Finding fun spooky games to play that won’t scare the pants of little guys is not always a simple task . This game is simple, spooky but not at all frightening. As I was making it I wasn’t so sure of how we’d play but the rules evolved and we’ve been playing it all weekend . The giggles were epic and the only screams were when I forgot the spiders are fake and walked into the living room and saw them on the floor. This activity works on balance , problem solving and can be adapted for various levels.
- Gather your materials. You will need some painters tape, plastic spiders, a prize for the end like a glow stick and if the simple version ( explained below) is too easy have some other obstacles like these ghosts ready to make it a challenge.
- Start by making a web with tape on your floor. You can do a full web or if like me space is limited just do a half.
- Make an obvious start and finish. We call our finish home base.
- Add some spiders around the web and the prize ( glowstick) in the center. After the first go I let my son scatter the spiders himself.
- Time to play. So the object of this web walking game is to stay on the web and pick up all the spiders then the prize ( glow stick) without falling off the web . Now this can be made very difficult by requiring tippy toes or much easier by only counting a fall onto the floor as a true fall. For us he was out and had to start again if he took a step off the tape.
- It was not a big enough challenge so we added ghosts! He could step over them but if his foot touched one he was out. Another way to make it much more of a challenge for older kids is to turn it into a timed challenge with a stop watch.
- When he did step off I’d make a cackling witchy laugh and proclaim ” You fell into the goo, ew, ew, ew ! ” He’d laugh and start again
Spooky … a little but definitely not scary! I think this game will be coming out every October for years to come.
You may know the song ” One Elephant” This is a Halloween version that fits this activity perfectly. In my class I used to sing this with me starting at one side of the circle time rug calling each child over. My assistant teacher would be last. I have had so many requests for songs, I couldn’t ignore this perfect match of song and activity.
One little ghost went out to play upon a spider’s web one day
He had such enormous fun that he called for another little ghost to come.
Two little ghosts went out to play upon a spider’s web one day
They had such enormous fun that they called for another little ghost to come.
and so on and so on…
I don’t often have time to craft on my own but when I saw these net bath bands at the dollar store I knew they would make a totally cute Halloween wreath for my porch. When I saw the flower hair elastics I was giddy with anticipation. After the wreath was done and I’d only burned one finger I was so pleased with how it looked so even though it’s not the regular post , I hope it’s still useful!
- Gather your materials. You will need 3 orange net bath bands, a 13′ willow wreath , 3 flower hair elastics , scissors and hot glue.
- Cut the ties off.
- Glue the bath bands to the wreath , be careful the ruffles are mesh so the hot glue can seep through and scortch you. I of course learned the hard way. Also don’t worry about it if things aren’t even at first, go back over and glue those spots down.
- Cut the elastics from the flowers.
- Glue on.
- Hang up to add a girly touch to your spooky porch.
Not bad for $7 !
Want to make a Halloween wreath with your kids? Check out this one we made last Halloween.
I noticed on Pinterest a comment on a pin of my Sensory Tub from Halloween 2010. The commentor noted that I use the same container ( usually yes) and just store the contents in ziplocks ( yes again I have close to 20 bags). That comment sparked this post. My son had been asking for a Halloween sensory tub since we bought the bouncy ball eyeballs a few weeks ago. My goal was to make one that both he and his baby sister ( 15 months) could use. This is what we did.
- Gather your materials. I grabbed my Halloween Sensory Tub contents from 2009 and 2010 – which included black beans, white beans, orange lentils for the fill. Then sticky skelletons, plastic spiders and other bugs, bouncy ball eyeballs , a few pumpkin containers , a scoop and some tongs. Do not feel like you need to have all of this! My main goal is to show that you can mix two old ones to make a new one.
- For the toddler version I started by putting in the dried beans and lentils. Then chose only the large plastic bugs and pumpkin containers.
- You may notice she is on a small rug. If you are doing this on the floor a carpeted floor works the best, the beans don’t skatter as far.
- Encourage them to keep the beans in , but please don’t scold. If spilling makes you angry just skip this activity all together. Gently show toddlers how to keep it in but until children have lots of experience with sensory tubs use only positive guidance. Anger will confuse them and halt any play and learning that was happening.
- Feel free to have them put beans back in though !
- Into the pumpkin!
- Now for older kids add the as my son calls it ” good stuff!” We did this when my daughter was daddy so it wouldn’t be unfair for her to see her brother playing but be told she can’t.
- I challenged him to pick up the balls with the tongs – it was tricky!
- He decided to pick out all the skelletons.
