Halloween Party Ideas Your Kids Will Love

Disclosure: I placed an affiliate link in this post.  If you click the link and make a purchase, I will be paid a small commission.

Some fantabulous bloggers have gone together to do a Fantabulous Fall Favorites Linky Party!     The hosts of this blog hop have their posts linked up to the beginning of the linky at the bottom of this post.   You can link up your own Fall posts below, and we will pin many of them to our Pintabulous Mom's Fall Favorites Pinterest Board
 The Fantabulous Fall Favorites Linky Party!  Link up your own fall posts!
When I was a kid, we didn't do birthday parties other than with the family.  What we did do was Halloween parties.  My mother used to go all out for us on Halloween and invite my entire class and neighborhood to attend.  To this day, over thirty years later, when I run into people who were in attendance at these events they still say to me, "You always had the BEST Halloween parties."

So, how did my mom do it?  Here were some of the highlights that my childhood friends still remember.

Cauldron of Prizes: My mother created this witch on thick paper and secured her to a stick. She covered a big metal pot with black fabric and filled the pot with prizes.  Every kid would get one prize, usually after a game or activity.  We'd reach in and pull out a surprise.  I remember some kids actually being a little scared to put their hand in there, but in the end they did to reap the rewards!

Pin the Tail on the Black Cat: This is pretty self explanatory, but we'd play the same way we played Pin the Tail on the Donkey.  We'd have a blindfold, get spun, and try to get as close as we could!

Pass the Clothes:  In the spirit of dressing up for Halloween, we played a game where we got to dress up even more!  Mom filled a big bag full of clothes.  I remember there were a lot of funny ones leftover from the 60's.  There were also silly hats and glasses.  We'd pass around the bag by bouncing it once on the floor and then handing it to the child on our right while music played.  When the music stopped whoever was holding the bag had to reach in, pull something out, and wear it!  This was always good for some laughs.

I can't find an old picture of us playing this, but here are some of us playing it a few years ago along with our kids in playgroup!

Apples on a String: Because my mom thought bobbing for apples was pretty unsanitary, she tied apples to string and hung them from the ceiling.  We could not use our hands and kept them behind our backs while we tried to bite our apples.

Decorations: Mom always set the mood with great decorations that got the imaginations moving.  You can see it did not cost much but did take a lot of time and creativity!

My costumes were usually homemade as were a lot of people's.  I can't say that I have carried on this tradition with my kids.  I can't sew and it is easier to go to the store and have them pick something out.  Nothing can beat the fun of seeing original homemade costumes though!

In case you're wondering, my mom is still doing her Halloween thing to this day with my kids and their friends!

Here are some other spooktacular Halloween ideas from Pinterest!

You can go to the following blogs to see their fall posts and to link up your own posts: Creative K Kids, My Life Abundant, KidPep,  Untrodden Parenting, Baking with Mom, and New House New Home
You can also follow our Pintabulous Mom's Fall Pinterest Board HERE to see all the  posts that are linked up below plus some other great fall posts that we find!
Follow a group of fabulous mom bloggers and their fall ideas on Pinterest. 
We would love it if you grabbed our button so that others can find this linky!
Creative K Kids
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Chewigem Review and Giveaway!

This photo was borrowed from the Chewigem website.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  I received a free chewigem in exchange for an honest review.  All the opinions are my own and because I was already a big fan of the product I did not ask for payment, just the free product for my child and for the giveaway!

I first wrote about Chewigem when I discovered it through Dyspraxia USA.  I have since gotten one for my daughter, A, so I wanted to write a review and give someone else a chance to try this for themselves.

My daughter has some sensory issues and one of the biggest ways this manifests itself is with chewing.  She will chew on pens, jewelry, her shirt collar, and erasers.  There are even odder things I have had to make her take out of her mouth.  She will pretty much bite on anything within reach without thinking about it.

I was (am) also dyspraxic and when I was a child my pens and pencils always looked like a puppy had gotten to them.  I also used to chew on phone cords.  (Yes, phones used to have cords).  So, I understand and can relate to this need to gnaw on everything.  Sometimes when I am really lost in my work I still nibble on my pens!

