Halloween Art Projects for Kids

The holiday season is the time to get your hands dirty with these Halloween craft ideas - candy corn optional.

Prisma Staff
September 29, 2022

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For many kids, Halloween is the holiday they anticipate for 364 days: dreams of unlimited candy, shaking up their regular routine (and eating candy), and running around outside in the dark (while eating candy). Parents, on the other hand, might have mixed emotions about the piles of sugar and artificial flavors that are about to flood into their homes.

But Halloween isn’t all about the candy...Or so they say. It’s a great occasion to get kids to tap into their artistic side - even those who don’t consider themselves super crafty.

Whatever their level of ability and interest, kids of all ages can get involved with Halloween activities: Older kids can make their Halloween costumes, design the family jack-o-lantern, or decorate for a Halloween party. But even preschoolers can create their own DIY Halloween treat bags, make handprint Halloween art, decorate the candy bowl for trick-or-treaters, or paint a face on a pumpkin.


Supplies for Halloween art projects for kids

Fall craft season is a great time to give up control and lean into free-form, template-free creativity (especially if you or your kids are nervous about coloring outside the lines). There are plenty of sites that will provide printables or step-by-step instructions to make any craft you can dream up (for example iheartcraftythings.com can teach you how to draw just about anything). But you can also use this holiday season as an opportunity to help them break the mold.

To get started, have supplies on hand, turn on a spooky Spotify playlist, and let your kids make the craft projects that get them inspired. Or, better yet, have them design a project themselves and then think about the materials they might need to create their own black cat, spider web or sugar skull.

These are some low-cost materials you might already have at home that lend themselves well to easy Halloween crafts for kids:

  • empty toilet paper rolls
  • paper plates
  • googly eyes
  • construction paper
  • tissue paper
  • pipe cleaners
  • pom poms
  • cotton balls
  • crayons, markers, and washable paints
  • glitter glue
  • glue sticks
  • popsicle sticks (also known as craft sticks)
  • mason jars, or any glass jar with the label removed (for mummy lanterns and more)
  • candy corn (optional!)

Once they make their project, add an extra layer of challenge: Older kids can create their own video tutorial so they can teach their friends, family and younger siblings, while taking ownership of their work.

DIY Halloween crafts for kids that will get them thinking

As with all projects, a craft idea will be most meaningful if your child is truly interested, so let them start with their favorite Halloween character, whether it’s a Frankenstein-like monster or a not-so-spooky pumpkin. For kids who get anxiety around Halloween and may not want to participate in creating traditional crafts, you can help them feel included by giving them plenty of non-scary options — and letting them approach the project in their own way.

Crafts can certainly be a one-off activity, but if you want to make the activity (and the fun) last beyond a single session, here are some ideas to turn your pumpkin craft, witch craft, or spider craft into something a little more involved.

  • Create a character: Once you have a general character in mind, ask your child to brainstorm details about their creation. Who is this character they are creating? Start with what they look like, how old they are, and their name. Then layer on other questions about their personality, mood, and interests. Helping them to create a well-rounded and unique character - like a shy paper plate ghost, a grumpy spider or an over-eager pumpkin - will help get their creative juices flowing. If you’ve got more than one kiddo, they can have their characters interview one another and create humorous dialogues.
  • The “character” doesn’t even have to be a creature: They could bring their favorite piece of candy to life and think about what it might say or do when hanging out with their sugary friends in the trick-or-treat bowl.
  • Design their environment. Where does this character live and with whom - in a haunted house with other spooky creatures, in a magical forest, or in the real world? Do they fit in, in their environment, or is there something unusual about them (as in this classic children’s book)?
  • Choose a method to bring them to life. Halloween creations can be functional 3d sculptures (like these luminaries), seasonal culinary treats (like these delicious sugar skulls), or window decorations (like these popular sun catchers). But there’s no reason not to use other creative methods, like drawing (or making your own mini-graphic novel), or designing a Halloween world in Minecraft.

Halloween arts ideas - beyond crafts

Making Halloween decorations doesn’t have to be the only way to get into the holiday spirit. For kids who prefer other forms of expression, Halloween can be a perfect time of year to get them  learning to tell a spooky story for the next family campfire, composing a Halloween song on Garage Band, or directing and recording a scary skit with friends.

Halloween can be a perfect time of year to engage kids in reading mysteries, writing their own mystery — or solving one — as we are doing this cycle at Prisma with our “Unsolved Mysteries” theme, a project-based approach to engaging curiosity, learning to evaluate evidence, and sharpening problem-solving skills.

The benefits to getting your kids involved in making fun Halloween crafts, include honing fine motor skills and developing a sense of ownership. But if we’re being honest, the best results come when these activities — whatever kind of creativity they involve — allow your kids to have so much fun, as they spread the Halloween spirit beyond those precious short hours spent going trick or treat.

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