Scary-Good Fun For Kids!

Here's a cornucopia of great crafts and games to make Halloween a festive time for kids at home and in the classroom. (We have so many that we've split them into three sections -- don't miss parts 1 and 3!)

Girl in homemade zebra costume

(continued from part 1)

Paper bag pumpkins

Materials:
Lunch-size paper bags
Orange paint
Green paint
Newspaper String jack-o-lantern

Directions:
Have the children crumple up newspaper and stuff their paper bags so they are full. Twist the unstuffed part of the bag and tie at the bottom to make a stem. Let the children paint their pumpkins. When they are dry, the children can draw faces on them.

Pumpkin painting

Buy several small, fresh pumpkins. Cut them in half. Let the children dip the pumpkin halves into paint to make prints.

Spaghetti cobwebs

Materials:
Cooked spaghetti (cold)
White glue
Waxed paper

Directions:
Have the children dip the spaghetti into the glue and arrange the pieces onto the waxed paper. When the spaghetti dries, carefully peel the "cobweb" off the waxed paper. Hang from the ceiling.

Cheesecloth ghosts

Materials:
Cheese cloth 2 cups White glue 16-oz. Plastic cups

Directions:
Dilute the white glue with equal cups of water. Let the children dip a piece of cheesecloth into the diluted glue. Have the children drape the wet cheesecloth over the 16 oz. cups. Let the "ghosts" dry for two days. Carefully remove the cup from the hardened cheesecloth. Let the children decorate their ghosts. Hang the completed ghosts from the ceiling.

Spider's web

Materials:
String or yarn
6 6-inch pieces of string
4 12-inch pieces of string
Diluted white glue or liquid starch
Wax paper

Directions:
Let the children dip pieces of string into dishes of glue or starch. Then have them lay their strings on wax paper to create the spider's web. Lay the string in the shape of a spiral overlapping the ends. Lay the large pieces of string over the spiral in the shape of a cross. When the strings dry, they will become stiff and hold their shapes.

Spooky finger

Make a small hole in the bottom of a small cottage cheese container. Any similar container will do. Make it near the edge. Put some cotton in the bottom and the container will be ready. To fool your friends, paint the first finger of one hand with poster paint. Stick your painted finger through the hole and bend it inward. Let the rest of your fingers grip the container naturally. Arrange the cotton around your finger to hide the hole. Cover the container and ask one of your unsuspecting friends to remove the lid. When he does, move the finger up and down.

Popcorn hands

Materials:
Popcorn
Orange and black jelly beans
Spider rings
Plastic gloves (clear serving gloves like the resturants use)
Orange or black ribbon

Directions:
Fill each finger with a jelly bean or two (will look like nail polish) then proceed with the popcorn until full. Use your ribbon to tie closed at palm and embellish with a spider ring (on the ring finger). You can use these as a craft for your Halloween party or for decoration during the holiday! The kids love them!

Puffy paint cobwebs

Mix equal parts of flour, salt and water in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into squeeze bottles. Give each child a black paper plate or a piece of black construction paper. Let the children squeeze the white puffy paint onto the black paper. When the puffy paint dries, it will look like glittery cobwebs.

Foot ghost

Using white paper, have children step on paper and trace around their shoes. To make a face, use crayons, pens or black construction paper with white chalk.

Balloon jack-o-lanterns

Blow up an orange balloon for each child. Out of construction paper make face and feet pieces to create a jack-o-lantern. You may apply these pieces to the balloon with rubber cement.

costume Halloween party for the class

Each child comes dressed up in their favorite costume. Each child receives an award for various categories as funniest, silliest, cutest, prettiest, etc. You can make your awards out of construction paper. Our awards were pumpkins cut out of orange construction paper. We then attached these pumpkins to lollipops, and each child received a lollipop with their award certificate.

Pass the pumpkin

This game is played like hot potato using a small real or toy pumpkin. Children pass the pumpkin to Halloween music while seated in a circle. When the music stops that child holding the pumpkin is out and receives a small prize like a sticker, pencil or lollipop. At the end of the game, the last child left receives a bigger prize like crayons, coloring book or notebook.

Decorate masks

Buy plastic half masks (found in dollar stores or party stores, usually 12 in a pack). Give each child a mask to decorate with feathers, stickers or gems found in craft stores. They really enjoy this and like to take the masks home to show Mom or Dad.

Pin the smile on the pumpkin

Make a huge pumpkin out of posterboard. Decorate the pumpkin with eyes minus a smile. Make a smile for each child out of black construction paper. Then play the game pin the smile on the pumpkin.

Ghost

Stand a toilet paper tube up and stuff a paper towel in the top, making a rounded mound on top. The child then dips a heavy, white paper towel in liquid starch, squeezes out the excess starch and drapes it over the tube. Have him/her arrange the bottom to looked draped. Add two black dots for eyes near the top. Allow to dry thoroughly. Then, you can remove the toilet paper tube and the ghost is stiff enough to stand alone. Really cute and fairly easy.

The week before Halloween, I begin a lesson on My Body and the Five senses. This lesson ends with a review of our bones and with tricking our senses.