I was really happy when I learned about Chewigem because instead of trying to inhibit a child's need to chew, they devised a way to allow the child to safely indulge in this behavior.

So, what are Chewigems?  Chewigems are jewelry you can sink your teeth into!  It's made of FDA approved silicone and comes in a variety of attractive shapes and colors.  A had a blue one and she wanted a pink one to go with her other outfits, so now she has two.

I was really happy with how the jewelry was made.  I half expected it to be thinner and imagined my daughter eventually chewing through it.  Fortunately, it's very thick and durable and I don't think she could chew through it in 20 years!  Her friends all like it and think it is cute.  They have no idea it is made to chew on, especially since they are used to seeing A chew on everything anyway.  My son, who does not have a chewing problem, is begging me to get him one too because to him it looks like his sister is having a blast chewing away (and I think she is).

When I learned about the vestibular system, I found that children learn and concentrate better when they are allowed to fidget.  I believe that chewing is similar to fidgeting and I think if children are allowed to release energy and be stimulated in this way they can better focus their attention and become less frustrated.  Last night, for example, when I was working on my daughter's math homework with her, she was extremely frustrated.  She said things like, "I just want to run!"  "I need to stretch!"  "I need to scream."  She was randomly, even frantically, putting things in her mouth.  The eraser from her mechanical pencil is no longer attached now. She pulled out an earring and put it in her mouth, too. When I took the earring, her hair went in.  Finally I asked, "Where is your Chewigem?"  She retrieved it.  She chewed on that furiously while we worked.  She was able to concentrate again and get all that stress out on her chewable necklace.  I'm not saying this is a cure-all but it helps. It helps her to cope and I don't have to worry about her choking on anything!

Chewigem has added a lot of new products.  They have dog tags, bangle bracelets, eternity necklaces, cat gems, and more. I'd love to give someone else the opportunity to experience the difference that Chewigem can make in their child's life so I am hosting a giveaway so you can get your own!  Chewigem has been generous enough to offer a free product of your "chewsing" if you win!  Like I said, they have a lot of choices. 

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Little Passports Fundraising For Your School!

**The links in this post are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

I love Little Passports.  The advertising seems to market to little kids but I think this is a really cool thing all the way into middle school.  Kids get mailings with all kinds of souvenirs and activities from different places (you can either do US or international).  It helps them learn, not just by reading, but also by experiencing each culture a bit through the various senses.  It is always exciting to get mail, especially when it is *stuff,* and Little Passports is no exception.  We love it.  That's why I thought it was really cool that Little Passports can partner with schools for fundraisers!

Here's how it works: You can distribute a flyer at your school (or any other group you are fundraising for).  You then get 15% of what is spent donated to your school.  People love ordering the Little Passports for their kids because it is a fun and award winning educational program.  It is even better because they are doing it for a good cause.  Little Passports can even be used as a holiday gift that keeps giving all year!  Get more information here: www.littlepassports.com/schools. The fundraising period is from October 21 - 28 and the deadline to sign-up is October 10th so check it out today!
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Enter to Win and Link Up at the Chain Linky Climb!

I am so honored and proud to be a part of the Chain Linky Climb.  I also love that my readers can enter to win all these great prizes!!  You can't go wrong with Pay Pal money, gift cards, and free advertising!

So, feel free link up and visit the other blogs in the bloghop!  This goes on all month long.  You can link up four posts now or come back and link up one every week!

