Fall Bucket List {30 Fun Things To Do This Fall}

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Fall is here! I loved sitting at Jacob’s football game yesterday because the sun was shining and I was nice and warm in a pretty sweater and boots. Along with it being football season and Pumpkin Spice latte time, there are a number of other fun things I’m looking forward to doing with my family. I love creating bucket lists of fun things to do so I decided to get all of my ideas written down (well, typed…) to share with you all and to have a list ready for next weekend. There is nothing better than a day spent with family that ends with everyone going to bed with smiles on their faces :)

Here are the things we hope to do before winter is here:

1) Go to the pumpkin patch

2) Take a nature walk and write in our nature journals

3) Make leaf men with leaves we find

4) Bake an apple or pumpkin dessert

5) Carve pumpkins

6) Go on a hayride

7) Have movie night in front of the fire

8) Go to a high school or college football game

9) Dress up in costumes and go trick or treating

10) Donate food to a local food pantry

11) Make homemade cinnamon apples

12) Have a fire in the fire pit and enjoy smores

13) Throw a football watching party

14) Take a road trip to look at all the beautiful fall colors

15) Make a bird feeder

16) Have a family game night and play a fall themed game

17) Go to ‘Boo at the Zoo’

18) Have a special Halloween lunch

19) Make chili on a Sunday afternoon

20) Attend a fall festival

21) Find a pile of leaves and jump in them

22) Make a list of the things we are thankful for

23) Have a fun dance party dancing to spooky songs like ‘Monster Mash’

24) Make leaf rubbings

25) Make a scarecrow

26) Fill a box for Operation Christmas Child

27) Go camping

28) Take a family photo

29) Host or attend a costume party

30) Make a fall snack mix with Goldfish crackers (we love popcorn, Goldfish crackers, raisins, dried apples and chocolate candies)

I’d love to hear what fun things are on your list to do this fall season and Goldfish wants to know how you enjoy fall as well! Share your ‘Goldfish Tales’ for a chance to win prizes. Click the image below for more details on entering.

Candy Corn Haystacks

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Butterscotch haystacks are one of my favorite cookies and one I make often because they are so easy to make. These no-bake cookies only need a few ingredients and, while the inclusion of noodles in this cookie may make you question them, they really taste delicious! They are also versatile. I first shared the recipe for them on my blog in 2010 as a Christmas treat idea. Then this past March made them into nests topped with PEEPS for an Easter treat. Now I’m transforming them into the perfect fall treat by adding a Halloween candy staple to them.

Makes 15-20 haystack cookies.

Ingredients

  • 1 package of butterscotch morsels
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1½ packages (18 ounces) crispy chow mein noodles
  • Candy corn

Directions

Melt butterscotch morsels in a microwave-safe bowl in microwave for 30 seconds on high power, then stir. Continue melting for 10-second intervals, stirring after each one, until smooth.

Stir peanut butter into melted butterscotch and thoroughly combine.

Place crispy chow mein noodles into a large bowl and add butterscotch/peanut butter mixture. Combine until all noodles are coated.

Drop a tablespoon of chow mein mixture onto a baking sheet lined with wax paper and repeat with the remaining mixture.

Top each haystack with a few candy corn.

Refrigerate until the haystacks harden, about 30–60 minutes and store in an airtight container or plastic bag.

It’s amazing how the crispy, kind of salty flavor of the chow mein noodles mix with the butterscotch and peanut butter flavors to form one sweet Halloween treat. Hope you all enjoy them!

Mummy Pretzel Sticks

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Looking for a super easy snack for Halloween parties? These Mummy Pretzel Sticks take less than 10 minutes to make and can be a fun afternoon activity for children to help with. Kids (and adults!) will love these spooky treats.

Recipe yields 15-20 Mummy Pretzel Sticks

Ingredients

  • Pretzel rods
  • Package of white chocolate candy melts
  • Candy eyes or black icing (found by the sprinkles)
  • White icing (optional)

Melt the white chocolate candy melts according to the directions on the package

Dip the pretzel rods in the white chocolate and lay them on wax paper

Use the icing to pipe zigzag lines across the white chocolate

Add two eyes to each “mummy” using either the candy eyes or dots of black icing

Aren’t these fun?! What’s your favorite Halloween treat?

 

Monster Krispies

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Now that the kids are back in school we are getting ready for the next big things in our life- our family vacation and Halloween. Since my Disney Halloween playlist is getting so many views the past couple weeks I figured many of you all are in the Halloween mood as well. I wanted to share a super fun, quick Halloween treat that your kids can help you make.

