told me (happily). So this very quickly turned into a lesson on emotional learning, too.

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We made grumpy monsters and surprised monsters.

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Then she wanted to get them dressed. This one, according to Veronika, was wearing pants and his shirt.

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I loved watching the way she interacted with these little creatures.

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And nothing was too spooky!

Bubbling Cauldron

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Halloween-themed crates from Kiwi Co have been a huge hit in the past, and this year’s did not disappoint!

This year we opted for a witch’s Bubbling Cauldron, which relies on that old trick of baking soda plus an acid (in this case citric acid) to make a bubbly explosion.

The first step was to Make the Witch of course. Travis helped fold the provided felt pieces into her cape and hat, which he decorated with spooky stickers (bats!), and which then slide onto the wooden peg body.

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A pipe cleaner forms her warty nose and we added spooky features with black marker.

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Next he needed to Build the Witch’s Lair. Decorate the provided backdrop with more stickers, then attach to the base with sticky foam dots.

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The witch and her cauldron are then attached to the base with additional sticky foam.

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An air pump is then threaded through the back of the scenery. One hose dangles down into the base, and the other dangles into the cauldron (these are helpfully color-coded red and black so your child can be sure the pump is going to flow in the right direction).

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It’s time for some bubbly science! Pour the provided packets of citric acid and baking soda (colored green!) into the provided cup and mix well.

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Add 4 scoops to the cauldron; Travis loved being in charge of his own “potion” here. Pour 1 and 1/2 cups water into the holes of the base, and then start squeezing the air pump…

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…and marvel at the bubbling cauldron that results!

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This was so cool and eerie and scientific and magical all at once. And needless to say, pretty soon there were poor Lego fellows drowning in the witch’s pot.

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A definite win for a Halloween project.