Special Guest Post
By: Karen Braga
In Canada, we typically get together with family and friends for Thanksgiving in October; however, why not start a new tradition this year?!
I am talking about throwing a Halloween party the week or a couple of days before the holiday. It can be a very exciting event! It will help children like the holiday a little more and not think of it as just a scary holiday.
Friendly Boo’s and Pumpkins too
Together with your toddler, you can create simple DIY (Do It Yourself) Halloween decorations to put around the house for your party. Here are my top ten fun arts and crafts activities that are simple to do with your toddler. You can choose to use it as decoration or even as a party favor for your guests to take home.
- Friendly Boo’s
Material Needed: Black construction paper, White paint, scissors (for you of course), String, Paper plate, Paint brush and a good size working space.
Put some paint on a paper plate and place the black construction paper in front of you. With the paint brush add some white paint onto your toddler’s foot and then guide them to put that foot onto the Black construction paper. Once you lift their foot off you can repeat the steps with the rest of the construction paper you have, leaving foot prints as your ghosts. This next step is optional; you can add eyes and a silly face to your ghost. Once it’s dry, cut the little Boo’s out and tape them to the string. You can then hang them as a garland around the room. If your toddler does not like the feeling of paint on their foot like my niece, you can always do hand prints as well. Just make sure when adding a face or hanging them the fingers face down.
Material Needed: Orange construction paper, Tape and Halloween stickers.
Pre-cut out pumpkin shapes using the orange construction paper and have your toddler decorate them with the stickers. Once completed you can either tape them onto a string or place them around the table for decoration. Another neat idea is to save this activity for the day of your party and have all children attending do this as an arts and craft activity.
- Thank you favors
Material Needed: Brown paper bags, pain (Halloween colors: Orange and Black) or stickers, ribbon and Halloween candy.
This activity is simple but also a great way to personalize thank you gifts for your guests. Together with your toddler decorate the paper bags and if you use paint make sure to let them dry. Once there are all spooktacular, have your toddler fill them half way with Halloween candy. To close the bags use the ribbon you have, but have your little one hold the top of the bag. Remember to get your little one to hand out the favors before your guests leave.
- Itsy Bitsy Spider
Material Needed: Regular paper or Orange construction paper, Black paint, Paint brush, Googly eyes and liquid glue.
As much as I don’t like spiders this one is just too cute not to do. Make sure you have a good size working space. I always recommend to wear an apron or old clothes when working with paint. On your toddler’s right hand add the black paint with the brush until their hand is all covered. Then hand over hand place it onto the paper horizontally. Do the same thing with their left hand, however, the palm is going to overlap the other palm print, leaving the fingers on the left hand face out the other way. Once dry, add a small circle of glue down where you want the eyes to go. Then hand over hand help your toddler place the eyes on the spider.
- Pretty candle holder
Material Needed: Clear candle holder, Orange tissue paper, Paint brush, and Liquid glue.
Pre-cut some square shapes out of the orange tissue papers and place them beside your toddler. Hand over hand, guide your toddler to add some glue with the paint brush onto the candle holder and have them place a square piece of tissue paper over the area. Complete this process until it is all covered and do a second coat. Once dry, you can add a candle the day of or a tea light, it will glow orange.
Material Needed: White construction paper, Scissors (for you of course), Googly eyes, Toilet paper, Paint brush and Liquid glue.
This activity is super fun because it allows your toddler to play with toilet paper and not get in trouble for it. With white construction paper draw and cut out your mummies. Have some toilet paper aside and have your toddler tear it up into smaller pieces. With hand over hand, guide them with the brush to add some liquid glue onto the mummy and encourage them to add some toilet paper pieces on top of that area. Once the mummy is all covered you can add some googly eyes and maybe a smile.
- Halloween cups
Material Needed: Clear plastic drinking cups, Paint, Paint brushes, Googly eyes and Liquid glue.
Together with your toddler paint the cups but not all the way to the rim. You want to leave a good amount of space for your guests to drink from. You can paint one with orange paint to create a pumpkin, white for a ghost, and green to create a Frankenstein or a Witch. Once your cups are dry, help your toddler glue on the eyes and create the rest of the face. You can google some pictures that you can use to paint on some detailed designs yourself and it will also be great to show your toddler what you are creating.
- Spider Webs
Materials needed: Popsicle sticks, String, Cotton balls, Liquid glue, Hot glue gun (for you of course) and a Fake spider.
Starting this activity does require you to do the work and have your toddler observe. With the hot glue gun, assemble the Popsicle sticks in a web looking shape. To do that, overlap and glue two Popsicle sticks together making an X shape. Then glue on another two until it looks like a star shape. Together with your toddler use the liquid glue to stick the white string onto the Popsicle sticks going in a circle. Once it is dried, add some glue on top of the string and have your toddler tear apart the cotton balls and adding it on top of the glued areas. Continue this step until you both have reached your desired look. Finally with the hot glue gun add the fake spider. You can hang these around using some more string or they can be placed around the table. If you do not want to add the fake spider then you can use them as coasters.
- Boney friends
Materials Needed: Black construction paper, White paint, Googly eyes, Paint brush, Liquid glue and Q-Tips.
With hand over hand guide and paint a skeleton face with your toddler on the black construction paper. Once it dries glue down the eyes. Then hand over hand guide and add some glue to the black paper and have your toddler place the Q-Tips where they want it to be. It doesn’t have to be perfect as the finish product can look like the skeleton is broken into many pieces.
- Oh my Bats!
Materials Needed: Empty toilet paper roll, Black paint, Paint brush, Googly eyes, Black construction paper, Tape or Liquid glue.
This is a very cute activity to do with your toddler. First trace your toddler’s hands onto the black construction paper and cut them out. Then together paint the empty toilet paper roll and let it sit to dry. Once it is dried, tape or glue the hand prints onto the painted toilet paper roll to be the bat’s wings. Glue the googly eyes with your toddler and create the mouth with a different colored paint or construction paper.
There are hundreds of other simple and fun Halloween art activities you can find on Google to do with toddlers, if none of these appeal to you. Overall, plan your activities around your toddler’s interest. Remember the simpler the better as toddlers do not have a long attention span and can lose interest easily. Your creative decorations will not only be a conversation starter but it’s a personal touch to your Halloween party.
Until next time…. Happy Spooking!
About the Author
Karen Braga graduated from Sheridan College with an Early Childhood Education Diploma. She worked with children for about five years before expanding her skills in Administration. Karen is a loving Godmother/Auntie to one. Karen is passionate and knowledgeable about Halloween. Combined with her ECE background and passion on Halloween, she has recently become an expert writer on the topic for mom blogger, Momma Braga. Karen hopes by sharing her knowledge, tips and tricks, she can help families enjoy this holiday.