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Halloween Guide

This page is Edutaining Kids' Guide to Halloween.

Here, we offer activities, links to Halloween sites, as well as mini-reviews and recommendations of videos and DVDs, books, software, and audio choices for celebrating Halloween.
 

Halloween Activities

Part of the fun of Halloween is all in the preparation. Making and choosing costumes, enjoying spooky-themed arts and crafts, decorating the house and the yard...

We've found a very kid-friendly book that compiles activities for all of these preparations and more. Halloween baking, instructions for homemade costumes, crafts that kids will enjoy making and that can serve as wonderful decorations for the house, and so forth. There's even instructions for a very artistic "spooky sky" painting. What follows is a sample activity from the book in which kids use sponges to sponge-print ghosts. (Click on the images to enlarge instructions).

 

See our full review of the Halloween Activities book.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Halloween Activities (Kid Kits) at Amazon.com]

 

Sample Activity from the above book, Halloween Activities, you can try at home:
 Sponge-printed Ghosts Activity for Kids

 

 

Click on either image above to enlarge instructions for this fun craft.

 

Halloween Costumes

When you have a killer hat, you've almost got your whole costume. We've stumbled upon some truly exciting additions to any family's costume box -- costume/novelty hats from elope Inc. They are gorgeous, well-made, and useful for imaginative play around the year as well as for Halloween. Hats like the Robotman are part of the company's Little Daydreamers series (they also produce a wide range of costume and novelty hats for adults). Because of its "boxy" shape, it is made for kids ages 3-10, while many of the hats in the same series are adjustable to fit children older than 10, like the Kitty Pirate hat that's just perfect for little and big girls on Halloween. These are exceptionally well-made costume hats that will be show-stoppers, hands down.

See all of elope Inc's costume hats. Hats and accessories for King Tut, Dr. Seuss, kings, princesses, pirates and more, in a variety of sizes from toddlers up.

 

Halloween Links

101 Halloween Ideas is a web site devoted to listing idea after idea (101 of them!) for making this Halloween extra special. Another feature-packed web site, which is a portal to Halloween features and guides, is found at the long-standing Halloween Online. "Pumpkin Carving 101" shows you the basics of creating jack o lanterns at this site. And, for the more studious types, The History Channel has a feature about the History of Halloween. This exhibit features history of the celebration itself and the jack o' lantern, Halloween celebrations around the world, a collection of ghost stories, and more. 

 

Halloween Books

Jerry Seinfeld's first children's book is an absolute scream. Halloween is based on a comedy routine of Seinfeld's nostalgic, jaded look at the "holiday". The illustrations by James Bennett (who has drawn for Mad Magazine) depict Jerry as a kid, and perfectly capture Jerry's "look" as he begins his Halloween career enthusiastically ("I'll do anything I have to do to get the candy from those fools who are so stupidly giving it away."), to his eventual need to be more than just a ghost or hobo ("I knew my destiny was to one day get a real Superman Halloween costume from the store"), to his sarcastic let's-just-get-on-with-it Halloween escapades as a perhaps too-old-for-Halloween kid. Since the story is written from the perspective of an adult looking back on Halloween, much of its humor will go over the heads of kids who are still very much in the middle of Halloween fever. Parents will laugh out loud, and older kids will "get" some of it too (having to wear a coat over your costume, the flimsy rubber bands on the masks). Younger kids will find the illustrations amusing, but the more sophisticated elements of the humor in the book are lost on them. Seinfeld fans will thoroughly enjoy the addition of a hilarious visual to his comedy routine--it adds layers of fun.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Halloween (Byron Preiss Book) at Amazon.com]

Here at Edutaining Kids, we're big fans of Ed Emberley's art books for children. They're kooky, fun, and practical all at once. For children who love to draw, and who don't mind some art instruction, Ed Emberley's latest book, Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Weirdos is filled with step-by-step illustrated instructions for drawing skeletons, skulls, witches, bats, and all sorts of other spooky and creepy creatures. Another excellent book by Ed Emberley is Ed Emberley's Halloween Drawing Book.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Weirdos  or Ed Emberley's Drawing Book of Halloween (Ed Emberley Drawing Books) at Amazon.com]

 

Halloween DVDs

Kids can celebrate Halloween along with favorite characters in these Halloween treats.

If your kids love Spongebob SquarePants, they are likely to enjoy this Halloween edition video that compiles 5 episodes with "spooky" themes. Even better, the DVD edition features 5 bonus (not Halloween-themed) episodes in addition to the main feature. In Spongebob SquarePants Halloween, there's a fun spoof on Frankenstein, plenty of verbal fun and creativity, and the usual silliness that makes the show so popular with kids (and even with many adults). 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: SpongeBob SquarePants - Halloween (DVD) at Amazon.com]

In Sesame Street: A Magical Halloween Adventure, the monsters (Elmo, Zoe, and Telly) get invited to a Tricks & Treats party. They enjoy a fabulous hay ride, learn how to carve pumpkins and make scarecrows, and interact with Mumford the Magician as well as guest start Caroline Rhea as Gilda the Great.  

