Time for some Halloween activities and crafts fun! I know many families do not participate in Halloween, but I keep it “cute” for the kids with these learning activities that cover children from toddlers to preschool and early elementary. Five are my own creation and I also have shared links to other blogs that have additional ideas for you as well. I’ve got pumpkins, spiders, ghosts and more!
Halloween Activities and Crafts for Toddlers, Preschool and School Age Kids
#1: Craft Pumpkin Shape Faces
Check your local craft store for the small craft pumpkins. They go on sale frequently. I grabbed a couple for these first two activities. This one is a shape-play activity that can be a solo invitation to play or interactive.
Starting with some shape stencils and small cookie cutters, I traced shapes onto black construction paper.
My son asked if he could help, so he was able to practice some tracing and then we cut out our shapes.
We actually still have warm weather where we currently live, so we worked outside.
After the shapes are cut, they can be laminated, covered in clear contact paper, or clear packing tape to help keep them durable. Take one of the pumpkins, and using small pieces of the hook side of hook-and-loop tape or dots, stick two pieces on for eyes, one where the nose will go, and one for the mouth.
Using the opposite side of the hook-and-loop tape, peel and stick the loop pieces onto the back of each shape. I cut out different-sized shapes so that the big shape could be the mouth and the small ones could be the eyes and nose, but it really does not matter unless you would like to work on a size comparison activity.
Sitting with my toddler, I showed her a shape, asked her what it was called, and when she named it she took it from me and placed it on the pumpkin. Below are the two faces she put together while we played one morning. You could use one shape at a time-for example only the hearts or only the squares-to emphasize the shape name for a younger toddler. I would definitely use shapes that your child has trouble naming-practice, practice! I made sure to make ovals and rectangles since those are two that we still need to work on in our house.
#2: Chalk and Craft Pumpkin Creations
At first my plan was to spray paint one craft pumpkin with chalkboard paint, and then when we got them home we discovered that chalk works right on the plain pumpkin. How fun! This is great for young ones to use their artistic creativity to draw a face…or just use different colors to add a few scribbles. Halloween activities do not get simpler than this!
It is also a nice way to do a step-by-step drawing practice with older ones. I said to my Kindergartner, “Draw triangle eyes and a circle nose.” He then wanted my help with a mouth.
How about using these for exploration of feelings? Draw a mad face and talk about what makes us mad; draw a sad face and discuss things that make us sad-or things we do to others that make them sad…and so on. Of course, just having the pumpkins out with chalk and a damp rag (for erasing) is a great invitation to engage in a little Halloween-themed play.
#3: Spider Web Counting Number Match
Do you have left over pieces of that rug grip to keep area rugs from slipping? I have a use for it: Make pretend spider webs to create a number and counting game with plastic Dollar Store spiders.
First, I drew the outline for my spider webs on cardboard. Then I cut it out to have a pattern to trace for my spider webs.
Second, I laid the pattern onto the rug grip. I placed a piece of scrap paper under the rug grip so that my marker lines would not leak through the holes and get on the table. Trace as many webs as you would like and cut them out. I made 5.
Next, we labeled our plastic spiders using the colored circle stickers from the office supply store-and used in other activities on this page
Write one number on each sticker, then stick them to the spiders. If your stickers have trouble staying on the spiders, try using paper spider cutouts instead of the plastic.
Using the same circle stickers, place amounts of stickers on each web. I chose green this time to be the bugs caught in each web. I placed 1 sticker on the first, 2 stickers on the second, etc. until there were green stickers (bugs) on each web. Then, turn the webs over and add a bit of white glue or hot glue to the back of each sticker to help it stay stuck to the web. It just takes a dab. Hot glue will dry more quickly, but use what you have.
When the webs are dry, I glued two little googly eyes on each green sticker to add to the fun of the activity. You can use a marker to draw on eyes.
Then, it’s time to play! My toddler sat with me on the floor. I had the webs laid out in number order, and we went web-by-web to count the bugs and match the spider to its web. It’s cute and creepy-crawly at the same time…plus, it teaches! My toddler needs to work on just completing an activity when it is started, so we only did 5 webs, but make as many as your child is ready to tackle.
A quick tip
about storing the web game: Use a plastic zipper-top bag from hosiery or underwear. I keep the good ones in a bin with other crafty items for when I need a storage device in a small size.
#4: Pumpkin Counting in Muffin Cups
This Halloween activity for kids is so well-known across the activity-blog world. It’s so easy to adapt to any season or interest. I used a mini muffin pan and paper mini muffin cups for this one.
To help the muffin cups stay in the pan, I placed a rolled piece of masking tape in the pan then stuck on the muffin cup. (That counts as another quick tip!)
I found a bag of little jack o’lantern erasers at Target, but you could use other small manipulatives like beads or Lego bricks in Halloween colors. These are our counters for this game. They are so small, this really is a fine motor and eye-hand coordination exercise as well.
Each muffin cup is labeled with a number. I had 12 cups, so I numbered from 1 to 12. Then I counted the mini pumpkins into my toddler’s hand and pointed to where she needed to dump them in the cups. At first she placed them in one-by-one and then she switched to the whole hand-full dumping method. This met her at her level, but if your child is old enough to recognize the number and count the pumpkins into the cups, then this is a simple invitation to practice that skill.
My toddler surprised me a bit. Since one of her learning goals right now is completing activities from start to finish, I was excited when she extended this simple “toy” with her own exploration. She started picking out the paper cups and pouring one into another. She gave me some direction a few times to, “Pour this one in here,” so I took her directions so she could lead the activity. She continued to grab them out with her hand and place them wherever she chose. I am always amazed at how the simplest, most structured activities can be changed by a child in their mind so easily. It’s fun to watch and participate with them.
#5: Dryer Sheet Ghosts and a Tossing Game
Take a used dryer sheet, lay it flat on a table, and place a balled-up kleenex, piece of tissue paper, or paper (wadded up into the size of a ping pong ball) in the center of it. Gather the dryer sheet around the ball (head of the ghost) and wrap string or a rubber band below the ‘head’. Draw a face if you wish. Make multiple ghosts so you can use them for counting, a tossing activity or play.
Place a piece of masking tape, or tape a yard stick/measuring tape on the floor.
For young ones, you can just toss from one spot so they can work on throwing and gross motor/eye-hand-coordination.
For older ones, use the measuring tape and have them start close to the bucket or box and move back at each turn.
We moved a foot at a time. Make note of how many feet/meters your child was away each time and see how far they can move back from the bucket until they miss.
(This can be done indoors or out depending on your preference.)
Now for 4 more Halloween activities from some great blogs:
#8: 6 Super Easy Halloween Crafts for Toddlers from Craftulate
#9: Spider Headband Craft from Fantastic Fun and Learning