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Monday, October 24, 2016

Halloween play ideas for toddlers and preschoolers

Isn't it funny how much difference a year can make? Last year I wrote about how I dislike Halloween and have no intentions of embracing it and yet this past week I've been actively coming up with Halloween themed play ideas for my toddler. I know, what the?

While I may have slowly started embracing Halloween in small doses, I still don't agree with the overall concept. I still dislike the idea of trick or treating, I'm still petrified of people dressed up as ghosts, witches, zombies and clowns {especially this year with the crazy clown situation} and I'm still terrified of most things horror related, so it's really still not my cup of tea. But, I'm a realist and the fact is it's gaining popularity every year here in Australia, so she will be exposed to it more and more as the years go on. So I've decided to introduce it to her in an age appropriate and fun way by incorporating Halloween themed activities into our daily play. These are some of the fun activities we've tried and how you can put them together for your own kids.

Please note some activities involve small parts and are not suitable for children under 3yrs of age and should always be done under adult supervision.
Halloween sensory play ideas for toddlers and preschoolers


Halloween cous cous and creepy crawly sensory tub for toddlers

We're huge fans of sensory tubs here, so it's no surprise that I put together a Halloween one. I found some cheap plastic rats, bats and spiders as well as some chocolate eyeballs and pumpkins to use with some couscous. It would also be great with orange or black dyed rice, beans or spaghetti. I added in some tweezers and handy scoopers for some added fine motor skills while playing.


Halloween spooky jelly

I love using all sorts of food for sensory play and lately we've started experimenting with jelly play a lot more. Bub loves it because she can help to make it as well as play with at the end, and of course its edible so she can eat it too. We put together a really simple spooky jelly with some orange jelly, snake, teeth and mouth lollies. You could probably find more spooky lollies in special Halloween lolly packs, but we just grabbed some normal lollies from the supermarket in our weekly shop, so this is as spooky as it got. Add the lollies when the jelly has cooled, but is still relatively liquid if you want them to fall down into the jelly {we added them too late so they sat on the top, but apparently still tasted just as good}.


Spooky witches potion

For a super quick play activity that will keep the kids entertained for hours, grab a plastic Halloween container {we used an old jack-o-lantern container from last year} and make some witches soup. Simply fill the container with water and various plastic Halloween themed critters, we used bats, rats, spiders, snakes and a few bugs. If you don't have a Halloween themed container you could always use a plastic tub and dye the water orange with a few drops of food colouring. Add extra cups, spoons, tweezers or tongs to extend the play.


Twinkly halloween printable phonics game

For a break from the sensory play and to add in some more educational learning, keep the kids entertained with these cool Halloween phonics printables from Twinkl. We printed and laminated them and then she used pegs to mark the correct letters. You could also use clear glass pebbles or simply circle the letter. For more fun themed activities search Halloween on Twinkl for printable colouring in pages, games, puzzles and paper models.

For even more Halloween themed activities visit my Halloween pinterest board and if you want more everyday play and learning activities for toddlers visit my Instagram feed.

Happy Halloween everyone!

Toni x

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Would you like to comment?

  1. Love the spooky jelly! My son would love making this, and it would be pretty straight-forward, too. Cool idea :) #MummyMondays

    1. It's so simple to make literally jelly + lollies on top :)

  2. Replies
    1. I'm learning to love aspects of it ;) Not sure how I'll go when she starts wanting to do trick or treating.

  3. You certainly have embraced this theme is a meaningful play way T! Thank you for linking up and the shout out for Life This Week, I really appreciate it! Denyse

    1. It's funny I only decided to start doing Halloween play last Friday and by Sunday we had done all of these. May have got a little obsessed ;)

  4. Cool ideas there Toni. I've also been on record as a Halloween Grinch but this year I'm taking the kids trick or treating for the first in a neighbourhood walk. What has become of us?????

    1. I know who even are we??? I'm thinking if we do eventually do trick or treating I'll take her to one of the organised ones at a shopping centre.

  5. Some great ideas - will flag this with one of my friends who has a youngster. Am sure he'll love this!

  6. I love these ideas, my girls would love the jelly! I love taking the kids out for Halloween, it's a happy community event for us! We are staying home this year and having the hoards coming to us, I am hoping we have enough for everyone :)

    I am now thinking jelly cups with lollies in them may be a good halloween treat for our trick or treaters! First in first serve!

    1. I totally would've done jelly cups if we'd had plastic cups at home. They'll love it :)

  7. Thanks for the awesome review on Twinkl. We love all the ideas for Halloween this year. Lovely!