Halloween is coming up very soon, and Watch Me Grow would like to introduce some fun and spooky activities and crafts you can do with your child! From classics like bobbing for apples, to more contemporary fare such as a scary movie marathon, you can add some variation to the routine Halloween celebration.

Some of these projects will require a good bit of preparation, so make sure you have enough time to get them started and finished successfully.

Spook Your Neighbors

Have your children participate in a little bit of arts and crafts by stuffing goodie bags with candy, spooky toys, and other seasonal treats. When the bags are full, leave them on your neighbors’ doorsteps as a nice Halloween gift. For added fun, ask your neighbors to get involved by having their kids make goodie bags for the neighborhood too!

You can take this one an extra step by hand-crafting the goodie bags with Halloween decorations and designs.

Bob For Apples (Or Doughnuts)

Traditionally a fortune-telling method, bobbing for apples has morphed into a game where the winner is the one to grab the most apples with their mouth.

Unfortunately, the biggest downside to bobbing for apples is germs — since multiple kids will be dunking their heads in and out of a water-filled tub, the possibility for sickness to transfer from one child to another may be high. If you’re worried about germs being transferred from participant to participant, you can set up a “bobbing for doughnuts” activity instead: use string to tie donuts to a tree branch, assign each participant a doughnut, and have them compete by seeing who can eat their doughnut the fastest without using their hands.

Turn Your Home Into A Haunted House

Although this one takes a bit of preparation, it’ll be worth it when you see the reaction it will get from the kids! Plan it for your own family, or throw a haunted house party for all your neighbors!

Decorate your home with all the Halloween decorations you can get your hands on: streamers, banners, orange string lights, fake cobwebs, styrofoam tombstones, and other items can all be found at arts-and-crafts stores and department stores. Get the rest of your family involved in the roleplay by having them dress up in costumes that will fit the theme of the haunted house — if you’re going for a traditional look, have them wear ghost, witch, and zombie costumes. 

You don’t necessarily need a theme, but picking one will help you focus on what kind of supplies and decorations you’ll need for the project. In addition, letting kids know what the theme is going to be will allow them to dress accordingly, making your haunted house even more interactive. Among the many themes you can choose from:

  • Traditional haunted house
  • Haunted spaceship
  • Ghostly graveyard
  • Witches hideout
  • Zombie pirate ship
  • Classic monster mash

If you’re planning on opening your haunted house to your neighborhood, make sure to schedule it before the kids go out trick or treating — a tour of a spooky fantasy location is always a good way to get them even more excited about going house-to-house to stock up on candy.

Pumpkin Painting

Instead of taking the more conventional route this year and carving pumpkins with your child, grab some brushes, towels, and non-toxic pigments, and let the kids paint some scary ghosts and skeletons on their gourd of choice. Not only can you avoid handing potentially dangerous knives and carving implements to youngsters, but pumpking painting is a good way to let your child experience their creativity during an especially inspirational holiday.

If you’re looking to impress your neighbors with your painted pumpkins, choose neon or glow-in-the-dark paints that will have trick-or-treaters on your front porch gasping in wonder.

Have A Scary Movie Marathon

Everybody likes getting spooked, especially when it comes to Halloween movies! Schedule a scary movie marathon for your child and their friends. Make it a weekend marathon if you want your entire family to participate, or choose a selection of some kid-friendly scary movies to play over the course of several nights. You could take it even farther and have a movie for every day of the month!

If you’re worried about which movies will be appropriate for your child, don’t worry — Redbook has a handy guide to family-friendly Halloween movies that will give you some great examples. Also check out what’s available from internet streaming services like Hulu or Netflix.

Visit A Pumpkin Patch

Instead of hitting the grocery store for your pumpkins this year, take your child to a pumpkin patch and have them select the biggest pumpkin they can carry home.

Since pumpkin patches are a tradition in the United States, especially in more rural locations, you shouldn’t have a problem finding one in your area. In bigger cities, the lack of pumpkin farms is often made up for by specialty companies that set up themed pumpkin patches, complete with props, lighting, and costumed participants.

Start A Scary Scavenger Hunt

Nothing gets young minds going like a scavenger hunt! This one can involve your own children and their friends, or you can get together and plan it with your neighbors to make it even bigger. 

Make up a checklist of items that are relatively easy for younger children to find, and make sure they’re all related to Halloween. They can be items you place around the house yourself, or they can be items that can be found in and around your neighborhood. You can put things on your list like:

  • A plastic skeleton
  • A mask
  • Glow-in-the dark teeth
  • A fake bat
  • An inflatable decoration
  • A witch’s hat
  • A black cat

Encourage your child to find as many things as possible on the list within a limited time frame. The winner is the one who finds the most items!

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