25 fun halloween activities for kids free printable

Fun Halloween Activities for Kids

Crafts, Sensory Play, Early Learning & FREE Halloween Printable!

Here are some fun Halloween activities for kids! We really enjoy Halloween around here.  I adore a theme to craft around and my kids of course love to dress up and eat candy – what’s not to like?!   

Keep reading below for crafts, sensory play, early learning and more. There’s a little note in each about the amount of prep time you’ll need and mess factor.   And be sure to scroll down to the end of this post to join the Crafty Mothering newsletter & grab your Halloween Bingo Game & colouring pages (which work wonderfully as playdough mats too!)

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All activities require adult supervision.

25 fun halloween activities for kids free printable

25 Fun Halloween Activities for Kids

Paint Pour Pumpkins

paint pour pumpkins toddler friendly halloween decor fun activities

Carving a pumpkin sounds like a fun Halloween activity for the kids, right?  I’m always totally enticed by the idea and then exhausted by the process before I’ve even finished scooping the insides.  It turns out that I much prefer the surprisingly toddler friendly process of painting pumpkins.  I’d seen it done so many times and wasn’t sure if it was worth the potential mess and guess what, it was!  An enjoyable activity for the kids & the results are spectacular (if you ask me).

 

Paint Pour Pumpkins Prep: minimal. 

Mess: very messy.  Take it outside if you can. 

What you need: 

  • Pumpkins (we used mini ones)
  • Paint (we used IKEA Mala paints)
  • Box, newspaper or something to cover your work area  

How to: Grab a big box (good thing you have an Amazon problem, right?) or anything you don’t mind getting paint all over. Put a pumpkin in the middle and give your little one paints to squeeze on top. Drizzle it like I did, dump it right on top like my son did – you can do no wrong! I like the MALA paints from IKEA that come in fabulous little squeeze bottles, but if you don’t have one of those check out this tip from genius Shelly at Creating Creatives to pop a glue cap on a bottle of acrylic paint. Be sure to check out that link, there are LOADS of great tips on it. 

Pumpkins + Paint Sticks

fun halloween activity for kids decoration pumpkins painted paint sticks

Did I lose you at paint pour? Here’s another fun (much less messy) way to paint pumpkins with the kids this Halloween – use paint sticks!  If you don’t have paint sticks or you’ve ever hesitated to buy them I’m here to tell you they are worth it.   They work on tons of different surfaces and dry in minutes.  An actual game changer. Find our favourite paint sticks (and other art supplies) here. 

Paint Stick Pumpkins Prep: minimal      Mess: minimal

Halloween Jelly Sensory Play

fun halloween jelly sensory play for kids toddlers

Halloween is the perfect opportunity for a fun sensory activity!  

Halloween Jelly Sensory Prep: 10 minutes the night before.    Mess: a bit messy.

What you need:

  • gelatin or jello 
  • bowl or container to make the gelatin
  • bin to play in 
  • another bin or bowl of warm water to wash in
  • towel nearby
  • Halloween loose parts
  • tongs, spoon etc.

How to: Do your future self a favour – spend a few minutes tonight and make a bowlful of jelly (I used plain gelatin). Throw in some creepy loose bits and when it’s set in the morning, dump it into a bin. I kinda meant for it to keep a bowl shape but quickly abandoned that when it fell apart. My kid doesn’t care what it looks like anyway! I added a colander, scoop and tongs. On the other side of the flisat table I put a bin of soapy water coloured green (having soapy water readily available seems to help my little guy with this type of play – sometimes he doesn’t like having ‘dirty’ hands). He also likes to have an objective, so I asked him to ‘clean up’ all the parts that got stuck in the jelly. He got to work, picking bits out with the tongs. 

Salt Webs Process Art

Salt Webs Process Art Prep: 10 minutes     Mess: surprisingly messy, we got salt everywhere.  Put it in a bin to keep it contained.

