25 Halloween Crafts for Kids to Keep Your Little Monsters Occupied
Maybe you have a family-friendly Halloween party in the works, or perhaps you are just trying to placate your very excited kid—you know, the one that started throwing out costume ideas and waxing poetic about past trick-or-treating excursions back in May. Whatever the case may be, if you want to have some solid, age-appropriate Halloween crafts for kids up your sleeve, we’ve got you covered. Here are 25 spooktacular ideas for this year’s celebration.
1. Wooden Spoon Bat Craft
This spoonful of Halloween spirit can be accomplished with the help of even the youngest Pre-K kid and the supplies are inexpensive and easy to find, so the stakes are especially low. Work with your child to dress up a wooden spoon with a little paint (always a hit) and construction paper for a spooky transformation that can serve as festive hanging decor, or simply as a toy your tot will love flying around the house with.
2. Toilet Paper Roll Bats
This toilet paper roll project passes the kid-friendly test with flying colors and you don’t even need to make a trip to the craft store to pull it off, because this one relies exclusively on recycled material and art supply staples. Little kids can practice their scissor skills as they cut out the cardboard paper wings and flex their creative muscles while designing goofy (or scary) faces for their bat friends. Bonus: The mess is minimal so you won’t go batty while watching your kid’s imagination at work.
3. Hanging Paper Plate Skeleton
Older kids will have an easier time constructing this creepy hanging skeleton since the cutting requires a degree of precision most preschoolers can’t muster. (Unless you’re okay with a more abstract aesthetic, that is). Still, the fun and engaging process is an ideal way to occupy your grade-schooler—and with nothing more than a hole punch, a stack of paper plates, scissors, and some string.
4. Halloween Handprint Art
Who knew a tiny hand could be transformed into a spooky spider or ghastly ghost? The novelty of being permitted to paint one’s own body part is enough to please any young one, but unlike a typical finger painting activity, this kid-friendly craft results in a piece of art that looks so polished you’ll actually want to keep it. Take your little one by the hand and try this one out—you’ll both be impressed.
5. Halloween Wine Cork Toys
There’s nothing better than an art project for kids that also pairs well with a glass of wine. So pop open a bottle of bubbly and celebrate your kid’s creativity with this genius craft that promises to turn a Champagne cork into a fun, Halloween-themed figurine. You’re better off doing this with a big kid, because the artistic skill involved is a tad too advanced for the littles. That said, older children will love working with the variety of materials in this hands-on process—and the finished figurine is sure to inspire pride.
6. Melted Bead Glow in the Dark Suncatchers
Colorful pony beads are melted into Halloween-themed cookie cutters for a craft that allows kids to hone their fine motor skills while getting creative by experimenting with different patterns and designs. Best of all, kids of all ages can participate in every step of the project, right up until the creations are sent to the oven. Bottom line: Halloween decor that glows in the dark is about as festive as it gets and the process for making these suncatchers is so cool, it’s sure to excite.
7. Halloween Paper Pumpkin Basket
Don’t worry if your origami skills aren’t up to snuff, this printable craft is incredibly easy to execute thanks to downloadable instructions and patterns. Any kid old enough to use scissors and follow directions can get in on the fun, while practicing important cutting skills to boot. The end result? A homemade basket that your kid can proudly take credit for when it’s time to go trick-or-treating (if that's happening this year, that is).
8. Paper Halloween Luminaries
An exceedingly simple craft that even preschoolers can pull off independently, this project involves tracing and coloring ready made drawings (a great activity for fine motor skill and pencil grip development) onto a piece of paper, before wrapping the work of art into a cylinder. Nothing more than a piece of paper, one black marker, and a pack of crayons is required for kids to enjoy crafting success—just add a mason jar with a tea light to their masterpiece for Halloween decor that will make any front deck or windowsill look fancy.
9. Salt Painted Halloween Craft
If you haven’t tried salt painting with your kid, prepare for your mind to be blown by this simple and rewarding art project. This fun medium provides plenty of sensory pleasure and even the youngest children can work with the basic ingredients—table salt, Elmer’s glue and food coloring—to paint a textured Halloween-themed gem that’s as nice to look at as it is to touch.
10. Hanging Spiderwebs
White yarn takes a dip in Elmer’s glue before being shaped into a creepy-cool spider web in this quick and easy craft that, with a little guidance, even the youngest children can get in on. Watching glue dry isn’t much more fun than watching paint dry, though, so definitely pull out some pom poms and pipe cleaners and encourage your impatient babe to craft a spider or two until her work of cobweb art is ready to hang. When all is said and done, everyone will be pleased with these DIY Halloween decorations.
11. Zombie Mason Jars
This mason jar craft boasts both form and function since, once the craft is complete, you can use the decorative containers to store your kid's Halloween candy haul. Parents will need to help with the hot glue gun step, but aside from that, the process is kid-friendly and full of artsy thrills. Children will enjoy painting the jars a ghoulish green color—and when it’s time to fashion the zombie faces with googly eyes, marker and masking tape bandages, creativity will reign supreme.
12. Halloween Lanterns
Don’t recycle that empty jam jar—upcycle it instead to make one of these striking luminaries with your child. Kids of all ages (as long as they still aren’t tempted to taste the art supplies) can help paint the glass jars in different festive colors to achieve a beautiful glowing effect once illuminated by a fairy light. Younger kids might need help when it comes to cutting monster faces out of felt, but they’ll still enjoy gluing the felt features and googly eyes onto this attractive yet surprisingly simple showpiece.
