I wanted to do something fun and Halloween related for Chace as now that he’s three, he’s really starting to get in to the holidays. He keeps asking if it’s Halloween yet, and then when I reply ‘no’, he asks if it’s Christmas.

So when I saw this amazing FREE countdown haunted house over on ‘Kiki and Company’, I just HAD to make it for him. What better way of focusing his adorable excitement than with an advent calendar!?

Here is the completed one on our kitchen table – ready and waiting for excited toddler.

Now, you may have noticed that I had to water down the amazing typography that Kiki did. The designer in me hated to do it, but the mommy in me won out. Since Chace is only three and can’t yet read – and is learning all his numbers – I edited the file in Photoshop so that each window only had one number. That way when we are asking him to “find number 21 – look for a two and a one together” then it’s nice and simple for him.

After I did that, I uploaded it to a photolab that can print a 16 x 20 print and also picked up some foam core from the craft store.

When I had my print back, I used my exacto blade and ruler and (tedious alert) cut out all the windows and the door. It was worth it though :). I made sure to leave the left ‘side’ of each intact since that would become the ‘hinge’.

Then I flipped it over and used some white glue on the back. In hindsight, a glue stick or rubber cement would have been much better (it’s bubbling a bit due to the white glue) but I just used what I had on hand and didn’t worry about it being perfect. Chace will love it just the way mommy does it. He’s not picky!

Flipping it over, I glued it in place on the foam core. Since my foam core was larger than the print, I trimmed down the edges.

The version that Kiki and Company created has another sheet filled with fun Halloween related tasks to go behind each window (i.e. “make pumpkin sugar coookies and decorate them”) but in reality, Chace is too young for most of the tasks and/or they require major mommy involvement and planning – and I’d end up having to do most of the task for him. Perhaps when he’s a bit older…

So for now, most days will just have a little sticker inside. But when I saw these mini Halloween clothes pegs, I just had to work them in somehow!

So I grabbed three jewellery boxes from the craft store and realized if I used the top and bottom I’d end up with six little boxes that I could use as ‘cubbies’.

I picked six windows and then cut through the foam core to make an opening behind them. Again, I didn’t worry about being too precise here. It’s a bit finicky to cut through the foam core and the edges aren’t that clean, but don’t sweat it if you try this yourself.

Then I flipped the haunted house over and simply taped the six boxes to the back of the board with a single long piece of scotch tape.

Then I used a remnant of the foam core excess and cutting it on an angle, made an easel for the back. I attached this with scotch tape as well.

Here are some of the little happy Halloween stickers waiting for my little ghoul.

And of course, one of the six cute clothes pegs that are sure to delight.

Such a fun and easy little project that lights up Chace’s eyes. Now he knows when he gets to the ’31’ that it is finally Halloween time!

Still a ways to go kid.

What about you? Any fun toddler/kid projects going on over at your house? Do you have a holiday challenged boy like me? Easter? Halloween? Christmas? Anyone? Bueller… Bueller… Bueller…?

Or should I say Booller? {Groan}