October 2017 archive

Healthy Halloween Food

| Early Elementary, Food, Halloween, Older Elementary, Tween to Teen, Uncategorized

Of all the holidays with fun food ideas, Halloween definitely takes the cake. The internet is full of so many creative, and creepy, ideas that it’s easy to make a full day’s worth of haunted meals. We’re sharing our favorite festive ways to fill your kids up – before they dive into a mountain of candy. A balanced meal is the best way to ward off a sugar crash! 



Don’t be scared away by these spider webs (above), they are deceptively simple! Mama.Papa.Bubba uses a wholewheat flax recipe to make their webs extra healthy but a box mix would work too – the only necessity is a squeeze bottle!


halloween muffins, healthy halloween, halloween vampire breakfast                                                   (image via Food Network)

Tell your kids a vampire beat them to breakfast! Corn muffins turn creepy when you fill them with jam and puncture the top. Follow this recipe from Leanne Bakes, and then poke holes with a straw to let the “blood” bubble up.


monster smoothie bowl, halloween breakfast, healthy halloweenAcai bowls may be a trend but Monster bowls are a treat. Make a kid friendly version of the fashionable breakfast by following the Food Network’s recipe. Your kids will be smiling too much to realize they’re eating spinach!



Halloween Bento Box, Bagel Bento Box, Vampire Bagel BentoWe have to confess that we find some of those pinterest bento boxes truly frightening. This Bitey Bagel Bento on the other hand doesn’t require you to rise before dawn to pack a lunch that earns points. All you need are some fake teeth and a few sets of eyes to give your kid a silly surprise.


Halloween lunch snacks, Healthy Halloween, Banana Ghosts, Fruit PumpkinsIt doesn’t get more classic than pumpkins and ghosts, or easier than oranges and bananas. Pre-peel oranges and stick a sliver of celery on top to make a pumpkin and add mini chocolate chips to a banana for a friendly ghost. Via I heart naptime.


Halloween lunch box, skull sandwich, healthy halloween lunch, easy halloween lunch For a sandwich that could cause shrieking, this skull from Sugar,Spice and Glitter is the way to go. Cut your kid’s favorite sandwich with a skull cookie cutter, draw on features with a food writer marker, and don’t forget to add the gummy worm!



Halloween Dinner, Mummie Quesadillas, Spooky Dinner, Kids Halloween FoodWhat kid wouldn’t want to make a mummy with their mommy? The whole family can get involved to make suppertime spooky. After an adult slices tortillas with a pizza cutter, kids can layer strips on top of their favorite quesadilla fillings. Kids Activities Blog shares the step by step.


Healthy Halloween, Monster Mash Potatoes, Spooky Food, Kids Halloween FoodYour little monsters will have plenty of energy to do the mash after eating these potatoes, which are as healthy as they are halloweeny! They’re made with purple sweet potatoes, so no food dye required. Follow Handmade Charlotte’s easy recipe.


Halloween Dinner, Halloween Pot Pie, Tentacle Pot PieTraditional recipe + tentacles = a new family favorite. Instead of your typical pot pie topping, follow Megan Reardon’s lead and add legs. Just be sure to gobble it up before it gets away from you!

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Art of Snail Mail

| Activities, Age, Early Elementary, Everyday Crafts, Family Bonding, Grown-Up, Older Elementary, Preschool, Toddler, Tween to Teen, Unplugged Time

At Project Kid, we love bringing you fun crafts with easy steps for holidays, birthdays, and every day. Sometimes though even simple steps can feel overwhelming when your goal is quality family time (not prep time). And while we pride ourselves on offering new ideas, there’s something to be said for unplugged activities that are classic. There’s a reason after all, that “Throwback Thursday” and “Flashback Friday” are some of the most popular tags on social media. Instead of showing kids your memories through a screen, share in person the things you used to love. This is the first post in an ongoing series where we’ll talk about ways to slow down, as a family….

Around the Project Kid household, letter-writing has become a very popular pastime. Oliver has been slowly working his way through his birthday thank-you notes (two months and counting!), and since starting kindergarten, Sommer can’t put down the pen and paper, drawing pictures and sounding out words.

