My toddlers really haven’t caught onto the whole Halloween thing. It’s not big here in Botswana (that’s in Africa in case you’re wondering). Actually, that’s rather an understatement. Not many people even know what Halloween is!
For this reason, Halloween crafts and activities for my toddlers are essential otherwise they’re never going to get it. And that would be so sad, right?!
There are so many cute, or should I say spooky, Halloween crafts to try out there it’s going to be a case of picking and choosing. On this list I’ve included some pumpkin and jack-o-lantern crafts, ghost crafts, spider and spiderweb crafts, witch crafts, black cat crafts, monster crafts, Mummy crafts…oh and let’s not forget Frankenstein!
Update: we’ve actually done quite a few on that list above (we started early!) I can say done, not done, done, done, done, not done, done and not done…Ok I’ll stop there because that’s really not important.
But of course, crafting with toddlers can be quite a challenge. It’s definitely not an everyday activity. Twice a week tops is probably our limit! So I’m going to sprinkle in a few Halloween themed activities and games too…
Yup, we’re really going Halloween crazy this year! Whether my kids love it now or not, I’m going to do my best to make sure they’re going to! (If they don’t love it I think they’re going to be hard-pressed to not at least remember the craziness…)
Tips for doing crafts and activities with toddlers
These apply for any craft, not only for Halloween!
1 – Pick activities based on how much time (and sanity) you have!
I often find I have limited time and often, if I’m honest, my sanity is also in short supply (is that just me?)
DON’T OVER COMPLICATE IF THIS IS THE CASE!
For this reason, I’ve arranged these Halloween activities for toddlers based on just how much prep I think is needed, how much you need to get involved and split games and activities out from crafts…
2 – Remember it’s about the process of creation for your child, rather than the end result
I have to remind myself of this often!
It’s in exploration with new materials and different textures, that’s the learning comes. If the craft looks anything like it’s meant to, that’s a bonus, not a given!
3 – Make the craft yourself too to help your toddler visualize what it is they’re trying to make
Hugely helpful for little ones when they have no clue what you’re talking about. (Other than spiders, black cats and monsters, all those other Haloweeney things were completely new to my two!)
This also stops me from helping my toddlers too much with their craft (you know, so it looks just a little bit like it’s meant to)
EASY Halloween crafts (quick prep, no stress) for toddlers
So here, I’m talking crafts that take 5 minutes or less to prep. So you can see that most of the ones I’ve done with my toddlers this Halloween fall into this section!
1 – Paper plate black cat from Crafts By Amanda. My kids love ‘catties’ – we have one called Ginger (no prizes for guessing his color…) so they’re going to love doing a black kitty craft. So simple and effective!
2 – Jack-o-lantern craft from Busy Blooming Joy. Total hit with my two toddlers! It’s a good test of fine motor, with cutting to start with and then threading the card strips onto paper fasteners. So easy to set up and other than drawing the eyes and mouth on and holding the card while they cut, my toddlers managed this on their own. Even with jaggedy cut marks, the jack-o-lanterns came out really well.
3 – Candy corn friend from Moms Who Save. Another easy paper plate painting activity for little ones. Cute, right?!
4 – Cardboard tube spiders and spider printing from Busy Blooming Joy. Black paint, toilet rolls and googly eyes is all you need for this easy, if a tad messy, craft!
4 – Halloween ghosts with Maple Tree Leaves from The Best Vinyl Cutters. Sadly no Maple leaves here otherwise these would definitely be on the to-do list this Halloween.
5 – Super simple playdough spiders from Busy Blooming Joy. My two loved, loved, loved making these. Easy enough for my 2-year-old to do alone even if they did end up looking more like monsters (but that also works for Halloween!)
6 – Super simple paper plate pumpkin craft from Mom Brite. Easy enough for the littlest of toddlers to get involved in.
7 – Flying bat craft from Mom Brite. Another easy one I think my toddlers will love. They’ve only seen bats once and were just fascinated by the fact that they were hanging upside down. So this will be a fun one to talk about while we’re crafting.
8 – Mummy Pumpkin Craft from Simple Every Day Mom. A twist on the normal pumpkin face perfect for toddlers because they can stick on the strips of white paper any which way. #precisionwhatsthatifyoureatoddler?!
Halloween crafts that need a tad more effort
There’s a bit more prep involved and you might need to help your toddler too. But I think these ones are totally worth the extra effort.