What you’ll need:

How to: Did you ever make these as a kid? It’s such an easy and entertaining activity for Halloween! Just use glue to make a design and then sprinkle salt on top. Shake off the excess salt, let it dry a bit and then use food colouring or liquid watercolours to colour the salt. We used pipettes for some fine motor practice! It’s pretty mesmerizing to watch the colours spread, and the salt gives a bit of a glittery vibe.  I just love how my little guy’s web turned out. He decided to pop a spider on there once it was done.

fun halloween activity for kids salt glue spider webs watercolour toddler process art halloween
fun halloween activity for kids salt glue spider webs watercolour toddler process art halloween
fun halloween activity for kids salt glue spider webs watercolour toddler process art halloween

PAINTED SHELL JACK O'LANTERNS

Halloween Shells Prep: minimal       Mess: minimal

Aren’t these little shells fun! My son did the teeny tiny one.

We have lots of shells, I find them in pockets all the time (along with rocks deemed special enough to bring home).  Our grand plan was to put magnets on the back but it turns out I have none! So these little guys are hanging out on a picture ledge in the living room instead.

What you’ll need:

  • Seashells 
  • Orange paint 
  • Paintbrush
  • Black Sharpie or paint pen
  • Green pipe cleaner
  • Scissors
  • Tape or glue

How: paint the shells orange.  When they dry, use black paint pen or Sharpie to add faces. Tape or glue on a piece of pipe cleaner. 

DIY Sock Monster Halloween Decor

Sock Monster Prep: very little.  Mess: minimal. 

What you’ll need: 

  • cereal box or cardboard
  • paint or paint sticks
  • glue or tape

Ever puzzled over the whereabouts of a missing sock? There’s a good chance there’s a sock monster in your house. 

To make a sock monster: 

  • cut out a monster shape of your choosing. 
  • Have your kid help to decorate the cardboard cutout with paint sticks and paint. 
  • Add eyes and cut out a mouth.  Add teeth if you want (it was decided that our monster flosses daily and has shiny white  teeth). 
  • Attach a box or laundry bag to the back of the monster’s mouth, to catch the socks. 
  • Place in the monster’s natural habitat – the laundry room. 

All the sock talk made my son want to practice putting his socks on. Between that and feeding the monster, we worked in some decent fine motor skills practice. And once the monster is full, empty out the socks and match up pairs!

fun halloween activity kids diy cardboard green sock monster for toddler halloween

DIY Mummy Decoration

DIY Mummy Decoration Prep: five minutes.  Mess: homemade paste is messy, it sticks to everything.  Keep a bowl of warm water and soap + towel nearby to clean little fingers right after.  

My son has become infatuated with mummies, which has made for some big questions from him. He doesn’t quite ‘get’ what they are. So far we’ve kept it really simple without discussing any heavy subjects… Anyway he really wanted to make his own mummy. It turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining Halloween activity!

What you’ll need:

  • cereal box or cardboard
  • scissors
  • googley eyes
  • toilet paper
  • flour & water 
  • paintbrush 

How to: I cut out a body shape from a cereal box, and helped him make his own paste from flour and water. He happily ripped toilet paper into smaller strips.  Then he put huge amounts of paste on the mummy and smushed the toilet paper on top. I convinced him to leave a space for the eyes. Then assured him that he should not unwrap the mummy. There’s no way this decoration is going to last long, he’s definitely going to try to ‘unwrap’ it when I’m not looking! 

fun halloween activity for kids diy cardboard decor craft for kids mummy

Process Art Paper Pumpkins

Process Art Pumpkins Prep: minimal.   Mess: minimal. 

What you’ll need: 

  • painted pages (try squishing paint between pages, splattering paint at a paper, making patterns, rolling vehicles over paper with paint) 
  • Shapes cut out of black paper
  • Glue stick

How: I cleaned out my craft cupboard (kinda; I’ve accepted it will never really be done) and rediscovered a bunch of scrap painted pages from old projects. So, I gathered a few of the orange pieces and cut out pumpkin shapes. Then I cut shapes out of black construction paper. Ta-da! An exceptionally simple but fun Halloween activity for the kids. 

