Cardboard Halloween Characters
Each of these creatures is crafted using a supply you’re sure to have lying around the house: an empty toilet paper roll. (Hint: a paper towel roll cut to about 6 inches long will also do the trick.) Once covered in colorful construction paper, each tube is ready to be embellished with googly eyes, paper wings, and toothy grins. To make the mummy, wrap the tube in strips of cheesecloth or toilet paper, and finish with a couple googly eyes peeking out. Making the crew is only half the fun. Once the team is assembled, your little ones can plot their Halloween adventures or take them along while trick-or-treating.
Photo and idea from Little Peanut Mag. Find the full instructions here.
For a seasonal take on the classic pet rock, let your kids collect stones in the backyard or pick up pebbles along nature walks to transform into colorful monsters. Once the kids have their stash, they can give the rock collection a bath in soapy water to wash off any dirt. For the metamorphosis into monsters, all you’ll need is a set of acrylic paints, some brushes, and a pencil with an eraser. When dipped in white paint, the eraser helps little hands make a perfectly round monster eye. Kids can get creative with a different expression for each creature to give each one its own kooky personality.
Photo and idea from Easy Peasy and Fun. Find the full instructions here.
Paper Plate Animal Masks
The best DIY projects are those that don’t require a trip to the crafts supply store, and these easy Halloween masks crafted from paper plates, paper straws, and paint fall firmly in that category. Making the cat and frog faces are easier than you might think: Just start with a semi-circle and add on ears for the cat and eyes for the frog. Help your kids cut out the basic shape and eye holes, and then they can handle the rest. A coat of paint brightens up the designs, while whiskers and a pink nose will bring the cat to life.
Photo and idea from Momtastic. Follow the full how-to here.
Tissue Paper Pumpkins
Your kids will think these tissue paper pumpkins are a fun craft project, but you’ll be happy to know they also double as favors for this year’s Halloween party. Let each child have a couple candies as they assemble these adorable paper pumpkins, and you’ll soon have a crew eager to help. Let one helper trace the tissue paper rounds using a cake pan as a guide, ask another to fill each one with tiny treats, and have a third wrap the stem with green tape. Before long, you’ll have enough pumpkins to give out to all the trick-or-treaters or your kid’s entire class.
Photo and idea from One Little Project. Get the complete instructions here.
If you’re looking for a Halloween activity to play with your child’s whole class, this spooky spin on traditional tic-tac-toe will keep toddlers entertained. Print enough downloadable game boards for every kid in the class, and then let the little ones create their own playing pieces. Kids can create pieces from colored paper using a two-inch paper punch, they can draw their own designs, or they can use small candies to mark off each space. When they’re done customizing their playing pieces, let the games begin! The lucky winner will be happy to win all the candy that landed on their board.
Photo and idea from Skip to My Lou. Get the full instructions and printable game board here.
Energetic toddlers will flip for this Halloween version of bowling, while parents will appreciate this mess-free activity. To start, have your child help you draw a ghostly face onto each white paper cup. Then, let them stack the ghosts into a pyramid. A citrus fruit (bonus points for adding a jack-o’-lantern face) stands in for a bowling ball, and also doubles as a snack for the winner. Toddlers will have just as much fun stacking the pyramid as they will attempting to knock it down, all while improving their motor skills and hand-eye coordination. To make the game more challenging for slightly older children, have them stand farther away from the stack.
Photo and idea from The Spirited Puddle Jumper. Get the how-to here.