Halloween is right around the corner and kids are starting to get excited to show off their costumes around the neighborhood and collect their favorite candy. Have some fun with your little ones by entertaining them with spooky festive activities.
Here are some crafts and activities to keep your toddlers and preschoolers engaged for Halloween and throughout fall:
The Halloween Freeze-Dance
This creative movement game challenges kids to think and act quickly, benefiting some essential developmental skills, while having some seasonal fun.
For this game, you’ll need:
- A music source of some kind, like Echo Dot
- One person (Mom or Dad) to be the “caller” and operate the music
- The kid(s) are the “movers”
- Paper and pen to write a list of Halloween items (can also generalize it to fall items)
How to Play:
- Before starting, work with your child(ren) to come up with a list of items or characters that relate to Halloween. These could include things like a pumpkin, scarecrow, candy apple, ghost, etc.
- When the child hears the music, they run/dance/move around the room or in-place if you are in a smaller area.
- The caller stops the music and immediately yells out one of the items on the list such as a pumpkin.
- The child is challenged to freeze their body in the shape of a pumpkin as quickly as possible and to not move! They can use other object to help build the shape.
- When the music resumes, the child may move/dance/run again until the music stops and a new item is given.
- After a while, the parent and child can reverse roles!
To switch it up, here are a few fun variations:
- The “mover” must remain frozen in their pose for 5 seconds. If they move or lose their balance, they are immediately tickled!
- During the time in which the “mover” is frozen, the “caller” can come up to them to try and make them smile or laugh.
What Time is it Mr./Mrs. Scarecrow? (Can be played with 2+ people)
Activities and play-based movement is a great way to incorporate exercise in a fun way. For this activity, you will need at least two people, one to be the scarecrow and the others will be crows.
How to Play:
- Choose 1 person to be the Scarecrow and sit on one side of the playing area or in a chair, by the wall, etc.
- The rest of the players will be the crows and start in their “nest” on the other side of the room or playing area. If inside, sitting on a couch or a blanket down is ideal.
- The game starts with the crows standing up side-by-side in front of their “nest” and saying together, “What time is it Mr. (or Mrs.) Scarecrow?”
- The Scarecrow replies with a command that will draw the crows closer to him/her. (i.e.,
“It’s time to take 3 jumps!” or “Roll twice toward the window!”)
- The crows take 3 jumps – counting each one as they go – toward the Scarecrow. Then they ask again, “What time is it Mr. Scarecrow?”
- The Scarecrow gives another command which continues until the crows get as close as they can to the Scarecrow.
- At this point the crows ask the question again which the Scarecrow replies, “It’s HALLOWEEN!”
- This is when the Scarecrow gets up and chases the crows back to their nest!
To make it more fun, the Scarecrow can get creative with their commands. “It’s time to take…”
- 4 “Spooky” tip-toe steps
- 5 “BOO” jumps (say “BOO” each jump)
- 2 Goblin Gallops
To tap into your child’s creative side, here are some Halloween crafts to try.
Help your child make their own spooktacular paper bat to help decorate their room or around the house. Here’s what you will need:
- Construction paper (black or other colors)
- Googly Eyes
- Crayons, markers, pencils, glitter – anything to make the bat their own
Follow these steps to complete the craft:
Step 1: Cut out two circles, one large and one small, and two triangles from the construction paper. The small circle will be for the face, the larger circle will be used for the wings and the triangles will serve as the bat’s ears.
Step 2: Fold the larger circle accordion style. When finished, use the scissors to cut the circle in half. Now you have to bat wings!
Step 3: Glue to bat wings onto the sides and the ears onto the top of the other circle.
Step 4: Glue googly eyes onto your bat.
Step 5: Finish off by drawing a mouth and vampire teeth, and decorate however else you’d like.
Now you have a spooktacular bat!
Jell-O Spider Cups
Feed your child’s creative side and their tummies with this tasty Halloween snack:
What you’ll need:
- Boiling water
- Gelatin flavor/color of your choice. Try grape, lime, or add food coloring to make it black!)
- Black paper
- Candy eyes
- 5-oz. clear plastic cup
Follow these steps for a boo-worthy snack:
- Follow directions on the gelatin package to make the Jell-O.
- Pour liquid into small plastic cups.
- Refrigerate for 2 hours, or until firm.
- Cut and fold paper legs and then glue to the cup.
- Add eyes to resemble a spider.
- Grab a spoon and dig in!
Related Post: Healthy Halloween Snacks for Kids
By Randy McCoy, VP of Product & Curriculum for The Little Gym, the world’s premier enrichment and physical development center for children ages four months through 12. With more than 36 years’ experience in children’s gymnastics and motor skill development, he has also conducted over 100 instructor training workshops throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia, and written, performed and produced more than 150 of The Little Gym’s proprietary movement education songs for children.