We taped them up on the wall next to our Halloween countdown chain and he started to talk about how each pumpkin might be feeling. 

halloween activity for kids pumpkins process art halloween decorations art for kids

Spaghetti Cutting

Spaghetti Cutting Prep: make some spaghetti.   Mess: a bit messy.  

I have a real problem with never making the right amount of spaghetti (truly – if you have figured out the secret to making the correct amount please, don’t keep it to yourself). Having leftover spaghetti has worked out well since I saw Busy Toddler post a spaghetti cutting bin   Creepy colours added a spooky twist perfect for Halloween. 

What you’ll need: 

  • spaghetti
  • food colouring
  • tray or bin
  • scissors

How to: This is really as simple as it looks (pasta shaken up with some food colouring (and a bit of water if needed)) and is fabulous for practicing scissor skills. Offer it on a tray or in a bucket to contain the snipped pieces. 

halloween activity for kids spaghetti cutting scissor skills toddler

Fizzy Potions

fizzing halloween activity for kids cauldron potion for toddler sensory play
fizzing halloween activity for kids cauldron toddler sensory play halloween

Prep: time to gather everything up.  Mess: the mess washes away pretty easily. Don’t use too much food colouring, it can stain.

This was my son’s favourite Halloween activity last year, and I think it will be again this year!   

What you’ll need:

  • Cauldron, bowl, carved out pumpkin, muffin tin, beakers, any vessel…
  • Baking soda
  • Food colouring
  • Halloween parts
  • Squeeze bottle or droppers 
  • Vinegar

How to: I gave my little guy a tray of spooky loose parts and a recipe to follow to make a creepy Halloween soup or potion.  I lined the bottom of the cauldron with food colouring and baking soda.  He added all the creepy bits and then I gave him a squeeze bottle of vinegar.

To him the best part was making it fizz up.  To me the best part was that he didn’t realize he was learning as we read the recipe, counted out the ingredients, talked about the chemical reaction… my favourite kind of learning is when he has no idea it’s happening.   

This activity lends itself well to more dramatic play! Pretend to be a scientist experimenting – what is the scientist creating? A chef making a special dish – who is it being cooked for? Where will it be eaten? A witch creating a new potion – what will the potion do if it’s used? Be creative and silly.  

DIY Cardboard Pumpkin Puzzle

Cardboard puzzles are fun to create all year, but they do make for a great Halloween activity too! I asked my son what kind of puzzle he wanted, and he said a truck (of course). I kept it really simple and just stuck one giant pumpkin in the back, but this was really easy, and my son played with it far more than I expected he would! 

Cardboard Puzzle Prep: took me about an hour while half watching Netflix…    Mess: none 

What you’ll need:

  • Cardboard
  • Scissors or knife 
  • Paint
  • Glue

How to: sketch out your picture on a piece of cardboard. Cut it out, colour it. Pop out all of the pieces and glue the top part to another piece of cardboard underneath so it has a ‘backing’.  Then put the puzzle pieces back in.  That’s it! The hardest part is cutting it all out. Make it as difficult or as simple as you like, either way your kid will probably love it. 

fun halloween activity for kids diy cardboard puzzle pumpkin truck

Black Cat Handprint

fun halloween activity for kids black cat handprint

Black Cat Handprint Prep: really simple.  Mess: not bad if you manage to wipe off the paint right away! Keep a wet towel beside so you can clean up little fingers.

What you’ll need:

  • Paper
  • Paint 
  • Googley eyes
  • Glue
  • Black Sharpie

How to: paint your child’s hand, push it onto a piece of paper, making sure their thumb is at a 90 degree angle.  Wipe it off their little fingers before they can get black paint everywhere.  Then use the same paint to add a head and ears. Add a mouth and whiskers with a Sharpie and glue on some googley eyes. 

