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 2!)
Egg cup spiders
Give each child a cardboard egg carton cup and four 4″ pipe cleaner pieces. Help the children poke their pipe cleaners through their egg cups to make spider legs. Have them bend the legs slightly downward. Let the children paint their spiders black and glue on plastic moving eyes.
Cat of Many Colors
“Once there was a cat all white who wished that he were black as night. He was thirsty as could be, and in the cupboard, what did he see? Grape juice right before his eyes! He drank it. Then to his surprise, he turned from white to something new. Deep dark purple was his hue. He peered into his little cup, saw tomato juice and lapped it up. He soon became the brightest red. He thought, “maybe I should go to bed.” But he wasn’t tired, and so he looked for somewhere else to go.
He spied an orange on the floor, and pounced on it, and played some more. As he played this little game, orange was what he became. He played with some blueberries, too. So suddenly the cat turned blue. A sour lime sat on the ground. The kitty licked it and he found that he felt strange and not so keen, for he had turned the color green. Now he was a sad little fellow. So he ate a banana and turned the color yellow. Just then he saw a tasty treat, another food he had to eat. A long black piece of licorice gave the little cat his wish. He ate it all, and soon he was black from his head to his paws! Why did this happened? You guessed it right if you blamed it on Halloween night.”
Teacher pretends not to know what Halloween is, and keeps describing the wrong holiday; children correctly label the holiday described. Example — “Oh, Halloween is when the bunny leaves candy and you color eggs.” Use Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, etc.
The Pumpkins Are Here
Give each child a pumpkin cutout that has been mounted on a craft stick. Then as verse is recited, have children hold their pumpkins as indicated by the words. “The pumpkins are here; the pumpkins are there. The pumpkins, the pumpkins are everywhere. The pumpkins are up; the pumpkins are down. The pumpkins, the pumpkins are all around. The pumpkins are in; the pumpkins are out. The pumpkins, the pumpkins are all about. The pumpkins are low; the pumpkins are high. The pumpkins, the pumpkins all say, ‘Good-bye.’ ”
Trick or Treat
Place slips of paper in a brown lunch bag. On each write down a different “trick” such as “hop on one foot” or “close your eyes and touch your nose.” Have each child in turn, say, “trick or treat” and draw a paper from the bag. When she performs the “trick” say “treat” and give her either a Halloween sticker or a couple pieces of candy corn.
Teacher/parent gives lead sentence; each child continues story in turn. Difficult for younger children but good introduction to critical and creative thinking skills. Samples: “Joey Jack O Lantern wants to run away because he is afraid of Halloween Night, so he… ” “Gus the Ghost is very sad because everyone is afraid of him, so he decides to…” “Wanda the Witch has lost her broom and she can’t fly without it, so she….”
Move as if you are: Carrying a great big pumpkin. A witch combing her long, stringy hair. A little baby ghost. Putting on your Halloween costume. Carving a little tiny pumpkin. Going up and down a porch’s steps trick or treating. Jumping up to say Boo-oo-oo.
Witch, Witch, Ghost
Played exactly like “Duck, duck, goose” — just change the names. I play this game all the time but I change the names to fit my theme.
Old Witch and Her Black Cat Game
Children sit on the floor in a half circle. One child, the witch, stands a short distance away with her back to the cats. One of the children is pointed to, by the teacher and the child “meows.” The witch turns around and tries to quess which child is the black cat. Continue until everyone has a turn.
Black Cat Hunt
Hide many paper black cats around the classroom so that children do not have to move objects to find them. Have children each hold hands with a partner. Each pair of children must find as many black cats as they can without letting go of their partner’s hand. After the hunt, everybody meows, and receives “cat food” from the teacher. (Candy corn.)
Teacher/parent is the Silly Witch with the broom. “It is Halloween Night and it is very dark outside. I am a very silly witch and I am going to cast a very silly spell on you. I am going to wave my broom and turn all of you into frogs. Now, how do frogs move around? They Jump. Everytime I wave my broom, you will all jump around. When I put my broom down, you will all stop.” Great opportunity for teacher to display her acting talents.
