Inside: Here are 8 super fun, super spooky Halloween activities for kids and grandkids. Buckle up and enjoy—you’re in for the ride of your life!
8 Halloween Activities for Kids & Grandkids
Even though Halloween is right around the corner, there’s still time for some last-minute Spooktacular Halloween activities for kids and grandkids!
These 8 Halloween activities have all been tried-and-tested on our 4 grandkids. They include—art, crafts, sensory play, field trips, baking in the kitchen, books, and more…
Take a look and pick-and-choose which ones work for you. And if these aren’t enough, click here for more Halloween activities for kids and grandkids.
#1 Art: Painting Pumpkins with Fingernail Polish
I saw this activity on the Better Homes & Gardens website. It’s a creative and interesting way to decorate pumpkins. Supplies are minimal and the process is easy (but messy).
- Artificial pumpkins (Walmart)
- Pumpkin Picks: My grandkids liked using these picks to hold their pumpkins as the immersed them in water because they had a stick to hold onto.
- Fingernail polish in Halloween colors: orange, black, purple, green (Dollar Store)
- Bucket deep enough to completely immerse your pumpkins
- Fill the bucket with room temperature water
- Drop 5-10 drops each of 3 different fingernail polish colors–you will have to do this step between each pumpkin dipped.
- Swirl the colors with a toothpick
- Immerse your pumpkins completely into the water
- Dry pumpkins on a piece of Styrofoam–it can take several hours
- If you are using pumpkin picks—create a Halloween bouquet
#2: Making Monster Cookies in the Kitchen: Halloween Activities for Kids & Grandkids
In the 1980s, I took several cooking classes from Marlene Sorosky in Sherman Oaks, California. One of her many amazing recipes was Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies. It quickly became a family favorite.
- 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
- ½ cup shortening
- 2 cups of sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of chocolate chips
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- Melt chocolate and shortening together in a double boiler.
- Stir in sugar
- Place mixture in a medium bowl, cool
- Beat until blended
- Add vanilla
- Beat in eggs; one at a time, mixing well after each addition
- In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt
- Stir flour mixture into the chocolate mixture
- Stir in chocolate chips
- Refrigerate dough for several hours
- Take out of the refrigerator and make it into walnut-size balls. You may freeze them at this point and bake later
- To bake cookies, preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Lightly grease baking sheets; set aside
- Roll each cookie in the powdered sugar and place 2” apart on the cookie sheet
- Bake 10 minutes (do not over-bake)
- For Halloween, put edible eyeballs on each cookie to make it look like a monster
- Place on racks to cool
Fast forward almost 40 years and with a little more ingenuity, you can now make monster cookies with your kids/grandkids for Halloween. They look similar to the Double Chocolate Crinkle Cookies recipe and both recipes require dipping the dough in powdered sugar before baking them. The recipe from Lil’ Luna allows you to dye the dough in different colors.
We made both my chocolate cookie recipe and the Lil’ Luna recipe because we wanted some of the cookies to be “black” for Halloween and the others to be different Halloween colors of orange, purple and green.
A word of warning—the colored dough is very sticky and was difficult for my grandkids to work with, so, I formed the cookies the size of a walnut and put them in the freezer which made them easier to work with.
When you take them out of the oven, quickly put them on a counter and have the kids/grandkids put several edible eyeballs on each cookie while they are still hot.
These pictures are not baker-perfect. They are creations exactly how my grandkids made them without photoshop changes. They show you what you can expect when baking with young grandkids.
#3: Halloween Arts & Crafts with Kids & Grandkids: Ghosts & Pumpkin Stamping
Several months ago, I saw a similar craft like this, but it required carving a “stamp” from a square marshmallow. Thankfully, I found these amazing marshmallows at Walmart—one is a ghost and one a pumpkin and eliminates the tedious task of carving a stamp on a marshmallow!
Your kids/grandkids can paint the marshmallows or dip them directly into the paint and “stamp” across the black paper.
And—be sure and have a bowl of marshmallows for eating nearby!
