Get into the Halloween spirit with this Witches Brew! A not so spooky Halloween activity for kids. Having a preschooler makes the holidays so much more fun! Halloween can be a tricky one, though, as the little ones are not quite ready for the spookier side of the holiday. Trying to get in the spirit of the season I decided to take an old classic and add a bit of Halloween cheer to it! One thing that my daughter loves is anything involving baking soda and vinegar, I buy it in bulk lol:) I also happen to be a hoarder of cool bottles and jars, so creating a Witches Brew potions tray seemed like the perfect way to use materials I already had at home. This is one halloween activity for kids that is scarier for the parents who have to clean it up! Seriously though, we used our activity tray and all I had to do was dump it in the sink and wash it with the rest of the dishes, not so spooky after all right?!
Ingredients for your not so spooky halloween activity!
Most of these you should have in your kitchen but if you don’t, feel free to improvise, I guarantee the kid won’t notice:) It doesn’t have to look perfect for your preschooler to have a blast mixing and pouring their way to a really excellent witches brew potion! A perfect Halloween activity for kids on rainy fall days!
Assorted Jars/Bottles: I had quite a few I had saved from the recycling bin, it’s a compulsion haha. Look for ones that have a slow pour like a soy sauce bottle to make it interesting!
Bottle Labels: I can’t find the ones I used but this Etsy download is great, and for less than a cup of coffee you can support another creative soul! Of course there are also these fantastic Harry Potter ones. I can’t wait till I can read the books to my little!
Double Sided Tape: This is what I had on hand, but if you want something waterproof you could use mod podge or a glue mixture to adhere.
Assorted Natural Materials: I used some of these fantastic Butterfly Pea flowers, which turn the water a beautiful blue when simmered! Bonus, you can Prime them;) Also, (and this is magical,) when you mix it with lemon or another citric acid they react to turn a pinkish color! You can also just use old spices or fresh flowers/weeds picked from around the house. Honestly I was more excited about the Pea flowers than the kid lol, and you can totally just use food dye.
I also used some old leaves I had found outside, dry and perfect for crumbling. A stick from the backyard was perfect for stirring!
Lemon Juice: If you grab the pea flowers definitely get some lemon juice for the little to mix it with! Have them do it in a glass bottle though, so they can get the most out of the reaction.
Food Coloring: Food coloring is one of our activity supply staples, as are the next two ingredients;) For a full list check out our Activity Supply Checklist!
Baking Soda: Yep, I buy this stuff in bulk and my kiddo hasn’t tired of it yet!
Vinegar: Add a few drops of your favorite food coloring to up the potion-y vibes
Dish Soap or Bubble Bath: This takes the baking soda and vinegar reaction to a whole new bubble-y level, and the bubbles stay around longer for the kids to continue stirring and mixing. We had some great cauldron explosions!
Pasta Bats: Totally unnecessary but really fun:) Use bowtie pasta and black food coloring or watercolor to dye them. Simply place in a bag with a tablespoon of vinegar and dye then lay on a tray and dry overnight.
Mortar and Pestle: Again, not totally necessary but kids get a kick out of grinding and mashing things:)
Double, bubble, toil and trouble! Grab a baking tray if you don’t have a designated activity tray, it helps contain the mess and makes cleanup so much easier! If all goes well your little ones potion will bubble and brew and spill over:) I simply set out the bottles and cauldrons, with a small scoop for the baking soda. When the little one got back from preschool she headed right to it and it just took a few moments of prompting till she was engrossed.
Now get brewing!
I admit I had as much fun as the little one mixing and pouring. The customization opportunities for this are endless! Add a few different ingredients and you can redo this over and over. I’d love to see what brews and potions you come up with! For more weekly project ideas follow me on Pinterest or Instagram!
