Has your preschool roped you into planning the Halloween party yet? Or do you love all things spooky so much that you've invited a bunch of costumed two- to six-year-olds over for a pre-trick-or-treat celebration at your house?
Either way, let us help! Our Savvy Activities Encyclopedia has plenty of Halloween party activities at the ready for you to choose from. Here are some of our faves:
Pumpkin Hunt: This is an easy and fun twist on the egg hunt at Easter. You can purchase large packs of small pumpkins and gourds from your local grocery store or Wal-Mart. Depending on how many kids you have, you may need several packs. Once you've bought the pumpkins, hide them around the yard and send the kids on a hunt with their trick or treat sacks. We always mark one with a gold star or some other mark and then give out prizes for the biggest, smallest, most collected, or to whoever found the golden one. It is a fun outdoor activity that gives the kids a little exercise. Use your creativity and put your own spin on it!
Pumpkin Decorating for Toddlers: After your toddlers have picked out their perfect pumpkins, have them create their own jack o' lanterns using pre-cut felt shapes. Cut out various shapes of noses, eyes and mouths and let your child decide which ones to put together to create the perfect face. If you use double sided sticky tape to adhere the felt to the pumpkin, the felt pieces can easily be removed. As an added bonus, with this method of decorating the kids can change the face each day! You can use black or yellow felt depending on the look you want.
Mummy Wrap: With a group of children, have the kids choose their delegate to become a mummy by wrapping him or her in toilet paper! Likely, they'll all want a turn and then can chase each other around as mummies!
Pin-the-Nose-on-the-Jack O' Lantern: This is a simple spin on the Pin the Tail on the Donkey game. Using foam board and either markers or poster board, make a large pumpkin and paste it on the foam board. Next, cut out black eyes and a mouth and add it to the pumpkin. Then cut out lots of triangles for the nose and be sure to number them and add sticky tape to the back. I like to use picture adhesive squares since they are double sided and easily removed. Let the kids take turns being blindfolded and trying to find the best position for the nose. You can play for prizes or just to be silly and have fun.
Halloween Pumpkin Party: Host a pumpkin-decorating party for the kids in your neighborhood. Buy small pumpkins (or have people bring their own) and provide carving tools, patterns, as well as paint, markers, stickers, etc. for kids to safely decorate with. The kids love getting all gooey together while cleaning out the pumpkins and often help clean the pumpkin seeds for cooking/eating. It's great fun and puts the kids in great spirits leading up to Halloween!
Halloween Twister: Take an old white sheet and paint rows of witch hats, pumpkins, ghosts and black cats. Be sure to mix them up. Then make flashcards -- four for each symbol (e.g. right hand pumpkin, left hand pumpkin, right foot pumpkin, left foot pumpkin). Then have the "Twister Master" shuffle the cards and put them in a stack. The "Twister Master" then calls the game by pulling cards from the top of the stack and calling out the directions. The kids love this game, and its something you can use year after year. (It's great for teaching left and right too.)
A Human Spider Web: This is a Halloween party game that works well when the parents play with the children. The children sit in a large circle with one adult sitting next to each child. Take a large ball of yarn and have the child throw it across the circle to another child. The parent should hold on to the yarn before ball is thrown. Continue throwing the yarn back and forth until a large spider web is created. Place a large paper spider in the center and try to lift up the web without the spider falling off. The children love this gave and the parents enjoy being involved, too.
Ghost-Ghost-Witch: This is a variation of duck-duck-goose called "ghost-ghost-witch." Choose one child to be the "witch" and have the rest of the children sit facing each other in a circle. The witch will then go around the circle, saying ghost-ghost-ghost.......witch. Then the witch has to chase the ghost, and if she catches the ghost before he or she gets back to the empty spot in the circle, the witch can put a spell on that child (make him sing, dance, bark, etc.). That child then becomes the new witch and the first witch sits down as a ghost. For little ones, you can be the witch and let them all be ghosts.
Pin-the-Heart-on-the-Skeleton: Buy a pre-made paper Halloween skeleton, or draw your own on a big sheet of paper. Tape a heart where a normal heart would be; then get red construction paper and help your kids cut out little hearts. Put pieces of tape on the back of each heart. Blindfold the kids, spin them around, and have them try to place their heart in the right spot on the skeleton. The one closest to the heart you put on is the winner. My kids have lots of fun with it! Be sure to give that winner a big piece of Halloween candy!
Pumpkin Buckets: An adaptation of "Bozo Buckets." Line up plastic pumpkin buckets (found at grocery store or other Halloween supply store) in a straight line and have your child (or children) toss in small bean bags, starting with the bucket closest to them. See how many they can get in the buckets! You can keep score and give prizes, or play just for fun.
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