43 Halloween Activities for Kids Ranging from Cutesy to Spooky
The days of galvanizing an entire group of neighborhood kids for trick-or-treating may be put on temporary hold due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean we’re done celebrating the first holiday of the fall season—Halloween. Sure, your kids won’t be able to show off their carefully thought-out costumes to the fullest extent, but hope remains because there’s still plenty to do with just your immediate family or trusted members of the pod. From visiting pumpkin patches, to apple picking and of course, going to haunted houses, there’s room for celebration as restrictions have been lifted for now.
For the families who want to take extra precaution and spend the day at home, there’s plenty to do too—including getting all gussied up for the spooky occasion. You can get crafty by creating your own family costumes (hey, we love a good Insta-op) or making a ghost garland. If you want a more active night, try a game of Halloween charades, mummy racing or playing in a Halloween-themed obstacle course of your own making. Check out this list of 43 Halloween activities for kids for more ideas.
1. Pop some crafted pumpkins
Order a bag of orange balloons online, then fill each one with a Halloween-themed surprise (think candy or a silly trinket like a spider ring). From there, take construction paper and craft green leaves that you can attach to the spot where you tie the balloon. Then, game on: All your kids have to do is stomp the balloons to collect their prize. (Read the full tutorial over at Delia Creates.)
2. Create some assorted candy bags
We’re still in a pandemic. Bummer. The good news is you can still trick-or-treat, you just have to be precautious about it. Instead of pouring hordes of candy into one bag for everyone to grab and go, assort a variety of candy into some Ziploc bags instead. That way, everyone lifts the bag they’re going to take without rummaging through the whole basket. (Place a bottle of sanitizer nearby just in case.)
3. Make some custom Halloween costumes
Even if you choose not to go trick-or-treating this year, you can still celebrate at home. Grab some sheets and dress up as a ghost—classic. Or raid the depths of your closet and get a little more creative. Some ideas here.
4. Swap scary stories
That one story that your brother used to creep you out with when you were younger will come in handy for this activity. You can also opt to make one up on the fly, pull another one from your childhood or recite one of these tried-and-true kid-friendly Halloween tales.
5. Go to a haunted house
Is it even Halloween season without a trip to a haunted house or haunted town? Get that adrenaline pumping with a jaunt to a nearby ghost home.
6. Put that candy corn to use
Candy corn is no one’s first pick, but that doesn’t mean we can’t put it to use. You can totally create your own version of ‘Minute to Win It’. Here’s how to play: Each kid will need a stack of candy corn, a bowl and a pair of chopsticks. You’ll need a timer set to 60 seconds. The goal of the game is to see who can transfer the most candy corn to the bowl using only chopsticks.
7. Play Candy Corn Bingo
Speaking of candy corn, Bingo is a crowd-pleaser—no matter the age. But here’s where it gets Halloween-y: First, you need a Bingo card featuring Halloween-themed objects like this one from Studio DIY. Next, swap traditional chips with candy corn as markers. (Just don’t be surprised if your kids eat all the game pieces.)
8. Make Halloween cornhole spookier
Your kids will love the spooky, special edition of this family favorite. To pull it off, simply cover the game boards you already own with faux cobwebs and use DIY spider bean bags instead of the usual bean bags you toss. (Check out this tutorial offered by Crafts Unleashed.)
9. Create Halloween scavenger hunt
Deck the halls with spooky décor, then send your kids on a scavenger hunt to track down all the on-theme items they see. (You can also walk around the neighborhood scouting as a family.) Up the stakes by downloading a free printable (like this one from Over the Big Moon) of exactly what they should be on the lookout for.
10. Have fun with Halloween musical chairs
You know the drill: Gather the family to go ‘round and ‘round a group of chairs in costume while playing the spookiest music you can find. But when the music stops, it’s every kid for themselves as they grab a seat. Remove one chair every round.
11. Make a DIY Mummy Bowling Set
For this Halloween activity, all you need is a set of plastic bowling pins (like this one) and a couple of rolls of toilet paper. From there, wrap the pins with TP, add googly eyes and voila: They’ve been mummified. Bonus points? Wrap the bowling balls, too. (A full tutorial is available on Giggles Galore.)
