A Jack-O-Lantern sun catcher is a beautiful art project for your young ones on the run up to Halloween. It doesn’t take many supplies, and depending on the age of the children involved, it may not need much preparation before-hand. For the younger children, I folded a piece of black construction paper in half and cut out a pumpkin silhouette on it, keeping the fold at the bottom so it makes a hinge when it is opened. For Tristan, who is a bit older, I drew the outline for him and he cut it out himself.
I cut out eyes, a nose and a mouth on the girl’s pumpkins using a craft-knife, making sure to go through both layers of paper. Tristan drew his own features on the paper, but I cut it out as although his fine-motor skills are excellent, he hasn’t yet mastered the craft knife.
Kallista made hers first at the local library while Tristan was involved with a Halloween story time and craft session they hosted for 4-8 year-olds. I had pre-cut some sticky-backed plastic in 2 squares, one for each side of the sun-catcher. I took the backing paper off one piece and placed the Jack-O-Lantern form into the centre of it. I used the backing paper to keep the hinged side of the pumpkin from sticking to the plastic while Kallista worked on her project.
Kallista did very well at placing her pieces of tissue paper on the sticky-backed plastic. We used little squares of tissue paper we had left over from an autumn tree project we had recently worked on (I will try to do a post on that in November). Some of the pieces we tore into smaller bits to give the look a little more texture.
After filling up all the facial features with bits of flame-coloured tissue paper, I took another piece of sticky-backed plastic and laminated the other side of the Jack-O-Lantern. We cut off the excess plastic and hung the finished Jack-O-Lantern sun-catchers up, Kallista has hers in a bedroom window, and Tristan chose to put his on the kitchen window.
During the day they catch the sunlight and look beautiful from indoors. After nightfall, they catch the light from the indoors and look great from outside. Tristan likes his so much he wants to put it away with our other Halloween decorations and use it again next year!
Jack-O-Lantern sun catchers are a good project to help toddlers with their colours, and fine motor skills of picking up the fine pieces of tissue paper. For young children it’s also good fine-motor practice in using the scissors. It’s interesting to see what type of face they will create for their Jack-O-Lanterns. And when we bring them out again next year we will have good memories and see how far they have come in their development over the past year.
If you’re in the mood for Halloween, we have more for you! Mummy hot dogs, grave yard bone breadsticks, and The Pumpkins Are Here song. Or see our Halloween Ideas page for all of our Halloween ideas wrapped up in one place.