All ghosts, ghouls, and goblins 👻
The graveyard they leave ⚰️
As the dead become alive for All Hallows Eve 🧟
Witches, pumpkins, skeletons ☠️
Play tricks and ask for treats 🍬
As the scariest of monsters roam our fair streets 🕯️
But don’t be frightened for your children 🎃
This night can have its perks 🦇
As we give you 21 Halloween activities for toddlers 🕸️
that don’t involve a ton of work ✌️
1. Trick or Treat – in your own house
You don’t have to leave the house to have costume fun on Halloween. By setting things up inside your own house, you have full control over the experience and you can tailor things to be perfect for your child.
To get the most out of your indoor trick-or-treat, be sure to have plenty of participants. Try scattering older volunteers around the house in different rooms, each with an appropriate treat to dispense when it’s their turn. Take your costumed child around to each room, knock on the door, and say “trick-or-treat!”
This activity doesn’t have to end once you’ve visited everyone once. Have your child put on a new costume (or make a modification) and go around to each room once more. Your volunteers will have lots of fun complimenting your toddler’s inventive new disguise.
2. Play Pumpkin Tic-Tac-Toe
Source: Toddler Approved
Halloween decorations make perfect tokens for physical tic-tac-toe boards. Small, hand-sized pumpkins are ideal for one set of letters(you’ll need up to five “x” and four “o”, depending on how skilled your kids are). For the other letter, consider pumpkins of a different color, skulls, or other decorations you have handy. You can even paint another set of 5 pumpkins a different, spooky color.
To construct the board, simply draw a tic-tac-toe board with a marker on a bit of cardboard. You can cut the cardboard into a festive shape and decorate it with your toddler with stickers, colored markers, and anything else you have on hand. Once your board is done, you’re ready to play!
Tic-tac-toe is a surprisingly effective learning activity for toddlers: they have to take turns, manipulate objects, and utilize their problem-solving and prediction skills to try to win the game.
3. Halloween Themed Sensory Bin
Source: Little Learning Club
Sensory bins are a fantastic way to combine play and learning, and a Halloween-themed bin can help you and your toddler get into the holiday spirit. Try using colored pasta as a filler, then add a few spooky decorations and toys.
To make colored pasta, simply cook spaghetti (or your pasta of choice) as usual, then toss it in a bit of oil. Add a few drops of food coloring, stir to mix, and let it dry out for about an hour.
Be sure to set up an environment where your toddler can make a bit of a mess. The oil and food coloring mix that coats the pasta can easily stain the carpet and other porous surfaces. Try putting down butcher paper, a shower curtain, or an old sheet before you let your child start playing.
4. Wash Pumpkins
Source: MB Learning Club
If you’ve got some spare gourds (especially smaller ones), try giving them a wash with your toddler. Fill a tray with water, add a bit of soap, make plenty of bubbles, and give your child a couple of sponges. As a cooperative activity, begin to give the pumpkins a wash. Keep an open mind and see where the activity takes you!
Washing pumpkins gives you a great opportunity to help your child work on their language and motor skills. They’ll learn about cause-and-effect as they begin to wash the pumpkins — if they dip them in the soapy water, they’ll come out covered in suds, and when they wash them with a sponge, they’ll become nice and clean. Talk with your child and ask questions to help enhance the learning process.
In lieu of small pumpkins, pretty much any water-resistant Halloween decoration will work with this activity. Plastic skulls, toy spiders, and other spooky items all work great!
5. Goopey Spider Rescue
Source: Happy Toddler Playtime
Mixing cornstarch and water creates a non-newtonian fluid, sometimes called “oobleck.” Oobleck is non-toxic, edible, and loads of fun. When it’s left alone, it behaves like a thick liquid, but when you apply pressure it turns into something closer to a solid until the pressure is removed.
To make oobleck, mix about two parts cornstarch to one part water. Adjust as necessary by adding cornstarch to thicken the mixture or water to thin it out. For more festive oobleck, add a bit of food coloring.
Once you’ve made your oobleck, some toy spiders (or other decorations) and some toddler-safe tools like tweezers and shovels are all you need to create a gooey spider rescue. Put plenty of oobleck in a baking tray or another container, sprinkle in plenty of spiders or other toys, and let them sink into the goop. Have your toddler fish them out by hand, with tweezers, or with scoopers.
6. Make Your Own Halloween Costume
You’ve probably got lots of materials at home that can be used creatively to make Halloween costumes and accessories. Sheets can be used to make a classic ghost, construction paper can be cut and glued to create masks, bowties, and more, and toys can be repurposed to serve as props so your toddler can become their favorite character.
For especially inventive costumes, have your kids help you modify old clothes however they like. A pair of scissors, some glitter, glue, and markers can turn some shirts you were going to throw away into a great costume piece your toddlers will love. Adult-sized clothes might become full-body outfits, while more size-appropriate clothes can simply be decorated.
7. Pin The Nose On The Witch
Source: I Heart Crafty Things
Some light Halloween theming can give party classics like “Pin The Tail On The Donkey” new life. Try “Pin The Nose On The Witch” or “Pin The Arm On The Skeleton.” Just like the classic game, put a picture of a character with a missing part on a wall, then have kids try to attach a representation of the missing part to the picture with a pin.
