15 Halloween Activities for Toddlers

Featured image of four children at table on halloween

Are you excited about Halloween? We know we have a few more weeks to go, but kids and adults all over the world can’t wait for this eerie holiday and all that it brings along. Parents can find themselves confused and afraid not to overstep the line: what are appropriate Halloween activities for kids of different age?

Halloween activities for toddlers can’t be the same as for those who already go to elementary or middle school, and it can be difficult picking the right ones. To help you out, we picked some of the best Halloween party activities for kids:

Face painting

You can use this opportunity to teach your kids how to draw, paint, and channel their creativity by encouraging them to try out some face paint. You can show them several photos with different face painting ideas and do their makeup, and after that, ask them if they’d like to paint your face.

Not only is face paint an easy way to complete your Halloween costume, but it’s also great for keeping kids entertained and focused while you’re doing something else.

Preparing a Halloween feast

Even if you’re not planning on hosting a huge Halloween party, you will probably get your fair share of trick or treaters, and you’d better have plenty of treats to hand out. Hand out sweets is very common and convenient, but why not take some time to prepare a nice feast with delicious and healthy Halloween snacks that your entire family can enjoy? You don’t have to spend the day munching on candy bars and chocolates when you can eat fresh fruit and veggies decorated in Halloween spirit.

The best thing is that you can involve your toddlers to help you prepare the snacks: they can wash the fruits and veggies, decorate the finished product, and test-try everything to make sure it’s delicious enough.

Getting crafty

If you’re looking for ways to keep your little ones occupied and entertained on Halloween, we suggest you take out your craft sets for toddlers and get to work. They might not be old enough to carve pumpkins with you, but it doesn’t mean they can’t draw or finger paint one on a piece of paper.

You can try encouraging them to decorate their water bottles in the spirit of Halloween or help them make bats and spiders or of cardboard, yarn, and twigs. Not only are crafts great for keeping kids busy, but they are also great for developing their motor skills and improving their focus.

Making slime

There is something about slime that kids find fascinating, so why not take the opportunity and make spooky slime for Halloween? Some parents might be afraid to give it a try because certain recipes contain borax, but fortunately, there are also easy recipes without it.

Best of all, you can use the slime to make simple Halloween decorations: just fill a small jar with orange slime and use black felt to make eyes and mouth and you have a Jack-O-Lantern jar for your dresser. You can also make a batch of glow-in-the-dark slime that your kids can play with in the evening.

Watching movies

As they get older, children might fall in love with scary movies, but it’s better to tone it down and pick kids-friendly Halloween movies that are not too scary. While toddlers probably won’t enjoy The Nightmare Before Christmas (it’s a Halloween movie that’s perfect for older kids who like all things spooky), they will probably fall in love with educational animated movies for kids such as Casper and the Halloween edition of Curious George (A Halloween Boofest).

Other Halloween movies for toddlers that aren’t very scary include Winnie-the-Pooh’s Heffalump Halloween Movie as well as Snoopy’s It’s a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. As they grow, they will show interest in spooky cartoon such as Beetlejuice, Coraline, and Frankenweenie, as well as non-animated movies for kids too.

Image of mother and two children carving pumpkin on halloween

Working on Halloween costumes

As tempting as it can be to just buy a costume in a store and dress your little toddler girls and boys for Halloween, actually working on a costume will be much more fun and rewarding for both of you. Feel free to get your kids fun Halloween costumes but take time to adjust and personalize them a bit. This way, they will have unique costumes they will love even more because they’re special.

Most importantly, working on a fun Halloween project with your kids, no matter how small, is a perfect opportunity to spend some quality time together and improve their fine and gross motor skills.

Poke a pumpkin

Halloween activities for kids don’t always have to be scary – you can have a blast playing simple games and engaging in easy activities that involve pumpkins and plenty of organs and blacks. Take about two dozens of paper cups and place candies and other small treats in them. Wrap the cups with orange napkins, secure them with rubber bands, and glue them to a piece of black cardboard. Arrange the cups so that they form a shape of a big pumpkin and have kids approach and poke a hole through napkins with their fingers.

If you don’t want to leave some of the cups empty, you can make it a fun trick or treat game and place toothpaste, ketchup, and mustard in some, and chocolate, gummy bears, and candies in others.

Pin the tail on the cat

Pin the tail is one of the oldest Halloween activities for kids, and it can be pretty hilarious when played in a group. You don’t need a lot of preparation for this: just print out (or paint) a black cat and get several tails. You don’t want all of the kids using a single tail, it can be boring for them, so you might even want to personalize the tails so that everyone’s is different and you can easily find the winner in the end.

