HalloweenHalloween is only two weeks away, can you believe it?  I love this time of year, especially now that we have two little ones in the house to get swept up in the excitement and celebrate with.  We’ve been reading a ton of Halloween-themed books lately, and some of our favorites include:

Hallowilloween: Nefarious Silliness from Calef Brown by Calef Brown

This collection of short Halloween-themed poems is a favorite in our house.  I’m a big fan of Calef Brown in general, and while my 2 1/2 year old may not appreciate or understand the clever rhymes just yet, he enjoys the illustrations and repeatedly asks to have this book read aloud.  Warning: some of these rhymes WILL get stuck in your head.

The Berenstain Bears’ Trick or Treat by Stan & Jan Berenstain

The Berenstain Bears books are a little wordy for a 2 1/2 year old to sit through, but our 2 1/2 year old loves them.  This one – about Brother and Sister Bears’ first solo time trick or treating without Mama and Papa Bear – is helping to get our big brother excited about trick or treating for the first time ever this year (don’t worry, we’ll be with him!)

Happy Halloween, Little Critter! by Mercer Mayer

Little Critter can do no wrong in our house, and this book – about a Halloween party that Little Critter and his Little Sister attend, complete with flaps to lift and funny pictures – is a seasonal favorite.

Peek-a-Boooo! by Maria Torres Cimarusti

I love all of these books by Maria Torres Cimarusti.  There really isn’t a story line – just pages of flaps to lift and play peek-a-book with.  Both of my boys love the illustrations and the game of peek-a-boo that this books brings about.

By the Light of the Halloween Moon by Caroline Stutson

Without a doubt, this is the most-often requested Halloween book in our house; my oldest loves this book!  From the detailed, realistic (and funny) pictures to the lilting, almost sing-song melody of the story, this book about a toe that all sorts of Halloween creatures are after is a surprising hit.

Halloween Night by Dennis Murray

The second most requested book in our house these days, this book is really great: detailed, intricate pictures (loads of stuff to play “I Spy” with) and a funny story set to the tune of “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” everyone gets a kick out of reading this one.

Where is Baby’s Pumpkin? by Karen Katz

A simple lift-a-flap book by Karen Katz that features a short story and bold illustrations.  Again, both boys love it – and I take so much pleasure in hearing my oldest read it to me.

Plumply, Dumply Pumpkin by Mary Serfozo

Funny, silly, great pictures – one tiger’s quest to find the perfect “plumply, dumply” pumpkin is another fun read.

I’ve been really lame this year about doing any Halloween-themed crafts with the kids, which is killing me.  This is such a great time of year for this stuff!  Here are a few projects I’ve seen that I want to try – I’m all about things that are quick, easy, fun and safe.  It has been difficult finding activities that are fun and challenging for my older son, while also fun and not a choking hazard to our baby.  Even simple things like coloring can be difficult, as our 11 month old enjoys eating paper, crayons, markers and even chalk.  But, here are a few I think will fit the bill:

– Masking Tape Mummy

My oldest boy is obsessed with tape.  He loves to pull it, lay it everywhere, and stick it to everything.  He also thinks googly eyes are hilarious, so this looks like an obvious win!  It’s also simple and fast enough that our younger son shouldn’t get too bored waiting for big brother to finish, and a few pieces of tape will be amusing enough for him too.

– Halloween Sensory Tub

I love creating sensory tubs.  Water is the favorite “base” in our house – both boys are water babies – so sensory tubs over the summer were a snap, as everything was based in either the bath tub or our water table.  It’s a little harder finding things to fill a sensory tub with now – I love the idea of letting the older kids use tweezers to pick up things, as our 2 1/2 year old is really into using tweezers and his pliers now to pinch and grab things.  The trick will be finding things to put into the tub that the baby can play with too.  Rice, corn kernels, dried beans and peas are still a little too small for him….any ideas?  Plastic pumpkins, spiders and skeletons are great additions.

– Vampire Bat Craft

Another one I think will be relatively easy and quick but fun for the kids.  This will also give my older son a chance to practice his scissor skills as we cut out the bat together.

– Potato Print Ghost Garland

My big guy is also really into stamps these days, so I love the idea of a ghost stamp made from a potato (not a choking hazard, though I’m sure baby brother will still chew on it).

What Halloween activities do you have going on at your house?

**Looking for ideas for a Halloween party?  Be sure to check out Heidi’s post full of awesome ideas!  And don’t forget your free printables available courtesy of Sweet Birdie’s Nest!!**