Toddlers don’t necessarily have to be blindfolded to make this game a challenging exercise. Instead, let them take their time and pin the nose on however they like. In a group setting, reward each successful pin with a Halloween-themed celebration or reward, then move on to the next player. You don’t need to declare a winner!
8. Feed The Monster
Source: Our Little House In The Country
If you’ve got some spare cardboard at home, try making a big cardboard monster. Have your kids help decorate it with markers, paint, and other craft supplies you have at home. Be sure to give it a nice, big open mouth, complete with an actual hole in the cardboard.
Set up your monster so it’s standing upright (a bit of tape and some used delivery boxes will probably work) and have your kids throw balls or other objects into the monster’s mouth. They’ll have lots of fun working on their throwing skills and get plenty of exercise walking across the room to retrieve the balls.
If you want to go all out, try making multiple monsters with different-sized mouths. This will give your kids the option to select their own level of challenge. You could even formalize the game with a set of point values and a friendly competition between the children in the house.
9. Halloween Feel Boxes
Source: Basic Grey
A Halloween parenting classic, this activity involves filling trays or bowls with “gross” objects and getting your kids to touch them while blindfolded. You can pretend sponges are a brain, peeled grapes are eyeballs, or gummy worms are worms.
Here are some fun ideas for spooky objects and how you can replicate them:
- Overcooked rice with raisins: Maggots and bugs
- Flour tortilla: Skin
- Dried fruit: Ears
- Thread: Spiderwebs
- Pretzel Sticks: Dried rat tails
- Peeled Tomatoes: Hearts
Either blindfold the kids and bring out the items with a fun, spooky story or put the items in labeled shoeboxes with small holes for kids to reach inside. Try combining these feel boxes with your favorite Halloween books to really get into the holiday spirit!
10. Hang a Donut from a String
This one is easy: tie a string around a donut, hold it up, and have your toddlers try to eat it without using their hands! It’s a simple, fun activity that takes virtually no setup.
Despite the simplicity of donut-on-a-string, it’s still a great opportunity for your toddler to build vital coordination and balance skills. The adult holding the string can make the game more challenging and interactive as necessary, moving the donut away from the child in a pattern, reactively, or as part of a game. Try having your kids ask nicely for the donut to be lowered!
11. Bobbing For Apples
Apple bobbing is another classic Halloween activity that’s great to explore with toddlers. Fill a bucket or plastic box with water, then float a bunch of apples in it. Have the kids fish the apples out of the water and place them in a second bucket.
Classic bobbing for apples involves no hands or tools, only teeth. This might work with some toddlers, but you can just as easily let the kids use their hands or tools like scoops, strainers, and tongs. By changing the activity to utilize fine motor control, bobbing for apples becomes a useful learning activity for younger children.
After bobbing, be sure to serve apples to your toddlers in whatever form they like best!
12. Finding Candy Corn
Source: Kids Friendly Things to Do
As an alternate bobbing-style activity, try covering a plate in whipped cream and burying candy corn or other unwrapped sweets inside. Have toddlers put their hands behind their backs and try to find all the candy with their mouths. This activity can get messy, so be sure to put the plates on a tablecloth you don’t mind getting lots of whipped cream on and have some towels and a bit of water handy to clean off your toddlers’ faces afterward.
Other variants of this activity might involve making jello together with your kids and stirring in fruit or making brownies and adding some gummy worms to the finished product. Any Halloween-themed multi-textured sweet will lead to lots of fun, especially if you get your kids involved in making it.
13. Candy Stacking And Sorting
Source: Sarah Takforyan
After trick-or-treating, try to get your kids to play with their candy before they devour it. Have them stack the candy into towers. If you’ve got multiple kids, turn this into a competition, or build your own tower so your toddler has someone to compete against. Children will have to figure out what types of candy can sit on top of other types, teaching them critical thinking skills.
Once the towers are built (or before, if you prefer), sort the candy with the kids. You can sort by color, size, type, or content. Sorting the candy will give you an idea of how much candy your kid managed to snag on their trick-or-treating adventures, helping you appropriately ration it out over the coming days. With some toddlers, you can even turn this into a writing exercise and help them create a candy chart so they know what they got!
14. Halloween Egg Hunt
Source: It’s me, JD
Egg hunts aren’t just for Easter. If you’ve got leftover plastic eggs, Halloween decorations can provide the backdrop for an equally stellar egg hunt. Try decorating the outside of the eggs with fun or scary faces with markers, paint, and other craft supplies. Fill them with small candy (like candy corn or even jellybeans) and hide them around the house.
If your kids are up for it, you can enhance the egg hunt by planting little clue notes in each egg. These notes can give the location of other eggs, adding reading and problem-solving elements to the egg hunt. You can always read these notes aloud to your kids and help them puzzle through what they might mean.
