Halloween Parties For Young Children: Songs and Candy

Halloween offers so many opportunities for fun when you’re a small child. Carving pumpkins, drinking apple cider, and dressing up in costume are among the favorite activities. But when it’s all said and done, there’s one aspect of the holiday that reigns supreme among all kids: CANDY.

Going door to door to show the neighbors your awesome costume would still be fun, but without the prospect of being rewarded with candy it’s hard to say if very many children would even bother. After all, racing home to dump out the bag of goodies is awesome!

With that in mind, here is our playlist of 10 songs about candy that small kids will enjoy listening to while their sorting, trading, and eating candy. We’ve also included next to each song some of the most popular candies in history, so you know what to buy for the big night. You don’t want to be the neighbor with the awful candy do you?

Red Vines.  “I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow

Blow Pops.  “Sunshine, Lollipops & Rainbows” by Lesley Gore

Sweet Tarts.  “The Lollipop Guild” by Harry Stanton

Nerds.  “Oh The Good Ship Lollipop” by Shirley Temple

Snickers.  “Candy Girl” by New Edition

Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.  “Candy” by Mandy Moore

Pixie Stix.  “Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies

Gummi Worms.  “Sugar Town” by Nancy Sinatra

Jelly Bellies.  “Tutti Frutti” by Little Richard

M&M’s.  “Yummy, Yummy, Yummy” by Ohio Express

If you plan it right you can use the songs to burn off the candy energy. Keep the room quiet while children sort their goods, gobble the candy, and discuss among themselves whose pile is better. When the sugar hits, crank up the music and let them dance like crazy! They’ll be ready for a pillow and a Charlie Brown movie in no time flat. 

Spooky Front Porch Ideas

Halloween is a great night to give your guests and trick-or-treaters a little extra fright. Consider decorating your front porch with a few of these spooky ideas. These methods of Halloween decoration are sure to ramp up the fun on fright night no matter what style of porch you have.

Floating Witches Hats
Make it look like a party of witches has just been by… and left their hats outside to wait for them. Suspend several witches’ hats by clear fishing wire from the ceiling of your front porch. Lay a few brooms out nearby to heighten the effect.

Creepy Lit Masks
No one will be quite able to say why these masks give them chills, but the effect is definitely hair raising. Install a few small lights on your porch, and then hang a blank white mask over each one. The eyes, nose, and mouth of the mask will give off an eerie light, while the entire face glows.

Mouse Stairs
If you have painted wooden steps leading up to your porch, turn them into a mice infested haven. Use black contact paper to cut the shapes of several mouse holes and mouse silhouettes. Plaster them to the risers on your stairs to make it look as though their shadows are racing up and down your front steps.

Black Raven Wreath
Burlap wreaths are super easy to make, as well as a fun fall decoration. Take yours one step further by using black burlap cut to resemble raven feathers. Just cut the burlap into long strips and tie them around the wreath form so they stick out in every direction. Nestle a black raven in the center to make a sinister front door decoration.

Glowing Green Steps
No one will want to set foot on your front porch when they realize the stairs are dripping with florescent green goo. Just mix up a phosphorous containing laundry detergent with some water and pour it over your steps. Now change out your porch lights for black lights; when you switch them on, your steps will glow bright green.

Scare Up Some Fun
Try out any of these ideas on your front porch this Halloween, and become the spookiest house on the block.

Warm Drinks for the Family

When the days turn colder and the snow starts to fall, families turn to new ways to warm up together. Try serving some of these warm drinks around the fireplace in the evenings to keep things cozy this year.

Spiced Cider

Apple cider hasn’t been filtered and purified the way that apple juice has been. That’s why it has a thicker, sweeter taste that works well hot or cold.

Warm up your cider slowly on the stove top. Tie together a few small pieces of cheesecloth tightly with a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice inside. Toss the cheesecloth balls into the cider as it heats to permeate it with seasonal flavor.

Peppermint Hot Chocolate

Bring two great tastes together by mixing up some peppermint hot chocolate this year. There are a lot of ways that you can add a little peppermint flavor to your favorite hot cocoa, from peppermint extract to peppermint schnapps, but one of the most delicious methods involves crushing a candy cane and dissolving half of the crumbs into the cup. Sprinkle the other half on top of the whipped cream you serve it with for a festive treat.

Steamed Milk

Milk may not seem like much of a treat on its own, but warming it unlocks the sugar molecules to make it taste much sweeter than it does when cold. Add a teaspoon or two of your favorite flavored syrup – vanilla, praline, gingerbread, and peppermint all pair well – to milk that has been steamed to a frothy finish. This treat can be enjoyed by just about anyone, and you can also adjust the flavorings to suit the holiday.

