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Halloween Crafts and Games for Kids
Halloween Crafts, Games, and Activities for Kids
Halloween is my favorite holiday! My oldest son is three this year, so finally he is old enough to really get excited about Halloween. I want my boys to share my love of the holiday so I came up with these October crafts to help me do it.
I always like to add educational aspects to the crafts and activities I do with my toddlers so I used I Can Teach My Child's "33 Ways to Prepare Your Child for Kindergarten" to develop these activities.
I've sorted the crafts based on what skills I designed them to develop specifically, but many of these crafts and activities develop several skills. They are sorted by:
- Personal and Social Development
- Language Development
- Cognitive Development
- Physical Development
- Creative Development
(I apologize for the lack of original photos of the activities. Throughout the month I plan to do these with my sons and take photos, but I wanted to get this out before Halloween so others can have fun with these activities too. Will update soon! Promise!)
Personal and Social Development
- Approach to Learning
- Interactions with Others
- Conflict Resolution
- Self Concept
- Ghosts & Pumpkins
Bananas, chocolate, clementines, and celery.
- Mummy Pizza
Pizza with olives.
- Halloween cheeseburgers
- Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats Recipe
Rice Krispie treats, tootsie rolls, and fruit roll up.
- Strawberry Ghosts Recipe
Strawberries and chocolate.
- Homemade Halloween Chips
- Brew-Ha-Ha Punch
Lime drink, pineapple juice, and ginger ale.
- Hot Dog Mummies
Halloween-styled pigs in a blanket.
- Orange Jack-O-Lantern Fruit Cups
Oranges and your choice of fruit.
- Edible Eyeballs
Jell-O and raisins.
- A Spooktacular Lunch
Juice box, peanut butter sandwich, cheese, apples, almonds, yogurt, fruit snack, grapes, crackers and nutella, and pretzel sticks.
- Cut sandwiches with Halloween cookie cutters.
- Make Jell-O, ice cubes, or candies from Halloween silicone molds.
- Add gummy worms to chocolate pudding.
- Choose green, blue, or other strangely colored drinks.
- Use colorful cups and let the kids add face stickers to them to create monsters.
Little Monster Lunch
Tea Party Activity
- Snacks and Drinks
- A place setting for each little monster
- Costumes/Props for each Little Monster (Check out the Little Monster Mask craft)
- Toy/Puppet to play the Grubgub Monster (Check out the Shape Monster craft)
How to Play
Tea parties are a great way for little ones to learn how to interact with each other in general. Unfortunately, they have been gendered as a "girl" activity which, sadly, turns off some parents of boys and robs little boys of the opportunity to learn how to interact with their peers.
Referring to this activity as a "lunch" rather than a "tea party" may combat the gendered connotations of a "tea party." Plus, it will prepare our little ones for the future when they "do lunch" with friends and co-workers (how many adults do you know have discussed business over a tea party? Not often, I'm sure, at least not here in the USA.)
You may go about this activity as you would any other tea party, but do it in a Halloween theme with Halloweenie treats.
If you want to make the activity more interesting and teach your toddler about manners and etiquette, you could include the Grubgub monster.
The Grubgub monster is never had a lunch with other little monsters before, so he doesn't know how to behave. Have the Grubgub monster act out impolite actions at the table then encourage the preschoolers to correct his behavior and teach him how to act properly at the table. By the end of the lunch, the Grubgub monster should have learned how to be a perfect gentleman (or lady).
Here are some manners you may want to consider going over:
- Sharing (Grubgub wants all the cookies!)
- Cleaning up a mess (Grubgub spills his juice.)
- Saying "please" and "thank you" (Grubgub says "gimme gimme, now!")
- Clearing the table when finished (Invite Grubgub to help too)
Pumpkin Jack's Little Helpers
Scavenger Hunt-styled Group Adventure Game
- Toy Coins (enough for each child to have a turn at holding the flashlight, basket, map, or all three)
- Map of the room
- Bag of Wrapped Candy or some sort of treat
- Costume for Pumpkin Jack (Check out the Jack's Pumpkin Hat craft)
How to Play
This game is set at night or in a darkened room (not too dark though)
Before the game, hide the toy coins in places that are not too easy to spot, but easy enough. Try making the hiding spots in places that will need the flashlight to be revealed. Draw a little map of the area you're playing in, highlighting places where you may have "dropped" your coins.
You are Pumpkin Jack and you are looking for your lost coins! You are so sad because without your coins you cannot buy yummy treats to share with all the kids on Halloween, boo hoo! There's no way you could find all those missing coins by yourself, won't anyone help you look?
