It’s October, and that can mean only one thing: Halloween is right around the corner! So, you have the whole month ahead of you to get into the spirit of the holiday with your kids. But so much of Halloween is scary! What’s a toddler to do? Don’t worry – we have you covered with our list of 13 toddler-friendly Halloween must-dos.
Trick or Treat
Ok. This one is obvious, so we’ll get it out of the way quick, fast, and in a hurry. Take the kiddos out Trick or Treating. We suggest going out on the earlier side of the night so it’s still light, not as crowded, and likely not as “scary” with the teenagers and their realistic costumes. Go out, get the toddler dressed to the nines as their favorite scientist or philosopher, and collect that candy. Just make sure your kid knows to that the taxman cometh and they’re likely to make a dent in the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups account.
Pick a Pumpkin from the Patch
Another obvious one that we’re certain you never thought of. What could be number one on the list of toddler-friendly Halloween activities moves to #2 behind Trick or Treating only because we sometimes forget there is a pumpkin patch less than a mile from us. We honestly have no excuse. So get up and hit the farm, and maybe even grab a hay ride while you’re there. The pumpkins will certainly be cheaper and better than the grocery store, plus: you’re helping out the neighborhood farmers!
Decorate those Pumpkins!
Painting, drawing, carving. All three are great. All three have their perks. And all three certainly can get messy. We vote going with the messiest version because nothing says toddler-friendly Halloween like cracking open a huge pumpkin and letting the guts get all over the house.
Visit a “Haunted House”
We’re not talking about Rob Zombie’s Great American Nightmare, here. Come on. That is not a toddler-friendly Halloween activity. Shoot. It might not even be parent-friendly. Or friendly at all. But I digress. We’re lucky enough to live in the Chicago area and the parks here offer some great “haunted” house activities for kids of all ages. Many of them even have “Lights On” times for the littlest of adventurers can walk about and see the decorations. Check out your local park district; we didn’t even know about these until we started looking for fun activities!
The Spooky Zoo Spectacular!
Another local-to-Chicago activity (that’s probably replicated all over): the Spooky Zoo Spectacular! Instead of Trick-or-Treating, the Lincoln Park Zoo opens its doors for kids of all ages to come visit a corn maze, see pumpkin carvers, and, of course, check out all the animals. It’s a wonderful event at a wonderful zoo. It’s been our experience that these days get pretty crowded, so as always, arrive early!
Watch a “Scary” Movie
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Casper, and our personal favorite, Hocus Pocus, all foot the bill here. Not all Halloween movies are scary! Just having the Halloween theme is enough to get us in the spirit. Bonus points if you can squeeze this in while doing any of the other listed toddler-friendly Halloween activities!
Don’t Forget Family Photos
Probably the most stereotypical family thing to do. Gather everyone up, dress in your best semi-coordinated flannel shirts and jeans, and make your way to the park for some well deserved family time. Don’t worry – out of the 500+ images your patient photographer takes, at least 10 will have everyone looking at the camera, eyes open, and smiling. And they’ll be precious! And you can include them in your holiday cards, too!
Decorate the House
Get the whole family involved in this one! However you want to decorate (simple handmade decorations or recreating a scene from the Salem Witch Trials) is fine by us. Fall decorations are the best kind of decorations in our book. And if you do it right: you won’t even have to do much to roll right into Thanksgiving!
Quintessential toddler-friendly Halloween: peeled grapes. Take a bowl of peeled grapes, cover it with a box with a hole in the top, and have your toddler feel around. They’ll get a kick out of the bowl of eyeballs that are wet, sticky, gooey, and all-around disgusting feeling.
Spaghetti Spider Webs
Add to the eyeball fun by boiling and then chilling some spaghetti noodles! Combine the pasta with a bit of cornstarch for an ooey-gooey mess that more likely resembles guts and spiderwebs than Italy’s finest cuisine. After we’ve made sufficient mess, spread the noodles out on some parchment paper and let them dry. Once hard, you can contribute your toddlers handy-work to the house decor as spiderwebs!
Paint, paper, and eager hands are all you need for this activity! Just have the kiddo dip their hands in (washable) paint and press them down on orange and black construction paper. That’s it! It’s really that simple. Huge benefit: put your child’s name, age, and date on the paper and send it to the grandparents for a cute, low-effort Halloween card!
Mummy’s Favorite Mummy
Toilet paper. Toddler. Spinning. You see where this is going! Wrap that kiddo in toilet paper and they’re magically transformed into a mummy! For at least five minutes. But then it’s time to clean up the toilet paper. Our suggestion: do this after you’ve peeled dozens fo grapes, made yucky spiderwebs, and painted everything in sight so you can use the torn TP to clean up your messy toddler. Good luck.
Read Scary Stories
If you’ve followed our list item by item, this last one comes after bath time. Our nightly routine is always the same: bathe, brush teeth, put on pajamas, and read a book before sleep. But there’s no reason the Halloween fun can’t continue on! We try to make it extra special during the holidays, so wherever there’s the opportunity for a unique book or item, we’re all over it. This Halloween, we went with a Put Me in the Story book called How to Catch Olivia’s Monster!
Put Me in the Story is a series of books that allows you to literally put your little one in the story! In this case, you put your little one’s name, picture, and a message in the book! Plus: the characters in the book are customizable, too. You can choose skin tone, hair color, and eye color; and even the color of the monster’s fur!
A Toddler-Friendly Halloween Giveaway!
To celebrate the season, we’re giving away a Put Me in the Story book to one lucky reader! All you have to do is enter the contest below for your chance to win. The best part: this is part of a giveaway hop, so check out the links below to enter in lots of other great giveaways!