God’s Growing Garden
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It's the month long Networking Blog Hop 
With our 11th CLIMB GIVEAWAY!
Networking means helping each other grow!! 
If you want to promote a CLIMB link, then use #ChainLinkyCLIMB on Twitter or Google+ so that we can all help each other grow!
Here's how the Giveaway & Co-hosting works - the co-hosts from the previous month's CLIMB will have the opportunity to participate in a Giveaway during the next CLIMB - that gives co-hosts 2 months in a row of blog growing fun!!  (If you would like to co-host please sign up at the end of this post using the last "Linky") 
Please enter below -one person will win:
- $10 Paypal Cash
- 1 Ad Space on A Peek Into My Paradise for 30 days - $30 value
- Turbo Sponsor Spot on 100lb Countdown - $10 value
- 1 Ad Space on Cuddlebug Cuties - $10 value
- 1 Ad Space on Sew Crafty Angel - $15 value
- 1 Ad Space on God's Growing Garden - $15 value
- $10 Gift Certificate to Kelly Michelle's Etsy Shop
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$10 GIFT CERTIFICATE to KellyMichelle's Etsy Shop:  "Kelly Michelle Art"
(Digital Art PDF Printables)

Total prize value is $100!!

CLIMB Giveaway Rules & Conditions:
- this is open worldwide (void where prohibited)
- You must be 18 years or older to enter 
- You MUST have a valid Paypal account to win the Paypal Cash (otherwise this will become a second place prize)
- You MUST have a blog to win the Ad spaces (otherwise this will become a second place prize)
- You understand that if you win & you go over the $10 Gift Certificate (from Kelly Michelle's Etsy Shop) that you will be responsible for the amount above $10
- This Giveaway is open from August 30th, 2014 until September 28th, 2014
- Winner must respond within 48 hours or a different winner will be chosen
- Giveaway Hosts & Co-hosts can NOT enter this Giveaway!, however - SEPTEMBER 2014 CLIMB blog hop co-hosts ARE allowed to enter this Giveaway (provided they are not also part of the Giveaway)
- correspondence is done through email and the winner's email addresses will only be used to deliver or set-up e-prizes.  Email addresses will NEVER be sold or shared.
- Paypal Cash will be delivered by Angel.  All other prizes will be delivered by the contributing Bloggers.
- if you have any questions or concerns about this Giveaway please email one of the hosts:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now onto the CLIMB (blog hop):
We have changed it up a bit - instead of linking your homepage you may now link up to 4 of your family friendly blog posts per month!!

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By participating in this blog hop your understand that your link might be promoted on social media.  Also, by participating in this blog hop your email address will be added to our CLIMB list & you will be sent an email reminder next month. 

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Remember - If you co-host you will receive a free Weekly Sidebar Ad and your blog button will appear on both Angie's blog & Angel's blog!!

(The Ad will run live a few weeks after you have co-hosted)

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7 Ways The First Day of School is Like a Heavy Metal Concert

I guess I'm really going to have to change the name of this blog.  Both my kids are in public school now and they started today.  I want to pour my heart out in this post and explore all my conflicted feelings along with all of my founded and unfounded fears, but instead I will tell you why going to the first day of school is like attending a heavy metal concert.

I attended a lot of hard rock shows back in the day and dropping my kids off this morning brought back those memories for me in the seven following ways.

1) When you get there, nobody really knows where they should be going.  They all just follow the big mob.  
Photo by Enric Turull Source

           2) There is a feeling of excitement in the air but nobody looks happy.

3) Everyone pushes towards the front of the entrance, the way concert goers move towards the stage.  Unless you plan on starting a mosh pit, you are unable to to move in any direction.
4) It's intimidating!  Everyone is scary and you're not sure if you really belong.

5) There is no order.  It is total ANARCHY!  Nobody is lining up on the first day or watching their behavior.  All last year's conditioning is gone. Social norms are out the window.  There are kids and parents and backpacks and pencils everywhere with no regard for the powers that be.

6) The press.  The paparazzi parents are all over on the first day of school.  If you're not careful you'll be blinded by flashes and you might find yourself in the background of a gazillion Facebook photos in the most unflattering of positions.
7) Finally, it is LOUD. Between the

 7) Finally, it is LOUD. Between the squeals of happy tweens greeting their friends and the wails of crying preschoolers wanting their moms, your ears could be ringing for the rest of the day.

squeals of happy tweens greeting their friends and the wails of crying preschoolers wanting their moms, your ears could be ringing for the rest of the day.
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