Halloween—a day filled with adventure and fun, where both adults and children have festive gatherings under the moonlight or under the sun. People inside their homes would hear knocks every now and then. And as they open the door, a glimpse of a magical world welcomes them as they don their Halloween costumes, shouting “trick or treat!”
However, trick-or-treating isn’t the only way to celebrate Halloween. Aside from this, there are also other activities that you can enjoy on the 31st of October. For parents like you, we have prepared a list of fun Halloween crafts and activities, which you can do with your toddlers.
Halloween: A Blast from the Past
A long time ago, the Halloween celebration was somehow different than what it is today. This holiday stemmed from an ancient religious festival called Samhain, which originated from the spiritual tradition of the Celts. These ancient people had their time in this world 2,000 years ago. Unlike many of us, the Celts celebrate their new year on the 1st of November. Meanwhile, the celebration of Samhain begins on the 31st of October until the 1st of November.
During the night of October 31, the Celts believe that there would be a breakdown of the boundaries between the living and the dead. Thus, leading them to a belief that the spirits of the dead would roam in the land of the living. In commemoration of this celebration, the Druids light bonfires, and the Celts wear costumes. Yes, wearing costumes has been a part of their tradition from the old times, but such were made of animal heads and skins in an attempt to drive evil spirits away.
Although we still encounter spooky nights and hear scary stories during Halloween, our celebration of this holiday has become brighter and more fun.
How to Make Your Toddlers Go “Wheeeee!” on Halloween
Halloweens wouldn’t last without trick or treat. In fact, the National Retail Federation’s data on holiday and seasonal trends revealed that 96% of Americans who will celebrate Halloween in 2020 are planning to purchase candies. These candies will either be for their consumption or for the kids in costumes who knock on their doors. Other than collecting candies from one house to another, let them learn, enjoy, and play with these eight Halloween ideas and activities for kids, along with other crafts with little ones.
1. No Boo!
Way before the 20th century, people mostly associated Halloween with ghosts and other frightening creatures. However, if this would be the picture you paint in your child’s memory, then they might not look forward to the holiday for the years to come. Even adults are afraid of ghosts! Therefore, make your Halloween celebration educational and entertaining by reading them Halloween books that won’t scare them. Some examples of these stories include The Sweetest Witch Around, The Itsy Bitsy Pumpkin, My First Halloween, and Little Blue Truck.
2. Pumpkin Painting Would Be Fun
What’s Halloween without pumpkins? Luckily, there’s no single way to decorate pumpkins, so you can unleash your creativity any way you want. While adults are into pumpkin carving, it would not be safe for your little ones to do the same. So a better way to explore your toddler’s creativity is by letting them paint a pumpkin. For this DIY activity, make sure to use tempera paint or any washable paint that is safe for your kids. After they’re done, they can watch you carve pumpkins, and everyone would be happy!
3. See Other People’s Work of Art
Some places in the United States hold grand Jack-o’-lantern displays, including New York, New Hampshire, Kentucky, and Rhode Island. If you are in these states and you hear that there will be a Jack-o’-Lantern display near you, then take your Halloween celebration outdoors. Go and see this once-a-year exhibit of uniquely designed lanterns and bring your toddlers with you.
4. Time For a Halloween Egg Hunt
Who says egg hunts are for Easter alone? You can do that for Halloween too! Make giving candies or any baked goodies more exciting by throwing a Halloween egg hunt. Decorate what were once Easter eggs to fit the theme and fill it with candies and other surprises. Since they’re kids, it would help if you provide them with a list and photos of the different types or colors of eggs so that they will have a clearer picture of what to find. And don’t be so hard on them; see to it that these Halloween eggs are easy to find.
5. Watch Child-friendly Halloween Movies
Remember when we talked about making Halloween spook-free for kids? Yeah, don’t forget that. Kids liking horror movies is a rare occurrence. However, not all Halloween-related movies are filled with frightening sound effects and scary faces you wouldn’t forget. If you want to watch movies with your kids, make sure they are child-friendly and are not terrifying so your little ones can still sleep peacefully at night and to avoid toddler bedtime battles. Moreover, you must also watch these films ahead of time to be sure. You may want to check out these movies: The Nightmare Before Christmas, The Dog Who Saved Halloween, and Casper: The Friendly Ghost.
6. Attend a Fall Harvest Festival
Depending on where you are, attending a fall harvest festival can be a great way to enjoy Halloween with your toddlers too! However, these events vary in activities. Some have pumpkins and apples that you can harvest, while others have carnival rides, band performances, and food booths. Therefore, you have to check if it’s safe for you and your child to go.
7. Organize a Crafts Night
We may not know it, but innate in us is our creativity. Hence, no matter how old we are, a Halloween crafts night would be more than entertaining. For children, this type of activity will help enhance their sensory skills and learning ability. Some arts and crafts you can do with your little ones are creating spider web plates, paper pumpkins, candy corn cutouts, and playdough bats or spiders. Scrolling through Pinterest will also give you more ideas for making this delightful for you and your children.
8. Bake Halloween Treats
Lastly, give your child a personalized treat by baking (or making) delicious goodies for them. Don’t worry! There is no need for you to have expertise in baking to make something special for your kids during Halloween. With the availability of the internet, you can look through thousands of recipes and baking instructions that you can easily follow.
Before deciding which activities you should include in your Halloween celebration, don’t forget to consider the time and resources you have. These factors will greatly affect the success of your plans. Also, remember that you are doing these activities with your children and for your children. Therefore, acknowledge that the result of their crafts wouldn’t be perfect, they might lose their interest, and your house may get a little messy. Be patient. After all, it’s part of being a parent.