This year for Halloween, my son is wearing a costume that my mom made for me and my sisters as children and as the circle comes round I am reminded of the childhood excitement of trick-or-treating: the glowing pumpkins, the crisp leaves underfoot and the thrill of being out after dark, meeting up with your friends.
My son and I had a “crafternoon” and decided to make these mini trick-or-treater stick puppets to play with in anticipation of the big event. This is an open-ended activity that allows children to participate at their own levels and the trick-or-treaters to reflect their own artistic ideas. We show you a few tips to assist in the process.
- Craft sticks (We suggest the ones the size of tongue depressors)
- Creation materials (felt, paper, beads, foam, pom-poms etc. Whatever you have handy and would pique your child(ren)’s interest)
- Tweezers (We suggest this for applying the beads)
- Paint & paintbrushes (*optional or use multicultural markers, craft foam etc.)
We always find these items helpful too:
- Craft tray
- Don your smock.
- If you decide to paint your sticks, do so the day before. You could also colour them with felt markers. Allow them to dry overnight so that your glue will adhere more easily to a completely dry surface.
- We repurposed these multicultural foam faces to use, but you could also use markers and/or crayons (although remember that the crayons may create a waxy surface that might make drawing or gluing on top of difficult).
- Prior to starting the activity, I compiled this little tray (in a repurposed veggie & dip container) of possible supplies. Some items might include felt, paper, beads, foam, pom-poms, jewels, glitter etc. Include whatever you have handy and would pique your child(ren)’s interest. As you can see our son also requested other things to complete his vision (such as the floral wire for the handles for the treat bags). We suggest pre-cutting large sheets of materials into manageable sizes.
- For some children drawing a few sketches of possible ideas may help them with the process. Cut out and compile your character using bits of foam, paper, beads, fun (fake) fur etc. We suggest that you put your stick on top of the materials that you would like to use so you know the length and width they will need to be when you cut them out. For younger children, they could trace around the stick to assure more accuracy. It is always good with a project of this nature that you you plan and cut out all your pieces testing them out prior to gluing so you can re-work them if need be. Once you are happy with your person and their costume, glue your pieces onto your craft stick.
- For tiny pieces such as the bead eyes we found tweezers helpful for sticking them in the glue.
- Developing one’s fine motor skills (cutting, pasting, manipulating pieces etc.)
- Developing measurement skills (estimating the length required of materials etc.)
- Celebrating various holidays and various symbols related to them (such as Halloween costumes)
- We suggest that you wear a smock and use a craft tray to protect your clothing and surfaces.
- Use scissors and a glue gun with care and adult supervision.
- Beads, gems and other small items can be a choking hazard therefore be sure to keep them out of the reach of children ages 0-3 years of age or those that tend to put things into their mouths.
Make it Your Own is a Canadian children’s website. We hope to inspire educators and families with projects to do together, explorations of various mediums and techniques and to get out into nature to source supplies. We love re-imagining items and thinking of new ways to share children’s artwork. We are often described as “an educational mom, a digital dad and their three mini-makers.