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Here are some ways to celebrate Halloween at home, while still helping your child’s development!

Motor Activities

  • Make a Halloween sock puppet: Using sock and art supplies such as paint, buttons, glitter and glue, make sock puppets of Halloween characters like jack-o-lanterns, Frankenstein, ghosts or witches! Crafts like this help with fine motor skills. Always be safe when handling small items. See if you can tell a story with your sock puppets after you make them!
  • Halloween scavenger hunt: Get your child moving by having them look for Halloween items around the house. Accompany the hunt with spooky Halloween riddles, and maybe a surprise or two!

Tummy Time Activity

  • Reach for a Halloween toy: As your child gets better at Tummy Time, you’ll want to start using this time to help them learn how to crawl. One way to encourage crawling is by placing a toy just out of reach and having them reach for it. Get festive with a Halloween toy, and make it extra fun by making sounds with the toy!

Sensory Activities

  • Spooky slime: Kids love making slime. Add orange, purple, green or black coloring, as well as glitter to make it look extra spooky!
  • Kettle guess: Fill small black plastic kettles with mystery items, such as gummy worms or cold spaghetti. You can have your child guess what the item actually is by feeling and smelling, without looking.

Play Activities

  • Virtual costume party: Dressing up is one of the best parts of Halloween! Set up a virtual costume party with your child and their friends to show off their cute costumes.
  • Glow in the dark ring toss: You’ll need glow sticks, flashlights and safety cones for this one. Place an illuminated flashlight inside a safety cone. This should give the cone a soft glow and the light should shine out of the top. Then crack glow sticks so they illuminate and connect the ends so each stick forms a ring. With all the lights turned off (and maybe some spooky music playing), you can play glow-in-the-dark ring toss!

Social-Emotional Activities

  • Halloween photoshoot: Gather any items that can be used for “dress up”. Using a camera or camera phone, have your children take photos together in all the different costume combinations they can come up with! Not only is this fun, it teaches them about sharing and taking turns.
  • Painting pumpkins: Have your child paint pumpkins with faces or their own design. You can prompt your child to think about different emotions while they paint faces, by saying things such as “paint a pumpkin that looks happy”; “paint a pumpkin face that looks scared”.

halloween_decorations_at_home

Feeding Activities

  • Make Witch’s Brew: There’s no real recipe for Witch’s Brew; just a fun concoction of beverages. You can make a warm witch’s brew using hot cider, or a cold witch’s brew using a lemon-lime carbonated beverage and some green food coloring. If you have a black kettle, you can serve the brew from there to make it extra spooky!
  • Make Healthy Halloween snacks: Not all Halloween snacks need to be candy! Here are some fun Halloween snack ideas:
    • Frankenstein avocado toast; spread avocado on a square piece of flat bread, and use olives for the eyes, hair and teeth of Frankenstein.
    • Orange bell pepper pumpkins; carve a jack-o-lantern face in a bell pepper to look like a carved pumpkin.
    • Tangerine pumpkins; place a small piece of celery at the top of a peeled tangerine to look like a pumpkin!

Communication Activities

  • Make a scary story: These can be written, shared, or created as a family. Make sure your child takes part in the telling and listens when other family members are telling their part.
  • Spooky voices: Have your child talk like their favorite Halloween character by asking things like: “what does a witch sound like?” or “What does a monster sound like?”

Executive Function Activities

  • Hidden little pumpkin: Leading up to Halloween, hide a small pumpkin around the house every day and have your children search for it. You can even create Halloween riddles that give clues as to where it might be. This requires working memory and problem solving.
  • Halloween freeze dance: Make a Halloween playlist to play freeze dance! Every time the music stops, your child has to freeze until it starts again. This exercises inhibitory control, an important part of executive function.

Happy Halloween!