Apple pie playdough, apple picking, apple pie making, we’ve been on an apple kick around here! While pondering new ways to use our delicious smelling apple pie playdough, I came up with the idea to create our own board game. Honestly it’s just a rip-off of the old High Ho Cherry Oh game we saw in a thrift store the other day, but the little is super excited so it’s a win:) We’ve had a ton of fun playing the game, practicing counting, and picking the delicious ‘apples’ on our game! Read on for a quick tutorial on how you can create your own!
At the risk of inundating you with posts about my love of play-dough, here are some ideas on how I bring our favorite activity into the fall season! Read on for pumpkin spice, apple pie and even an Horchata inspired fall playdough because here in San Jose it’s likely to be 80 degrees in the fall and an icy glass of horchata goes great with this vanilla cinnamon playdough!
You all know those people who start dreaming about pumpkins and sweaters and halloween costumes in July? Not ashamed to admit I am one of them! I do try and keep it in check until at least September for those summer lovers out there:) As a blogger it works in my favor though! I can secretly dream of all things fall while compiling this post of fall toddler activities. Ready for you whenever you’re ready to embrace the *best* season!
Days with a toddler or preschooler can be loooong! For me it’s always the 2-5pm window where I’ve used up my energy on the mornings outing and the little one is growing restless but the thought of playing dress up for another hour is like nails on a chalkboard. I love playing with my daughter, and I give her plenty of time for self directed play as well, but sometimes I want an activity I can set up that I know will buy me 30 minutes at least of engaged play where I have to expend a minimum of energy! These materials have taken us from pre-toddler to preschooler and they are the open ended, versatile toddler supplies we’ve found to be best for hours of fun!
When we had my daughter, our first child, we totally fell into the trap of thinking we needed to BUY ALL THE THINGS… We were gifted so many great toys and baby items as well. In retrospect, I realize the baby merch market totally keyed in on our ‘New Parent Anxiety’ and we ended up with so many things that were barely used! Now that we have a better handle on how to keep her healthy and *sometimes* happy (she’s 3, so…;) I’ve started to look at clearing out our home clutter and providing open ended activities, rather than toys. It feels so good to minimize the clutter and not feel the need to buy her every toy we see at friends houses.
Before I was a parent I had no idea the amount of STUFF I would accumulate just by virtue of having a tiny human in the house! I am by no means an expert at minimalist parenting just yet, but we are making our way there and I’ve learned a lot along the way. If you are feeling overwhelmed by toys and are looking to simplify, here are my top 10 toy free activities for the minimalist toddler parent!
Despite our best intentions, 3 years into Parenthood we seem to have acquired an amount of plastic toys, stuffed animals and play equipment that is beyond belief. We didn’t set out to buy all the things, but somehow ended up with more toys than the little could possibly play with in a year. There seems to be a growing movement of young families towards minimalism, however, and it is a really refreshing concept! There has long been a school of thought that children need fewer toys and more opportunities to use their imaginations, the Montessori and Waldorf methods of education to name a few. There was even a nursery in Germany that took away every. single. toy. and the children thrived!
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Whether you have a green thumb or not (and I’m guessing not since you are reading this post;) gardening with kids is such a rewarding activity! Besides the obvious benefits of being outside rather than glued to a screen, gardening can teach both parents and kids so much. It can be overwhelming to start if you have never grown anything on your own, but this list will get you started off small and simple! I have personally tested out each of these plants, (and my plants tend to survive despite me rather than because of me,) so I know anyone can grow them! If you have decided you want to get your hands dirty, read on for the 10 Plants Anyone Can Grow With Kids…
So I admit I have a problem… working at an outdoor retailer for the past 8 years has turned me into a bit of a gear junkie. To your advantage though because it has allowed me to compile this list of the best family camping gear!
Earth Day is Sunday, April 22nd! Kids have an innate love of nature, and helping them learn to be stewards of our planet is such an easy thing to do! There are of course so many scheduled events, check out your city’s homepage or your local neighborhood association for events to sign up for. If a scheduled event doesn’t work for your family though, there are still so many ways you can celebrate Earth Day with your toddler! Get started this Earth Day with these 9 simple and fun ways to celebrate earth day as a family.