Easy Halloween activities and free Halloween and Autumn activity pack
Updated: Apr 15
We absolutely love Halloween and love setting up Halloween themed play.
I have selected some easy activities that you could do leading up to Halloween and hopefully too they will keep your kiddies busy during the mid term.
First up table top activities:
What I mean by table top activities is that they are activities you do up at the table. Alot of the table top activities I do with the boys are concentrating on fine motor and problem solving. These are great for when you want to sit and drink your cuppa and still 'play' with your child or if you want to keep those little hands busy while you make dinner.
This was always a favourite with the children in the preschools I worked in. You need black paper, cut into thin stripes, tape, card cut into circles, marker to draw the face. Simple take 8 thin strips of black paper, tape to the card circle, draw on face and get the kids to cut the legs. Great for practicing fine motor skills, hand eye coordination, bilateral coordination (using both hands), and makes cutting fun! You could also cut a witches hair or even hand or feet nails. My boys still love this one especially the hand and toe nails one!
This one is always a big hit. All you need is a box, we use an empty porridge container. Draw a skull, stick it onto the container and cut out the eyes slightly smaller than the actual size of the plastic eye balls. They then have to place the eyes into the eye socket and push the eye to post it. The kids always get a great laugh out of this one and always spend ages playing with it.
You either love playdough or hate it but it's the one thing I always find kids gravitate towards! Playdough is a great sensory activity, great for their fine motor skills as they manipulate and mould the playdough and great for their creativity and imagination. We love adding in some Halloween bits and our homemade stamps (pasta shapes glued onto corks) to make our playdough spooky.
Click the link below to see how to make DIY playdough stamps using Halloween themed pasta and wine corks.
Pouring and scooping:
This one is also a big hit. All you need is some orange rice or orange chicken peas, some empty see through containers like bottles or sprinkles tubes, add some pumpkin type faces, a few spoons and off they go to fill up the pumpkins. I find the small sprinkles containers great as they really have to concentrate to get the rice into the opening and great for helping their hand eye coordination too. You could also do white rice or white chickpeas and make the bottles into ghosts.
This is always a fun one. Very simple to make with just pipe cleaners, black card and some beads but keeps the kids busy for ages. You could ask them to sort the beads onto the pipe cleaners by colour or ask them to make a pattern with the beads. Great for hand eye coordination and practicing all those fine motor skills.
Put the puzzle pieces in a basket and tie some string in through the holes like a spider web then add a few spiders and let the rescue begin.
Using a few different shapes and sizes of stones and dray their shape on a piece of paper along with 8 legs to make it look like spiders.
Tuff tray ideas:
We love setting up lots of different activities around the Halloween theme like a scary breakfast, potion making, spooky train or a spooky village. All you need to do is use what you have and make it spooky by adding webs, eye balls, spiders whatever you have and the kids will love it!
Potion making and our Spaghetti monster is always such a big hit every year. Do note this can get incredibly messy however I find these two activities my boys could easy spend an hour or more playing so the 15 minutes or so tidy up afterwards is totally worth it.
You could also do up your play kitchen too to make it spooky for the kids.
Why not freeze some spiders, eyes balls etc in some water, gloop or even waterbeads and have a spooky rescue
The spider web is a great one for Halloween night. You need some wooled spiders ( like a pom pom) stick the masking tape on backwards with the sticky side facing you into a web shape. Then throw the spiders on to the web. We love doing this one and it can get very competitive too!
How to dye rice, click here to see how easy it is. Use the same method for spaghetti, chick peas and pasta.
Arts and crafts:
There is lots of different Halloween themed arts and crafts you can do including painting your pumpkins but I'm just going to share our favourite two we love doing every year.
Potatoes mummy stamp:
Making mummy's using a potato, cookie cutter, white paint, black card, a knife and googly eyes. Simple press the cookie cutter into the potatoes, leave it in the potatoes then cut around the cookie cutter to make the shape. With the potatoes stamps, dip it in the paint and stamp the page, adding the eyes, leave to dry then cut out your mummy's.
Toilet roll mummy's:
It's a classic but it never gets old! All you need is empty toilet roll holders, stripes of white paper or kitchen roll, pva glue and some googly eye. Get the kids to put the glue on the empty toilet roll first, then add the strips of paper/kitchen roll and add the eyes. A simple arts and craft activity that isn't to messy and the kids enjoy making.
Cut some stripes of orange paper and write some things you are grateful for. Then stick them together into a pumpkin shape and add a green stripe of paper for the stem.
Halloween party ideas:
Last year we had so much fun just the four of us. We spent the day making some Halloween treats and setting up the games for our party. We had the spider web (see above tuff tray ideas), bobbin apples and find the money in the slime. The boys loved making the slime! It was basically bits and pieces of things that were going off that we used. To be fair it was pretty disgusting but they still managed to get all the coins out!
We also bought some glow sticks (these only have a 24hour use) and played some glow stick games, glow stick hoops and can you make a face!
