Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Party Fun

Halloween is Monday! If your mom or dad need some really fun ideas for party games this weekend, take a look at some of my favorites here!

Supplies needed: 3 small pumpkins, 10 empty two-liter soda bottles.
Instructions: Arrange soda bottles like bowling pins and have kids stand at least 10 feet away and bowl the pumpkins. The kid who knocks down the most bottles wins!

Supplies needed: Large bag of plastic spiders or spider rings.
Instructions: Before the party starts, hide the spiders throughout the party area. The player or team who finds the most spiders by the end of the party wins a prize.

Supplies needed: A CD player and Halloween songs CD, plenty of space.
Instructions: Players dance and walk like zombies to the Halloween song, but when the music stops abruptly, they must too. Any player who moves or falls when the music has stopped is out for the round. Last zombie standing is the winner.

Supplies needed: Candy corn, two plastic jack-o-lanterns or pumpkins.
Instructions: Like horseshoes, teams of two toss pieces of candy corn into pumpkins placed 10-12 feet away. The team with the most candy corn in the pumpkins wins. Be sure to throw this candy away after the game and not eat it!

Remember to have a happy, fun and SAFE Halloween! Write to me and let me know what you dress up as and what games you played!

Make a Goofy Graveyard! Cut out tombstones from construction paper and write silly, creepy names on them. Here are some ideas:

- Ima Goner
- Will B. Back
- R. U. Next
- Justin Tyme
- C. U. Again
- Frank N. Stein
- I. M. Alive
- Barry M. Deep

Color your tombstones with crayons and decorate your party or room. It's also fun to put them on sticks and place them on your front lawn for trick-or-treaters to see. Have fun!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Flu Blues

Uh oh. Here it comes. Flu season. Yuck. Nobody likes being sick. It puts a thorn in your boot and hogties your activities. But there are some easy things you can do to keep from catching the flu!

In my book Jimmy Jam Germ and the Happy Handshake, I met up with a new pal who taught me about the importance of always washing your hands. His special fist-bumping handshake keeps germs away.

Keep these hand washing tips in mind to keep the nitty gritties away:
- Wet your hands with warm water and use a good amount of soap.
- Rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds, covering all parts of the hands and fingernails.
- Rinse hands with water.
- Dry well with a disposable towel.
- Use a towel to turn off the faucet.

Here are a few other healthy habits to keep from spreading germs:
- Don't share things like spoons, knives, forks, cups and bottles.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and wash your hands afterwards. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper arm, not your hands.
- Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth to keep germs from entering your body.

Sing the "Clean Hand Jive" while you're scrubbing the nitty gritties away!
Click here to hear the "Clean Hand Jive"

It's almost Halloween! Time to get your trick-or-treat on! You can go to the library and find books of kid jokes or check out some safe websites, with your parents' permission.

Here are some of my favorite Halloween riddles to tell your neighbors to earn your treats!
- What do you call a witch who lives at the beach? A sand-witch.
- What is a mummy's favorite type of music? Wrap!
- Where does Count Dracula usually eat his lunch? At the casketeria.
- What do you call a goblin that gets too close to a bonfire? A toasty ghosty.
- Why didn't the skeleton cross the road? He had no guts.
- What's it like to be kissed by a vampire? It's a pain in the neck.
- Where did the ghost get its hair done? At the boo-ty shop.
- What did the skeleton order with his drink? A mop.
- What did one jack-o-lantern say to the other on their way to the Halloween party? "Let's get glowing!"

Here's a website with lots more funny Halloween riddles:

Remember to always trick-or-treat with a grownup! Have fun!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Joyful Jack-o-Lanterns!

What do you use to mend a jack-o-lantern? A pumpkin patch!

It’s that time of year again when we get to carve pumpkins to make spooky and fun jack-o-lanterns! I don’t know about you, but I love to reach my hands in and scoop out the ooey gooey pumpkin guts and take out the seeds!

You can trace a funny or scary face on a pumpkin and carve it out. Be sure to have a grownup do the cutting! When you finish, coat your jack-o-lantern with Vaseline to keep it from drying out and shriveling. If it does shrivel up, soak it in water overnight.

Did I mention that I love roasted pumpkin seeds? Here’s my friend L’il Pinky’s recipe for roasted seeds. Make sure you always cook with a grownup!

- 1 1/3 cups pumpkin seeds, cleaned and rinsed
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat over to 350 degrees F.
Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
Mix the pumpkin seeds with the garlic powder, salt and black pepper on baking sheet and toss to combine.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until seeds are crispy and light golden brown.
Remove from the oven and stir with a spatula to release any stuck seeds and cool completely before serving.

Yum! Decorate some snack baggies and share them with family and friends for a scary good treat!

Next week, I'll give you some spooky and funny jokes to tell while you're trick-or-treating!

Make a Thumbs Up Johnnie-o-Lantern! Carve a pumpkin with a Thumbs Up Johnnie face!

Step 1: Have a grownup help you print out the attached template.
Step 2: Carefully cut out the eyes and mouth.
Step 3: Tape or glue the paper eyes and mouth to the side of a small or medium size pumpkin.
Step 4: Using a marker, trace around the eyes and mouth to make cut lines. You can remove the paper pieces now or leave them on.
Step 5: Have a grownup carefully cut a large round hole in the top of the pumpkin around the stem.
Step 6: Scoop out the seeds and pumpkin pulp. Separate the seeds for roasting.
Step 7: Have a grownup cut around the eyes and mouth.
Step 8: Remove any extra pumpkin pulp inside the eyes and mouth.
Step 9: Print out the attached Thumbs Up Johnnie hat and tape it to the front top of the face.
Step 10: Have a grownup place a light or candle inside your Thumbs Up Johnnie-o-Lantern and enjoy!

Click on the links below for the templates to make your own Johnnie-o-Lantern!
Thumbs Up Johnnie Jack-o-Lantern Template
Thumbs Up Johnnie Hat Template

Friday, October 7, 2011

Perfectly Pumpkins!

I don't know about you but I love fall! And October is one of my favorite months. With cooler weather, Halloween, hayrides and autumn colors, what's not to love? Know what one of my favorite things about October is? Pumpkins! Here are some fun facts about pumpkins you might not have known...

- Pumpkins are a fruit
- Pumpkins are 90% water
- Pumpkins can weigh as little as one pound or as much as 1,000 pounds
- Roasted pumpkin seeds are a delicious snack
- The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds
- The name pumpkin comes from the Greek word "pepon," which means "large melon."

Next week I'll tell you about pumpkin carving and making jack-o-lanterns, so mosey on over here again and check it out!

Different trees grow different kind of leaves, and during this time of year, those leaves like to change colors and fall to the ground. This weekend, go outside and find five different shaped leaves. Be sure to stay away from poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac! They can make you itch and cause a rash. Look at the pictures below so you know not to touch those. After you've collected your leaves, try to figure out what kind of tree they came from. Then trace them on a piece of white paper and color them. Don't forget to sign your artwork!