Patterned Paper People, Pumpkin Carving & Paper Bag Puppets

Just thought I’d write a post containing the things we did for the rest of the Halloween holidays πŸ™‚

I spent my last morning of freedom before the girls finished school reading in a coffee shop πŸ™‚ I tried to treasure the quiet while it lasted, but the last week has actually ended up being peaceful even with the kids here πŸ™‚ I had a last solo autumnal walk. I love looking at all the colours under my feet πŸ™‚ One of my daughters got out of school earlier than the other, so we went to a local pizza place for their lunch offer πŸ™‚ They had Halloween colouring pages my daughter loved πŸ™‚

We did the final activity in the girls’ art box for the month. It was making people with patterned paper and oil pastels. The girls made clothes out of the paper and then added their own designs with pastels. I love how they dive straight into doing art projects without any direction or hesitation πŸ™‚ I like spending end of term afternoons doing a craft in the house because everywhere is always so busy and the traffic is so heavy. It feels like we are in our own little oasis πŸ™‚

When we got home from our holiday, we went in search of a pumpkin. They seemed to have sold out in most shops so we got a huge one from the fruit shop around the corner. The girls removed the insides and then drew the face they wanted me to cut out of it. Carving pumpkins is something I always feel daunted by before I start doing it but then I really enjoy it and wish we’d got more to carve πŸ™‚

On Saturday, we returned to the museum πŸ™‚ They had a witches’ potion hunt where kids had to solve clues and find letters that made up a secret ingredient in the potion πŸ™‚ We stopped at the history/toy room and I liked looking at all the cute shoes from different parts of the world πŸ™‚ The girls found some treasure hunts to do in that room too. At the end, they had to go to one of the people that worked there to get their prize. They got to pick a shell each to take home. I thought that was such a cute prize πŸ™‚ They had some really unusual ones. The lady said they were giving them out as prizes because in some countries shells used to be used as currency.

There are so many things to look at in the museum, but the girls always gravitate towards the same things πŸ™‚ One of my kids is obsessed with a bench there that has a handle attached to it because she pretends she’s driving a bus πŸ™‚ They were excited to find one of the microscopes on in the nature room too. They spent ages examining bugs under it. My daughter also loves the little fox cub in one of the glass cases. She always says “hello little cutie” when she sees it πŸ™‚

In the art room, there were Halloween themed crafts on πŸ™‚ The girls got to make paper bag puppets. They just had to cut out coloured paper into lots of different shapes and glue it onto the outside of the bag. One decided to make a witch and the other made a girl vampire πŸ™‚ They were really absorbed in it and I helped with the cutting too. They showed their finished puppets to the lady that worked there and got to make a second one each too. One made a cat and the other made a ghost πŸ™‚ We added them to our Halloween display when we got home πŸ™‚

After the museum, we had a snack on a bench in Botanic Gardens. The lights show in the park was being set up and lots of the installations were already in place. We went for a walk around to look at them all. The girls loved them even without seeing them lit up in the dark because they were so colourful and Christmassy πŸ™‚ The girls collected a few more conkers and it was beautifully sunny πŸ™‚

When we got home, we made some gingerbread. We just made some heart, star and flower shaped ones as I don’t own any Halloween cookie cutters. I might get some for next year πŸ™‚ The girls love icing and decorating them no matter what shape they are πŸ™‚ We took some with us and some milk while we drove around to see Halloween lights πŸ™‚ It’s such a simple thing to do and I like how excited the girls get about it πŸ™‚

Yesterday, we had a little Halloween party with my parents and then took the girls trick or treating πŸ™‚ I painted their faces and they got dressed up. Then I drew lots of little ghosts and cut them out to use for a ghost hunt πŸ™‚ The girls had to find them all and then got a sweet at the end – not that they needed any more sweets! I made a β€œstick the stalk on the pumpkin” for them to play. My daughter helped to colour it in. They’ve been playing it all day today. After having some party food, my mum and I took the girls trick or treating. I love seeing how excited they get πŸ™‚ They got enough sweets to last about a year! Everyone was so kind and they had gone to great lengths to decorate their gardens. It made me want to make more of mine next year πŸ™‚ My mum got me some cheerful flowers from a farm shop too πŸ™‚

Today, we had a quiet day before the girls go back to school. I took them to the library and we stayed there for a long time. I love the relaxed feel of that library; it’s one of my favourite places to go to. The girls picked out some books and I got to read mine while they did it πŸ™‚ I actually returned a finished library book of my own for the first time since having the girls πŸ˜€ The kind librarian gave us some coffee/tea/biscuits and some Halloween activity books for the girls. They worked on them for ages and had some tea while they did crosswords πŸ™‚

This afternoon, we finally got around to doing bobbing for apples. I didn’t join in this time but it’s funny to watch πŸ™‚ I’m always hopeful the girls might eat the apples afterwards, but that is usually wishful thinking πŸ™‚ They’re much more interested in their Halloween sweets πŸ™‚ We did a last Halloween craft before the holidays end. We made apple print pumpkins before and the girls really enjoyed it, so we made some more. You just cut an apple in half and use in orange paint to print little pumpkins and then paint the stalks on πŸ™‚ In a way, I’m sad the holidays are almost over but I’m also looking forward to getting a bit of time to write more of my novel πŸ™‚

Just a reminder that my new print “There’s Always Someone Smiling at You” is still available on Etsy (as are my “Happy Oranges” prints) –

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