Living in an age of instant gratification where communication is sent and received within an instant, it can be hard to convince kids that some things are worth waiting for, and that anticipation itself can be part of the fun! Before your kids are old enough to dread email, engage them in letter writing.

A few ways to get the ball (-point pen) rolling:

1. Make Postcards

Print out this blank postcard design from Kate’s Creative Space, complete with address lines and a square for the stamp, and let your child create a masterpiece on the front. Or, we love this idea by Yesterday on Tuesday of whipping up a stack of postcards from scratch by reusing cereal box cardboard.

(image via Kate’s Creative Space)

2Learn about Pen Pals

It might be hard for your child to imagine that there was a time before skype, or even phones, when to talk with a far-away friend you had to send a letter. Pen Pals originally referred to people from different backgrounds writing to each other to learn about other cultures, countries, and even languages (via Albert Flynn DeSilver). Pen pals don’t have to be international though! One famous pair of pen pals was President Ronald Reagan and six year old Rudy Hines from Washington DC who exchanged letters for five years. The picture below shows the President and First Lady eating with Rudy at his home in 1984.

Ronald Reagan and his pen pal Rudy                                                         (image via Reagan Library)

Your kids can be pen pals with relatives, friends who’ve moved away, or even friends who live down the block—hand delivered mail still counts! If they are feeling a little more adventurous, sign them up for Mr. Boddington’s Secret Society of Letter Writers. Can we join too?

Secret Society of Letter Writers, Mr. Boddington

Here are a few easy pen pal prompts from Making Mondays to help your kids introduce themselves (or update relatives about evolving tastes)…

pen pal fill in the blanks, pen pal questions

3. Send Something Unconventional

Getting personal mail you weren’t expecting is always a treat, getting personal mail that is actually surprising is even more fun! After exploring 2D options, blow your kids’ minds by showing them how to send some extra special snail mail. As long as the item is under 13 oz you can use first class stamps. Frisbees, flip flops, plastic eggs, or plastic bottles filled with art supplies – there are so many possibilities. For bigger items (i.e. coconuts, pinatas – yes it’s possible) you’ll need to have a postage label printed.

funny mail items, kids fun things to mail, unconventional mail(egg and art supplies via improvised life) (frisbee and flipflop via allwomenstalk)

Fun Fact: For nine years Wired magazine held a “Return to Sender” contest during which they asked readers to send in the strangest “permissible objects of postability” they could get through the mail.

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Classic Halloween Decorations

| Decor, DIY Home, Grown-Up, Halloween, Holidays, Styling

One of the things I love about Halloween is how widely interpretive it is. You can go gruesome, silly, imaginative, and even the harvest look can compete. This year Woman’s Day asked me to interpret the holiday in three different ways…Classic, Monster, and Country.

While I loved them all, the classic really has my heart. Here are the projects from that story, and you can visit Woman’s Day to get the how-to’s and templates!

(Above) If you have any pool noodles laying around your garage, shape them into legs with duct tape and throw on some tights and shoes to make these hilarious witch legs!

To make this wreath, paint a square boxwood wreath black, and turn leaves into ghosts.

ghost halloween wreath

Do you have a black lamp in your living room? If yes, you can turn yours into a Day of the Dead inspired skull.


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Pasta Costumes: Raincloud

| Age, Early Elementary, Grown-Up, Halloween, Holidays, Preschool, Toddler

Turn a rainy day into a ray of sunshine!

This happy rainbow-raincloud costume is all about the head-gear—just add raincoat and boots. We thought about making pasta raindrops, but we got so excited when we saw how these rainbow penne strands transformed into lightening bolts when they were hung from the hat.

Scroll down below the photos for the how-to!


