Category Archives: Holidays

Santa Does Exist, I have Proof!

Santa does exist and I have proof he does!

Santa does exist right mama? Papa, doesn’t Santa exist? Your child came home from school worried that Santa doesn’t exist because a few kids at school or daycare told them something different from what you are doing.

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Now they are very concerned, they are worried, scared and stressed out. They have been good little girls and boys most of the year too! 

I know, I have been through this same thing many times and with having a one year old, it will not stop! 

These days kids are more demanding, they need some type of proof, especially since they can easily Google stuff these days!

Guess what … There is Proof that Santa Does Exist, it will not cost you much to show your child this proof either. Plus Google now helps us out with a Santa Tracking Ticker.

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I remember with my oldest son, he was three years old. He remembered everything! The morning of Christmas when we told him Santa came, he said “no he didn’t, this is the same exact wrapping paper grandma had in her room!”

Yes, he was that much of a critical thinker. From there on, it never worked out for him to believe in anything about Santa, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy etc. 

Then came along my second child, he believed and for a couple of years his older brother played along. He caught on quickly when kids at school continued saying how Santa didn’t exist. It didn’t help when the school had more of a focus on Hanukkah lol, it was a public school but I think our community were mostly Jewish so that could explain why nothing from other religions were ever discussed. No, I didn’t get mad at it, hey it helped my boys learn something new! 

Then came my third son, he was the same as my oldest, he needs that tangible proof or it just doesn’t exist. By this time, they had some cousins that we were trying to play the Santa game with. It was hard since they had so many outside influences telling them otherwise. 

Now comes along my fourth son who is now eight and this year my toddler. We are continuing with the Santa, Jehzel is eight, he loves Santa. He can’t really comprehend just yet what others tell him so he gets pretty confused. One day he is all over Santa and the next he is questioning his where-about. 

 

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What I am Doing To Show Proof Santa Does Exist

How am I helping my boys belief in Santa? My boys are getting a Package From Santa that will arrive addressed to my boys coming directly from Santa’s workshop in the North Pole! 

To continue showing our Christmas Spirit to the elves we will be doing these fun Elf Activities and I will be behind the scenes capturing all of this activity and placing these wonderful memories inside our Time Capsule.

Yaidan and Jehzel will get a Package From Santa that will show them proof that Santa does exist. Their Santa Goodies will include:

  • Custom Santa Goodies
  • Personalized Phone Call
  • Personalized Santa Movie, Staring My Boys

Watch this quick video on how it all works

Hearing, touching and seeing is believing! Result …

No more non-believers! (Be sure to have your camera ready!)

Jehzel’s Video Arrived Check It Out!

Guide Your Kids To Keep Their Behavior In Check

Keep your child behaving during the hectic (and sugar laden) days leading up to Christmas with a free personalized printable ‘Nice-List Guide from Santa Claus.” Includes your child’s photo, name, and top 10 behaviors needed to stay on Santa’s Nice List! Personalize your child’s Santa Nice-List Guide now.

 Now it is your turn to also continue the belief that Santa Does Exist, we want to keep the magic alive. Get more Packages From Santa to as many children as possible and strengthen the belief.

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Free Hanukkah Download and Print Activity Pack

The Holiday Spirit Begins With Family

Hanukkah is an important time to love and honor family. It was so amazing the light lasted so long. I really enjoy my friends who celebrate Hanukkah. They share not just interesting recipes, but also great family traditions and family time experiences. This truly warms my soul.

So I wanted to share something of my own with my Jewish friends. 

This Hanukkah Activity printable pack was created to give your child a little something to do. Complete as a family or have a group of kids do them together. Download, print and use. We would love to hear about how your family celebrates Hanukkah. Tell us in the comments about your Family Hanukkah Celebrations.

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What is Hanukkah?

Festival of Lights, is an eight-day Jewish holiday commemorating the rededication of the Holy Temple (the Second Temple) in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt of the 2nd century BCE. Hanukkah is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. (source Hebcal)

My family wanted to come up with something for their Jewish friends so we came up with a Festival Of Lights printable activities pack. 

We are also printing it out and the boys will be sharing what they learned and came up with here. 

 

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Happy Hanukkah Everyone!

 

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This word-search can also double as a way to learn about each of the words and how they relate to

The Festival Of Lights

 

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Another fun activity plus you can get creative and play around with the words. Get the children to create an amazing story related to The Festival Of Lights, I would love to hear what they come up with. Can you share with us in the comments what they came up with? 

 

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My family is not Jewish but we have lots of great friends that are. I like my children to know about various religions and cultures. I want them to not be ignorant when they become adults and go out there into the real world. 

