We’ve been doing lots of art this week since it seems we’ve been taking turns feeling under the weather. One day this week, I decided we should make some Halloween suncatcher bat decorations to hang in our tree in the front yard. It turned out to be a really simple art activity that even really young children can do, but fun enough I wanted to make one, too! These would look great hung indoors as well, especially in a well-lit area like close to a window since you can see through them!!
I initially planned to use a plastic milk jug or one of those box-shaped plastic containers that you can buy salad in to cut our bats from, but it turned out that nothing we had on-hand was really appropriate. After some brainstorming, I simply ran several sheets of laminating plastic through our Scotch laminator one at a time with nothing in them.
The sheets came out as thin but sturdy sheets of plastic and were PERFECT for this project!! (Here is a newer version of our laminator on Amazon.) Another alternative for thin plastic would be transparency film like teachers use on overhead projectors.
Once I had my plastic sheets, I traced bat shapes onto them using a template and a permanent marker.
You could freehand them or print a template to use. I cut them out,
and gave the kids each a clear plastic bat along with a variety of colors of permanent markers. We used Sharpies. We put the plastic bat on top of a piece of paper to keep the table from getting colored, and I talked to the kids about being careful not to get the marker on their clothes.
They happily decorated away. It was fun for them to color on the smooth, slippery plastic because it’s texture is so different than paper!
When they finished, I used a black permanent marker to outline the edge of the bat shapes.
That really made them POP! and made it clear that it was a BAT! As long as you outline it at the end, really any age child can decorate these because it will still look like a bat when you finish regardless of how they color it.
Mama joined in the fun, too! No need to let the kids have all the fun!
We let our bats “dry” for just a bit so as not to smear the marker, and then I punched a hole in the top middle of the bat’s head with a hole puncher. I tied fishing line through the hole and knotted it several times. Then we took our bats outside and tied the other end of the string to our tree.
The bats swoosh and fly and make for great, not-too-spooky Halloween decorations. Because you can’t see the fishing line string, they do actually look like bats flying around out there! They’ve been through at least one rain storm already and aside from having to be untangled a bit from the limbs and leaves, they look just like new!
If you’d rather not put them outside, these would look great hanging from a light fixture over a table, or hung in a window as a suncatcher.
We had so much fun making these, that we made some more for Grandmama! She was planning to hang some in her kitchen window as sun catchers and some outside in a tree!
Originally published on Oct 18, 2012
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