Information Possibly Outdated
The information presented on this page was originally released on October 11, 2012. It may not be outdated, but please search our site for more current information. If you plan to quote or reference this information in a publication, please check with the Extension specialist or author before proceeding.
Discover your inner 'Martha' with fall decorations, projects
The crisp fall air has many families playing outside in leaf piles, tossing footballs at tailgating events, and getting ready for Halloween and fall festivals. Seasonal decorations can be challenging, but the Internet and sites like Pinterest can help anyone, even those without a speck of the Martha Stewart gene.
Two things top my list each fall: decorations and costumes. For those of us who live on farms, Martha has figured out a way to make cornhusk garlands and cornhusk flowers for fall decorating. Check out her ideas at http://tinyurl.com/harvestdecorating.
My personal favorite fall creations are pumpkin people. Pumpkin people are just like snowmen but with pumpkins. Check out these pumpkin people at: http://tinyurl.com/pumpkinpeople.
I even made pumpkin people with the 3- and 4-year-olds at church in conjunction with reading the “Pumpkin Patch Parable” by Liz Curtis Higgs. While that is a good book, I do not recommend that particular activity for preschoolers. Just take that into consideration when you have a brilliant idea for incorporating pumpkin people into your fall festival decorations.
A better activity for the kiddos at church would be painting, particularly handprint and footprint art. Some that I have found include the candy corn handprint craft, http://tinyurl.com/candycornhandprint; the ghost footprint craft, http://tinyurl.com/ghostfootprint; or the classic, trick-or-treat, smell-my-feet footprint artwork for parents, http://tinyurl.com/footprintwitch.
If Halloween isn’t your thing, try the football footprint artwork, the handprint cowbell artwork (for the maroon and white fan), or the campfire handprint artwork.
Many fall festivals require appropriate costumes. If the budget is tight, try making one of these oh-so-cute costumes from materials you have on hand: http://tinyurl.com/easycostumes. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can check out the costumes at http://hackaday.com/tag/halloween. However, these costumes require a lot more effort and technical skill. You probably would need to sew the small Arduino Lilypad processor into your costume to power your wearable gadgets.
If your child will be trick-or-treating this year, consider the Trick or Tracker Child Locator app available for $4.99. It requires a bit of setup and both the child and the parent must have a Smartphone. It will send automatic updates on the child’s location and help the child find you if you become separated in the dark neighborhood or the corn maze.
Many cities are also writing Smartphone apps for their big fall festivals so patrons can easily find bathrooms, first aid stations and their favorite booths. Both the Android and iPhone have flashlight apps so you can see where you are going while trick-or-treating.
This Halloween, take technology with as you trick-or-treat and have a spook-tech-ular time.