13. Printable Balloon Monsters
When it comes to crafting with kids, printables are a godsend—these ready-made templates make any project a piece of cake, so your kid can focus on more manageable tasks without having to sweat the technical stuff. These balloon monsters are particularly well-suited for preschoolers and young grade schoolers, who can get to work cutting and gluing faces on the balloons, all while giving their fine motor skills a boost. The cut-and-paste process isn’t the most exhilarating, but the finished product is pretty spectacular—especially with the addition of an LED light for glow-in-the-dark effect. Oohs and aahs are guaranteed and clean-up will be a breeze.
16. Kids Gourd Decoupage Craft
Let’s be honest, carving pumpkins with young children is no walk in the park (in fact, it can be downright harrowing). To avoid a messy and potentially dangerous situation, consider carving after bedtime, but don’t feel guilty: Your kid can still have plenty of fun with the fall harvest. Print out a photo of your child and give your little ghoul a gourd—with a little scissor work and some glue, your mini can create a decoupage centerpiece that’s equal parts eerie and cute, and every bit as festive as a jack-o-lantern.
14. Skull Rocks
That bag of unremarkable rocks floating around your home has only remained because your kid decided to dub it ‘a collection.’ Good news: Those not-so-precious stones can actually serve a crafty purpose. Bust out some paint and challenge your child to use a rock as a canvas upon which to create the spookiest possible rendering of a skull. (Of course, pumpkins and ghosts are perfectly acceptable alternatives, too).
17. Egg Carton Halloween Craft
Next time you whip up scrambled eggs for your hungry brood, save the carton and put it to good use for this fun craft which involves creating Halloween characters that kids can actually play with when the project is over. The process calls for hot glue (or some other strong alternative) so that step is best handled by a grown-up, but the rest of this artistic endeavor allows kids to paint and decorate to their heart’s content. Once the tchotchkes have dried, hours of pretend play can commence.
15. Halloween Salt Dough Photo Keepsake
You know you are going to snap a few frame-worthy shots of your kid’s ridiculously cute costume this Halloween, so why not prepare by crafting a home for the printed pic? Your child will have a blast making the salt dough (essentially homemade play dough), cutting it out into cute, festive shapes and bedazzling it with glitter. Aside from the baking part, this craft is completely kid-friendly and produces a charming frame worthy of a prime place on the family photo wall.
18. Pumpkin and Witch Paper Chains
If you’re throwing a Halloween party this year, enlist your child in helping deck out your pad with the appropriate decor. The materials required—construction paper, glue, scissors, black marker—you likely have on hand already, and they’re all suitable for even the smallest children to craft with. (The only potential exception is the stapler, which might require adult supervision and assistance for Pre-K kids). Once the work is done and the interlocking paper designs have been hung, grown-ups and children alike will be in the mood to throw on a costume and celebrate.
19. Tie Dyed Halloween Suncatchers
Ditch the orange and black color scheme this Halloween in favor of something a little more interesting, like these tie-dyed bat and and pumpkin-shaped suncatchers. Best of all, the foundation for this two-part art project relies on something pretty much everyone has on hand in the kitchen: Paper towels. Begin by gathering some dye so you and your babe can tie dye the material, then proceed to tracing and cutting the kitchen cloth into spooky shapes for some eye-catching window decorations that won’t disappoint.
20. Spooky Halloween Gelatin Hands
This project is part craft, part sensory play—and it’s sure to be a smash hit with the preschool crowd and younger ones, too. Your little one will love sinking his hands into the green gelatin and the resulting handprint mold, complete with creepy dollar store eyeballs, is a bewitching sight to behold.
21. Cardboard Box Spiders
Tired of being the one with the least imagination when it comes to conjuring up new ways to use a cardboard box? Well, you can compete with the best of ‘em (i.e., your kids) when you introduce this cardboard spider art project. Children of all ages can complete this creepy-crawly craft that, aside from the cardboard box, requires only pipe cleaners, black paint, craft paper and googly eyes for good measure. It might be easy to execute, but don’t be fooled—this one promises to entertain bigs and littles for at least 30 minutes (aka a blissful eternity, in parent-speak).
23. Paper Plate Ghost Craft
Cost-effective and easy, this paper plate ghost craft will still make a big impression when hung on the wall. Crepe paper streamers and contrasting black-and-white construction paper pair with pink markers for an effect that screams Halloween. Yep, this budget and kid-friendly craft is a keeper.
24. Halloween Skull and Ghost Soap Carvings
Budding sculptors will find this craft particularly gratifying, as will any child who likes to wield a tool from time to time. Chisel away at a chunk of ivory soap with your mini until it resembles a ghost for a fulfilling, hands-on art project that’s just plain fun.
22. Handprint Spiders in a Paper Plate Web
Two thumbs up! That’s the rating we give this craft—and also what your kid needs to do to successfully accomplish it. Little ones will be delighted by the sensory experience of having their palms, along with eight of their ten digits painted. Plus, once the handprint is made and googly eyes have been glued, they’ll be amazed to see the critter they made with their own mitts. Next, you’ll need a hole punch and some string to create a web across the piece of paper plate art. The web-weaving stage is a great way for slightly older kids to fine tune their fine motor skills, but kids as young as two can get hands-on with spider-making fun.
25. Paper Bag Halloween Characters
Wherever kids reside, there’s a good chance that brown paper bags can be found. This sack lunch staple isn’t as drab as it seems. In fact, much like the paper plate, it has infinite crafting potential. Let your little one stuff a lunch bag with tissue paper to create a body for a pipe cleaner-legged, googly eyed, sparkly spider—or bust out the glue and construction paper to make a witch and bat. Whatever Halloween character you choose to craft, the process will be friendly for even the youngest and tons of fun for all.