Growing up, October was always one of my favorite months of the year. It always meant things like the cider mill, apple picking, pumpkin patches, hay rides, corn mazes, raking leaves and then jumping in them, cooler weather that is so fun to play outside in, and of course, trick or treating. As I got older it meant bonfires and high school football games and Homecoming and all that fun stuff. Since moving to Florida, I’ve realized that October has a totally different mentality down here. Its really just another month. Everyone is still in shorts and tanks and flip flops and the weather has cooled to the mid-80’s. This year, however, I am determined to do my best to show my kids how much fun this month can be! We’re so happy to have moved somewhere with more kids activities so I’ve put together an October calendar for my family using some of my own ideas as well as many linked from other blogs! Pinterest is my best friend so I find a lot there! I’m sharing with you the projects we will be doing this month! Feel free to use any of these ideas or tweak them for yourselves. I just wanted to share the love!
***I will continually be updating this post throughout the month to add photos and let you know how things turned out so make sure you keep checking back!***
October 8: We started by putting up our indoor decorations. We don’t have tons so that didn’t take long but it WAS a great way to get my toddler to help me clean because he was excited for the new stuff!
October 9: Pumpkin Spice Muffins: So easy! Not the most healthy treat in the world but also not the worst! We used this recipe. Just don’t be fooled by the name she gave them! Not really sure where she got that from! We used Betty Crocker cake mix in them but next time I want to try going to Whole Foods or Fresh Market and getting some of the more natural cake mixes they have there. We also made them a little more unhealthy (but so yummy) by sprinkling a few mini-chocolate chips on top of them! Preston told me they’re “Happy Cookies for October”. Guess I’ve been talking about October a lot!
***Note: Make sure you either eat these immediately, or refrigerate them! They will NOT last sitting out on the counter like normal muffins! Take this from the girl who took a big bite of a mold-filled muffin. I swear even Listerine couldn’t get that taste out of my mouth!
October 12: Paper Jack-O-Lanterns : We made this super fun and educational. Oh, and I found this easier to do in 3 parts so that Preston didn’t lose interest. First, I let him help me choose which colors to mix together to make orange paint and we mixed those together on a paper plate. Second we each got a paper plate (I always do a craft alongside him so that he sees how to do it yet I’m not taking over his artwork) and used paint brushes to paint them orange. They were then set aside to dry and we ran our errands. **Note: your color mixing plate can be an extra pumpkin for grandma or a teacher! After naptime and snack, we got out some black construction paper and practiced cutting out shapes- triangles, squares, rectangles, and I cut out a few different “mouth” shapes. Preston struggles a bit still with safety scissors so this was good practice. The paint still wasn’t dry (3 year olds like to glob tons of paint on) so we had to set aside our shapes and wait until later. After dinner, we finished by gluing the shapes onto the pumpkin plates to make a face. Super easy and super cute!
October 13: Halloween Movie Night: VeggieTales- Where Is God When I’m Scared? I feel like this is a good one to watch in the beginning of Halloween Season. In my family, we don’t do “evil” Halloween. No scary monsters or goblins, no vampires, werewolves, scary ghosts, witches, etc. We just don’t feel like our kids are at an age where they can truly decipher fact from fiction and, despite the origins of the day, we like to make it more “fun” and less “spooky”. That being said, there is NO sheltering your kids from Halloween unless you become a hermit for the month of October. Even the grocery store has life-size Grim Reapers complete with scythe and all. I just try to divert my kids attention other places but sometimes its impossible. I know, as they get older, they will be exposed to more and more scary stuff, especially this time of year. So… when I discovered this little “movie”, I was pretty excited! It talks to the kids about how to handle the scary stuff and not to be afraid because God is always with you. If you aren’t familiar with Veggie Tales already, it is an animated TV show and children’s movie series that is based on Christian principles. They focus on things that kids deal with in real life and teach, in a child-like way, what the Bible says about these things. The thing I think I love the most about Veggie Tales is that it completely goes against the stereotype that Christ-followers are boring and don’t do anything fun. These characters are incredibly silly and bold and make lots of mistakes- just like we do!