- One package each of ghost marshmallow and pumpkin marshmallows (Walmart)
- Tempera paints (Prang paints from the Dollar Store)
- Black poster paper or cardstock for each child
- Glitter (optional)
- Give a plate of ghost and pumpkin marshmallows to each child
- Squeeze paint—white, orange, yellow, purple, and green into a flat container. I use the appetizer containers at the Dollar Store—they work great!
- The kids/grandkids can either paint the marshmallow or they can dip the marshmallows into the paint
- Remove excess paint with a brush or the image will look blurred
- “Stamp” the marshmallows on the black paper
- Provide glitter if they want to put it on their ghosts
#4: What to Look for in a Pumpkin Patch
Nothing says “Halloween” like pumpkin patches! Find a fun pumpkin patch to take your kids/grandkids. And since pumpkin patches are not created equal, find one that offers:
- Big slides
- Corn mazes
- Pick-your-own pumpkin patch
- Dried corn piles
- Horse or donkey rides
- Bounce trampolines
- Tours through the farm
- Places to purchase food such as donuts, cider, etc.
Some pumpkin patches charge an entrance fee but the fee usually includes something extra like a wagon ride through the farm, a chance to see and feed farm animals, and other amenities.
We took our grandkids to Green Acres Farm. The admission price was $5 and free for kids 2 years old and under and included a big slide, rides on a “cow wagon,” access to the pumpkin patch, hay maze, pumpkin patch, and a corn “sandpile.”
It was a fun-filled day!
#5: Halloween Activities for Kids & Grandkids: A Game of Emotion with Halloween Bats
One of the books that trigger a lot of conversation with my grandkids is, The Way I Feel by Janan Cain. It’s all about different feelings and emotions kids have as they experience the world, friends, and people.
Each time I read this book, my 2 older grandkids can’t stop talking about the different times they felt the emotions expressed in the book—jealousy, anger, silly, scared, disappointed, happy, sad, excited, etc.
It’s become one of their favorite books and one where they are fully engaged! Clearly, it’s our emotions that make us human and those emotions start from birth.
I found a bat paper plate craft online and we made up these fun bats. Then we made different mouth shapes to correlate to the different emotions talked about in the book.
From this we created a game:
- I said an emotion out loud from the book
- Each grandchild found a corresponding emotion face and put it on their bat’s
- Then we talked about each emotion—what it is, and who has experienced it and why.
#6: Sensory/Fine Motor Halloween Activity: Picking up Halloween Paraphernalia
I try to always have at least 1 sensory activity for my grandkids for each visit. Why? Because for years, research has shown (and now more than ever) the importance of sensory activities for brain development in children.
Sensory activities help build nerve connections in the brain which helps a child learn more complex learning tasks. It also helps with language development, fine and gross motor skills, problem-solving skills, and social interaction.
So—when your grandkids come to visit—sneak in a fun sensory activity!
This activity helps with fine motor development. I used the same Halloween things I bought at the Dollar Store for the sensory Jell-O activity I posted last week.
I gave each grandchild Dracula teeth (Dollar Store) and a plastic container filled with Halloween paraphernalia—rings, bones, skeleton heads, eyeballs, etc. and they had to pick up each item with their Dracula teeth.
Fun. Quick. Easy. Powerful for fine motor development. I saw this on Raising Dragons. However, I changed the activity by having my grandkids pick-up more difficult items than pom-poms
#7: Creating a Sandpile Construction Zone: Filler Activity
My grandkids LOVE getting their hands and feet in the sandpile. Do yours?
I purchased 2 sets of construction vehicles—bulldozers, diggers, dump trucks, backhoes, cranes, loaders, etc. and let the grandkids create roads, bridges, and different construction zones in the sand and dirt.
This is also a great “filler” activity while you’re setting up the next activity.
#8: Books about Pumpkins: Halloween Activities for Kids & Grandkids
Any holiday is more meaningful when books are added! Here are some fun Halloween books—all centered around PUMPKINS! If you want some additional activities to do with pumpkins, click here
- The Legend of Spookley the Square Pumpkin by Joe Troiano
- From Seed to Pumpkin by Wendy Pfeffer
- The Biggest Pumpkin Ever by Steven Kroll
- Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbell
- The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
- Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell
What Halloween activities do your kids and grandkids love? Please share and comment in the section below