  • Our Family Does Not Believe In Being Closed Minded

They are encouraged to freely learn and have very open and detailed conversations with us. Religion and belief is no different for us. It isn’t our jobs as parents to dictate, push or coerce our children into believing or following something that we do. They are absolutely free without judgement to follow their own paths. 

They wanted to learn about what the Menorah is and what it symbolizes. We once lived in a community where the elementary school talked lots about all the Jewish holidays, so they would at times bring home different arts and crafts about The Festival Of Lights. So I think it is important for the kids to learn about other holidays, not just ones we celebrate.

 

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A fun poem to highlight important points about the Hanukkah celebrations.

 

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Another little activity to help the kids learn about important words related to The Festival Of Lights.

Share in the comments below, how your family celebrates

The Festival Of Lights – Hanukkah Traditions.

What else should I help my boys learn about it? 

Click the Festival Of Lights Preview photo to get your free download and print at your convenience activity pack

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Free Kids Elf Activity Cards for Blissful Holiday Memories

Use These Elf Activity Cards to

Open the Holiday Spirit

Kids Elf Activity Cards are a fun way to get the kids even more excited for the holidays. These are free to download and print at your own convenience. 

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I suggest laminating them and cutting them out so they are easy to use, handle and last a long time. They can be passed onto another family if they are laminated to protect them. 

elf-cards-set-1-sample-previewStay Tuned to See What We Came Up With!

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These activities are great to do as a family or individually. 

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How to get and use these Elf Activity Cards

  1. Click the photo preview below and request your download
  2. Confirm with us that yes you are excited to get your free Elf Activity Cards
  3. Download your activity cards on your computer where it is easy to find
  4. Print out the cards, they are on three separate sheets to easily print at your convenience
  5. Laminate the cards and cut them out. This makes them last for a long time and easier to handle.
  6. Complete the different suggested activities either as a family or as individuals and then come together as a family and show off to each-other what each of you came up with!

 

Click This Photo To Request Your Free Elf Activity Cards

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How To Survive Thanksgiving With Babies and Toddlers

Thanksgiving With Babies and Toddlers can get pretty hectic

Are you spending Thanksgiving with a baby or toddler this year? Are you dreading what may happen at the dinner table, or how much longer it will take to prepare for the Thanksgiving festivities? How about entertaining them? 

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I know I am! I am a very seasoned mama, but this year I was dreading Thanksgiving because I already have a hard time just getting everyday things done. I don’t want to imagine what it will be like trying to cook and all that. 

I know you’re thinking but mama, you literally have had babies and toddlers in your care for the last twenty years! 

You are right, I have spent plenty of years at the mercy of surviving Thanksgiving with toddlers and them. 

Why is this year different? I don’t know? Have you ever felt that? 

Yaidan is still a very high needs child. Everyday is a worry of what will he get into, what foods will he refuse, what thing will he try to climb all the “what” can get tiring. 

Thanksgiving this year will just be us, so it is like cooking dinner on a regular night and with Yaidan, this isn’t easy to do. Most times he is on my hip. It seems like he still has colic, he still has lots of his crying fits. He basically cluster feeds now. And you guessed it, no-one else exists to him for the most part. He will go to others, for maybe ten to fifteen minutes at a time. Barely enough time for me to catch my breath. 

Mama, you aren’t alone in wondering how you will make it through

Thanksgiving With a Baby or Toddler

I have been following and joining many conversations on Facebook with other moms and what will they do with their baby or toddler while they are busy running around cooking, cleaning and entertaining guests. 

The common answer I see is, “the child will be so busy with guests and not to worry about it.” – But what if that isn’t the case? – What happens when it just isn’t that easy to do? What if you have a child with sensory or other limitations?

 I know the photos we see all across Facebook and Instagram will only show the fun parts of Thanksgiving, but what is really going on there? This year, I can’t show you my behind the scenes workload. If you would love to send in your Thanksgiving story with your baby or toddler, we would love to add it to this post ( email us the story and a photo that we can share to marilynprteam @gmail .com )

I cheated and we ordered catered foods! I honestly didn’t want to stress myself out. What else am I doing to make eating with a toddler easier, healthier, safer and overall stress free? I created a meal plan, a menu for Yaidan and collected some activities. 

Keep going, there are so many resources below, go through them all so you can have a wide variety of things to choose for your own baby or toddler.

Thanksgiving Toddler Food and Meal Plan

Have you been wondering what to feed your baby or toddler? 

Yes! This is so common, I’ve seen at least fifty conversions with at least one-hundred other moms replying to those posts; All wondering the same things about foods and our little ones. 