We had so much fun and even had glow stick rave! I highly recommend the glow stick rave!
If you have some of the smaller pumpkins you could also play these 5 games
Click the here to watch the reel on 5 simple games to play with small pumpkins.
You could also make a spaghetti monster (see above) too for your Halloween party.
Using your pumpkins in activities:
Two years ago Sharon from Jiminy.ie spoke on her stories on Instagram encouraging people to use their pumpkins in different ways not just buy it, carve it and throw it in the bin. So it got me thinking, so that year we decided to challenge ourselves and see how many play ideas we could come up with! We managed 15!
Then last year we teamed up with Jiminy.ie again to bring you the Pumpkin Play Challenge
#pumpkinplaychallenge to encourage you to play with your pumpkin and then eat your pumpkins!
Last year we decided to break our own record and managed 30 activities with two big pumpkins & 4 small ones.
Head to @playwithmemammy to view what we are doing with our pumpkins this year.
Don't forget to join in on the challenge #pumpkinplaychallenge to be in with a chance to one of five sets of Stabilo 3-1 pencils.
Pumpkin Play Challenge ideas:
Here is some easy Halloween ideas you can do involving your pumpkin. This was our lists from two years ago, which we have managed to do plus more!
We love too using up the pumpkin guts for play. Here are some of our suggestions on what you could use the insides for.
Click here to see our top 5 activities you can do using your pumpkin guts.
Eating your pumpkin:
You can still carve your pumpkin like normal but eat the inside. It's a little trickier to get the pumpkin out but it is definitely worth it so that you get to use it all up. First cut the top off, this needs to be big enough for your hand to fit in, then scoop out the guts (insides, put them aside for more pumpkin play) then carefully with a knife cut around the inside, and using a spoon to dig it down to the bottom so the pieces break off. As you cut it piece will start to fall off and that's OK as your going to cook it anyways.
These can be eaten by roasting them or you can dry them out (5mins in the oven) and keep them for sensory play (see suggestions above).
Pumpkin spice soup:
1 large onion
2 spoons of butter
1 medium pumpkin
5 medium potatoes
2 veg stock cubes
2 tea spoons of mixed spice (4 if you want it spicy)
Spoon of cream
Cook the butter and onions till brown, add the pumpkins and potatoes (diced into cubes), cook till they start to brown then add the 2 veg stock cubes along with water. Make sure water is covering all of the pumpkin and potatoes. Add in the mix spice and cook till soft. Blend it in the blender, add more water if too think and bring to the boil before serving. You can add a little cream on the top of the soup.
200g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
100g soft brown sugar
200g grated pumpkin
30g chopped walnuts or pumpkin seeds (optional)
150mls sunflower oil
Sieve the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and mixed spice into bowl and stir. Add brown sugar, grated pumpkin, walnuts and mix. Add sunflower, wisk eggs and mix. Make sure its well mixed before adding them to the muffin cases. Bake at 180°c for 25mins or until cooked.
70g butter room temperature
200g full fat cream cheese
70g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
Mix all really well into a bowl and add to the top of muffins when they are cooled down.
Pumpkin Cinnamon Swirls:
Jus rol puff pastry
400grams blend pumpkin
Grease proof paper
One roll of @jus_rol puff pastry, lay out out flat. Cook 400grams & blend pumpkin (didn't use it all so maybe 300grams would be enough). Spread pumpkin out evenly on the puff pastry.
Cover all the pumpkin with Cinnamon to cover all of the pumpkin. Then roll it up but not too tight and cut it with a knife into equal pieces and place flat on grease proof paper.
Bake at 180 ° for 25 mins or until golden
Icing sugar to decorate the top
This is my own recipe.
You need: pretzels, chocolate, edible eyes and something for legs like fizzy laces, Pretzel sticks, cut marshmallows or liquorice laces and grease proof paper.
Lay out the pretzels on the grease proof paper. Melt the chocolate. When melted Place one tea spoon of chocolate on the Pretzel then quickly add the eyes and legs. To cover over the legs just add a little bit of chocolate. Leave to harden and enjoy!
To see our reel, click here
Halloween Movie Marathon:
Free Halloween activity pack
I have designed a 12 page activity pack for school age children full of fun activities to keep them busy especially if it's a rainy day. Click the link below for the free download. Don't forget to tag us over on Instagram if you use them. We love seeing them in use.
Click the link to download the pack
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If you are an email subscriber you will also get the link for the free 10 page colouring in sheets in your email.
Cluck the link below for colouring sheets:
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Autumn activity pack:
Click the link below to download the free 13 page activity pack
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I had every intention of making an Autumn blog but time just got away from me! This activity pack might come in handy on a rainy day over mid-term break. If you have lots of leaves, conkers or pine cones and don't know what to do with them all then click the names below to find 5 easy activities for each.
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We hope you have a fun filled Halloween 🎃
Aoife and the boys