Let the kids know, before the game begins, "This is a sharing game. We are going to practice sharing so we can learn to be better friends. Everyone is going to get a turn to be helpful." You don't have to use those words exactly, but you should emphasize that the rules of the game involve teamwork and sharing. Hopefully, establishing this in the very beginning will cut down on trouble later.
Once you have your little helpers ready, choose one helper to be the basket carrier, one helper to be the navigator with the map, and one helper to hold the flashlight.
Ask the navigator where the group should look first. Once it's decided, the flashlight holder will lead the way to the spot. When the group arrives at the spot all helpers will have a turn pointing at a spot to check and the flashlight holder will move the flashlight to each area. Pumpkin Jack will, of course, throw a few hints to assist the little helpers until the coin is found.
The basket carrier gets to pick up the coin and put it in the basket, then tell the group how many coins they have collected.
After the coin is found, all little helpers will switch roles.
If you have a group of 3, repeat until each player has had a turn with the basket, flashlight, and map at least once.
If you have a larger group, repeat until each player has had a turn with at least one of the helper items.
Once all of the coins have been collected, Pumpkin Jack will go and exchange the coins for a candy or treat for each child.
- Literature and Reading
- Alphabet Knowledge
Read a Halloween story and when you're done ask your toddler to tell you what happened in the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
While you're reading use your finger, a pen/pencil, a card, or something to trace the words as you read so your toddler will become familiar with the direction words go (and maybe even try having a go at reading).
If you've read a book enough times that your preschooler is able to recite it, make reading more theatrical. You can take the role of narrator and let your child do the voices of various characters. Or you can do the voices together. Have fun with it and your child's love for reading is bound to grow.
Halloween Alphabet Coloring Pages
Spooky Halloween Words A - Z
Below are some printable Halloween coloring pages I've found featuring spooky words. I've tried not to pick ones too scary for our little ones.
Practice writing the words before or after you colour the images. Point out and name other things in the images. Describe the subjects; are they furry, scary, slimey?
Q - Queasy(too much Halloween candy will make you queasy!)
The Halloween Mission
Scavenger Hunt Adventure Activity
- Index cards
- Cottonballs (or ghosts from the Little Ghost craft)
- Candy, treat, or prize for an award--perhaps ghost related.
How to Play
This activity can be played with one child or a group. It is a 3-part adventure game. The Halloween ghost adventure I've put here can be customized to anything you want it to be.
On an index card write a two-step instruction. (If you're comfortable with your drawing skills you can illustrate the instructions as well as Step 1 and Step 2) Alternatively, you can print photos of the steps and label them Step 1 and Step 2
"Go to the kitchen. Put this card on the fridge with a magnet."
When your toddler completes the first stage of the mission, reward them with a basket with the next index card inside.
On the next index card write (draw or photograph) the next two step instructions.
"Go to your room. Look under your pillow."
When your preschooler checks under their pillow they should find a flashlight and the last set of instructions. These instructions are three step instructions and a bit more challenging.
"Look under your bed with the flashlight. Collect the ghost eggs in the basket. Bring them to the kitchen."
When your child has completed the final stage of their mission, reward them with a prize.
Alternatively, your toddler can collect materials for a craft in their basket and the reward can be making the craft together.
- Patterns and Relationships
- Number Concept and Operations
- Geometry and Spatial Relations
Halloween Connect the Dots Coloring Pages
Shape Monsters and Paper Pumpkins
Construction Paper Crafts
- Construction or Colored Paper
On my Printable Templates for Kids Hub I shared a few paper stencils you can use to make construction paper monsters and paper pumpkins, among other things.
I have posted them again here for your convenience. (Please disregard the Crafty Mom link, I no longer maintain that blog D: I will have to update these images at some point, sorry!)
For this craft, print and cut out the shape monster template and trace it on the colored paper sheet your toddler wants their monster to be. You can cut out the body yourself, or let them use safety scissors to try on their own.
Cut out various shapes and let your preschooler use them to decorate their monster. Maybe they want to add a big trapezoid head, or triangle spikes, or hexagon spots, or a large circle cyclops eye. Help them use their imaginations and see the shapes as more than just shapes.
Add other decorative elements if you like.
Print and cut out the paper pumpkin template and leaves. Then trace the pieces on colored or construction paper. You will need one large pumpkin piece, two medium sized pumpkin pieces, two small pumpkin pieces, one nubby stem, and as many leaves as you want.