What to do when Aunty Jeanny wants Maxy (who is under six months old) to “try” some gravy, mashed potatoes or how about a lick of some ice cream, oh but Maxy will devour some of my pumpkin pie! 

Are … You … Cringing Yet?!!? I know I am. 

This taste or that lick isn’t good for such immature GI Tracts at all. Humans simply do not have digestive enzymes to digest anything but milk until after they are six months old. You are causing harm to their GI Tract by giving them something their body isn’t physically capable of processing just yet. You know those adults with things like GERD, IBS and other GI issues, well it all started with a taste, a bite and a lick of something other than milk before age six months old.

Put together a meal plan, with a menu. Include the whole days worth of food and drinks, not just dinner.
Here is  Free Download and Print Baby – Toddler Menu and Meal Planner.

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So what can you give your baby that is older than six months old? They just aren’t exactly ready to chomp on everything on our plates but you don’t want them grabbing at your foods either. And you want to help them feel like they are inclusive of family Thanksgiving dinner. 

Check out some nutritional information about what we are eating on Thanksgiving Day

Food And Drinks For a Filling and Healthy Thanksgiving Baby or Toddler Belly

Ideas of food choices for older babies ( 6+ months ), toddlers and even some preschoolers can easily and safely enjoy Thanksgiving meals from brands such as Earth’s Best, Ella’s Kitchen and Gerber. 

Make Little Ones Little Foodies By Introducing Flavors And Textures – Even Spices! Little Ones Can Enjoy Cinnamon, Cumin & Rosemary. ~ Get Your Little Foodie Going This Holiday Season! – Deena Blanchard MD, MPH is a board certified pediatrician working at Premier Pediatrics.

A Baby or Toddler Thanksgiving breakfast can include some fruit , yogurt from Gerber, Cheerios an egg (for toddler) and a couple of ounces of Ella’s Kitchen juice. 

Baby’s First Thanksgiving Breakfast Meal Idea

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Toddler’s First Thanksgiving Breakfast Meal Idea

 

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A Baby or Toddler Thanksgiving Lunch can include Ella’s Kitchen – Chicken Casserole, some Earth’s Best Mac n Cheese with Carrots and Broccoli pieces, if there are any fruits left over from breakfast and the remaining juice from the morning. 

Baby’s First Thanksgiving Lunch Meal Idea

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Toddler’s First Thanksgiving Lunch Meal Idea

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A Baby or Toddler Thanksgiving Dinner can be the main feast! Earth’s Best has a tasty Turkey dinner. Your child wont have to miss a thing when it comes to sharing foods that are like our own, except their foods have just the right amount of seasonings that are just right for their developing and growing bodies.

Baby’s First Thanksgiving Dinner Meal Idea

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Toddler’s First Thanksgiving Dinner Meal Idea

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Thanksgiving Snacks For Baby Or Toddler

If you can prepare some snacks ahead of time, that would save you some anxiety on Turkey day. If not, here are some snack suggestions to keep on hand for your baby or toddler. Sometimes they just need a little snack in between meals. Have these ready to eat so reduce hunger meltdowns.

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How about Toddler Thanksgiving Entertainment, What Can They Do? 

Set up a Toddler activity center. Get various art supplies that are safe for toddlers like crayons made for toddlers, paper, feathers, glue sticks, Popsicle sticks and other fun items. Let them explore the supplies and freely create something.

The more items that can be used independently without too much help from you, the better. One item can entertain a toddler for about fifteen minutes. That gives you time to check on the turkey! 

Prepare multiple activities ahead of time when it comes to having toddlers or preschoolers during the thanksgiving celebrations. Make a Thanksgiving Sensory Bin with items that let them use various senses. Items can be Thanksgiving themed felt pieces, colored rice, feathers,  buttons, pumpkin scented Playdoh and other Thanksgiving related items that are also safe for your child. 

Put together an activity center where it’s not in the way but you can also keep a watchful eye out. 

Check out Toddler Workboxes, setting this up ahead of time will save so much frustration on thanksgiving day. Click through this slideshow for more Thanksgiving fun that are baby and toddler friendly.

 

DIY Thanksgiving Hat Kids Craft Honey and Lime Blog

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DIY Thankgiving Turkey Hat Tutorial | Thank you Deanna for your contribution!

Halloween Goodies Swap Challenge

Halloween Goodies Swap Challenge

I am challenging you to participate in a Nutritional Halloween Snack Swap. How many times have we gone trick-or-treating during Halloween and get a humongous bag full of candy for our little ones?

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Every single year, right! With so much information out there about our nutritional needs we can especially use them for Halloween too.