October 14: Cookies! We were going to make Happy Cookies with orange Reeses Pieces but the baby had come down with a cold so we opted for an easier treat. At the grocery store, we found some pre-made cookie dough (which I very rarely buy) in the most amazing flavor. They’re chocolate cookies with sea-salt and caramel! So awesome! The best part was that I was able to let Preston do almost everything and I could focus on my fussy little lady. All he had to do was break off the cookies and place them on the pan. Then I put it in the oven, set the timer, and got them out when they were ready!
***NOTE: Mine didn’t look like the picture when they came out. In fact, they were kinda flat and funky looking… but man, were they GOOD!!!
October 15: Cotton Ball Ghosts. This is beyond simple but, in all honesty, simple is what I need these days! All you need is some black construction paper, cotton balls, glue, and some “eyes” stickers (or you can google and print out “eyes”). Start by drawing a ghost outline with Elmers Glue on your black paper. Next apply the cotton balls to the glue. Walla: you have a fuzzy, puffy ghost! Then you can use your stickers to create a friendly ghost face!
October 16: Halloween Outing: Today our local YMCA is hosting a free Fall Fest. Check with your local area to see if there are any fun free events to take the kiddos to. I know my children THRIVE being out of the house and doing something new!
October 17: Halloween Outing: Today we are going to another fall fest at a local church. Pumpkins, treats, hayrides, bounce houses… sounds like fun to me!!!
October 18: Today we are going to go to the local “it” thing to do around here in the fall. We’re going to the Fall Festival right on the farm! Pumpkin patches, fruit/veggie picking, hay rides, music, games, yummy food, crafts… I think Mommy is more excited than the kids!
October 19: Halloween Movie Night: Mickey’s Monster Musical. If you haven’t seen this already, Disney just came out with this little gem this year and we DVR’d it so I could watch it first and play it for Preston if I found it appropriate. Mickey, Minnie, and Pluto are driving somewhere for a picnic when the car breaks down in front of a spooky mansion. Inside the mansion they meet Count Mickula who is very friendly and welcomes them but shares that he thinks his mansion might be haunted because he keeps hearing spooky sounds. Of course, Mickey and Minnie offer to help him figure out the mystery in exchange for help with their car. Over the course of about an hour, we meet Frankenstein (a silly Professor Von Drake), Goofy Monster, a bride of Frankenstein-looking Claribel, Ghost Donald and Ghost Daisy who are all very nice. At the end of the movie we find out that (spoiler alert) Mechanic Pete had been working on the house making banging noises as he works and everyone had forgotten he was there. Mystery solved. Nothing scary. The movie is full of cute songs and dances and I can’t wait to watch it with Preston!
October 20: Boo the Neighborhood: So I’m new to this concept but I think it sounds like so much fun! Basically, you anonymously leave a little gift for a neighbor along with a sign that says “We’ve been Boo’d” and instructions to do the same for another neighbor. The idea is to have the entire neighborhood sporting these signs and everyone giving little random things to each other. I mean, honestly, who wouldn’t LOVE to come home to find a little gift on their porch? I don’t have high hopes for the neighbors where I live but its worth a shot! Check out this post for an in-depth description and free printables!
October 21: Today we are going to make some fun gifts for some friends. I found this post on pinterest that I loved but the website is gone now (I really hate when that happens!) so I’m going to try to make up something myself. Once I figure out how to upload the template on here, I’ll be more than happy to share it! Anyway, you buy some orange hand soap, then cover the brand sticker with a Halloween style one that says “Germs are Scary”. I thought this was so cute and Preston would LOVE to help make them! We’re going to do one for our next door neighbors, one for Preston’s teacher at his Mommy and Me class, and one for our own bathroom.