Best Way to Keep Leaves Out of Your House

Falling leaves may look beautiful, but they can also be a major chore. From landing in your gutters to sweeping right into the front door with your pets, it may seem like all you do during autumn is clean up leaves. Try these few tips to help keep the leaves where they belong, so they don’t end up in your home.
Use Gutter Guards
Keep the leaves out of your gutters by investing in a gutter guard. This is a screen or metal perforated lid that goes over your gutters and prevents leaves from falling in. Depending on where you live and what type of foliage you have landing there, you may have several options to choose from.
• High flow guards are for houses that get a lot of rain; they let in the greatest amount of water while keeping leaves out.
• Tight mesh screens are best for houses that are near pine trees, as the needles tend to get caught in wider guards.
• Leaf catchers are perfect for grabbing leaves so that you can pull them out, rather than waiting until they form a clog.
Keep Your Walkways Clear
You may plan on putting off your raking until all the leaves have fallen off the trees. Take the time, though, to ensure your walkways and entryways are clear of fallen leaves. This will help stop the leaves from getting tracked into the home by kids, guests, and pets that have to walk through them on their way in.
Get a Large Bristled Mat
A front door mat with large bristles can help grab and hold quite a few leaves as you walk over it. This will help capture a few of the leaves and leaf fragments that may still cling to your shoes and clothes after you’ve been out in the yard.
Check Your Clothes
After spending time out in the yard, make sure that you take the time to check your clothes. Stray leaves may attach to clothing or hair.
A few quick changes can ensure a much easier cleanup indoors!

Safe Alternatives to Carving Your Pumpkin

Halloween is around the corner.  Many families love to display carved pumpkins for the holiday and in recent years the art of carving these gourds has become quite an elaborate work.  However, with the need for sharp tools, carving pumpkins is not always a safe option for families with young children.

 

If you have young children who would like to participate in this fun activity, what are alternatives to knives?  We’ve come up with great ways to join in the celebrations without risking young hands!

 

The easiest way to get the smallest kids involved is with markers.  Pumpkins look wonderful with the creativity of the very young with washable markers or even pencil.  These items are also easily removed from surrounding items (such as kids hand and faces!) if the marks accidentally stray from the pumpkin itself.

 

For a face that lasts longer, permanent markers are a great way to make a face.  Make sure to set up this project in a place where markers will not be able to make a mess.  Newspapers, old clothes or the outdoors make for a more relaxing setting with this version.

 

With older children, paints can be a fun way to express creativity.  A variety of craft items can be used here – tempera paints, glitter, fabric, feathers, pipe cleaners or felt scraps.  These can be glued down, wrapped or poked into the pumpkin.  The only limit here is your own imagination. 

 

Finally, for the ultimate Halloween pumpkin, glow-in-the-dark paint is an option that will stand out on its own on Halloween. Scary eyes, goofy smiles or silly expressions are sure to be even more fun when they can be seen as soon as darkness falls.  One benefit includes no candles to burn or forget!

 

No matter what options you choose with your pumpkin decorating fun, make sure to have a safe and fun Halloween celebration.  

What’s the Most Difficult Renovation Project You’ve Done?

Readers: We recently asked this question to a few folks and thought you would enjoy the answers.  We certainly did!

 

“My husband and I decided to try to install tile in our bathroom with a diagonal installation. We quickly learned that it’s not as easy as it looks! We needed tools we didn’t have, we had no idea where to start for a proper layout and grouting is a messy process!”

 

“Subway tiles.  I never thought about all of the calculations involved in figuring out how to make the floor tile line up properly with the wall tile so it looked like the picture that inspired us.”

 

“I think any kind of project in an old house is tough.  Once I found 5 different layers of wallpaper underneath the current layer.  The patterns were fun to see, though.  I could tell which decade each one was from.”

 

“My first time painting a room, I thought I would only need a small amount of paint.  I never thought about a little color difference until I saw it on my wall!”

 

“Adding cabinet hardware seemed like an easy afternoon project, but after drilling one hole in the wrong spot, we realized that it would have been less expensive to hire someone than the cost and time it took to find a replacement cabinet door that didn’t look out of place with the exisiting doors.”

 

“About five years ago we bought a refrigerator without measuring first.  We learned a good lesson that day!”

 

What about you?  Do you have any stories to share?  

Decorating a Galley Kitchen

If your home is on the smaller side, chances are you have a galley kitchen. Galley kitchens are made up of a single run of counter and cabinets, often with the appliances in the same row. There is no working triangle, or much room to do things like add an island or a peninsula to expand the counter space. There are several tricks you can use, however, to make the galley kitchen seem larger and more spacious than it actually is.