Haunted House Watercolour Reveal

halloween activity for kids wax resist scene watercolours

Haunted House Prep: 10-15 minutes. Mess: minimal.

What you’ll need:

  • Paper
  • Paintbrush
  • Watercolour paints
  • White crayon (or candle)

How to: I think this Halloween activity is so much fun because it’s a bit magical! Try drawing a scene on card-stock with Sharpie (google ‘easy Halloween sketches’ and don’t worry, your kid will be excited no matter how it looks). Use a white crayon to ‘hide’ some ghosts in the picture. Your kid or you can colour in parts of the rest of the scene too (I did it myself when the kids were sleeping – colouring + Netflix is so relaxing). Give your little one a paintbrush and some watercolours to fill in the sky and reveal the hidden ghosts! 

I’ve since found a great printout from Creating Creatives that makes this much simpler – head over and grab your copy here. 

Pumpkin Emotion Cards

Pumpkin Emotion Cards Prep: 25 minutes or so.   Mess: minimal. 

What you’ll need: 

  • Pictures of pumpkins – draw or paint some, or print them from Google. 
  • Black Sharpie 

How to: I painted pumpkins on card and put faces on some and left others blank. We talked about each feeling and the different expressions our face makes. Then I gave the little guy a black marker and asked him to draw the face on the pumpkin. 

Halloween Countdown Chain

halloween activity for kids paper chain countdown

Halloween Chain Prep: five minutes.  Mess: none. 

What you’ll need:

  • construction paper or coloured paper
  • tape 
  • scissors

How to: It doesn’t get much easier than this, and a chain is a terrific way to help your little one visualize how many days to go till Halloween (or any special event)!  

Draw lines on paper and help your child cut up the strips.  Show them how to make loops and tape them together.  Hang your chain up on the wall. Each morning they can rip one off and count how many loops are left.  This reminds me of being small – did anyone else make countdown chains when they were little? 

Halloween Bubble Foam Sensory Play

halloween bubble foam sensory play for kids

Halloween Bubble Foam Prep: 5-10 minutes   Mess: I guess it technically can get messy, but is it really a mess if it’s soap?

What you’ll need: 

  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Container
  • Loose parts
  • Spoon, bowls etc. for scooping 

How: Bubble foam is one of our all time favourites. It might even be the best Halloween activity on this list… It is so easy to make, so easy to clean up AND keeps little hands clean (and if you’re reading this in 2020 you know how important that is at the moment).  In a blender (or with an immersion blender) whip up a few pumps of dish soap and a bit of warm water with a drop or so of food colouring. Don’t use too much food colouring, it stains!  

Halloween Counting Loose Parts

Halloween Counting Prep: 5 minutes   Mess:  none

What you’ll need: 

  • Halloween themed loose parts
  • Paper
  • Numbers (optional)
  • Dot markers (optional)

How: ahead of time prepare the correct number of each item (for example only put out five pumpkins, 4 eyes, 3 bats etc.).  Ask your child to put the number of items beside the correct number on the page.  I did the dots on the right side of the page so he could count them / put the items on top.  

Halloween Beginning Letter Sounds

Letter Sounds Prep: five to ten minutes     Mess: depends on your kid, potential for black beans everywhere. 

What you’ll need:

  • coloured paper or paint chips
  • mini erasers or small toys (or print out pictures to hide in the beans)
  • black beans or other sensory base (rice, popcorn, etc). 

How: Here I put mini erasers in a bin of black beans (I hid them after taking this picture) and wrote the beginning letter for each eraser on coloured paint chips.  My son would pull an eraser out of the bin, we’d decide the letter it began with and then put the eraser on that letter. 

Feed the Monster

feed the monster toddler game halloween

Feed the Monster Prep: 10 minutes   Mess: minimal

What you’ll need:

  • Box with hole cut out
  • Coloured paper 
  • Tape
  • Halloween loose parts (Dollar store). 