Have kids close their eyes or use a sleeping mask, spin them in a circle several times, and have them try to pin the tail on the cat. The winner can get extra candy, of course, and you can encourage kids to share their treats with others so that everyone can enjoy them.

Try Halloween scratch art

Scratch art is easy and simple, and both kids and parents love these little projects. For Halloween, you can use paper plates as these are perfect for spider webs. Use oil pastels or crayons to paint the middle of paper plates, and feel free to get as messy as you’d like.

When you finish, use a foam brush to cover the colors with simple black tempera and let your kids scratch different designs on it while the black paint is still wet. Get spooky: scratch silhouettes of cats, witches, and spiders in spider webs, ghosts, pumpkins, bats, and colorful skeletons.

Pin the face on the pumpkin

Moving around with a blindfold is not only fun but also useful for toddlers, and there are different Halloween games that involve pinning missing parts to an entity with eyes closed. You can improvise and use a pumpkin to keep everything in Halloween spirit. Have fun with this game and give each child a different part of the pumpkin: someone gets the stem, others get eyes, nose, and mouth. You can even take it a step further and prepare a small bow tie or even ears, depending on how many kids are going to be there.

What is more, you could try making two smaller pumpkins and divide the kids into two teams to see which team’s pumpkin is going to look better (or sillier; Halloween is for having fun after all).

Feed the monster

This is a fun Halloween activity for kids that doesn’t require too much time to prepare, and a lot of kids can play it. Use a simple cardboard box to make a Halloween monster – it doesn’t have to be scary either, it can be an adorable fluffy, hungry monster with big eyes and a huge mouth.

The object of the game is to feed the monster something, and this is where you can get creative. Have kids feed the monster box cookies, candies, and even their toys, and afterward open the box to see what was it that the monster was able to eat over the course of the night. The best thing is that you can actually buy quality Halloween toys and put them in before the kids start playing so that they get a nice surprise when the box is opened.

Decorate the pumpkin

Even though your toddlers won’t be able to join your pumpkin carving sessions, it doesn’t mean that they only get to sit and watch while you get to do the fun stuff. You can easily create a pumpkin decorating station right at your living room table or in your kitchen, and have kids decorate the pumpkins you intend to use this year.

They don’t have to be carved: just hand them a paintbrush and allow them to express themselves by painting anything they want on pumpkins. You can even paint the pumpkins white first to that different colors stand out better.

Try raised salt painting

So-called salty watercolors have been kids’ favorite for decades now, and parents love them too because they are easy to prepare and make.

All you need is some glue, salt, paper, and watercolors, and you’ll be ready to go. Squeeze glue onto the paper or cardboard, making spooky designs such as spider webs, and sprinkle salt over it until the glue is completely covered. Use liquid watercolor paints and gently spread them with a brush over salt. Kids will love watching how paint “travels” in both directions.

Make a toilet paper mummy

If you have guests over and you’re throwing a small party (or even if it’s just you and the kids at home), making toilet paper mummies fun are fun Halloween activities for kids they will thoroughly enjoy. You don’t have to worry about making a mess because it’s just going to be toilet paper everywhere: no glue, no glitter, no scissors, and no paint.

Have kids wrap their siblings in toilet paper or, if they’re too excited to stand still, have them turn their favorite plush toy into a toilet paper mummy. Being able to cause chaos in the living room and make a mess with your blessing will be a dream come true for toddler boys and girls, and they will have loads of fun.

Reading scary stories

While watching scary Halloween cartoons might be a bit too much for them at this time, you can try reading your kids a Halloween story or a poem instead. Children’s Halloween picture books don’t have to be scary, and they can be used to teach the children important life and moral lessons: that it’s perfectly ok to be scared, and that we all get scared sometimes, but that it doesn’t mean you can’t be brave in spite of your fear.

Goodnight stories and poems that celebrate brave children who looked fear straight in the eye might be just the thing your toddler needs after spending a day surrounded by monsters, ghosts, witches, and ghouls.

Halloween activities for kids don’t necessarily have to be scary in order to fit the spirit of the holiday. As long as children enjoy them, you’ll be good to go, so if you notice your child hesitates to join a certain activity because they find it too scary, don’t push them. There are so many fun Halloween activities for kids that aren’t scary at all that you will not have a problem picking something that will make all children feel safe and comfortable. Don’t forget that the most important thing is to enjoy the spirit of Halloween and feel good.

Author: Mary Lynn Holden
Author: Mary Lynn Holden

Proud mom and stepmom to an adorable bunch of kids aged 7 and up. Deeply appreciates three things in life: the help of older siblings in the house, texts on parenting, and strong coffee. Shares her stories and experiences in order to help others navigate the unpredictable waters of parenting.

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