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Sesame Street - A Magical Halloween Adventure (DVD) at Amazon.com]

Parents can share a Peanuts classic video with their kids with It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! Linus is obsessed with The Great Pumpkin, who he believes distributes toys to those children who have faith in him. The Peanuts go trick-or-treating (and who can forget poor Charlie Brown's rocks in his bag?), while Sally stays faithfully at Linus' side in the pumpkin patch, waiting for the Great Pumpkin.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (Remastered Deluxe Edition) (DVD) at Amazon.com]

Spookley the Square Pumpkin is based on the children's book, The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano, and is a CGI-animated special premiering on DVD. Designed to promote tolerance, the story stars a square pumpkin who is subject to ridicule because of his odd shape. The message is a good one, but be sure your kids are old enough to distinguish between right and wrong. The poor square pumpkin is made fun of and songs are even sung about his being a "loser" at the beginning of the movie. Spookley does prove himself at the Jack-a-lympics where his square-ness is even more obvious. His emotions are written all over his face, encouraging children to sympathize with him. Kids who are old enough to have sympathy for the pumpkin will benefit from the movie's message.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Spookley the Square Pumpkin (DVD) at Amazon.com]

 

"Haunted"-themed Software & Video Games

Nancy Drew: The Legend of the Crystal Skull, is a perfect choice for teen sleuths. Secret passageways, grave guides, epitaphs, glass eyes, tombs...all Halloween fare found in a game that is as absorbing as it is satisfying. This game is appropriate for kids (girls and boys) ages 12 and up.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Nancy Drew: The Legend of the Crystal Skull at Amazon.com]

coverFist-fighting, weapon-wielding skeletons, pirate zombies, annoying imps, and haunted furniture are just some of the "ghoulies" Cooper, the boy-hero of Grabbed By the Ghoulies for the XBox, has to contend with after an evil Baron captures his girlfriend and holds her prisoner in a very haunted mansion. This video game is absolutely hilarious--and it's accessible to younger, perhaps less experienced, gamers as well. Ideal for the whole family, this humorous, graphically-rich beat-'em-up game is entertaining, gently challenging for kids, and hilarious fun. Very satisfying game! If your family doesn't already own an XBox, this game might be your motivation to get one. See our full review of the game here

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Grabbed By The Ghoulies at Amazon.com]

If your kids enjoy I Spy books, they will love the I Spy computer game series as well. In I Spy Spooky Mansion Deluxe, kids try to make their way out of a haunted house by solving picture riddles. There are a total of 3 adventures in the game, and as fun as it is to play, it's also a great workout for the brain. The haunted house theme, complete with a skeleton host, is perfect for Halloween.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: I Spy: Spooky Mansion Deluxe at Amazon.com]

Although it's not about Halloween, Pajama Sam No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside explores Sam's fear of the dark. This is a classic software title that's probably best for kids ages 7-8 and up. Fun characters and graphics, challenging problem-solving, and games are featured in this original Pajama Sam adventure. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Pajama Sam: No Need to Hide When It's Dark Outside (Jewel Case)   at Amazon.com]

Luigi's Mansion for the Nintendo GameCube is filled with fun and silly spookiness as Mario's brother, Luigi, searches through a haunted mansion for Mario. Ghosts galore inhabit this mansion, and Luigi needs to suck them up with his Poltergust. This game is enjoyable and comical. See our review of the game for more information and a rating.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Luigi's Mansion at Amazon.com]

Scooby Doo Phantom of the Knight is part of a series of Scooby Doo adventures that involve exploring, finding clues, and nabbing the culprit. You should be aware that, although the box says it's for ages 5 and up, the game is rather challenging. It's easy to get stuck! For those up to the challenge (probably best for kids ages 9-11), the graphics are cartoony and fun, and the story line is quite intriguing. Once the puzzle is solved, you can play again with some new surprises, but it is far less challenging subsequent times through.

However, Scooby Doo The Glowing Bug Man is a better choice for children ages 6 to 9, which is far less complex than the title mentioned above, yet it remains a good choice. Great graphics and a fun mystery to solve will keep kids interested.

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Scooby-Doo: Glowing Bug Man at Amazon.com]

 

Spooky Sounds

Halloween Howls is a compilation of songs--some covers, but mostly originals--that focus on witches, goblins, trick-or-treating, and more. They're silly, just a little spooky, and fun for the whole family. This CD features Andrew Gold and guest appearances by Linda Ronstadt and David Cassidy. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Halloween Howls (CD) at Amazon.com]

While Halloween Howls is appropriate for the whole family, Spooky Favorites is best for the youngest members. Part of a series of CDs and cassettes for toddlers and preschoolers, this one compiles songs that celebrate Halloween. Favorites like Five Little Pumpkins and There Was an Old Woman are here, as well as other familiar songs with re-worked lyrics, such as If You're Scary And You Know It. 

[For more information, user reviews, or to buy: Spooky Favorites (CD) at Amazon.com]

 

 

Online Shopping Options:

Go to the Halloween Boootique at Amazon.com for costumes, books, games, and more: Halloween Boo-tique

 

 

 

 


 


 


Amazon's Holiday Toy List


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 2010
 

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