9 – Puffy paint spider webs from Busy Blooming Joy. The only prep is making the puffy paint, but if you buy it instead this would belong in the easy Halloween craft section above! Either way, these spider webs are a real test of fine motor skills so better for preschoolers. My 4-year-old had a good crack – but even so I had to lend a hand. But the stunning 3d effect of the puffy paint is well worth it – it’s just so tactile.
10 – Mix and match pumpkin faces from the Soccer Mom Blog. Part Halloween craft and part activity – the idea is your kids can move the craft sticks around and make different faces. My 4 year old loves to build, construct, deconstruct…. this is sure to keep him busy.
11 – Halloween toilet paper roll characters from The Best Ideas For Kids. Cute and simple to get into the festive Halloween spirit (excuse the pun.) Probably best to make these over the course of a few days with your toddlers – I think doing all 4 in one sitting will be too much for my two! (Or maybe too much for me..)
12 – Toddler witch craft with puffy paint hair from Busy Blooming Joy. I do love puffy paint (hence the puffy paint spider web) but wanted to use it for another Halloweeen craft – tadah – a witch with puffy paint hair. Lots of fun and I particularly like the with facial hair.
13 – Paper plate Halloween spider craft from Hunny I’m Home. Another spider and spider web craft that’s sure to be a hit with my two – they’re going to love playing with it after, making the spider jump and dance over the web.
14 – Coffee filter bats Halloween craft from Darcy & Brian. I have yet to try a coffee filter craft as I cannot find any coffee filters in town but I’m sure my kids would love watching the colors merge and spread when making the bats wings. And they get to use a spray bottle too! One for next Halloween maybe.
Halloween crafts that double as decor
A few of these are for you to do with your toddlers since they require a bit more work… So if you like the crafting side of things, then you’re going to love these! You’re going to end up with some lovely festive decorations that you can get out for many more Halloweens to come.
15 – Simple yarn-wrapped pumpkins from Red Ted Art. A simpler version of my apple paper plate lacing craft. Good for fine motor and when you’ve done a few you can string them together into a lovely pumpkin faces garland. No mess always has me sold!
16 – Pumpkin face fridge magnets from The Flying Couponer. Perfect Halloween decoration for the fridge.
17 – Halloween lantern craft from Red Ted Art. My two love gluing and sticking but I’m not sure their attention span is going to last so I know this one is mostly for me. I think the results will be worth it!
18 – Witch wreath from The Growing Creatives. A fun Halloween themed wreath to jazz up your front door. Scrunching and sticking paper tissue balls is right up my toddlers street – I’ll probably do the rest.
19 – Salt dough pumpkin tree decorations from the Experimental Homesteader. If your kids love playing with playdough, these will go down a treat! (Sorry, I couldn’t help myself…) You’re just going to have to bake them and then help paint them.
Halloween hand and footprint crafts that’ll make lovely keepsakes
I kind of have a love-hate relationship with hand and footprint crafts. They make the sweetest keepsakes (remember to name and date them) but are a little tricky to get right with a busy 2-year-old who just wants to make footprints anywhere and everywhere…
If that happens, there’s rarely a decent keepsake at the end of it all!
So the trick is to get your one decent one print and then let your toddlers just have fun making random smeary paint messes – and chuck those ones in the bin!
20 – Handprint pumpkins from The Frugal Foot Doc. I love the two-color effect but it could be a little tricky to get right.
21 – Halloween footprint ghosts from Happy Hooligans. This ones looks a bit easier and would be super sweet to do every Halloween and see the ghosts grow and grow!
22 – Handprint craft for Halloween from Craft Bits – this time a spider.
23 – Halloween Mummy Craft from the Inspiration Edit. A footprint craft with a twist – the yarn wrapping will be good for fine motor.
24 – Pumpkin fingerprint craft from Mom Envy. It’s always nice to make something that’s connected to a story, song or poem. This Halloween craft is one to do once your kids are familiar with the the 5 little pumpkins poem (see the learning section for more on this).
Halloween themed sensory play & activities
25 – No mess color mixing pumpkin from Not So Crafty Mom Blog. Sensory + learning activity + no-mess painting = me sold!
26 – Witches Potion from The Play-Based Mom. If your kids like messy play (I hear there are some that don’t – not my two!) concoct this spookylicious vat of Halloweeney gloop and let them get stuck in.