12. Make Your Own Mummies
You’ll need more toilet paper for this game. Split up into teams and pick one person to be the mummy. Then, it’s up to the rest of the group to wrap them in TP until they, well, actually look like a mummy. The group that mummifies the fastest wins!
13. Have a mummy race
Keep the fun going by (carefully) racing to a designated spot after the mummifying. Losing team has to eat candy corn!
14. Get creative with pumpkin golf
Calling all expert pumpkin carvers: This game requires you to create a jack o’-lantern with a mouth large enough to putt golf balls into. From there, you’ll need a toy golf set (like this one) and a red felt runway that doubles a putting green. Think of it as mini-golf with a theme. (Full tutorial can be found over at A Girl and a Glue Gun.)
16. Treat yourself while bobbing for donuts
This germ-free (and easily socially distance-able) Halloween activity requires two things: string and donuts. From there, all you have to do is hang donuts from tree branches and invite your kids to eat theirs hands-free. (Yep, their hands should be tied behind their back the whole time.)
17. Get into a spider web maze…
You’ll need painter’s tape and a bunch of those plastic spiders you can typically find come Halloween at the dollar store. Next, use the tape to lay out a spider web. Create a “start” and “finish” line, then instruct kids to walk the web without straying from the lines. The catch? They have to pick up the plastic spiders you’ve scattered about without losing their footing. Muahaha. (More details can be found over at No Time for Flashcards.)
18. …or spider race
About those plastic spiders you got at the dollar store? You’ll love this tutorial from Still Playing School. Grab a couple of straws and set up a start and finish line on the kitchen table. The goal? To blow through the straws and race. The first kid to cross the finish line with their eight-legged bug wins.
19. Make a candy wreath
The best way to entice the kiddos to your front door to trick or treat? A wreath made of candy, of course. Let your kids help you build it by choosing the candy selection you place on the cardboard platform. Hot glue gun required.
21. Go Apple Picking
This Halloween activity is a favorite for a reason. Pick what you can eat, then make a plan to treat yourself to warm cider—which is almost always served on-site—when you’re done.
22. Play ‘Bob for Apples’
So maybe you got over-excited and picked way too many apples. You’ve already eaten some and baked all the pies you can. Before the rest go bad, have them as the main attraction in a classic game of Bob for Apples. Simply fill a wide-mouth bucket (or bowl) with enough water so the apples can float. Then, with the kiddos’ hands behind their backs, have them attempt to retrieve the apples with just their mouths. Whoever is able to get the most apples within a minute wins.
23. Embark on a Pumpkin Patch Excursion
It’s loads of family fun, plus you can make a night of it by carving them when you get home.
24. Turn Pumpkin Washing Into a Family Activity
This should take place before you carve, but here’s the idea: After you’ve picked your pumpkin, supply your kids with a soapy bucket of water and sponges. Then, let them do the dirty work to scrub their pumpkins clean. Kids love a good washing station and it saves you a step before you carve.
25. Create Origami Jack O’Lanterns
This requires some expert folding work, but the finished result is beautiful—and something you’ll want to save for years. (Get the directions over at Pink Stripey Socks.)
26. Play Halloween Tic Tac Toe
For this to feel Halloween-y, the devil is in the details. In other words, the game pieces are what make it on-theme. You can use Washi Tape to map out the board, but then get creative. For example, have your kids paint rocks to look like ghosts or Frankenstein or candy corn. Then, keep score. (Read all about it on Smashed Peas and Carrots.)
27. Read some Halloween Books
It’s the perfect way to build up excitement ahead of trick or treating. Choose a selection of titles—whether that’s Spooky Pooky by Sandra Boynton or Harry Potter—and read them aloud.
28. Fashion a Ghost Garland
To start, you’ll need to send the kids outside to gather leaves in your backyard. Next, paint the leaves white, then take a Sharpie and add two eyes. To turn it into a garland, all you’ll need is a hole punch (although you can probably puncture each leaf carefully with a pin) and some string.
