Inside: Here are 4 classic Halloween books for children and grandchildren that should be on everyone’s Halloween book list. Also included are lots of fun complementary activities.
Halloween Books for Children & Grandchildren
The nights are getting longer, the days are getting shorter and it’s looking just right for a scary Halloween night!
What do your kids/grandkids love best about this holiday?
- The costumes?
- Pumpkin carving?
- Scary Music?
- Trick or Treating?
OR—is it the Halloween books that you can read to your kids or grandkids over and over again?
Here are 4 Halloween books for children and grandchildren. For more amazing Halloween books not included in this post, click here.
To make these books more interesting, I’ve included supportive activities to help your children/grandchildren remember these stories. Enjoy!
4 Classic Halloween Books for Children & Grandchildren + Activities
Bonaparte Falls Apart by Margery Cuyler
Bonaparte is a skeleton. He’s falling apart and it’s shaking him up! When he eats lunch it’s a jaw-dropping experience. Sometimes at night, his bones roll away and it takes him forever to find them.
School is starting soon and Bonaparte doesn’t want to be teased. What’s to be done? Well, it’s time to bone up for the first day of school with his new friend, Mandible.
A must-read for kids—of all ages. Older kids will understand and enjoy all the puns throughout the book.
- Good friends can always be depended upon to help!
Here are 2 fun and educational skeleton activities to support the book:
#1: Kitchen Activity: Making Skeleton Cupcakes
- Make your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe with your kids/grandkids. Click here for the recipe for my Chocolate Cream Cheese Cupcakes.
- Frost them with Halloween colors—orange, neon green, purple and black
- Purchase a skeleton mold, plastic skeleton hands, and chocolate. (Walmart)
- Melt the chocolate; pour into the mold. Put in the freezer for 30 minutes. Pop the skeleton out of the mold
- Decorate the different cupcakes with the chocolate skeleton, bones, plastic skeleton hand & sprinkles. For more cupcake ideas, click here
#2: Science Skeleton Activity
Did you know that there are 206 bones in a human skeleton? Here’s a fun activity to teach your kids/grandkids the names of some of the bones in their bodies.
Purchase paper or plastic skeletons (Dollar Store). Create strips with names of the bones and have the kids/grandkids attach the names to the skeleton.
Here’s a short bone list:
- Skull and jaw bone
- Spine (cervical, sacrum, tailbone)
- Chest (ribs and breastbone)
- Shoulder blade or scapula
- Collar bone or clavicle
- Hands (wrist bones)
- Pelvis (hip bones)
- Legs (thigh, kneecap, shin)
- Feet (tarsals)
Mr & Mrs. Vanatoli and the Magic Pumpkin Seeds by Donna Guthrie
Mr. Vanatoli is a practical man. When his wife asks him to plant some strange seeds, he says, “Pigs and corn, corn and pigs, that’s what I know and that’s what I grow.”
When the farm begins to grow twisting vines filled with big fat round pumpkins during the week before Halloween, Mr. Vanatoli learns that there’s a special magic in learning new things!
Life is about:
- Listen to others
- Understand that there are endless possibilities in life
Here are 2 pumpkin activities–one kitchen and art–to complement the book:
#3: Kids/Grandkids in the Kitchen Making Pumpkin Bread
There are many things you can do with pumpkin around the Fall holidays. Mrs. Vanatoli made:
- Pumpkin soup
- Pumpkin salad
- Pumpkin soufflé
- Pumpkin pie
- Pumpkin cookies
- Pumpkin bread
When I was 12 years old, I bought a small cookbook with award-winning recipes. One recipe was for Harvest Loaf—a pumpkin bread loaded with chocolate chips. Make this with your kids/grandkids—it’s a great way to start a tradition of cooking and baking in the kitchen for Halloween
- 1 ¾ cups flour
- 1 teaspoon soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup of sugar
- 2 eggs
- ¾ cup pumpkin (not puree)
- ¾-1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Grease loaf pan
- Beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy
- Beat in eggs
- Stir together the dry ingredients
- Alternately, mix in the dry ingredients and pumpkin
- Mix until combined
- Fold in the chocolate chips
- Pour into a prepared
- Bake at 350 degrees for 65-75 minutes
- Makes 1 loaf
#4: No-Carve Pumpkin Art Project with Kids/Grandkids
Pumpkin carving is a fun Halloween tradition. Click here to read about some of the pumpkins our family has carved.