I am calling this treat “Monster Krispies” because they are rice krispy treats designed to look like monsters. You can make homemade rice krispy treats or take the easy way out (like I did) and use the premade treats. No judgement here :)

Along with rice krispy treats, you will need colored candy wafers (found by the cake supplies at Michaels and Hobby Lobby) and candy eyes (found by the sprinkles). Now a word of caution here: I recommend finding wafers that are the color you want. I thought I’d get creative and use white candy melts with food coloring but the extra stirring caused the candy melts to turn into a frosting like paste which will not work for this recipe.

To start, melt your candy wafers according to the packaging. You’ll want to stir every so often and get out all the lumps.

Once melted, dip your rice krispy treat in the melted chocolate and completely coat the rice krispy treat. (I recommend putting a stick or skewer into the rice krispy treat for easy dipping.)

Let the excess candy drip off the rice krispy treat and then lay it out on wax paper or parchment paper.

Immediately put the candy eyes on the treats. I chose to make mine look like monsters with many eyes.

Let the Monster Krispies harden and then put in an airtight container once done.

What’s your favorite Halloween treat to make?

Last Minute Halloween Party Ideas

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I love planning elaborate parties but sometimes I just don’t have the time to do so. This season has been a perfect example with football, work, personal events and travel taking up so much of my time. I wanted to have a little Halloween party for the kids and decided it was just going to be a low key event this year. A couple weekends ago, in between Jacob’s noon football game and the boy’s Awana program at night, I ran to the store and and bought everything we needed and then hosted a spooktacular, kid-friendly party on a budget. A huge thanks to Meijer for making all of this possible.

The first thing I typically do for parties is dress my kids up for the theme so when I came across these Halloween shirts I just had to get each of the kids one. I love the designs that Meijer had this year. How cute is that little owl my niece is wearing?!

For the decorations I put a Halloween tablecloth down, added some pumpkin plates and napkins, a pumpkin bowl and orange dishes for the snacks. Instead of buying themed cups I figured it would be cheaper and provide an extra activity for the kids if I had them decorate their own cups. I bought clear plastic cups and a $1 sticker book and let the kids personalize their cups.

After decorating the cups we played a couple indoor games. The favorite one was pin the mouth on the skeleton. Even my mom got in on the fun! I found this game in the Halloween aisles and it was easy to grab and setup quickly.

 

We did a couple other activities, including playing with the jumping spider party favors I’d bought and decorating wooden Halloween pieces with markers and glitter to take home. These kept the kids busy while we were heating up dinner.

The kids worked up an appetite after all that fun so it was time for dinner. I kept it simple with fried chicken from the deli, baked beans, potato salad and carrots (to keep with the orange theme). After dinner it was dessert. We had pumpkin shaped cookies, candy corn and gummy worms.

Once we ate it was time to get dressed up in our Halloween costumes. Meijer had sent us some costumes for the kids to wear at the party. The kids liked getting dressed up.

After the kids were in their costumes we went outside and played ring toss with witches hats. The kids liked this game a lot and it was nice to get outside a bit to burn off the sugar rush from dessert. I wrote a post last week about fun Halloween games if you are looking for more ideas.

When we came inside it was time to start wrapping up the party and getting ready to head to Awana. I pulled out the bowl full of candy and let each child fill up a goody bag with treats. They each got a noisemaker and the spider toy to take home, too.

Overall, this party was so easy to put together. It only took me about an hour to prepare for and setup (and that included shopping time!). The kids all had a great time and I loved knowing that no matter how busy I am, I could provide an afternoon of Halloween fun for them. Seriously, look at how much these kids enjoyed this party…doesn’t it make you want to throw one of your own??

If you loved this party please pin it! :)

GIVEAWAY:

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HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about Halloween

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Giveaway ends October 27, 2014 at 11:59pm CST. Must be 21 or older and a US resident to win.

Fun Active Halloween Games For Kids

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(Disclosure: I am currently serving as a “Play Ambassador” for Let’s Play. This is a sponsored post, however, the opinions expressed are my own.)

Can you believe that it’s mid-October already!? Halloween is just around the corner, which means the planning of spooktacular parties is in full gear! Since this holiday involves lots of sweets, I like to make sure my kids are getting in extra activity this time of year to keep them healthy and balanced. I planned a little party for my kids, niece and nephew recently and am also helping plan Luke’s classroom party for Halloween day so I’ve been brainstorming some fun, active activities to incorporate. There are lots of great craft ideas online to keep the kids busy at the party but not a whole lot of play ideas so I wanted to share some of my favorite, spooky ways to keep kids active.

One game we played at our little Halloween party was a basic ring toss game, but we added a Halloween twist by having the kids throw rings onto “witch’s hats.” We bought our set but you can easily make one yourself by getting black construction cones and decorating them to look like a witch’s hat.