What you’ll need:

  • Box of penne pasta
  • Bag of pillow batting
  • Adhesive spray
  • Pirate, cowboy, or other big brimmed hat
  • Fishing line
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue
  • White straw
  • Masking Tape
  • Red, yellow, green, blue food dye
  • Five resealable sandwich bags
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Wax Paper

Outfit suggestions:

  • Yellow rain jacket
  • Jean leggings
  • Yellow rainboots


Make it:

  1. Add one teaspoon of hand sanitizer and six drops of red food dye to a resealable bag.
  2. Pour approximately 20 pieces of penne into bag, shake until all are covered and then lay out on wax paper to dry.
  3. Repeat with yellow, orange, green, and blue dye and pasta.
  4. Spray the top of the hat, including brim, with adhesive and add one layer of batting. Spray again and add second layer of batting. Continue until you achieve the cloud shape you want.
  5. Once pasta is dry, thread onto fishing line creating three strands for each color – four noodles, six noodles, and eight noodles – leaving at least three inches of extra line .
  6. Use tape to evenly mark fifteen spots on the underside of the hat brim where the pasta rain will hang, leaving space at the front for your child’s face.
  7. Cut fifteen pieces of white straw, approximately ½” each, and hot-glue them in place of the tape marks.
  8. Thread the fishing line strands through the straws in alternating colors to create a rainbow hanging from the cloud.

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Pasta Costumes: Robot

| Halloween, Holidays

Robot costumes are among my favorite to make because the creative freedom is endless. Knobs, buttons, antennae, switches—you can go crazy with all of the fun pasta shapes out there to create a gorgeous control panel.

We decided to think outside the box (literally) and not put my son Oliver in a cardboard box. Instead, we created his control panel on an 11×14-inch canvas. If you don’t have one of those laying around, you can just cut a piece of cardboard and attach the ribbon around the neck like we did (scroll down to see how-to below).

What you’ll need:

For the control panel

  • Rotelle (wagon wheel), ziti, penne, rings, orecchiette, flat lasagna and dried ravioli pasta
  • 11”x14” canvas
  • Small cardboard jewelry box
  • Silver and blue paint
  • Red and yellow food dye
  • Three resealable bags
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Silver ribbon
  • Two flat thumb tacks
  • Wax paper


For the helmet

  • 1 quart sized metal Colander
  • Silver pipe cleaners
  • 1 ½-inch-diameter foam pipe insulation
  • Scissors
  • Felt
  • Adhesive velcro


Robot gear

  • silver/grey hoodie and pants
  • Grey felt


How to make control panel

  1. Paint canvas and jewelry box silver
  2. Paint the front and back of two pieces of lasagna blue then let dry
  3. Put one teaspoon of hand sanitizer in a plastic bag
  4. Add six drops of red and pour in a variety of pasta types. Shake bag until noodles are covered then lay out on wax paper to dry.
  5. Repeat with yellow dye and orange dye (four drops of yellow and two drops of red)
  6. Glue silver box and two blue lasagna pieces to canvas. Glue smaller pasta on top in grids, v’s and other patterns
  7. Tack one side of the ribbon to the back top corner of the canvas. Measure so that the canvas hangs in front of child’s chest and tack second end to other corner. Cut off excess


How to make helmet

  1. Fold a pipe cleaner in half and thread it through the middle of the top of the colander. Slip colored ziti onto the two sides and twist on wagon wheel pasta at the top. Hot glue colored wagon wheels on the front of the colander for more “buttons”
  2. Cut two 3-inch segments of pipe insulation. Use pipe cleaners to wire them to the inside bottom of the colander (top of the helmet).
  3. To create the helmet’s chin strap, cut a 1-by-14 inch piece of felt and adhere a tab of the rough Velcro to either end on the same side of the strap. Two inches down from the rough Velcro on either side of the strap, attach a 3-inch strip of soft Velcro (to allow the strap to be adjustable). Thread the strap through the colander’s handles.


How to make wristbands

  1. Cut 2 strips of grey felt, approximately 2 inches wide, to fit child’s wrists and add Velcro to the ends
  2. Hot glue matching pasta design in the middle of each wrist band


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Pasta Costumes: Hip-Hop Dancer

| Age, Early Elementary, Grown-Up, Halloween, Holidays, Older Elementary, Tween to Teen

This pasta costume was born out my continued and everlasting love of the classic macaroni necklace that I pray my kids will make me sometime. (And I will be that mom at a cocktail party wearing it with pride. For realz.)

This hip-hop dancer slash rapper slash tough chick costume can be made out of what you can find in your closet (but if you love our look, the links for purchasing our ensemble are below).

And don’t even get me started on the boom box candy collector. If you live in Brooklyn, NY, you’ll be seeing me sporting this on Halloween ’17!

Scroll down for the how-to!

