I love everything about Halloween... The innovative costumes, the creative crafts, the pranks and scares, tales of ghosts and haunted places, the dip in the temperature, jack o lanterns, and the eerie decor consisting of skeletons and monstrous creatures.
Simply put, it is another reason to celebrate, gather with friends, and experience one's own youth again, in a way. Having children makes Halloween extra fun for me. I can dress up in a corny costume without the stigma of being too old for it as now we are doing it for our kids. :-p I can also secretly eat the candy that the kid's aren't allowed to eat. I can prank my kids, in a reasonable fashion, for all the times they have scared me and I can get away with it because... It's Halloween! (I'm joking... Don't worry! Or am I?)
Because half the fun of any occasion is the lead up to it, I love to come up with games and activities for the kids a few days prior to Halloween to elongate the joy and build up the excitement. Plus, it's a good way to do something fun together without the involvement of gadgets or television.
Here are some of the crafts and a Halloween game I did with my kids yesterday. These crafts work well for toddlers and are simple to do and do not require much, which makes it a win-win for parents and kids! The blindfolded mystery box Halloween game would work well for kids aged 10 and younger.
Craft 1: 3D Pumpkin out of Paper (Works well for Toddlers)
What you need:
-an orange paper
-a green paper (or white paper that you may color or paint green)
-split pin or scotch tape
1. Cut the orange paper into 8 even strips
2. Place the orange strips of paper in a circular arrangement, so that the edge of each strip meets in the middle.
3. Use a split pin or scotch tape to hold the pieces in the middle together.
4. Gather the opposite end of each strip of paper up to meet in the center above the already attached pieces to create a 3D pumpkin shape.
5. Use a split pin or scotch tape to hold those pieces together.
6. Cut a small rectangular piece of Green paper to add to the top of your pumpkin, to create the pumpkin stalk.
7. Use a black marker to draw out eyes and a mouth on your pumpkin.
*This is a great activity for fine motor skills and scissor practice for toddlers*
Craft 2: A Black Cat (Great for toddlers and young kids)
What you need:
-a paper plate
-black thread or string
-any colored small poof ball for the nose (we didn't have this, so we simply painted in the nose)
-Cut edges of the plate to make a rounded body for the cat as seen in the picture.
-Use the center of the plate to draw a cat's head, as seen in the picture. Then cut around that shape.
-Use the extra piece of the plate to cut out a rounded tail for the cat.
-Paint or color all the above pieces in black.
-Glue the googly eyes to the cat's head.
-Cut small pieces of thread to use at the cat's whiskers. Then, attach the threads to the back of the cat's face with scotch tape, ensuring they are long enough to be seen from the front.
-Glue the small poof ball below the eyes for the cat's nose. (Or you may color/paint it in)
-Glue the head to to body.
-Glue the tail to other end of the body.
Game: The Blindfolded Mystery Box Halloween Game (This is great for kids 10 and younger)
In this game, children will be blindfolded and made to feel certain items that are supposedly relating to a spooktacular Halloween. They will think they are feeling a witch's tongue or a monster's hair. My smart children did ask me where I was able to retrieve these items. Attempting to think quick, I told them I visited an old haunted hospital where witches and monsters were treated and was able to find these there. You can, of course, think of a less scary version of this story or leave it out all together if your children are not as into the scary stuff. My children were thrilled with this, however, and were also able to guess a lot of the actual items that they were feeling. In the end, it left us with a lot of laughs and some heebie jeebies!
What you need:
-Colored cups or colored storage containers (something that won't reveal the contents inside)
-Food items (per below)
-A tissue or small towel to cover the contents above the cup.
-Labels (optional) - Although, this made it easier for me when playing the game with the children so that I didn't need to peek in prior to letting them feel the contents of the cups.
-Arrange each cup with a separate food item and can label them accordingly:
1. Witch's Tongue: Sliced Bananas
2. Brains: Cooked Spaghetti
3. Witch's Fingers: Carrot Sticks
4. Eyeballs: Peeled Grapes
5. Monster Ears: Dried Apricots
6. Monster Hair: Thread or Yarn or the Elastic Thread (to give it a more rough feel)
7. Monster Teeth: Dry Beans or Popcorn kernels
8. Vampire's Heart: Peeled Tomato
9. Witch's Skin: Wet Tortilla
10. Monster Ear Wax: Peanut Butter
1. Ask the kids to put on the blindfolds
2. Bring out the items and let them feel them one by one. You may cover the tops of the cups with a small towel in case anyone peeks! And then move over the towel slightly, so that they can feel the inside of the cup.
3. Wait for all the laughs and "eww" commentary!
We did about 7 of the above but you can always do less, all of these, or more!
Do enjoy and share your pictures with me if you would like! Wishing you all a safe and happy Halloween!