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Friday, October 2, 2015

It's All in the Preparation!

I know I've posted about this before, but I firmly believe that whenever plans are being made for a group of people-be they children or adults-the most important part...other than the doing and having the preparation. If you are serving as the "expert", "teacher", "leader", etc. you have to be prepared...not only in knowing what the steps are for whatever you are doing but also in having all of the necessary supplies ready to go. There is absolutely nothing worse than waiting to start a project and having to sit there while your "leader cuts 50 6 inch pieces of string" (or whatever) for example. Even I would be bored and finding ways to get into trouble by then!

Hence the reason that I do so much list making and prep work before the munchkins invade for a special occasion.

I bet my cousin never guessed just how much I would use the Halloween clipboard she gifted to me a few years ago. I always start about everything I do with a list. For me, once something is committed to a list, I am more likely to actually get it done. I start thinking about these holiday weekends months before-mostly by "pinning" anything I see that we might like to try. Then, there will be much "weeding out" of ideas until I come up with the perfect plan. After all of the activities are chosen-and there are always MORE things planned than we will actually do but schedules are never in granite when dealing with children-, I make up a schedule for the whole weekend. Some things may take longer than planned. Others may get done in the blink of an eye. I also like to take my lead from them. Sometimes they would rather just talk, play outdoors, or whatever their little hearts desire. It is important to know how long things take to prepare, cook, cool, etc.

And then, I start to get the supplies together.

And, sometimes there are things that must be done before the kids arrive. We are making these Jello worms again this year. They were a super hit and the kids love them. The only problem is that they must be made 8-24 hours early so that the kids can have the fun of squeezing them out of the straws so they can be eaten.

The pumpkin pie play dough is also a returning favorite and needs to be cooked up ahead of time. The kids could actually make this when they are here, but in this case, the fun is more in the playing than the making so I get it ready for them. Even at their advancing ages, this is always good for an extended quiet play-always good to have after an especially "active" project!

This makes for yummy smelling, clean play-always a plus! I found this recipe at "Childhood Beckons" and it is easy to make and goes together perfectly. I will send the leftovers home with the kids and they will have many hours of fun playing with it-not to mention the fact that your home smells like you just baked a pumpkin "anything"!

We are going to make Halloween soaps to use as favors for everyone at our family costume party.

Some sort of wearable is always in order. We have done about everything there is so this year we are simply going to "print" our feet and decorate to look like ghosts or other Halloween themes.

Another returning favorite is the exploding ghosts and pumpkins. I have to admit that I love this one too!

We are making Dracula's teeth for dessert for dinner....

...and microwave s'mores for dessert for lunch. This is the first time we are trying these but since I don't need to start a fire, I'm all in!

Fill-ins always include themed Bingo with candy as markers-this time we will be using candy corn-and any other goodies I find over my shopping excursions.

Keeping my fingers crossed I have thought of everything else. We have the American Heart Association Heart Walk tomorrow at the same time Harrison has a football game at the same time as Hudson has a soccer game. We are going to divvy up the fun and all meet at our house when we are finished. Let the games begin! Stay tuned.

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