What you’ll need:

For the jewelry

  • Rigatoni, Rotelle (wagon wheels), Ditalini,
  • String/Elastic cording
  • Gold Spray paint
  • Scissors
  • Cardboard box

For the Boom Box

  • Shoe box
  • Two to-go cardboard soup cup lids
  • Silver, white, red and black paint
  • Red pipe cleaner
  • 12” long dowel
  • Exacto Blade
  • Hot Glue
  • Black Marker
  • Orecchiette, ziti, medium rigatoni, rings, lasagna, rotelle
  • Two resealable bags
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Red and yellow food dye
  • Small screwdriver or sharp object (a sharpened pencil will work)

Rapper Outfit

  • Leggings/joggers
  • Tank Top
  • Furry Vest
  • Beanie
  • High Top Sneakers


How to make the jewelry

  1. String patterns of pasta to make chains. Play with different lengths and combinations. Create bracelets out of shorter chains.
  2. To make a medallion, glue wagon wheels together in circular shape and add ditalini accents.
  3. Once you are finished, put pasta jewelry in a cardboard box and spray paint gold. Once it’s dry, flip it and spray the other side.


How to make the boom box

  1. Paint shoe box, lid, and 2 pieces of rotelle pasta silver, and soup-cup tops black. Paint dowel red and let dry.
  2. Cut off the end of a piece of flat lasagna to create a rectangle approximately the size of a deck of cards. Paint both sides white and let dry.
  3. Put one teaspoon of hand sanitizer in a plastic bag and add six drops of red. Add orecchiette, ziti, and rings. Shake bag until noodles are covered then lay out on wax paper to dry.
  4. Repeat with yellow dye and ring and rigatoni pasta.
  5. Cut a rectangular hole in the center of one long side of the box (top of the boom box) for candy.
  6. Hot glue top of box onto base and soup lids onto the front corners of boom box. Glue one silver wagon wheel into the center of each lid to make speakers.
  7. Glue the lasagna rectangle in between lids and paint on two circles and a rectangle in black.
  8. Glue on pasta to form buttons and knobs. (We used 4 red ziti pieces, 4 red orecchiette pieces, 6 red rings, 4 yellow rings, and four medium rigatoni pieces.)
  9. Cut pipe cleaner in half and fold each half in half then feed each half through a piece of red ziti.
  10. Slide the loops over the ends of the dowel, tighten by pulling ziti up and add drop of hot glue to secure.
  11. Poke a hole at each end of the box, next to the rectangular opening, and push pipe cleaner ends in.
  12. Open ends of pipe cleaner inside of box to secure. Use hot-glue where needed to add strength.

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Pasta Costumes: Butterfly Fairy

| Animals, Early Elementary, Grown-Up, Halloween, Holidays, Older Elementary, Preschool, Toddler

Not sure if this happens to everyone, but when I look at pasta shapes in the grocery store aisle, all I can think of is what I can make with them. Not make as in cook (I mean who do you think I am?), but make as in craft! And when I look at farfalle, it’s obvious…they are butterflies begging for some antennae!

We decked out my daughter Sommer from head to toe in swarms of butterflies, but this costume will fly (pun intended) even if you use the store-bought wand that comes with the wings, or if you decide not to add to the shoes.

Scroll down for the DIY!

butterfly fairy diy halloween costume girls easy last minute pasta

butterfly fairy costume pasta easy last minute

Butterfly Fairy

What you’ll need:

  • Farfalle, elbow, and orecchiette pasta
  • Thin wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Blue, pink, red, and yellow food dye
  • Three resealable sandwich bags
  • Hand sanitizer
  • 1 1/2-inch wide ribbon
  • Headband
  • Dowel
  • Blue paint
  • Matching blue washi tape
  • Hot-glue gun
  • Scissors
  • Iridescent glitter paint
  • Paintbrush


Fairy outfit suggestions


How to dye the pasta:

  1. Add one teaspoon of hand sanitizer to bag and six drops of pink dye.
  2. Pour in approximately 15 pieces of farfalle, 30 pieces of elbow pasta, and 10 pieces of orecchiette. Shake bag until all pieces are covered, and then lay on wax paper to dry.
  3. Repeat with orange dye and blue dye, using 6 drops per bag.

pasta butterfly how to craft diy

How to make the butterflies:

  1. Cut a piece of wire about 9 to 15 inches long and fold in half. Place the points of the wire behind pasta.
  2. With about 1/2-inch above the center of the farfalle, wrap wire around the center of the noodle on either side of the antennae.
  3. Twist the long wire loop to create butterfly “stem”.
  4. Paint glitter on the front of butterfly and let dry. Repeat steps to turn all pasta into butterflies.