How: This is a super fun way to practice number recognition, counting and one to one correspondence, with a Halloween twist!  I don’t know what it is about feeding the monster that is so appealing, but my son loves it.  I wrote out a list of what to feed the monster and gave it to him with a cauldron of loose parts.  He was very careful not to overfeed the monster. 

The monster is just a piece of construction paper taped with a hole cut to fit in our IKEA Flisat table. If you don’t have this table a hole in a cardboard box works just the same. 

DIY Haunted House

Haunted House Prep: this took my son and I an hour and a half to make together.     Mess: minimal.  

What you’ll need:Cardboard

  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Paint and/or paint pens
  • Yarn
  • Scissors

How: It doesn’t really look like it but much to my son’s delight we pulled out ALL the things on this one. Painted cardboard, paint sticks, black yarn, dot markers, black duct tape and our new and glittery paint pens (the picture doesn’t show the glitteriness, you’ll have to trust me, they’re quite lovely).  

Our little house is now happily haunting our entryway.

Simple Spooky Shaving Sensory Play

halloween sensory play for kids

Shaving Sensory Play Prep: 5-10 minutes    Mess: messy 

What you’ll need:

  • Bowls or bins if using sensory table
  • Large shallow bin if not using table (under bed storage type container) OR go outside!
  • Loose parts 
  • Shaving cream (I get unscented and sensitive skin) 
  • Tongs, scoops etc. 

How: I put some shaving cream in a bin and some water in another bin.  I gave my son little Halloween things to play with (bugs, ghosts, pumpkins, bats etc) and that’s it!

DIY Painted Ghosts

diy painted ghosts decoration halloween

Painted Ghost Prep: 5-10 minutes.    Mess: messy. 

What you’ll need: 

  • cardboard
  • paint & brush
  • googley eyes
  • painter’s tape
  • old credit card or other flat edge 
  • newspaper or something to put underneath your work area
  • cloth to wipe paint off fingers
  • Sharpie

Cardboard ghosts: these are really easy but how cute, right? Cut out the ghost shape from cardboard, paint them white and glue on googley eyes. 

Scrape painted sign: tape off the letters with painter’s tape on a piece of cardboard.  Put a few squirts of paint at the top of the cardboard and use a flat edge to scrape the paint down.  Let it dry a little bit and peel off the tape.  Use a Sharpie to outline the word. 

Read & Create

What you’ll need:

  • Picture book of your choosing
  • Art supplies 

Pick a favourite Halloween or autumn themed book and take a few minutes to notice the illustrations.  Draw or paint your own pictures.  My son and I love the book Penguin & Pumpkin – the illustrations are lovely and we had a wonderful time drawing our own pumpkins with pastels and watercolours. 

PS. it feels weird to even write ‘read and create’ without mentioning Oh Creative Day – check out Shannon’s site for loads of inspiring ways to read and create with your kids. 

Halloween Playdough Kit

We make an awful lot of playdough over here. My kids play with it every single day.  Putting together a themed kit for them makes playdough even more exciting. If you’re looking for a fabulous playdough recipe be sure to head over to this post and grab your free download of my favourite recipe, over 30 ways to play with it + free printable number mats. 

Prep: 25 minutes or so to make the dough and put together this kit.    Mess: regular playdough mess (not too bad in my opinion).

How: Add dough to a sectioned, lidded container (it’s a bit like a little tackle box – this one is from the dollar store from the hardware section) with loose parts of your choosing.  It makes a great gift, fun to take on the go or to play with at home. 

halloween playdough toddler

Playdough Invitation

Breathe new life into those loose parts by arranging them in a tray with some playdough!  It’s the same ‘stuff’ that you had before, but presenting it in a different way can make it more interesting. 

Halloween
BINGO+Colouring

fun halloween activity for kids bingo printable free colouring pages playdough mats

 

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