7 Simple Halloween Activities for Kids
This Halloween I’m trying to simplify our lives, and our budgets, by creating some Simple Minimalist Halloween traditions. Things like having our kids make their own costumes (with adult help of course) and taking the opportunity to learn about family history. One way that we are simplifying our lives is by learning to make our own decorations and crafts for the month. By making things ourselves, out of materials we already have, we’re able to cut down on our consumerism and decrease the environmental impact of the holiday for our family. I tend to struggle with decorating for holidays. I like to do things myself, but I am so busy with all the other things going on in our lives! Like trying to keep up with the housekeeping, homeschooling the boys, doing my own college coursework, and everything in between, that decorating for a holiday is generally the last thing on my priority list. Plus, there’s this little part in my brain that says “Why are we going through all the work of putting this up when we’re just going to take it all down and change it out in a few weeks?” Probably not the greatest attitude about holiday décor, but seriously it’s a good question! Making Halloween crafts is a perfect way for me to move out of my decorating slump! What is the benefit of crafting our own décor? Well first off, I don’t have to spend money on gimmicky stuff from stores. Whether it’s a motion sensor banjo playing skeleton, or a silly throw pillow emblazoned with “Its FALL ya’ll!”, I don’t feel a compulsion or need to buy it. Another big benefit is how my kids are able to learn practical life skills without even knowing it! They enjoy crafting and making things, and this gives them the opportunity to practice skills like cutting with scissors, using a needle and thread, and stringing beads onto yarn that buying décor would not give us. Does it look professional quality? Nope. Is it a fun family bonding activity? Heck yeah it is! Halloween crafts for kids is a great way to practice skills that your kids might otherwise resist doing during a more formal lesson. After all, learning through play is often the best way!
7 Simple Halloween Crafts for Kids (plus 2 bonus games!)
1. Wax dipped leaves. Collect fun autumn leaves when you’re out on nature walks, or just going from place to place. Wipe them gently clean, press them in a book for 24 hours, then when you have a decent collection built up, dip them in melted paraffin wax or beeswax! You can string them into a garland, or make a wreath from them! 2. Edible Pumpkin Playdough. This is a fun project, especially if you have kids that like to squish things around! Take a small can of pumpkin puree (12 – 16 oz or so), some pumpkin pie spice, and 2-3 cups of cornstarch or powdered sugar. You can do half starch and half sugar to cut down on the sweetness. Mix the pumpkin with the sugar/starch together to form a firm dough, then add the pumpkin pie spice till it smells good to your family. Some families like strong scented things, and some are overly sensitive, so go with what works for your family! 3. Create a spooky poster or scene using construction paper. My kids love this. They will free-form cut pieces out to the shapes they want for their pictures, then glue them on with a glue stick. This is especially good for kids who struggle with some fine motor skills! 4. Finger Puppets. These can be made from paper or felt. Trace and cut front and back shapes. Cut simple shapes, glue or sew them onto a front piece, Glue or sew front and back pieces together along the edge. You can also make puppets with paper lunch bags or old socks! 5. Make Halloween costumes together. This is one that can teach a lot of skills, especially to older kids. Measurement, cutting fabric, sewing, fitting. They can also make their props for costumes, which gives them engineering experience! 6. Make Window Clings. This is a fun project that I used to do as a kid! McCormick has this practical recipe on their site: 2 tbsp school glue (like Elmers) to ¼ tsp dish soap. Add food coloring till it reaches the color intensity you want. Then using a sheet protector, zip top plastic bag, or other smooth plastic surface, make your pictures! You can use an image for tracing – just slip it into your plastic bag or sheet protector, or you can freestyle your pictures! 7. Make Halloween Treats! One of the best parts of holidays are the fun treats, and Halloween is no exception. You can add pumpkin puree to just about anything – if you add it to bread dough you can just cut back on other wet ingredients and let children knead the bread, then learn how to braid or shape it. Pumpkin cut out cookies are also fun, and helps children develop arm strength as they roll out the dough and cut out the cookies. BONUS GAMES! 8. Halloween Hopscotch. Similar to regular hopscotch, you can set up a hopscotch board, use Halloween themed pictures, and make a spooky marker to use along with it! 9. Halloween Scavenger Hunt Bingo. This can be played indoors or outdoors, but it’s a fun activity to do inside if you get early winters like we do! You can make your own, or print out our scavenger hunt game, hide the game pieces, and have the kids fill out their charts as they find the hidden pictures!
Last Things to Know
My goal this year is to create a simple and meaningful tradition for our family, and if you’re reading this, then I suspect that’s your goal as well! If so, then remember, all of my suggestions in these posts are just that – suggestions. This isn’t a step-by-step list of everything that we do, but rather a buffet of ideas to choose from as we go through the month! Just for you, we have a free Halloween Activity pack, with our Halloween Bingo game included. This is a free resource we’re providing to our readers (10/9/2021-10/31/2021) to help make your holiday a little easier. Click here to go to the download page, and use coupon code: HalloweenFun