Frightfully Fun Halloween Activities

Fabulous Halloween activities to explore with your little ones created by Leanne of @b.a.b.y.b.r.a.i.n., an early years specialist with over 15 years experience.

I (Bethan at Little Devon) have included some links of where you are able to buy the things, or very similar things, you need to set up the activities. I will always choose items i have used and liked and always try to find the best value. Some of these links are affiliate links. The affiliate link means I might earn a really teeny amount if you click through and then buy the product within a certain timeframe. It has absolutely no effect on the price you pay, but it will help me to keep creating great content for you to enjoy. Thank you so much for supporting me.

A little more about Leanne:

Hi, I’m Leanne. I live close to Axminster with my husband, daughter, Florence and our crazy Spinger Spaniel, Indie. We love to explore and our favourite place to be is the beach! I’m an early years specialist with over 15 years experience. I’ve spent most of my career teaching but in the latter years I’ve been a head teacher and I now freelance as an early years consultant. My absolute passion is providing stimulating and enabling environments. In the early years world this is called ‘provision’. As such, when I was on maternity leave, I started my own Instagram page. I needed a focus and a creative outlet. I really miss setting up my classroom and I now spend time sourcing and creating little activities for Florence. My aim has always been to ensure that it can be easily replicated at home, by parents. Lots of my inspiration comes from Florence’s interests and of course, social media. If I can help inspire parents to have a go at setting up a simple play activity then I’m happy. Let’s face it, if it gives us five minutes peace to have a cuppa then it’s worth it! 

For ideas of how you can keep your little one busy at home take a look on Instagram: @b.a.b.y.b.r.a.i.n.

Pumpkin Playdough

You will need;

This is a great sensory activity which really helps children to develop their fine motor control. Manipulating playdough is a great activity to help children build strength in their fingers before they learn to write. Plus, this enables children to be creative and make their own representations. Tip: you’ll need a lot of food dye to get a good orange colour and wear gloves so you don’t dye your hands!

Pumpkin Printing

You will need;

This helps children to develop their creative skills and learn how to make different marks depending on the tools they use. Whether they choose to cut out shapes to make faces or add googly eyes it’s up to the child to create their own pumpkins! Cutting card and picking up and placing the googly eyes also develop fine motor control skills.

Sensory Spiders

You will need;

  • tuff tray or any sized tray (Bethan: If you’re thinking of getting one then i recommend buying one with a foldable stand. As the children get older, they enjoy standing to play and the stand costs just as much as the tray and the stand cost together. I’m regretting not buying them together!)
  • shaving foam
  • plastic spiders/bugs

A great sensory experience and lots of fun! Sensory play encourages learning through exploration, curiosity, problem solving and creativity. It helps to build nerve connections in the brain and encourages the development of language and motor skills. Tip: put your child in full waterproofs if you’re using a tuff tray. Florence got in a went to town with this! Be careful not to let your child stand up as they may slip.

Pumpkin tees

You will need;

  • pumpkin
  • golf tees
  • hammer (risk assess according to your child’s age. Younger children may require a plastic hammer)

A fun activity to develop hand-eye coordination. This will also help children to develop strength in their arms and hands as they work out how much pressure to apply (depending on the size and weight of the hammer). This was a real hit with Florence because she was aware that she was using a ‘real’ hammer. Supervise with caution if your child starts to hold the tee and tap with the other hand- a little health and safety lesson there too!

Bugs Galore!

You will need;

  • tray
  • rice
  • black food colouring (to die the rice)
  • scoops
  • plastic bugs
  • bowls

A super simple set up to encourage children to use their developing gross and fine motor control to transfer, scoop and pour. This type of activity can also support mathematical development if your child starts to sort the bugs or fill and empty bowls- ‘full’, ’empty’, ‘half full’ etc. This provides lots of conversation starters and opportunities to develop vocabulary. Think about the names of the bugs, their colours and what they look like.

Boo-tiful Ghosts

You will need;

  • tray
  • rice
  • black food colouring (to die the rice)
  • plastic cups
  • permanent pens/chalks pens
  • plastic spiders
  • plastic bats

Another activity to develop gross and fine motor control to transfer, scoop and pour. This type of activity can also support mathematical development if your child starts to fill the cups to different levels. Talk to your child about whether the cup is ’empty’, ‘half full’ or ‘full’ for example. This activity also promoted discussion about the ghost’s facial expression and the sound they may make. It also struck me that it’s really tricky to explain the concept of a ghost to a three year old!

A word from Bethan

I absolutely love sensory activities. There’s something quite satisfying about sitting down and pouring rice from cup to cup. However, and this is a biggy that has taken me a while to learn, and I’m sure Leanne will agree with me: the children won’t play with it how you expect them to and that is ok. Try not to tell them ‘this is how to play’. Instead let them explore (yes a lot will go on the floor, but they love using the hoover or a dust pan and brush) and they will find the sensory experience fun and enriching. (Also it won’t look like Leanne’s lovely pictures 0.34 seconds after the children have been anywhere near it! ) Mostly, do not worry and have fun together.

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