Have you started getting ready for Halloween? Otto (5yrs) is really looking forward to Halloween and has been asking for all the Halloween arts and crafts. Around the five-year-old point, I find my children really get into the scary and spooky side of Halloween. Here are a few activities we've tried so far. Most of these activities are suitable for children 3-5 years.
Scratch paper bats - my children love scratch paper; it's a great 'quiet' activity, we often use scratch paper when travelling, and we have it in our busy bag that Otto takes when waiting at his brothers' training. Scratch paper of any kind is good, but these bat shapes are fun for Halloween and look fantastic displayed on the wall or on doors with a bit of blu-tack. 🦇🦇
Scratch paper is easy and fun to use and helps to develop fine motor skills.
Painting wooden sign - using a Happy Halloween sign (AU). We've picked up lots of little wooden signs and decorations to paint. These are fun and easy, and we can use them for decorations for years to come. It's empowering for the children to make some of their own decorations; they can put them in their own rooms to decorate for Halloween.
Otto ended up using a finer brush (as pictured above) for this work. If he doesn't like what is on the tray, like paint colours or the paintbrush, it's easy to swap it over. When I get an art kit like this that contains its own paints, I will keep the paints for playdates or when we are travelling.
Hole punch decorations - using a circle hole punch and Halloween paper. We have lots of hole punches (so I don't want to order more), but we don't have any with a Halloween theme. So we are making paper circles.
The circles can be sewn together to make a Halloween-themed garland, or we can use them as table scatters. Using the hole punch to make lots of circles helps to develop hand and arm strength.
Halloween stencils - I've written many times about how we like to use stencils for pre-writers; it helps to develop fine motor skills and creativity.
Children can use plastic stencils like this with paint, pencils or markers. Otto likes the Pip Squeak markers best at the moment as he can independently get the caps on and off; some of our other markers have tough/tight caps to get on/off.
There is some storytelling going on here with the haunted house and ghosts.
Star hole punching - using simple star hole punches and coloured card. We already had these materials at home, and the cut-out stars will look cute as Halloween table scatters.
Lots of star hole punching = strengthening hand and arm muscles.
Threading bead spiders - this is more of a craft than a process art activity, but threading all of those beads is good for developing fine motor skills and concentration. I made the spiders, although an older child could do that part too.
To make the spiders, I used pom poms and pipe cleaners. Everything we needed is in this Halloween spider kit (UK). Although black pom poms, black pipe cleaners and small beads can be found in craft and stationery stores.
My children threaded all of the beads onto the spider legs to make the spider legs all patterny and stripy.
We can take the beads off and do the threading over and over. Without or without the beads, these spiders are fun handmade Halloween decorations.
Painting wooden decorations - using small wooden Halloween decorations (AU). Similar here (US) and here (UK). These are affordable enough that if you were doing this with a group of children, each could take home their own decorations.
Like in previous years, we will paint a large branch with black paint and hang our Halloween decorations from it.
Drawing with Halloween crayons - this is a simple drawing tray, and the crayons add a fun Halloween element.
We have already done more Halloween arts and crafts to share next week. You can see the Halloween activities we tried last year here, including painting paper mache pumpkins and Halloween playdough...
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