27 – Halloween slime from The Mummy Front for more squishy fun wrapped up in cute witches outfits. Oh and there’s a black cat too. These would also be perfect for Halloween party favors.
28 – Halloween sensory bin and sorting activity from A flourishing Rose. This looks a lot of fun! Time to hunt down some Halloween bits and bobs (we don’t have a $1 store anywhere near and online delivery is not an option unless you plan months in advance. My brain is too slow for that!) But will see what I can find.
29 – Colored spaghetti and eyeball sensory bin from Simple Every Day Mom. This’ll be an easier sensory activity to sort out here (we have pasta in abundance, will just have to seek out some eyeballs – how hard can that be?!). My two are going to love the slimy, slippery texture of the pasta.
30 – Halloween sensory bottles from The Soccer Mom Blog. A lovely sensory experience, a sensory bottle works wonders as a calm-down tool. A bit of work for mom but if you have a toddler then the more calm-down tools you have to hand the better!
Halloween games & activities for toddlers
These ones are less Halloween craft, more Halloween activity or game, so perfect for a Halloween themed party for your toddlers. They will require some prep from you but I think these activities will be well worth the effort!
31 – Felt Frankenstein mask from Party With Unicorns. My toddlers have just got the idea of dressing up as part of their pretend play. It can keep them busy for a long time, sometimes up to half an hour, so I can’t wait to give this one a go.
32 – Halloween Flashlight Activity from Mom Envy. This one is for mom to put together, but with the free printables on the Mom Envy site it should be quick and can then be used time and time again!
You can also turn this into a fun letter recognition game (check the post to see how) so I could try this with my 4-year-old who’s just starting out with letters.
33 – Monster Match Halloween Bingo from Play Party Plan with free printables. Great for your monster loving toddler who’s started learning to match. My 4 year-old loves matching colours – “look mom this green cup matches my shirt!’. But this monster match will be a little trickier. Will have to see how he gets on!
34 – Paper skeleton Halloween decoration from Yes We Made This. I’ve put this in the learning and activity section because I think my 4-year-old will be fascinated by the bones and different parts of the body.
Of course I could be completely wrong on this! Or it may go completely the other way and I’ll have 5,000 ‘why’ questions that I’ll struggle to answer! We shall see.
35 – Halloween Tin Can Bowling from Red Ted Art. This could start off a Halloween craft for older kids but for toddlers this is going to be all activity. We’ve bowled many things over, but so far not Halloween characters… But it’s definitely going to be me doing the bulk of the work. Maybe my two can help draw the faces on. Or not…
36 – Halloween fizzy rocks from Science Sparks. If you haven’t tried a baking soda activity this is an absolute must. I did a simple color reveal baking soda activity with my two toddlers and it was honestly the best thing since sliced bread… If you’d seen the look on their faces! So I can’t wait to try this fizzy rock version (hide a creepy crawly in a baking soda ‘rock’ and reveal it by dropping vinegar onto it – check out the post from Science Sparks for more details).
37 – Pumpkin drop game from Get Your Holiday On. Think a Halloween version of the egg and spoon race – a tough task for toddlers so sure to keep them busy and amused!
#38 5 Little Pumpkins Halloween song or poem by Anon.
Every few weeks I teach my kids a new poem (or try to, should I say) – singing and rhyming is really good for language development, as well as a whole host of other developmental skills (more on nursery rhyme benefits here).
So with Halloween just around the corner, it’s time to teach them the 5 little pumpkins poem. Here it is if you’re not familiar with it:
Five little pumpkins sitting on a gate,
First one said “Oh my, it’s getting late!”
Second one said “There are witches in the air,”
Third one said “but we don’t care!”
Fourth one said “Let’s run and run and run.”
Fifth one said “I’m ready for some fun!”
Ooo ooo went the wind, and out went the lights,
And five little pumpkins rolled out of sight.
Well, I hope you enjoyed that list and it gets you and your kids into the festive Halloween spirit!
For more toddler craft and activities check out:
- 28 CUTE and SUPER SIMPLE Fall crafts for toddlers
- Leaf monster craft for toddlers: super-friendly, sorry scary (!), and perfect for Fall
- Paper plate apple craft – simple fine motor activity for toddlers (2 min prep!)