Take your kids/grandkids to a pumpkin patch and pick out different pumpkins to create a no-carve design. There are many ways to decorate pumpkins without using a knife.
- Purchase ready-made no-carve pumpkin craft sets at the Dollar Store and have the kids/grandkids glue them on the pumpkin
- OR: Spray paint pumpkins in black or white. When dry have your kids/grandkids paint them in Halloween colors using tempera or acrylic paints and foam brushes
- When the paint is still wet, sprinkle glitter all over the pumpkin or glue tissue paper dots
Halloween Books for Children: The Witch has an Itch by Donna Guthrie
Gromelda is a nasty witch and proud of it! She’s an expert at evil spells and wicked ways. In fact, she’s the meanest magic maker in all the land!
That is until she starts itching every time she casts a nasty spell on someone or something. Nothing she tries helps—until she finally pays a visit Womak—a wise and powerful wizard. What he tells her is a life-changing experience!
- The Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you!
- Others can influence and help us change negative behaviors, but in the end—it’s up to us
Here is an activity to help your kids/grandkids understand kindness to others is always best:
#5: Giving to Others
Ask your kids/grandkids:
- When Gromelda decided to change her ways—what do you think she could do?
- What can you do to show kindness to others?
- How does being kind make you feel?
Suggest to your kids/grandkids about kindness and sharing with others. Here are some ideas of things you can do:
- bake a loaf of Harvest bread and give it to a neighbor or friend
- make a recipe for hot chocolate; include a mug, the chocolate powder, and recipe
- make a batch of Halloween cookies to give
- give an uncarved pumpkin and include a craft set to decorate it
Don’t wait until Thanksgiving or Christmas to show kindness–read books to your children and grandchildren that give them opportunities to be thoughtful and generous to others.
Halloween Books for Children: The Witch Who Lives Down the Hall by Donna Guthrie
I don’t usually recommend books that are out of print and difficult to find—but this book is a Halloween keeper! I love “The Widow’s Broom” by Chris Van Allsburg, and this is a close second. It’s that good. Click on the link to Amazon—it’s available used. Buy it quickly! Since purchasing this book, I’ve read it dozens of times to my grandkids–they love it!
This is a delightful tale of a boy and his runaway imagination.
Ms. McWee lives down the hall—and this boy is sure she is a bonified witch. Or is she?
She knows how to open a locked door with a magic key. She practices her magic late at night. She makes potions that cure illnesses and she knows how to throw the best Halloween party in the whole apartment building!
The story will leave your child/grandchild wondering if there really are such things as real-live witches who can make everything magical.
We tend to be afraid or apprehensive about people who are different than us. Rather than allowing for differences in others, we are suspicious and even judgmental. We may even see things that aren’t really there.
But if we decide to look beyond our suspicions and from a different perspective, we can discover the good in others.
Here is a fun activity about witches. I’ve seen these all over the Internet–here are our grandkids’ versions of witches legs…
#6: Art Collage: Making Witches Legs
This collage is in two parts: first paint or color the background and second, create witches legs
- Cardstock paper
- Colored chalk
- Different colored papers for witches’ leg, skirt, boots
- Black lace
- Sequins & glitter
- Pre-cut boots
- Using the side of the chalk, color the entire cardstock paper with different colors of chalk
- OR color the page using oil pastels, tempera paints, or bright-colored cardstock paper
- To make the skirt and boots, I just looked at other examples online and drew them–not perfect but fun!
- Older children can cut out a skirt, legs, and socks for the witch. Young kids—pre-cut these items
- Using buttons, sequins, glitter, lace, and pom-poms, create fun witches’ legs, skirts, and boots
- Purchase small brooms (Dollar Store) to use on the side of the witches’ legs
- Glue everything in place
If for any reason you cannot find these books–substitute similar books with similar messages so that you can still do the activities.
Your pumpkin bread sounds amazing! I’ve found myself really enjoying all things pumpkin this year. I normally like it but this year I’m kind of obsessing over it. I definitely want to give the recipe a try! And as always, your book recommendations and activities are adorable.
Sharlene Habermeyer says
You will love the pumpkin bread. Most pumpkin bread recipes do not call for chocolate chips (my favorite) but this one does. And, I really did purchase this little paperback recipe book when I was 12 and found this pumpkin bread recipe in it. Quite the find–I’ve been making every year since!