Angle Your Flooring

Galley kitchens are usually very long and narrow, so make yours seem wider than it is by installing your flooring on a diagonal. Diagonal floors draw the eye out to the corners of the room, which makes the space appear to be bigger than it really is. If you choose to use tile, consider choosing the largest size that you can comfortably fit; the fewer grout lines will make the space seem larger than it is.

Brighten Your Backsplash

Make your galley kitchen lighten right up by using a reflective tile on your backsplash. Glass or very highly polished glazed tiles all reflect light, which helps to brighten the room and make it appear bigger than it is. Because you won’t have a lot of space for a backsplash or a focal point, keep the area simple by using a single tile pattern.  Accents and borders can seem like a good idea to give a small space some personality, but can often be more distracting than helpful.

Roll in an Island

If counter space is at a premium, invest in a roll away island that you can slip in a closet in another room when not in use. Make sure it’s at the same height as the rest of your counters, and pull it out for baking, parties, and other times when a little extra countertop comes in handy.

Non-Tile Backsplashes

Many people think of backsplashes as a series of tiles, often decorative, filing the area between the counter and the upper cabinets. This doesn’t have to be the case, however. If your kitchen isn’t ideally suited to tile, or you just want something a little more unusual installed there, consider these other options for a backsplash instead.

Beadboard

If you have a Cottage style home, consider using some beadboard on your backsplash instead of tiles. Beadboard is typically used as wainscoting; when it’s made up of a series of slats of wood installed together with a chair rail molding and a baseboard. Minus the moldings, however, it can also be used to add some texture and interest to your kitchen. Just make sure you don’t paint it the same color as your cabinets, or pair it with cabinets that also have beadboard doors.

Tin Ceiling Wallpaper

One of the latest things to come out in wallpaper is the tin ceiling-look. This embossed paper is made of repeating patterns that resemble the old tin ceiling patterns. It can be painted in any color from white to metallic copper, and it can also be installed anywhere – not just the ceiling. Painted in a metallic color, this makes a great, inexpensive alternative for backsplashes, particularly in rentals and other properties where you may not want something as permanent as tile installed.

Sheet Metal

For contemporary homes, why not install some sheet metal? Brushed stainless steel, aluminum, or copper can all be found in sheets that can be cut and trimmed to the size of your backsplash. This adds some color, depth, and personality to the kitchen, particularly as metal reflects light, brightening up the entire space.

Stone Slab

If you have a beautiful, wild, or dramatic stone countertop, while not see if there is enough slab left over to extend all the way to the cabinets above as a backsplash? It’s not uncommon to see 4-inch backsplashes made from matching stone, but some homeowners take it a step further to make a beautiful and unusual statement on their backsplashes with full coverage instead.

What’s the Most Neutral Hardwood Floor Option for My Home?

Hardwood flooring comes in a wide range of different colors, textures, and grains. These beautiful boards complement a wide number of different house styles, and with the many different species of wood on the market, there is a hardwood out there for every taste. If you want a neutral backdrop for a floor that will complement many different colors and décor styles, consider maple. This domestic hardwood is one of the more décor friendly options, fitting in with many different homes.

Maple Color and Grain

Maple has one of the more neutral colors and grains of any domestic hardwood. Unlike oak which shades either cool or warm toned, maple is a fairly creamy neutral throughout the floor. The grain is close and unobtrusive, wirth shading just slightly darker in places – no wild color variations like hickory or definite movements toward pink or red like red oak or cherry.

Maple goes well with a variety of different colors in the home. Because it’s so light, it doesn’t contrast or make a statement against equally light colors. Shades of blue, green, yellow, tan, chocolate, cream, and white all work beautifully with maple, giving you many color options.

And while it is on the warmer side with no gray or blue undertones, as long as the colors are light enough it pairs beautifully with a cool palette for wall and throw rug color. The key is to not get too dark with the accent colors in the room, which would contrast with the floor a little too much.

Maple Durability

In addition to being one of the more neutral hardwoods on the market, it’s also one of the more durable domestic hardwoods. This means that you can run it throughout your home including in your kitchen, foyer, and hallways without worrying about scratches, scuffs, or darkening in color. This makes maple a nice choice for homes with families and pets; it pairs well with everything but doesn’t mind so much if you use it hard for years.

Consider Maple

Maple is one of the more popular domestic hardwood floors for good reason. If you’re looking for neutral, durable flooring for your home, give maple a try.