October 22: Yummy Candy Corn Cookie Dough Brownies: These are so far from my diet that I can’t even see the distance BUT… we made these last year and OH MY GOODNESS are they good! I found the post over at Kleinworth and Co. last year and since one of my favorite desserts are Brookies (brownies and cookies baked together in yummy goodness), I just had to try these. WOW- is all I’ll say! You’ve GOT to try these!
October 23: Halloween Outing: I’m pumped about today! The local aquarium is doing a Fun, Fish, and Fright Event. Only the fright part is just like sharks and stuff like that. They are going to have Trick or Treating for the kids and they are decorating the whole place up. Preston absolutely loves aquariums and I know he’s going to have a blast here! Plus there’s a costume contest. I don’t think my DIY costumes (post coming soon) are really contest worthy but Preston will really enjoy dressing up for more than just one night!
October 24: Halloween Outing: Today we are going to another pumpkin festival. I’ve got to get my fill in! We’re considering this year our “trial” year to get to know the events of the area so next year we’ll know the best places to go! Today though, is the day that we pick our pumpkins for carving so its kinda a big deal… just sayin.
October 25: Halloween Outing: Lets just say that the 23rd was just a warm up because today we are going to one of the best aquariums in the nation for their HallowGuppies Party! The Florida Aquarium is going to be all decked out for Halloween PLUS they have a bonus water play area out back so it makes a fun all-day event! If you are in the Tampa area, I highly recommend going. This place is so awesome that we have a family membership!
October 26: Pumpkin Carving Day!!!! We’re going to do some cute pumpkin carving today to put out with our yard decorations to light up at night. I also found this post on pumpkin carving tips that has a cool method of preserving your pumpkins too! We live in a crazy humid climate and last year, Preston carved his pumpkin only to have it mold within 2 days. And I mean the fuzzy, gross kind of mold. I’m excited to try these tips and see if we can make our pumpkins last all week until Halloween!
*** Update: we followed the preservation tips exactly and still had rotted pumpkins by Halloween! Luckily, we chose to save a couple to carve later so we still had some good ones to light up! I’m bummed cuz I was really hoping that would work!
October 27: Popcorn Balls: So, I have these cute little Halloween cupcake papers that I bought 2 years ago on an after-Halloween clearance. Yet, last year went by and I never made cupcakes! I don’t plan on it this year either simply because I’m already going off my diet too many times! So, I decided this year we are going to make popcorn balls and use the wrappers to put them in. Our whole family loves popcorn and we have more family coming into town on the weekend so I thought these would be fun to make! I plan on using sea salted popcorn, marshmallows, Reeses Pieces, candy corn, and caramels to make the worlds best popcorn balls.
October 28: Today we’re going to have some family fun and support our local fire station too! They are having their annual Trunk or Treat Chili Cookoff! Sounds like a yummy good time to me! Preston absolutely LOVES firetrucks and fire fighters and everything to do with them so I know he’ll get a big kick out of this! Contact your local fire station and see if they do any special events for kids!I
October 29: I think this one just looks fun and we won’t end up with tons of leftovers so thats good too! I was looking at this pin on Pinterest, Preston came up behind me and, for the rest of the day, asked if we could make monsters. So we’re going to play Frankenstein today and make Monster Pops! Here is the tutorial! I’m loving this quick and easy craft/treat for some pre-Halloween fun!
This is as far as my calendar goes due to family coming into town and actual Halloween events but I can’t wait to share with you how everything goes! As I said earlier, I’ll keep updating this page to let you know how things turn out and to add photos, etc.
Hope you all have an AMAZING OCTOBER!!!! If you’re looking for fall kid-friendly events in your area, I suggest looking to see if you have a local Macaroni Kid (link and instructions in this post). I don’t know what I would do without it!
What do YOU like to do with your family this month? I’d LOVE to hear from you! Comment below and let me know! Also, remember that SHARING IS CARING!