Halloween is almost here! The stores are packed with candy, everyone is picking costumes out and the haunted houses are open for business. My 13-teen-year old and his friends are begging to go to a local haunted house/zombie paintball attraction (apparently zombie paintball is very popular – who knew?). If this type of frightful night is too much for your young child, she can make her own spooky haunt that is much more tame. This haunted house project also doubles as a puppet theater.
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The other morning I blearily trotted down to my basement. My son’s gym clothes were still in the dryer from the night before and I wanted to get them out before he woke up (and before the new puppy made a puddle on the living room floor). In my 6 am stupor I found a puddle of a different sort – the hot water heater had finally said its final farewell (in all fairness to the old appliance, it did last three years past the plumber’s estimate). What does this have to do with haunted house puppet theater crafts? After the plumber replaced the old hot water heater with a brand new one, he let me know that his company doesn’t take the over-sized box that’s left behind. I gleefully exclaimed, “Fantastic!” He gave me that, “Hey, ok – crazy” look as I mumbled something to the effect of, “Um, I have a blog about kids’ activities, so I can use it for a project.”
If you don’t have to get a new hot water heater (and, I sincerely hope you don’t) you can use another large box. You can also modify the instructions and use a smaller box.
Here’s What You’ll Need:
· A cardboard box
· Card stock paper or poster paper
· Clear drying school glue
· White Crayola Model Magic
· Googley eyes
Here’s What to Do
1. Cut a slit at the box’s joint. Make the slit go one-third of the way down. This will become the opening to see the puppet play. Although I’m all for having kids make their own art, cutting the cardboard along the joint is tough. It’s likely that you’ll need to do this step for your child.
2. Cut another slit to the bottom (or almost to the bottom of the box) to use as a door.
3. Cover the front of the box with paper. Your child can paint the box instead. The paper gives a patchwork like effect, and dries quicker than paint. If your child paints the box, she’ll need to glue on a piece of paper at the top as a roof.
4. Create a roof for the house. Have your child cut diagonal lines along the top piece of paper.
5. Make spooky windows. Cut squares or rectangles from back paper (this is an ideal time to talk about shapes with your child).
6. Roll dime-sized balls of Model Magic.
7. Squish the Model Magic on the black paper to make ghosts.
8. Glue googley eyes to the ghosts.
9. Glue the ghost windows to the haunted house.
10. Pull apart cotton puffs to make spider webs.
11. Glue the spider webs to the outside of the haunted house.
Now your child is ready to stage her own pretend play! If you don’t have themed puppets to play with, check out my cute glitter ghost stick puppets.
Are you looking for more fall projects? Follow my Pinterest board for ideas!