Another fun game that I used to play growing up is called “Ghost in the Graveyard.” It’s definitely a game you can play year round, but its name perfect for a spooky Halloween party. We’d wait until the sun went down and then play a version of hide and seek where one person (the “ghost”) would hide while all the other players would look for him or her. Once a player found the “ghost,” they’d yell “ghost in the graveyard!” and everyone would run back to base while the “ghost” tried to tag them. Whoever the ghost tagged was the next person to hide. This is a great game to play with kids who are a little bit older and need to release lots of energy.

For the younger crowd, a game of “Pin the Mouth on the Skeleton” gets lots of giggles. There are several different Halloween-themed varieties of this game, including “Pin the Broom on the Witch” or “Pin the Leg on the Spider.” To kick up the activity level a notch, have the kids spin each other around and then try to place the piece on the right spot while blindfolded. It adds a bit of a challenge to the game and gives them the opportunity to get their bodies moving.

For more ideas visit LetsPlay.com and sign the Let’s Play pledge while you are there! You can also find Let’s Play on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

What are your favorite active games to play during the Halloween season?

 

 

10 Pumpkin Crafts For Preschoolers

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Halloween is right around the corner so I wanted to do a quick pumpkin craft roundup. All of these activities are great for preschoolers (and some work for toddlers and elementary aged kids as well). Have fun!

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Shaving Cream Pumpkins from Teaching Mama

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Button and Ribbon Pumpkins from Toddler Approved

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Paper Roll Pumpkin from Little Family Fun

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Pasta Pumpkin

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Tissue Paper Pumpkins from Mama’s Learning Corner

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Beaded Pumpkin from Craftulate

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Scented Pumpkins from Education.com

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Puffy Pumpkin Lacing from I Can Teach My Child

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Pumpkin Stamping from The Little People Place

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Water Bottle Pumpkin Jack O’ Lantern from Motherhood on a Dime

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Find 10 more Halloween crafts for preschoolers here.

5 Halloween Party Foods

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Hosting a Halloween party? Check out these 5 spooktacular treats and appetizers, courtesy of Cheryl Najafi, that will make your party one that will be talked about for years to come.

Creepy Crawly Deviled Eggs

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Popcorn Eyeballs

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Halloween Caramel Apples with DIY Broomsticks

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Creepy Cheese Stick Fingers

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Halloween Donut Hole Monsters

Find even more Halloween ideas (including decor and costumes) here.

About Cheryl: New York Times best-selling author of party-centric You’re So Invited: Panic Less, Play More and Get Your Party On!, no-fuss home entertaining and lifestyle expert, Cheryl Najafi, is revolutionizing home entertainment with simple, affordable, easy-to-do tips that ‘break the rules’ of “proper” hosting etiquette on CHERYLSTYLE.COM, along with ideas for DIY food & drink, handmade fashion, and practical yet artful innovative decor.

Halloween Treat Bags & Bingo Game {Free Printables}

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Halloween is coming up soon! Check out these cute printable treat bags and bingo game. They are just right for a spooktacular party! You can download and print them from the Paper Coterie blog.

15 Leaf Crafts & Activities For Kids

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One of my favorite Fall activities is to take the boys on a nature walk and collect leaves that we normally turn into leaf collages. I want to do something different this Fall so I searched online for some other ways to use the leaves we collect and other leaf themed activities and crafts that would be fun to do. Here are 15 of the best ones I found. Enjoy!

Building Speech & Language with Leaf Man by Author Lois Ehlert from Playing With Words 365

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Nature Crowns from Wildlife Fun 4 Kids

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Contact Paper Nature Collage from The Chocolate Muffin Tree

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Classifying Leaves from Two Little Seeds

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Bean Leaf Craft from All Kids Network

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Leaf Rubbing Garland from Creative Family Fun

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Printable Leaf Counting Book from Enchanted Learning

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Leaf Ghosts from She Knows

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Leaf Turkeys from Toddler Approved

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Leaf Family from Putti’s World

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Autumn Trees Craft from Full Circle

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Leaf Wreath from Preschool Panda

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Leaf Lacing Activity from Happy Hooligans

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Nature Placemat from Momma’s Fun World

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Leaf People from Happy Home Fairy

Halloween Lunch Ideas For Kids

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I have been coming across tons of fun ideas for Halloween themed lunches so I wanted to share a few of my favorites.

Click on the pictures to be taken to the posts they came from:

Veggie Skeleton

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Halloween lunch in a muffin tin

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Ghost Mini Pizzas

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Vampire Burgers

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Pumpkin Themed Muffin Tin Meal

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Witch Sandwich

This post is linked up to Things I Love Thursday :)