Halloween Activities for Young Children
by Jamie Jefferson
Celebrate the annual Fright Night with
these sixteen fun (and not so scary) ideas, especially for young children.
1. Try your hand at face painting, or allow
your children to paint their own faces with washable face paints.
2. Make your own goodie bags. Set out some
brown paper bags with the standard art supplies or embellish an old
pillowcase with fabric paints. You can even spring for blank canvas
baggies from your local discount store or craft store without spending a
3. Tie dye some T shirts or socks using
orange and black fabric dyes.
4. Make ghosts. Fold a piece of black
construction paper in half and let your child squirt white paint inside.
Squish the paint, let dry, then embellish the white ghost with paints,
markers and other craft supplies.
5. Watch a Halloween movie. Make popcorn,
cuddle up together in blankets, and take in some spooky cinematic sights.
Harry Potter, Dracula, or Ghostbusters are great choices. For younger
children, choose Heffalump Halloween, starring Winnie the Pooh or The
Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad by Disney Classics.
6. Eat creepy cuisine. Cut sandwiches or
tortillas into Halloween shapes with cookie cutters. Create a ghoulish
look with almost anything by mixing in a little green or red food
7. Play "Guess How Many Pumpkin
Seeds." Each family member or party guest gets to take turns guessing
how many pumpkin seeds are in a jar. The winner gets a prize.
8. Go apple bobbing. Fill a bucket or tub
with water and apples and see how many apples each contestant can snag.
9. Make masks. Set out the art supplies and
see who can make the scariest mask with a paper plate, construction paper,
yarn, and markers or paints.
10. Create a family costume. Come up with a
costume theme that the whole family can participate in. One year, we were
all Star Wars characters. Maybe you will all be people from the Wild West
or fuzzy forest animals.
11. Have a pumpkin seed spitting contest.
12. Roast pumpkin seeds. Clean the pumpkin
seeds and toss them in just enough melted butter to lightly cover the
seeds. (One tablespoon of butter is generally enough for the seeds from a
medium sized pumpkin.) Salt the seeds, then spread them on a baking sheet
in a single layer. Bake at 250 degrees until golden brown, stirring
13. Play Pin the Tail on the Black Cat (or
Pin the Nose on the Pumpkin.) Any variation of Pin the Tail on the Donkey
is fun for young kids.
14. Make a Scare Tape. Record you and your
family members making spooky sounds. All you need is a tape recorder and a
little imagination. Include footsteps, slamming doors, creepy howling
werewolves, and crazy cackles. Play the tape from your front porch on
15. Give each child an inexpensive
disposable camera for the big night. This is a fun way to see what
Halloween looks like from their perspective. I love to give my kids a
blank journal and let them tell the story of memorable events, such as
Halloween. This is a great tradition and really helps them to tell their
personal stories, which they will cherish for many Halloweens to come.
16. Once Halloween is over, make sure to
shop the post Halloween sales for fun additions to your dress up closet,
which your young children are sure to enjoy year round.
About the Author
Jamie Jefferson is a frequent contributor
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