Place paper pumpkins, all different colors, and without stems, on floor. Give each child a stem that matches one of the pumpkins. Then form a circle, and walk around the pumpkins as you chant: Pumpkin, pumpkin without a stem, laying in the pumpkin patch. Here comes (name a child) with a stem of (child names color) to match. (Child then matches stem to correct pumpkin. Continue.)
Finger puppet ghosts
Put white adhesive tape on each child’s index finger (over top) and add eyes with black permanent marker. Have children recite and act out with ghost fingers. Little ghost(2), flying through the air. Little ghost(2) tickling my hair. Little ghost (2) flying way down low. Little ghost (2) tickling my toe. Little ghost (2) circling all around. Little ghost (2) please sit down. And– The ghosts fly in. The ghosts fly out. The ghosts are certainly all about. The ghosts fly high and then dive low. They’re always spooky whereever they go.”
The Very Hungry Pumpkin
Put paper pumpkins of different colors in the middle of the circle. Begin a story by telling the children that an orange pumpkin (hold up orange one) was very hungry, and so he ate a banana and turned——. Children say “yellow” and one picks up the yellow pumpkin and hands it to the teacher. Teacher holds it and continues with other food items such as an apple, lime, chocolate ice cream, the sky, peas, etc. etc. Continue the same way. At the end, ask children to think of a food the pumpkin could eat, so he could turn orange again.
I love to use pumpkins in a variety of ways for learning fun with 2’s and 3’s. During the first part of October, we pick the mini pumpkins that grew in the garden over the summer) are harvested and then the fun begins. We count them, name them, draw faces on them, stack them, give them rides in the wagon and we have even taken them on our walks.
Fabric softener sheet ghosts
Ever wondered what to do with old fabric softener sheets? Why not make a spooky little Ghost! And they smell great too! Don’t have enough sheets? Use white tissue paper instead.
Three used fabric softener sheets
Some string or an elastic band
A black marker
Crumple two of the sheets into a ball. Put the other piece on the table, spread out and flat. The put the ball of tissue paper in the center of the flat peace. Pull up all the corners and squeeze the paper just under the ball (it should look like a ghost shape now). Tie the string or elastic band (just under the ball). Add eyes and a mouth with the marker. Voila! A little Ghost!
Paper bag wig
Use a large paper bag that fits over head. Cut a large rectangle from front section of bag for face. Fringe bottom of bag. Curl fringe by rolling tight around a pencil.
Pumpkin and Halloween activities
The pumpkin is a member of the squash family. Pumpkins grow on vines and bushes. Most pumpkins are orange, but some are white, yellow or other colors.
What’s inside a pumpkin?
2 paper plates per child
Colors, paints, or markers
Paint or color one paper plate orange. On other glue pumpkin seeds. Attach paper plates (orange one on top) with brad on top of plates.
Mr Pumpkin Head
Get a real pumpkin and supply washable markers, and props such as glasses, paper mustache, hats, scarves and wigs. Let each child have turn to decorate and dress up pumpkin. When next child’s turn, just wash the markers off!
After Halloween, use your carved jack-o-lantern for print making. Cut the pumpkin into chunks and let children design pulp by using nails. Press on ink pads then on construction paper. Appearing
Teacher/parent draws ghost on white paper with white crayon. Children then paint paper with dark water colors or diluted tempera paint wash. Encourage child to paint entire page. Ghosts appear through paint.
Scrap paper jack-o-lantern
Draw a circle on black construction paper. Paint circle with glue. Tear scraps of orange paper into small pieces. Arrange scraps on glue. Add torn scraps of yellow paper for eyes, nose and mouth.
