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Fun Halloween Activities for Preschoolers & School-Age Children

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As children get older, Halloween is right up their alley.  It’s a day when their fantasies can be lived out in real-time.  Now with October here and the cold weather creating the perfect atmosphere for the spooky season, you may be wondering how you can get your child involved in some fun Halloween-themed kids activities. Check out our ideas below, and before you begin to plan, get your children involved, as they likely have some fun ideas of their own!

5+ Fun Halloween Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Halloween is almost here. While it is often thought of as a holiday for ghouls, witches, and spooky stories – it is also the perfect opportunity for your child to let their imagination run wild in a fun and expressive way. 

Although we all love a bit of fright now and again, not every young child is keen on horror and gore. That’s why these activities are appropriate for every child: from toddlers to preschoolers.

1 – Halloween Countdown

A visual countdown helps children develop a sense of security and self-discipline (and supports early math skills) while getting excited about a special event.  Create a simple calendar and hang it at your child’s eye level in your home – where is up to you.  Each day in October, draw pictures, use stickers, or use a marker to count down the days!

2 – Transform Any Space with Halloween Decorations 

Children love small spaces, so don’t feel pressure to take over your entire house with halloween decorations. A closet, a corner of a room or even a big box can become a different world with just a few small changes:

  • Use pumpkins, gourds or leaves, pine cones and branches you’ve collected from a walk in the park.  
  • Construction paper or old cardboard, tissue paper, and some tape/glue can make jack o’lanterns and silly skulls to line your walls or hang from the ceiling. 
  • Cover flashlights with colored tissue paper to create that spooky glow.

3 – Indoor Scavenger Hunt & Trick or Treating

What better way to start the day than with a scavenger hunt of Halloween artifacts.  You can print photos of the objects hidden, shut off the lights, and with flashlights search for the Halloween treasures.  Add a trick-or-treat element by hiding candy or snacks with each treasure.

4 – Host a Virtual Halloween Costume Contest 

Dressing up is one of the best parts of Halloween, and you can still show off your costumes during a group call! Challenge your kids to create their own costumes using items they have at home, and organize a contest for specific categories, like funniest, most colorful, most unique, etc.

5 – Watch a Halloween Movie

Halloween is a great day for movies.  You know your children best and  the amount of scariness your children can handle.  A few of our favorite movie recommendations include:  

  • It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, 
  • Monsters Inc.,  
  • Coco, 
  • Winnie The Pooh and the Heffalump 
  • “Curious George, a Halloween BooFest”

6 – Go Trick-or-Treating

Trick-or-treating is an iconic Halloween activity for kids and adults alike! If safe to do so, bring your child to go trick-or-treating around your neighbourhood. This is a great opportunity for your child to socialize with others in their community and also gives them a chance to show off their scary costumes. 

7 – Try Halloween Sensory Play Activities

Halloween is the season of slime and all things gooey – making it the perfect time of the year for some spooky sensory activities. Using play dough, ask your preschooler or toddler to make the scariest monster they can think of. Or, perhaps make your very own Halloween sensory bin using rice, sand, black beams, mini skeletons, pumpkins and more. 

8 – Halloween Craft and Art Activities

Better yet, why not participate in exciting Halloween arts and craft activities together as a family. As you get your home prepared for the spooky season, ask your preschoolers to help you make some Halloween-inspired decorations and art. 

Perhaps you can ask your children to draw a picture of their favorite Halloween activity. Or, have a competition to see who can make the spookiest paper mache ghost. Not only will these Halloween themed activities get your children in the creative mood but it’s also a great example of a fine motor activity.

Celebrating Halloween as a Family: Why It’s Important?

This festive holiday is just as important for your family as recognizing birthdays and Christmas. Not only is it a great opportunity for your family to spend quality time together doing spooky activities but it’s also a teaching moment for your children. 

As parents, you can teach your children about the traditions and origins of Halloween by sharing interesting facts and celebrating the end of harvest season. Additionally, talking to your preschoolers about the difference between fantasy (e.g. witches and goblins) and reality can help aid their problem solving and creative skills.

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