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Halloween marks a time when many begin to fall off their wagon and give into all the sugar and simple carbs that we are bombarded with.

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We can begin to change this behavior starting out with our children is really important.

What we do with our children today shapes their entire future. Below are some interesting things to offer.

Goodies don’t have to be just candy anymore.

Halloween time has such a huge selection of fun things to use as goodies for Halloween parties and even your trick-or-treaters.

Greet your Halloween guests with various Halloween goodies such as toys, books and a wide range of tasty snacks.

For example when your party guests arrive, greet them with a smoothie. Instead of juice, a smoothie is a nutritional Halloween Snack Swap choice. This smoothie is also a great choice to take along your Halloween Trick-or-Treat route.

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 Year after year, it is the same thing. Going from neighbor to neighbor all handing out things that contribute to diabetes and other health issues.

What about those children who have food allergies? Or children whose parents do not give them candy. Offering alternatives for children allows more children to participate.

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What about tired toddlers and preschoolers? Having a toddler and preschooler party allows children in these age ranges to feel included in the festivities. It gets tiring walking around.

Do you host or attend a Toddler Halloween Party?

I am already planning my toddler and preschool friendly Halloween party for next year.

What else can you include in your Halloween Goodies Swap

It is time we adopt new Halloween goodies traditions.  Have you ever tried to hand out something other than candies like little toys little mini books crayons, coloring books and healthy snacks.

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These are some fun Halloween goodies to pass out that gives the children something else to do, other than goggle up cavities….. ooops, I mean candy.

There Are a Variety Of Nutritional Halloween Snacks Are Available Including Activities to Use Them With

Have you seen Kate’s Green Halloween Treats I love her ideas, they are fun and the kids don’t even realize the focus is on healthier snacks.

I saw that Earths Best has little cookies with letters on it. How cool is that to give away some little snacks that has letters on them. Not only are they a nutritional snack but also a fun activity the kids can use for spelling out words.

We went and picked up some letter cookies

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They can help each other spell their name, a  pets name,  your name,  dad’s name oh my gosh just the possibilities would be endless.

What a great way to introduce your preschooler into phonics as well. Letter recognition, matching letters and even beginning how to spell two letter to three letter words.  

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Confessions Of A Homeschooler offers free Letter Of the Week printables, she has paid versions too. Use resources like this with these cookies, it is perfect and it fits really well with it too.

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What Nutritional Halloween Snacks Did You Make The Switch With? 

You can give your child a pouch food to snack on while your trick-or-treating or just before you go trick-or-treating that way they’re not saying “hey I want to piece of candy”. Not knowing whether the candy from this house or that house is a safe piece of candy before you can get a chance to check the candy to make sure it’s OK.

Check out the snack variety Ella’s Kitchen offers

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I highly suggest  taking along some snacks to give your child a snack for the Halloween adventures.

 I took the Nutritional Halloween Snack Swap Challenge and here is what I came up with:

  1. Ella’s Kitchen pouch foods 
  2. Ella’s Kitchen juice box and a smoothie
  3. Earth’s Best letters and their chocolate chip cookies in a little Ziploc bag 

Before we left my toddler ate some of his fruit and veggie melts that I make for him daily.

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What choices did you make for the Nutritional Halloween Snack Swap? Give us some suggestions in the conversation below. 

Here are some other Spooky Halloween things to do too

Bloody Eye Popcorn

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Here is the simple recipe: ½ c dehydrated strawberries, ground into powder. 4 c of popcorn, popped. 1 Tbl. Betsy’s Best peanut butter, almond butter or seedbutter. 3 Tbl. rice syrup 4 Tbl. butter 1 bag eyeball candy Melt together the butter, Betsy’s Best and rice syrup in a microwave for approximately 30 45 seconds, remove and stir until smooth. Add the strawberry powder and mix until smooth. Pour over popcorn in a bowl and mix with spatula.

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Spooky Graveyard How To

Easy Ways to Turn Your Front Yard into a Spooky Graveyard

Halloween will soon be here. If you’re used to decorating your door for those trick or treating, you may be interested in easy ways to turn your front yard into a spooky graveyard this year. Instead of minimal decorations, why not go all out?

You don’t have to break the budget to come up with the decorations for your yard, but you will want to give those decorations some thought, I have seen some messy front yards before. I couldn’t understand the concept they were even going for, don’t let that be you. Here are some ideas you can use to create that spooky graveyard.  Plus getting the kids involved gives them something to do and hey, it’s a great fun family activity.

It is easy to find large cardboard boxes which are being thrown away. Ask any furniture or electronics store if you can have their boxes after taking items from them. These boxes make a great base for the gravestones.