29. Entertain your tots with a Laundry Basket a Spider Web
Great for the toddler set, all you need is a shallow laundry basket, some string and some spooky trinkets. (Cue those plastic spiders again.) Next, weave the string in and out to make a web and put all the spiders at the bottom. The challenge? They have to fish out all the spiders while reaching around the string. (Here’s an example of this game from Lovevery.)
30. Build a Life-Size Spider Web
This party game takes a bit of effort, but it works like this: You’ve got a ball of yarn with a prize attached to the end of it. (Candy, perhaps?) Now, use the string to create a room-size web and weave the yarn all around the playroom, following the string to find your prize. But here’s the catch: There’s one strand per kid, so it’s pretty complex to untangle. Game on. (More details available at Party Game Ideas.)
31. Invest in some Pumpkin Slime
At first sight, it seems gross, but your kids will want to play with it for hours. A Halloween gift! (Recipe available at I Heart Arts & Crafts.)
32. Bake some Spooktacular Cookies
The more inventive the better. Check out this tutorial on how to whip up a batch.
33. Decorate with some Ghost Handprints
Trace your child’s hand, then paint it white. After that, you flip it upside down (so the palm is the ghost’s head), then add googly eyes. String them up around the house for décor that doubles as a memento for when those little hands get a lot bigger. (Full tutorial is available at See Vanessa Craft.)
34. Make a DIY Sticker Match
You’ll need a booklet of Halloween stickers to start. Next, trace the outlines of each one—say, the pumpkin or the ghost—onto a piece of paper. Task your kids with matching the stickers to the spot you’ve outlined for them. The more you trace, the longer it holds their interest. (More details at Happily Ever Mom.)
35. Embellish with some DIY Ghost Piñatas
This tutorial from Oh Happy Day is so good you actually won’t want to break it apart.
36. Surprise your neighbors with a Candy Drop-Off
The goal is to spread a little spirit by delivering a bag of Halloween goodies to your neighbor’s (or loved one’s) doorstep as a surprise. How do they know it was you? Leave a note that says: “You’ve been spooked!” (Download a free printable over at Tater Tots and Jello.)
37. Have Halloween Movie Marathon
Hocus Pocus! Ghostbusters! The Nightmare Before Christmas! Cook up a bucket of popcorn and watch a classic with your kids.
38. Make-Your-Own Pom Pom Spiders
More décor for your Halloween-themed mantle! All you need is a package of pom-poms, popsicle sticks and some googly eyes. (The full tutorial can be found at My Home Based Life.)
39. Craft some DIY Halloween Masks
Coloring projects can be the best way to spark creativity in your kiddos. Instead of buying Halloween masks at the store this year, challenge your children to make their own. (The good news is that there are loads of free printables—like these from It’s Always Autumn—online.)
40. Pin the Spider on the Web
This pivot on Pin the Tail on the Donkey is just as fun. Plus, there are free printables (like this one from Ella Claire Inspired) that make it a cinch to pull off.
41. Construct a Halloween Obstacle Course
It sounds harder than it is—one idea is to lay out pumpkins in a zig zag configuration in the hallway. At the end of the tunnel, place a few ghost balloons with strings hanging down. The goal? Your kids have to leap to “catch” a ghost after zigging and zagging through the “pumpkin patch.” It’s silly and fun, but it’s also guaranteed to tucker them out. (More details at Laly Mom.)
42. Pull a prank…
…On someone who would appreciate the cleverness, of course. Maybe help them TP their dad’s car or ding-dong dash at the grandparents’ house. Minor pranks to bring the “trick” in trick-or-treat.
43. Play Halloween Charade
If you have been slowly indoctrinating your now-teenagers into liking Halloween movies since they were wee tots (*ahem* same), those years of Halloween movie marathons and extravagant costume design will seriously pay off in this game. Gather the family and play this wild guessing game featuring classic titles, from The Birds to Hocus Pocus, as well as renowned characters such as Morticia Adams and Freddie Krueger.