Cut pumpkin from orange felt. Have variety of black felt shapes in box for features. Include, half circles, crescents, ovals, triangles, circles and squares. Teacher instructs child to make face of jack-o-lantern using particular shapes. For ex. “Decorate jack-o-lantern using two triangles for eyes, square for nose and crescent for mouth.” A variation is to draw several jack-o-laterns models using outline of shapes for features. Child matches felt shapes to model.
Display skeleton decoration which can be purchased or drawn. Count number of ribs, bones in hand, leg bones, arm bones. Graph.
10 Little pumpkins
Cut 10 pumpkin shapes out of orange felt and place on flannel board. Remove the shapes one at a time as you recite the poem. “Ten little pumpkins all in a line one became a jack-o-lantern, then there were nine. Nine little pumpkins peeking through the gate. an farmer came and took one, then there were eight. Eight little pumpkins, a green goblin took one, then there were seven. Seven little pumpkins full of jolly tricks, a white ghost took one, now there are six. Six little pumpkins glad to be alive, a black cat took one and then there were five. Five little pumpkins by the barn door, a hoot owl took one, then there were four little pumpkins (as you can plainly see). One became a pumpkin pie then there were three. Three little pumpkins feeling very blue, one rolled far away, then there were two. Two little pumpkins alone in the sun, one said “So long”, and then there was one. One little pumpkin left all alone. A little boy chose him, then there were none. Ten little pumpkins in a patch so green made everyone happy on Halloween.”
Pumpkins in a jar
Put candy or eraser pumpkins in a jar. Each child takes a guess (teacher should keep record of each guess). At the end of the day count pumpkins.
Jar of pumpkin seeds
Same as above with children guessing the number of pumpkin seeds.
Order by size
Have several pumpkins for children to order from smallest to largest (paper pumpkins can be used also) .
Write” How many pumpkins tall are you?” on the top of long strip of craft paper. Glue paper pumpkins on the paper and number them from bottom up. Tape the chart on wall so children can measure their height.
Make a graph of what kind of face to carve on a class pumpkin — happy, sad or scary.
Use stickers or stamps to make a pattern on a sentence strip or any strip of paper.
Bat, bat, come under my hat
“Bat, bat, come under my hat For here’s a slice of bacon When I bake, I’ll give you a cake If I am not mistaken.”
Five little goblins on a Halloween night
“Five little goblins on a Halloween night Made a very, very spooky site. The first one danced on his tippy-tip-toes. The next one tumbled and bumped his nose. The next one jumped high up in the air. The next one sang a Halloween song. Five goblins played the whole night long.”
Five little pumpkins
“Five little pumpkins (hold up fingers for pumpkins) sitting on a gate. The first once said ‘Oh my! It’s getting late.’ The second one said, ‘There are witches in the air.’ The third once said ‘But we don’t care.’ The fourth once said ‘It’s Halloween fun.’ Ooooooh went the wind. And out when the lights (clap hands to the word “out”) and the five little pumpkins rolled out of sight (roll arms).”
The 12 days of Halloween
“At the first house on Halloween my neighbor gave to me… a large piece of chocolate taffy.
At the second house on Halloween my neighbor gave to me… two lollipops and a large piece of chocolate taffy.
At the third house on Halloween my neighbor gave to me… three pralines, two lollipops and large piece of chocolate taffy.
At the fourth house on Halloween my neighbor gave to me… four peppermints, three pralines, two lollipops and large piece of chocolate taffy.
At the fifth house on Halloween my neighbor gave to me… FIVE POPCORN BALLS! Four peppermints, three pralines, two lollipops and a large piece of chocolate taffy.
At the sixth house on Halloween my neighbor gave to me… six peanut clusters, FIVE POPCORN BALLS! Four peppermints, three pralines, two lollipops and a large piece of chocolate taffy.
At the seventh house on Halloween my neighbor gave to me… seven candied apples, six peanut clusters, FIVE POPCORN BALLS! Four peppermints, three pralines, two lollipops and a large piece of chocolate taffy.