Cut spirals for vines.
Glue the pumpkin together with the large pumpkin piece in the center, with a medium piece on the right and on the left, and a small piece on the right and on the left. Practice comparing big and small, right, middle/center, and left.
Glue the stem on top. Compare the directions "top" and "bottom"
Add as many vines and leaves as you like. There is a large and a small leaf, so you can use this as an opportunity to compare size too.
Cut out shapes in black construction paper and use them to make a face on your paper pumpkins.
Halloween Shape Drawings
In the spirit of my drawing with shapes Hub, here are a few Halloween-inspired drawing tutorials using shapes, lines, and angles. I've organized them as easiest to hardest. This may be a bit challenging for a toddler to do on their own, so offer lots of help and encouragement.
How to Draw a PumpkinClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Draw a WitchClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Draw a Vampire BatClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Draw a WerewolfClick thumbnail to view full-size
How to Draw Frankenstein's MonsterClick thumbnail to view full-size
- Gross-Motor Skills
- Fine-Motor Skills
Pumpkin Jack Says
"Simon Says" Styled Game
Pumpkin Jack returns to play a game with the kids. The best part is, unless you want to have a Pumpkin Jack costume, all you need is your body.
Pumpkin Jack stands before the kids and says, "Pumpkin Jack says..." followed by some physical direction like "touch your head," or "touch your toes." Once the kids get in the rhythm of it, Pumpkin Jack can catch them by saying directions like "touch your nose," without saying "Pumpkin Jack says." "No, no, Pumpkin Jack didn't say!" Then try again. This will make the toddlers pay more attention next time.
Here are some Halloween-themed directions Pumpkin Jack can use:
- "Flap your arms like a bat."
- "Pounce like a cat."
- "Rub your belly like you're full of Halloween treats"
- "Shake your tail like a werewolf."
- "Creep like a vampire."
- "Walk like Frankenstein."
- "Twirl like a ghost."
Hide and Seek Game
This game is best in a big area with lots of room to run and hide. A playground would probably be a good option, but chaperones should sit on the sidelines to make sure everyone stays safe.
The game starts off as a regular game of hide and seek. One person is chosen to count to 10 (perhaps have a grown-up start the game off) while all the others hide.
When the counter is finished counting they walk around looking for the hiders. If the counter finds someone before they see the hider then they get to say, "Boo!" But if the counter comes close to a hider without noticing them, the hider can jump out and say, "Boo!" When a hider is revealed they join the counter to find the others. The game ends when everyone is found.
Pumpkin Pie Play Dough
Play dough is great for developing fine motor skills. Making your own play dough is fun for both you and your little one, plus it is safe to ingest since it is made with ingredients you use for cooking and baking.
Make your play dough more autumn themed by giving it a sweet pumpkin pie scent.
Give your toddler Halloween themed cookie cutters to make Halloween shapes.
You can also make Halloween ornaments by flattening the dough, cutting out shapes, and baking at 300 degrees for 10 minutes or until baked through. After the ornaments cool your little one can paint them, glue things to them, or decorate them in other ways.
- Popsicle sticks
- Adhesive Magnets OR old flat fridge magnets
- Sharpie marker
- Googly Eyes
Start by applying popsicle sticks to the magnets. If you have adhesive magnets you can just pull off the paper back and line up the popsicles on the sticky side. If you are reusing flat magnets (the kind you may get from the doctor's office or from some random store), make sure they are a good size for the popsicle sticks and use your glue stick to stick them on the graphic side of the magnet.
When the popsicle sticks have been applied it's time to paint. You can make the orange for pumpkins, white for ghosts, skeletons, or mummies, green for Frankenstein's monster, withes, and goblins, or any colour you want for some sort of monster. Alternatively you can use construction paper cut outs or markers to decorate your magnets. Apply glitter if desired.
Once your base paint has dried you can paint on a face or draw one on with a sharpie marker.
Once the paint dries apply the googly eyes with your gluestick.
Halloween Freeze Dance
Get some spooky Halloween music and have a freeze dance party. Play a song, pause it randomly and shout, "FREEZE!" All kids should freeze in place and wait for you to play the music again.
Tell the toddlers to pretend to dance like their favorite Halloween monster for added fun.
Witch, Werewolf, Vampire
Sound and Movement Pretend Play Game
Feel free to build on these basic movements for each monster:
Witch - Hold out one arm like you've wrapped your arm around a big cauldron and stir with the other arm while giving a great witch cackle, "heee heee heee!"
