8 great Halloween activity ideas for the under 5’s
Halloween is a fun time of the year for children and adults to enjoy, with many Early Years settings choosing to celebrate this time of year with crafts, cooking activities, dressing up and parties. Celebrating Halloween is often disputed in the Early Years with some settings choosing not to celebrate due to not wanting to scare the children or bring ‘death’ to the children’s attention; however there are many ways that settings can enjoy this time of year without directly referencing to the main theme of Halloween.
Here are 8 fun and child friendly activities for you to carry out with the children this month;
Making potions is a great way for children to build on their exploration and investigation skills. Practitioners can offer a deep tray filled with water, add allow the children to add a range of materials to create their very own potions; including flower petals, coloured water and fruit slices. The children can use different sized bowls, bottles and wooden spoons to create and share the potions.
Cotton wool skeletons
Make some great skeletons using black paper, cotton buds and glue. The children can use the cotton buds as ‘bones’ to create their own skeleton. This activity can encourage children to talk about their bodies and is a great activity to accompany the story ‘Funny Bones.’
Room on the broom bog monsters
This fun messy activity is a lovely way to extend the story ‘Room on the Broom.’ Add the animals from the story to a tray with gloop and encourage the children to recreate the story, making the animals into ‘bog monsters.’ The children can take it in turns to guess what animal is hiding under the gloop.
Pumpkins are a great way to introduce Halloween and keep activities based around natural objects. Children can help practitioners to carve images onto the pumpkin and pull out the seeds using their hands and different scooping tools. The inside of the pumpkin is a great resource that can be used for messy play, helping children to explore using all of their senses and learn about a new vegetable.
Baking activities are a great way to develop physical and mathematical development with young children. The children can take it in turn to measure out the ingredients and stir the mixture. The biscuits can then be cut out and decorated using white ad black icing, encouraging the children to create spider webs using the black icing and tooth picks.
Halloween is a lovely opportunity to build on imaginative stories and create masks. Cats are a common animal often associated with Halloween and can help children participate in the festival without the activities becoming too ‘scary.’ A simple cat face outline can be cut out and given to the children to decorate with a range of materials including paint, wool, feathers and sequins. These can these been attached to elastic or lollipop sticks for the children to wear.
Playdough is a fun activity for children to extend and develop children’s fine motor skills. Monster playdough can offer children the opportunity to create their own friendly monsters using different coloured playdough and a handful of accessories including googly eyes, straws, pipe cleaners and feathers. Here are some more ideas to create monster playdough experiences.
Parties are always a fun and exciting way to celebrate festivals, Halloween can also offer this. Some may associate Halloween parties with scary dressing up outfits; however this does not need to be the case. Settings could hold a child friendly party asking children to dress up but for no scary outfits to be allowed. The children will still have a wide choice of outfits to choose from including superheroes, book characters or simply cats or pumpkins etc. Fun party games such as apple bobbing, lucky dip boxes and pass the parcel can be played and the children and staff can celebrate together.
More downloadable Halloween resources can be found here.