At the eighth house on Halloween my neighbor gave to me… eight chewy caramels, seven candied apples, six peanut clusters, FIVE POPCORN BALLS! Four peppermints, three pralines, two lollipops and a large piece of chocolate taffy.
At the ninth house on Halloween my neighbor gave to me… nine orange gumdrops, eight chewy caramels, seven candied apples, six peanut clusters, FIVE POPCORN BALLS! Four peppermints, three pralines, two lollipops and a large piece of chocolate taffy.
At the 10th house on Halloween my neighbor gave to me… 10 shiny pennies, nine orange gumdrops, eight chewy caramels, seven candied apples, six peanut clusters, FIVE POPCORN BALLS! Four peppermints, three pralines, two lollipops and a large piece of chocolate taffy.
At the 11th house on Halloween my neighbor gave to me… 11 creamy nougats, 10 shiny pennies, nine orange gumdrops, eight chewy caramels, seven candied apples, six peanut clusters, FIVE POPCORN BALLS! Four peppermints, three pralines, two lollipops and a large piece of chocolate taffy.
At the 12th house on Halloween my neighbor gave to me… 12 cherry bonbons, 11 creamy nougats, 10 shiny pennies, nine orange gumdrops, eight chewy caramels, seven candied apples, six peanut clusters, FIVE POPCORN BALLS! Four peppermints, three pralines, two lollipops and a large piece of chocolate taffy!”
(Sung to “Are You Sleeping”) “Mr. Pumpkin, Mr. Pumpkin, Eyes so round, eyes so round. Halloween is coming, Halloween is coming, To my town, to my town.”
Friendly ghost song
(Sung to “Are You Sleeping”): “I’m a friendly ghost, I’m a friendly ghost. Watch me fly, watch may fly. I can fly right through the air. See how all the people stare. Way up high, in the sky.”
Hinx, minx, the old witch winks
“Hinx, minx, the old witch winks. The fat begins to fry. Nobody’s home but Jumping Joan Father, mother and I. Stick, stock, stone dead. Blind men can’t see. Every knave will have a slave. You and I must be he.”
I said my pajamas
“I said my pajamas. I slipped on my prayers. I went up my slippers. I took off my stairs. I turned off the bed. I jumped in the light. The reason for this is, You gave me a fright!”
“I am a pumpkin, big and round (use arms to show size of pumpkin). Once upon the time I grew on the ground (point to the ground). Now I have a mouth, two eyes, a nose (point to features on your face). What are they there for, do you suppose? (Right forefinger to forehead, thinking gesture). When I have a candle inside (hold up right forefinger), shining bright I’ll be a Jack-O-Lantern on Halloween night! (Thumbs in armpits-bragging gesture).”
Late on a dark and stormy night
“Late on a dark and stormy night, three witches stirred with all their might. Two little ghosts said, ‘How do you do?’ The wizard went tiptoe, tiptoe, booooo!”
On a dark, dark night
“On a dark, dark, night, in a dark, dark wood, in a dark, dark house, in a dark, dark room, in a dark, dark cupboard, on a dark, dark shelf, in a dark, dark box, there was a GHOST!”
“Pumpkin, pumpkin sitting on a wall (have children sit down). Pumpkin, pumpkin tip and fall (have children tip over). Pumpkin, pumpkin rolling down the street (child rolls on floor). Pumpkin, pumpkin trick or treat!”
The haunted house
(Sung to the tune of “Wheels on the Bus”): “The ghost in the house goes ‘Boo! Boo! Boo!’ ‘Boo! Boo! Boo!, Boo! Boo! Boo!’ The ghost in the house goes ‘Boo! Boo! Boo!’ on Halloween.
The steps in the house goes ‘Creek, creek, creek…’ The cats in the house go ‘Meow, meow, meow…’ The mice in the house go ‘Squeak, squeak, squeak..’ The people in the house go ‘Eek, eek, eek… .'”