Friday, October 18, 2013

Countdown to Halloween 2013 - Skeleton Theme

The Countdown to Halloween 2013 has begun! Last year, we did a 13-day Countdown to Halloween with each day having a different theme with activities - food, art, science, and more. Sophia and Olivia wanted to do the countdown again, so we began today with the theme of skeletons.

Name Skeleton

Olivia's name skeleton.

 New this year is a project that combines art, penmanship, and math (symmetry): "Name Skeletons." The idea came from this pin that led to Garden of Praise.

To make a name skeleton, the girls folded a piece of white copy paper in half width-wise.

Sophia writing her name 
along the folded part of the paper.

They wrote their names in cursive along the folded part; and then cut it out to form the body of the skeleton.

Olivia writing her name on white paper.

When writing the name, Olivia's was easy because there were no letters that would fall "below the line." Sophia's name has a "p" which made it slightly more challenging since the lower part of the "p" couldn't go down as far as it normally would.

The next step was to make the letters wider by making another line parallel to all the hand-written letters. Then, it was time to cut out then names.

Sophia cutting out her name.

It's important to keep some the base part of the letters on the fold and not cut. Otherwise there will be two separate names, rather than one connected one.

Olivia cutting out her name.

The girls both found cutting out the inner parts of some letters (e.g., o, a, p, h) a bit difficult since the space wasn't that large.

Olivia's name partially cut out.
She needed help with the inner parts of the letters.

Once the names are cut out, open them so the shape is revealed.

Sophia's name opened up.

Next, the girls drew heads, arms, and legs. They took all the components to the name skeleton and glued it onto a piece of orange paper with a glue stick.

Sophia's name skeleton.

In addition to the name skeletons, we made two different food items for dinner: a veggie skeleton and bone-shaped breadsticks that we dipped in pizza sauce.

Veggie Skeleton

Sophia and Olivia with 
their finished Veggie Skeleton.

Last year, I saw a pin for a veggie skeleton that was linked to Feeding Four Little Monkeys. Sophia and Olivia did in 2012 and wanted to make another skeleton this year.

The girls washed and cut broccoli, celery, red peppers, cauliflower, olives, and lettuce for the skeleton's body.

Sophia cutting celery for the skeleton's arms.

Olivia put the French onion dip into a clear serving bowl, added some Romaine lettuce for the "hair," two olive slices for the eyes, and a red pepper piece for the mouth.

Olivia worked on the skeleton's face while
Sophia worked on the body.

This year's skeleton is a bit smaller than last year, but it fit on the tray which worked out well. There were some leftover cut-up vegetables, so as we ate parts of the skeleton's body, they would replace the pieces taken.

The completed veggie skeleton.

It's interesting to see how fresh vegetables are more readily consumed when presented in an unusual way. Such a simple thing to do, but makes all the difference to a child's perception of what she wants to eat.

Bones n’ Blood

We also made bone-shaped breadsticks that we dipped in pizza sauce. Using this pin which led to Our Best Bites, for inspiration, I tried to find pre-made breadstick dough in the refrigerated section in a few local stores. Apparently this year, they aren't being carried any more.

So, we ended up making homemade bread dough from a 4-H cookbook that my Mom gave me back in the late 1980s. The recipe is easy and doesn't require a lot of time for the dough to rise (whereas some other recipes took up to an hour for rising time).


1 package dry yeast (or 2 1/2 tsp. yeast)
2 cups warm water, divided
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
6 c. flour
1 c. melted butter (we used 3/4 c.)
Onion and garlic salt to taste (we used Watkins seasonings instead - Pizza & Italian Seasoning; and Onion and Garlic Pepper)

Dissolve yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Combine 1 3/4 cup water, sugar, and salt in mixing bowl. Stir in 2 cups flour. Add yeast; mix well. Add 1/2 cup butter and remaining 4 cups flour; mix well. Let rise for 15-20 minutes. 

(Note: this paragraph is for making traditional breadsticks...not the bone-shaped breadsticks.) Divide into walnut-shaped balls. Shape each into a 14-16 inch rope. Roll in remaining 1/2 cup butter. 

(Note: The rest of the recipe is for both type of breadsticks.) Place on baking sheet. (Note: the recipe didn't say to grease the sheet, but we did one without and one with spray-oil, and the breadsticks that were on the sheet that had been sprayed came off much easier and din't stick at all.) 

Sprinkle with onion and garlic salts. Let rise until double in bulk. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until crisp. Yield: 64 serving.

Sophia and Olivia worked together on making the dough.

Olivia mixing the flour 
with the liquid ingredients.

After kneading the dough, they set it aside to rise.

Sophia kneading the dough.

While they were letting it rise, they made the veggie skeleton. By the time they were done assembling it, it was time to create the breadstick bones. Sophia took chunks of dough and shaped them into strips.

Sophia shaping the dough into strips.

She cut the ends and rolled them a bit to create the look of a bone.

Creating the rounded ends on the breadsticks
so they look like bones.

Olivia brushed melted butter on top of each one, and then put one of two seasonings on each one.

The girls working together to make 
bone-shaped breadsticks.

For half of the breadsticks, she put Watkins Pizza and Italian seasoning; and on the other Watkins onion and garlic pepper.

Olivia brushing the breadstick with butter.

The original recipe suggested sprinkling Parmesan cheese on the breadsticks. We didn't do this, however. They were ready to be put into the oven and baked. Although the recipe called for 35 minutes, the undersides of the breadsticks were browned at 25 minutes. Any longer, and they would have been quite crunchy (which we don't like).

Finished "bones" that the girls created.

We baked the breadsticks while heating the pizza sauce.

One breadstick "bone" with pizza sauce "blood."

We all enjoyed the "Bones n' Blood" and "Veggie Skeleton" we had for dinner along with a grilled cheese sandwich!

The girls with their skeleton-theme dinner.


Sarah J. said...

This is such a great idea! At 2, my daughter is probably a bit too young to really appreciate it this year, but I'm definitely going to file this idea away for next year. Thanks!

Rita said...

I've been going through your countdowns and you guys are having a real Halloween blast! Such fun! :)