15. Watch ‘Room on the Broom’ on Amazon Prime
📺 Watch on: Amazon Prime video
The incredibly popular (and thoroughly excellent) children’s book Room on the Broom has an equally stellar 25 minute animated adaptation. Featuring the voice talents of Simon Pegg (he’s in Star Trek and Star Wars), Gillian Anderson, and Rob Brydon, Room On The Broom is available on Apple TV, VUDU, Microsoft, Google Play, and YouTube. Be sure to buy, not rent, as your kids will want to watch it again and again!
If you don’t have the book yet, consider picking up a physical copy of that as well. You’ll be able to appease your kids’ desire to watch their favorite film with a bit of old-fashioned reading. Room On The Broom is a great way to help your kids practice critical reading skills, and the on-screen adaptation will help them follow the story with their imaginations.
16. Dance to Halloween Songs
Dancing is great fun, especially with a festive holiday theme. Try this list of classic Halloween hits, including the Monster Mash, the Scooby-Doo theme, and plenty of guided dance songs for kids to enjoy.
A great Halloween playlist is available on Spotify:
Remember: dancing is about feeling the music, being active, and having a good time. Don’t worry too much about your own moves, just have fun grooving to the music with the children. By setting an energetic, goofy, and enthusiastic example, they’ll be sure to have a blast.
17. Rolling Pumpkins
Source: Sunny Day Family
All you need for this activity is a small slide and some pumpkins of different sizes. Starting with the big pumpkins, have your kids roll the pumpkins up to the top of the slide and let them go. Once they’re near the top, let go and have your kids help roll the pumpkins down the slide. They’ll get a bit of exercise and get a hands-on lesson on the power of gravity.
After the big pumpkins, move on to the medium ones, then the little ones. These pumpkins will be much easier to get to the top and will roll down on their own. The smaller ones will zoom off of the end of the slide and might even roll on the ground for a bit afterward. Once your kids figure out how to position the pumpkins at the top for maximum rolling, they’ll have lots of fun making the pumpkins fly across the playground.
18. Spider Sticky Wall
Source: Toddler Approved
To make a sticky wall, take a big square of contact paper and affix it to a wall with tape, sticky side out. Peel off the backing so that you can stick things (like spiders) to it.
To make a spider, work with your toddler to cut cardstock or construction paper into circles to make the bodies and poke pipe cleaners through them to make legs. Use a marker to draw funny faces on the spiders (or use googly eyes) and you’re good to go!
Have your toddlers stick the spiders to the sticky wall. The contact paper will stick to different parts of the spiders differently, giving your child lots of opportunities to experiment with how they stick in different configurations. They can bend the legs into interesting shapes and put the spiders wherever they like!
19. 3 Ingredient Halloween Slime
Source: Little Bins for Little Hands
Who doesn’t love slime? To make fluffy Halloween slime, mix 1 part school glue to 2 parts cornstarch, add a few drops of food coloring and knead for about 10 minutes. Have your kid help knead as well. After 10 minutes, heat the slime up in the microwave for about 20 seconds, then knead it some more.
This slime recipe reacts to heat and humidity. To morph it into a lava-like substance, throw it in the microwave for a few seconds. As it cools down, it’ll gradually morph into a light, fluffy slime.
You may need to adjust the ratio of glue to cornstarch based on the humidity in your area. If your slime is too runny, add a bit more starch. Too thick, consider adding more glue or even a drop or two of water.
Squeeze slime through pumpkins, skulls, and other Halloween decorations for extra spooky fun!
20. Monster Hand Craft
Source: Happy Hooligans
With some different kinds of paper, scissors, and a few decorations, you can make paper monster hands with your toddlers. First, make hand stencils on regular paper by drawing spooky monster hands. If you’d like, you can trace human hands and apply some fun twists, or you can draw the monster hands freehand in whatever shape you’d like. Use the stencils to cut monster hands out of construction paper, wallpaper samples, or wrapping paper.
Glue the hands down on a different style of paper to create contrast, then decorate them! Try gluing raisins or candy corn on the fingertips to create claws or texturing the hands with things like lentils, the netting from a bag of fruit, or confetti. The kids can draw on veins, write a monstrous message above the hand, or surround it with a collage of colorful tissue paper.
When you’re done, be sure to have your kids sign their creation and hang it on the wall or fridge!
21. Make Halloween Play-Doh
Source: Run Wild My Child
Homemade playdough can be tricky, but this microwave recipe has solved lots of problems for many parents. Mix 1 cup flour, ½ cup salt, and 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar in a bowl. Add a cup of water, a tablespoon of vegetable oil, and some food coloring and stir well. Microwave this mixture for about four minutes, stirring at least four times throughout the process.
While you can play with homemade Halloween P lay-doh the same as any other kind, try incorporating it into activities where toddlers can build their fine motor skills. Have them form it into shapes and decorate it with spider or bat rings, or give them pipe cleaners and have them make Play-doh spiders. You can even give them beads and have your toddlers string them along the pipe cleaners and make all sorts of fun creations.
Whichever ghoulish activity you choose, you and your toddler(s) are bound to have a monster time this Halloween.
And remember, don’t look under the bed, you never know what may be lurking!