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Toddler Celebrations: Halloween


Candy Sort: If you take your child trick-or-treating, sort the candy that he receives.  Try finding candy that matches (2 Snickers bars, for example), or sort by color (all the blue-wrapped candies in one pile, orange ones in another) or size (big candy v. small candy).

Pick your own pumpkins at a local patch.  Visit Pumpkin Patches and More to find one in your area.

Build a Jack-O'-Lantern face.  Cut a pumpkin shape from orange construction paper, then laminate it or cover it with clear contact paper. Cut jack-o'-lantern face parts--eyes, a nose, and a mouth--from sticky-backed black craft foam. Your toddler can place them on the pumpkin, then peel them off and do it again. You might want to cut a variety of face pieces, so he can pick which ones to use each time.

Make a virtual Jack-O'-Lantern. Family Education's website offers an interactive Jack-O-Lantern Creator that you and your toddler can work on together.


Halloween Playdough: Celebrate Halloween with orange playdough.  Work together with your toddler to shape pumpkins out of the dough, or help her cut out pumpkins with cookie cutters.

Paper Jack-o-Lanterns: Make a pumpkin cutout from orange paper.  Give your child small black paper shapes, such as squares, triangles, and hearts, that he can glue to the pumpkin to make a face.  Don't worry if his design doesn't actually look like a face, though.

Big Pumpkin: Cut out a pumpkin shape from a large sheet of paper and let your child paint on it with orange paint.  You could add black shapes to it afterward, as in the above activity.  Also, make shape stamps out of sponges and let your child use the stamps and black paint to make a "face" on the pumpkin.

Paint-a-Pumpkin: Buy an extra small pumpkin for your toddler and let her paint on it with her fingers or brushes.  Be prepared for this to be a messy, but fun, activity.

Halloween Coloring: Visit PapaJan.com for a variety of Halloween coloring sheets.

Pumpkin Plate Pouch: For this activity, you'll need to color/paint orange the bottom of two paper plates.  Cut off the top 1/4 or so of each plate with a straight line.  Help your child decorate a jack-o-lantern face on each plate.  Staple the two plates together, so the cut tops match up, and the faces are facing out.  Attach a string, so your child can carry the pouch and collect treasures or candy in it.

Pumpkin Plate Shaker: Decorate two paper plates as above in the Pumpkin Plate Pouch activity, but skip the step about cutting off 1/4 of each plate.  Staple the plates together, but before you finish stapling all the way around, fill the shaker with unpopped popcorn, then finish stapling.  (Please staple thoroughly and supervise your child closely with the shaker, so the popcorn kernels don't escape and get eaten by your curious child.)

Black Spider: Cut a circle shape and 8 rectangular legs from black construction paper. Cut two white circular eyes and use a marker to draw pupils on them. Help your child glue the legs and the eyes onto the circle to make a spider.


Halloween Grahams: Tint frosting orange using food coloring.  Let your toddler spread it on graham crackers.  If you're feeling particularly brave, help him use black decorator gel or icing to make faces on the crackers.

Orange Jello: Orange-flavored Jello is a good Halloween treat, and it's not quite as sugary as candy. You could even make Jello Jigglers and cut them into shapes with Halloween cookie cutters.


What a Scare, Jesse Bear, by Nancy White Carlstrom

Halloween Mice!, by Bethany Roberts

It's Pumpkin Time, by Zoe Hall

Pumpkins, by Ken Robbins

Spot's Halloween, by Eric Hill

Max's Halloween, by Rosemary Wells

Where is Baby's Pumpkin? by Karen Katz

Touch and Feel Halloween, from DK Publishing

The Pumpkin Patch Parable, by Liz Curtis Higgs

My Pumpkin's Gospel Story, from Standard Publishing

Halloween--What a Treat! by Lisa Ann Marsoli