- Then he decided to create a skelleton world on the playroom floor, and the eye balls were bombs? Something like that. He asked if he could play it for his quiet time. Ummm yeah! I love how fun mama directed activities almost always lead to something for him to explore and lead himself.
When I stored this sensory tub I used 2 ziplocks, and picked out all the big kids stuff into one, the toddler safe in the other and store them next to eachother for fast fun for either kid.
** Please remember that it’s your job to know what is safe for your child and what your child is ready for . All activities require adult supervision. **
No I am not suggesting your kids paint their eyeballs, but rather paint WITH eyeballs ( or balls that look like eyeballs). This is a simple and fast activity that is perfect for the goulish , gross out season upon us without being too icky for more squeamish kids. Be mindful of doing this with kids who are still putting things in their mouths, opt for bigger balls for them, if it can fit in their mouth get a new ball that can’t.
- Gather your materials. You will need some liquid paint in your kiddo’s favorite colors ( this is also a great color mixing activity if you want to throw a lesson in to it), some eyeball bouncy balls ( found in Halloween section of 3 big box stores I have been to), paper and a box or container.
- Pop the paper in.
- Pour in the paint
- Add the eye balls – we added a bunch at a time!
- Paint! Roll the eyeballs around in the box and watch them paint.
- We added more paper after the first one and rolled off the excess paint, I like this painting better!
Two Scary Books
Twelve Terrible Things by Marty Kelley is horrifying to me, yet my son loves this book. He must have slipped it in our library bag because I have no recollection of choosing this book, and I didn’t pre read it when we got home. By then it was too late, my son was hooked on the dark humor this book delivers. The book offers up 12 terrible things, like a scary clown, a goldfish on it’s way down the toilet and monsters under the bed . The illustrations are all from the reader’s view point so the scary things are looking right at you! I am easily scared , I can’t watch horror film trailers without getting nightmares. I screamed twice reading this , my son just wanted “more more!” . I really don’t recommend this book for young kids although some older ones who like scary things will love it.
The Book That Eats People by John Perry makes me laugh hysterically , so hard it was hard at times to read the words but it’s really really gruesome. This is not a book for kids that are squeamish, prone to imaginative nightmares or anxiety about death. That said if your child can handle a little funny horror, they will love this book. The story follows this human eating book as it wreaks havoc and gobbles people up! I beg parents to pre read this because it may be hilarious to me and my macabre little man but it may seriously frighten your child.
I have a slight obsession with dry erase these days. It makes sense though, dry erase projects allow children independence and a less frustrating experience if they are unhappy with what the’ve written or drawn. For our house this is a godsend. My son is a reluctant drawer and writer. He will look at me and say ” I’ll just do abstract!” and part of that is because he is also a perfectionist and it’s frustrating when things aren’t as neat as he wants them to be. The dry erase helps him explore in abstract or not.
- Gather your materials. You will need some orange and green card stock, a hard piece of cardboard or canvas , scissors and some clear contact paper.
- Start by drawing a basic pumpkin shape on your orange paper.
- Cut it and a green stem out and place on your canvas. cardboard.
- Cover with clear contact paper.
- Create! I made the faces to show readers all the possibilities for teaching about emotion with this craft .
- My son just created , ths tricky thing about dry erase is his creations were gone before I could get pictures!
Pumpkin Eye by Denise Fleming is a wonderful Halloween book for kids who are old enough to feel like Halloween is a spooky night, but still too young for anything graphically frightening. The text is short but rhymes beautifully and grabs your child’s attention almost as effectively as the illustrations do. The story is all about Halloween night and the sights and sounds on one street as the night goes on. Both my kids have been grabbing for this book off our shelf when I ask which book they want to read . If it can be a favorite for an almost 5 year old boy and a 15 month old girl I say it will probably be a hit at your house too.
Big Pumpkin by Erica Silverman is a staple in most preschool classrooms. It’s a cute story about a witch who is desperate for pumpkin pie but her giant pumpkin is too big for her to pick up! Luckily she enlists the help of a ghost, vampire, mummy and bat and with a little teamwork they save the night! The rhyming text is almost like a song and kids love it! It’s possibly my son’s favorite Halloween book and I love that it’s the smallest creature who uses it’s brain not brawn to solve the problem.
Patty’s Pumpkin Patch by Teri Sloat is a great alphabet book and story in one. Readers follow a pumpkin patch from planting the seeds until after Halloween when they gather the seeds for the next planting. I really like how this book combines an alphabet book with both upper and lowercase letters corresponding to some animal or insect in the story . I also like the easy rhythm of the rhyming text and the engaging and detailed illustrations . All in all I think this is a great fall book!