Take at least six shoe boxes and cut out a hole at the center of each lid large enough to put a child's hand comfortably inside. The trick is to make sure the children cannot see inside of the box. (You may want to add colored plastic wrap to the hole for this purpose. It can be stapled to the lid with a slit in it for passage). Each box should have something texturally interesting. I use a banana smashed into a brush, gelatin, cooked spagetti with raisins, cooked rice, flower blossoms, meat of a pumpkin, hair gel ... well you get the picture.

The first step is to have the children put their hand into one box at a time. Note the child's expression. Have the child tell you what he/she thinks is in the box and chart the answers. Then show the child what was really in there. Maybe the child guessed correctly, but maybe his/her senses were fooled.

Halloween votives

Collect one baby food jar, one votive, black and orange tissue paper, glue and paint brush for each child.

Soak labels off of jars. Let the jars dry. Let each child cut tissue paper pieces and glue onto the jar with paint brush, much like a decoupage. They can make mosaics or even a jack-o-lantern. With permanent marker add child's name and date to the bottom of the jar. Add a votive. When they get home they have a wonderful, keepsake to use year after year.

Halloween fingerpainting

Materials:
Black or dark blue fingerpaint
Construction paper fences, pumpkins, moon, ghosts
Fingerpainting paper

Procedure:
Children fingerpaint on paper then stick on fences, pumpkins, moon and ghosts.

Variations:
Make table prints instead of fingerpainting on paper.
Make the painting about the 'Five Little Pumpkins' and give the children five pumpkins to stick on the fence in their paintings.

Mini jack-o-lanterns

Materials:
Mini pumpkins
Wallpaper paste (optional: dye orange) and glue sticks
Buttons
Yarn
Cotton balls
Black paper witches' hats

Procedure:
Children glue items on pumpkins to make mini jack-o-lanterns.

Pumpkin patch

Materials:
Brown construction paper
Green yarn
Cotton balls
Dry orange tempera paint
Glue and glue sticks
Small bag

Procedure:
Shake cotton balls and paint in the bag. Children glue green yarn (vines) and orange cotton balls (pumpkins) onto brown paper to make a pumpkin patch.

Black cat drama

Materials:
Pictures of black cats

Procedure:
Children pretend they are black cats -- creeping, sneaking along, walking on a fence, playing with a ball of wool, etc.

Witches in the dark

Have the children form a circle with one child in the middle. Instead of using "farmer," "wife," "nurse" and the other names in the traditional song, pick names that have Halloween meanings. The children are called one by one into the center as the rest of the circle walks around them.

"Witches in the dark, witches in the dark, hi ho for Halloween, witches in the dark. The witch takes a bat, the witch takes a bat, hi ho for Halloween, the witch takes a bat. The bat takes a black cat, the bat takes a black cat, hi ho for Halloween, the bat takes a black cat."

Continue until there is only one child left (witch, bat, black cat, goblin, pumpkin, skeleton). Call this child the ghost.

"The ghost says 'BOO!' The ghost says 'BOO!' Hi ho for Halloween, the ghost says 'BOO!'

Variation:
Use the children's costumes at a Halloween Party -- for example: "The Pumpkin takes Winnie-the Pooh", or "The clown takes the butterfly" etc. Tune: "The Farmer in the Dell."

Witch faces

Materials:
Paper plates
Yarn cut in approx. 5 to 6-inch lengths
Black construction paper cut into the shape of a witch's hat
Yellow construction paper cut into buckle shape (hollow rectangle)

Directions:
Cut out the center of a paper plate. Glue the yarn on both sides of the paper plate. Glue black hat on top of plate. Glue buckle on hat. Punch a hole on both sides of the plate. Tie string in holes. Tie "mask" on child.

Teach the children the following Halloween safety rules:

  1. Please make sure you go with a friend, someone who'll stay with you up til the end.
  2. With this rule, I can't be more graphic, when you go Trick or Treating, watch out for traffic.
  3. If you're alone don't talk to a stranger, this is one way you'll stay out of danger.
  4. When Trick or Treating, act just like a pro, only go to houses of people that you know.
  5. After getting treats, don't forget to say: "Thank you very much!" and then go on your way.
  6. Last is a rule that can't be beat: Let your parents check your treats right before you eat.

Witches' brew

This activity works well in the month of October. On the first of the month, bring in a large, black pot that resembles a witches' pot. Inside the pot there is a slip of paper that reads: "I am the Witch of the West and I am out gathering ingredients for our Halloween brew." On designated days, place the bags containing ingredients in the pot. The ingredients should be placed in a pot, inside a plastic bag so that no smell escaped. Place plastic bags within brown paper lunch bags and have appropriate names printed on the outside of the bag. On Halloween, empty all the bags and stir the brew. This recipe is a guarantee for perfect attendance.

Paper plate bat

Using a small paper plate, paint black with black finger paint, let dry. Cut triangle shapes from black construction paper, three for each wing and lay them out so you can glue the two top corners to another triangle. Fasten the wings to the back of the paper plate and draw a face with white correction fluid or chalk. Punch a hole in the top to hang.

Pumpkin concentration

Make six pairs of pumpkin faces on 12 white index cards. Mix up the cards. Let the children take turns matching the pumpkin faces.

Go back to Part 1
Go to Part 3

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