Play & learning Halloween activities for the spookiest time of the year.

Halloween is here! And for many kids, trick-or-treating is a yearly tradition, along with dressing up and carving pumpkins. But sometimes the weather can keep us inside, even on October 31. Because of bad weather, unforeseen circumstances, living far away from others or too few neighbors participating, many families opt to stay in. If you are feeling the spooky holiday spirit but also want to stay inside, you can still celebrate. Kids can have a blast without spending a lot of money and learn big lessons too!

We double dare you to try any or all of the following spooky ideas for kids:


Out of olives, maraschinos or mayo? Recycle the empty jar and turn it into a shaky shocker! Fill your jars with a monster’s favorite snacks: pebbles, pennies or popcorn kernels — anything that is hard to crunch and low on the flavor scale! After you are done collecting your sound making snacks, shake your monster maracas. Now, you can call up a monster when you need them or tell them to go away when you are scared.

Be sure to avoid exposing little ones to choking hazards.


You have two great options for a fun cauldron brew recipe:

  • Icky-sticky style — Get out an old pot or bucket. Then, find creepy slimy things to fill it up: dead leaves, mud from the yard, little branches and a worm! After you fill up your pot or bucket, find a long stick to stir your brew.
  • Tasty style — Sherbet and fruit never looked more monstrous than in this most excellent brew! In a large pitcher add sherbet and a variety of fruit textures: slimy, sticky, gooey and bumpy. Now, find a big spoon and slurp up your brew. It’s probably the tastiest monster brew in Indiana.


If you made your monster maracas already, great! If not, you can dance the day away anyway to some FrankenTunes. Alone, with family or with your friends. Ask a grown up to pick you up and spin you. And if they are too tired to lift and spin, twirl around them and say “I got you boo.” Dance to “Monster Mash” by Bobby Pickett or sing “If You’re a Monster and You Know It.” Other monster songs include “The Purple People Eater” by Sheb Wooley, “Monster Boogie” by Laurie Berkner Band and “Calling All the Monsters” by China Anne McClain. Click here for more Frankenstein-themed activities.


Make a list of weird yard objects and creatures and then pop on your outdoor gear and find each item on your list. Ants, moths, old bark, big worms and leaves with interesting shapes. Sticks and dried up flowers can go on your list too — anything interesting can be fun to search for!


Make your own monster portrait! If your child can use scissors, work together to draw circles, triangles, squares and other shapes on old magazines or construction paper. Then, practice cutting skills and set your shapes aside. Is your child too little for scissors? Cut the shapes for them. Lastly, after you have all your shapes, use them to make monster faces on a sheet of paper.


What kid doesn’t like a good batch of slime? Spice up the science experiment you already love and try Teaching Mama’s fluffy pumpkin spice slime! Click here for recipe.


One pumpkin, white vinegar, baking soda and dish soap. These are the ingredients for the bubbliest science experiment of the season. Get the full scoop at Little Bins For Little Hands.


Make a pile of old clothes and accessories in a separate room, closet or bathroom. If you have face paint or makeup you want to share, throw it in the pile too. Now, take turns going into the room and coming out to show your improvised costume. See who can come up with the spookiest, silliest or most creative costume ideas.


Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Fuji, Granny Smith. Apples come in many flavors, sizes and colors! For your next trip to the grocery, pick more than one kind of apple. Turn it into a game: “Can you pick five red apples with different stickers?” At home, cut the apples into slices and put the apple stickers on a paper. Come up with your own words to describe the differences in how they taste and feel. “Which apple did you like the most?”


Use your old Halloween pumpkin for science! Playing doctor is all about process and exploring. Cut open a pumpkin. Then, let your toddler scoop up the guts and remove the seeds from the flesh and other parts. Try carving pieces out of one or more pumpkins, and have your toddler figure out what piece goes where. Need a friendlier name for this activity? Call it a pumpkin puzzle.

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