* Think about the size and shape of gravestones. They are often rectangles with rounded corners, cross-shaped or any number of other shapes. How large you make the gravestones will depend upon what size and how many boxes you get. Cut out the gravestones.

* Paint all of the boxes gray or other natural stone colors. You can also use chalk (there is a chalkboard paint btw)in varying colors to create the look of weathered stone.

* With a large, thick marker, write R.I.P. in large letters toward the top of the tombstone. You can write names on each of the cardboard tombstones with varying dates from different time periods. get creative, it doesn’t have to look like all the others. If you have an artist in the house, they can have fun with drawing skulls and other spooky, scary stuff on them.

* Dig down a little ways to place the bottom of the cardboard into the ground. If necessary, place a stick or something behind the cardboard to help it remain standing.

* Mound leaves or maybe some black carnations or roses in front of the cardboard tombstone to make it look like a graveyard with recent additions.

* The more gravestones you add to your yard, the more “real” and spooky it becomes.

Other things you may want to include in your yard to create the spooky graveyard you seek are “ghosts” made from sheets or garbage bags. Don’t forget to put eyes and mouths on them. Hang them from the trees. Spider webbing, it helps make it scary with spiders lingering around or make it look haunted and abandoned.

You may also want to get some large orange garbage bags which are normally sold before Halloween. Real jack-o-lanterns with candles can also be placed around the yard and on the porch to add to the atmosphere.

Spider webs hung from trees and across the entry way would also give the impression of a graveyard. What do you make spider webs from? Gauze-like material and stretchable webbing are available where costumes and party favors are sold.

Find scary Halloween music which can be played during the evening while children trick or treating visit. Strobe lights will give the impression of lightening, and dry ice can create fog which covers the ground. These and the above ideas are some of the easy ways to turn your front yard into a spooky graveyard children will talk about until next year. I found this cool graveyard scavenger hunt, looks like so much fun. And here are some fun Halloween printables too.

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Basic Witch Costume How To

Basic Witch Costume How To

What is more fun than being a witch for Halloween? Well, of course making a mess .. I mean making the costume ourself right! Mom, you are so busy with making sure the kids are all set, how about giving these simple instructions for a witch costume to the kids to make on their own, of course with your supervision and guidance.

Letting your child make their own costume isn’t just fun for them, it frees up your own time too. Ok, ok had to put that in there, but it actually teaches your child many things too.

  • How to follow instructions. Best Life Skill Ever!
  • Get creative, though there are instructions, they can use it as more of a general guide and put their own spin on it.
  • Fine and gross motor skills. Things like cutting, gluing even painting.

– Just to name a few.

How to Make Your Own Witch Costume for Halloween

Children love to dress up during Halloween. And if you still love to dress up, mine do it all year long. The following information will give you ideas on how to make a great Halloween costume with items you probably already have in your home.

Witches are a part of history both in the United States and around the world. While Hollywood has given us different images of witches, historical drawings show them wearing pointy black hats and black flowing gowns. They may also wear a cape of some type.

Since the stereotypical image of a witch is as described above, these directions will explain how to create that type of costume. Here are the items you’ll need to create a pointy hat:

Cardboard
Newspaper
Black paint and paint brush
Black ribbon
Glue
Tape
Scissors

Make a cone from the newspaper. After you’re sure the cone will fit your head, tape the edges both inside and out to help the cone maintain its shape.

  1. Place the cone you’ve created on the cardboard. Trace around the outside of the cone to mark where your head will go. Then draw another circle, 4 to 5 inches wider, to create the brim. Carefully cut both of these out.
  2. Push the cone into the center and tape it to the brim. For added stability, tape the cone on top and underneath to secure the brim to the cone. Finish the witch’s hat by painting it black and adding a black ribbon to cover the seam.

For the rest of the costume you can wear black clothing. A skirt or dress with ragged edges can be used, along with a long-sleeved black shirt and black cape. Pointy-toed boots and dark stockings will complete the clothing part of the costume.

Don’t forget that make-up makes a woman or a witch. Use temporary gray dye or powder in your hair to make you look older. Make a pointy nose out of clay and use make-up to create a greenish complexion. Black out one or more teeth and you’re set to give other party-goers or trick-or-treaters a toothy grin.

Some witches have been shown having a large wart or mole. To create one of these, you can use an eyeliner pencil to draw it on either your nose or your chin. This will complete your costume.

Once you know how to make your own witch costume for Halloween it may give you the confidence you need to make other costumes in the future. You can also use these tips to create costumes all year round. Here are some witch printables too. witch

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