Werewolf - Make two fists and howl at the moon, "AAAAAAWOOOOOO!"
Vampire - Hide behind one arm while swatting with the other, "Blah! Blah! Blah!"
Teach the children the moves and encourage them to add their own aspects to them as you call out a monster and let them pretend to be them.
Jack's Pumpkin Hat
Awesome pumpkin hat crafts from around the web:
Fabric Hat (requires sewing)
A few of my own ideas:
- Take a witch hat and embellish it with orange and green ribbon and pumpkin decorations. Use the pumpkin leaf stencils from the Paper Pumpkin craft to cut out green felt leaves to add to the hat.
- Create an autumn floral headdress using hot glue, a plastic headband, fake leaves, and maybe even a few fake decorative pumpkins.
- Hot glue a decorative pumpkin to a barrette to make a pumpkin clip.
This is a very simple craft that I loved making when I was a child.
- White fabric or tissue paper
- Black Marker
Cut a circle out of your fabric or tissue paper (I suggest doubling or tripling your tissue paper to make it stronger). You may also scallop the edges or make some sort of pattern with them.
Add tissue paper, scrap fabric, or stuffing to the center of the fabric/tissue paper and twist it so that it's a little ball.
Tie string around the twist to secure to and create a loop so you can hang it up.
Add a face with the black marker.
Tie ribbons around the neck of the ghost to decorate it.
Little Monster Masks
You can make masks out of paper plates, or you can use the template I've included to make Monster masks out of felt, craft foam, or construction paper.
This is a basic form, so before you cut the stencil out of your material, consider adding ears or spikes or change the shape in some other way.
Embellish your masks with paint, decorations, glitter, stickers, or stencils.
DIY Halloween Candy Totes
Use these ideas to help your preschooler make a candy tote for Halloween.
- Make stamps out of potatoes or by cutting shapes out of flat sponges and use fabric paint to decorate blank canvas bags.
- Decorate brown paper tote bags with stencils, stickers, plastic spiders, and other things.
- Paint a face on a plastic or metal pail.
- Repurpose an old pillowcase to be a candy bag and decorate it.
- Repurpose an old t-shirt into a candy bag.
Pumpkin carving is fun, but it's not very interactive for little ones who can't help with the carving. Here are some ways toddlers can decorate pumpkins safely:
- Dip in, pour on, or brush paint on pumpkins.
- Glue on googly eyes, plastic gems, sequins, plastic spiders, glitter, or even candy!
- Cut out shapes, letters, or patterns, lightly paste them on the pumpkins, then paint on top. Then people off the paper stencils underneath.
Halloween Finger Painting Crafts
There are so many ways you can incorporate finger (and foot) painting into Halloween crafts.
Here are a few ideas of what you can make:
- Add black eyes and a mouth to the heel of a white painted footprint on color paper to make a ghost painting.
- Paint the top and toys of your child's foot black and the rest green. Have them make their print on coloured paper and turn their footprint into a Frankenstein face.
- Make multiple handprints in black or brown and paint a long trunk to make a spooky tree.
- Paint the heel of your toddler's foot white, the middle orange, and the top and toes yellow to make a candy corn print.
- Make two overlapping black handprints and add googly eyes for a spider print.
- Have your preschooler dip their fist in orange paint and press it on the paper. Add lines, a stem, and green leaves to make a pumpkin.
- Make red, orange, yellow, and brown paint to make handprint leaves.
- Make colour paper cut outs of hand and footprints and use them in the Shape Monster project.
Here are a few ideas of what you can do with your finger paintings:
- Cut out the center of a paper plate. Arrange and glue the handprint leaves around the ring and you've made an autumn wreath. You can add actual leaves, acorns, glitter, and other decorations as well.
- Cut out your monster prints and glue a popsicle stick to the back of them to make a puppet. You could even use these to play the part of the Grubgub monster.
- Use your prints for Autumn greeting cards to friends and family.
- Cut out drawings, fingerpainted trees, ghosts, and ghouls and glue them on paper to make a Halloween collage.
- Use fabric paint to decorate a plain canvas tote back to make your own candy bag.
- Finger paint your pumpkins!
More Halloween Crafts and Art Projects
There were SO many art projects I wanted to share here but instead of creating a large list of crafts I liked, I updated my Autumn Pinterest page with lots of amazing crafts. If you want to make more, you should check it out!
I also have a Homemade Halloween Costume Hub with some costume ideas you could even work on with your kids.