Headband: Twist butterfly stems around headband and secure with a dot of hot-glue.

Wand: Paint dowel blue and let it dry. Attach butterfly stems to dowel by wrapping with matching tape. Repeat all around dowel top to create a butterfly swarm.

Shoes: Thread butterfly stems through lace holes and twist to secure.

Wings: Arrange pasta around edges of wings to create pattern and secure with hot glue.

Belt: Hot-glue pasta pieces to a piece of ribbon that can tie comfortably around child’s waist.

Dress: Arrange elbow pasta around collar to give a scalloped look and hot-glue to secure.

This post contains affiliate links!

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Pasta Costumes: Hedgehog

| Animals, Baby, Early Elementary, Grown-Up, Halloween, Holidays, Older Elementary, Preschool, Toddler, Tween to Teen

At Project Kid we like to start thinking about Halloween costumes way ahead of time, but that doesn’t mean we like costumes that take a lot of time to make. In fact, we prefer the kind you can craft last minute with materials you probably already have on hand. We love costumes that are doable, not daunting, and that let kids be comfortable so they can enjoy celebrating!

We started scheming and thought of a super-versatile costume supply that shouldn’t be underestimated…PASTA!  It’s in every kitchen, it’s easy to color, and it comes in all shapes and sizes. Start with a basic base, add pasta and the pasta-bilities are endless.  This is the first in a series of five pasta costume ideas that we hope you’ll enjoy making as much as we did.

hedgehog halloween costume diy kids craft


For a young nature lover who wants to stay cozy while trick-or-treating, creating a hedgehog suit with ziti couldn’t be simpler.

hedgehog halloween costume kid pasta kids hedgehog halloween costume made from pasta

What you’ll need:


Make it!

  1. Put one teaspoon of hand sanitizer into plastic bag. Add ten drops of yellow, three drops of red, and one drop of blue. Squish the bag around until the dye has turned one color. If it is too green, add more red.
  2. Pour in pasta, close top, and shake bag until dye has been evenly distributed.
  3. Set out wax paper and place pasta on it to dry.
  4. Once dry, use hot glue to add pasta to the back of hoodie in staggered lines.
  5. Continue adding pasta to the back of the hood stopping about 4 inches from the front edge of hood.
  6. Cut out two rounded edge triangles for ears, and two smaller triangles for ear centers and glue together.
  7. Hot-glue ears to the pasta at the top of hood.


halloween hedgehog costume

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Playful Pumpkins: Part 3

| Decor, DIY Home, Early Elementary, Grown-Up, Halloween, Holidays, Older Elementary, Preschool, Toddler

When you think of pumpkins, you normally think of a hollowed-out gourd with some candles in the center and triangles for eyes. Well, these two illuminated beauties might help redefine your idea of carved out pumpkins!

The last of my three installments of this pumpkin feature ever that I did for Parents magazine, these two pumpkins might make you laugh a little.

(Above) To make these ’80s-inspired jack-o’-lanterns, start with hollowed-out pumpkins and Lite-Brite pegs. Trace out your design with washable marker, then poke the outline with the piercing tool that comes with a pumpkin-carving set (a thin screwdriver also works). Wipe off the marker residue with a damp paper towel, push pegs into the holes, and place a few battery-operated candles inside to make it glow.

cinderella pumpkin coach diy craft

Delight the troves of trick-or-treating princesses with a pumpkin carved to look like Cinderella’s carriage. Start with a large white pumpkin and scoop out the insides. Carve windows and a door and decorate with stick-on gemstones and glittery paint (Martha Stewart Crafts Multi-Surface Glitter Acrylic Craft Paint, $3) on the stem. For wheels, spear four tiny white pumpkins onto skewers and rest carriage on the skewer axles. Toy horses lead the carriage and a princess doll sits inside.

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