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.
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:
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.
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.
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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