Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Simple Halloween Craft Activities for Kids

Keeping kids entertained over the Halloween holidays can be made easy with simple kid’s craft ideas which need not cost a lot of money, and require only a corner of the room and a little preparation.

Halloween Entertainment for Kids
Shrinky Dinks Halloween Fun
click to buy from Amazon

I often get the kids to make the Halloween decorations in preparation for a Halloween party, which from busy mother’s point of view, serves three useful purposes.
  • It saves time and money buying the Halloween decorations.
  • It keeps kids happy and entertained over the half-term break.
  • And the resultant Halloween decorations will give the Halloween party a personal touch, where kids may stand and admire their artwork, and show off their creations to their Halloween guests.
Halloween Craft Ideas for Kids

Of course, there are many great Halloween craft kits out there for kids to connect with their arty side, including the Shrinky Dinks kits with Halloween decorations, or those provided by YellowMoon and Baker Ross. But if you are anything like me, and prefer not to hike down aisles looking for the ideal Halloween kit or how-to craft book (which inevitably contain ambitious Halloween projects mum will find herself dragged into, such as creating life-sized paper Mache skulls or sewing the inner lining of a full length Dracula’s cape), then there is a way out. And the secret is to keep it simple. Aim the craft activity to kids’ age levels.

Homemade Halloween Craft Activities

As a mum and ex-teacher, I have learned that the best activities are those that engage all age levels, provide lots of fun and require simple to prepare and obtainable resources. Setting out the craft activity table is easy, requires just a little planning, but the rewards are reaped when kids remain oddly quiet and engaged all afternoon.

Planning Halloween Craft Projects

Ensure there is plenty of elbowroom for each child by placing chairs a little apart. A large round table would be ideal, but any large table will do. Place a plastic sheet over the top and beneath the table over the carpet. I ensure the kids wear old play clothes.

Place all craft equipment at the centre of the table where all kids can reach them. The ideal Halloween craft kit should include the usual generic craft items, such as PVA glue, Cellotape, string, felt tips, crayons, pens, pencils, coloured card, coloured paper, scissors, paint, paint brushes, paint pots, newspaper, erasers, pencil sharpeners and Blu-tac.

To give the Halloween making kit a Halloween theme, the following items can be added:
  • Coloured pipe cleaners for making spider’s legs or bugs.
  • Black and white paint for skulls and vampire’s faces.
  • Bright green paint for Frankenstein and witches; bright red for blood effects and bright orange for pumpkins.
  • Glow in the dark paint can also be used for special effects such as glowing skeletons or ghosts.
  • Stretchy spider’s webs.
  • White ping pong balls for painting eyeballs for party games.
  • Wooden clothes pegs for creating Halloween puppets.
Ideas for Halloween Projects

Lots of Halloween decorations can be created with the use of the aforementioned craft items. Ideas can be:

Halloween garlands. By drawing and cutting out small Halloween shapes such as ghosts, pumpkins, witches faces, cats, bats and aliens, kids can simply string them together via small holes at one end of each decoration, and draping the garland over the room or windows or by using Blu-tac.

Halloween masks. Kids just need to draw a circle in the size of a kid’s face, and paint a mask. The brighter the colours and the gorier the detail the better. Ideas for Halloween masks include: Frankenstein, Dracula, a pumpkin face, a warty witch, an alien, a ghost, a skull, a monster and a zombie. Remind kids they need not paint the eyes, as they will be cut out. Thread string through holes near the ear area and tie round the back of the head.

Halloween puppets. With the use of wooden clothes pegs, kids may create miniature ghosts or Draculas by drawing on faces and costumes with felt tips. Sticking on materials can also recreate a cape or witch’s hat. The mini puppets can be played with or pegged onto curtains, door frames or shelves.

Halloween banners and posters. Kids love to paint big. In order to paint a large Halloween poster, it might be easier if the poster was placed on the floor. Two or more kids can join in painting Halloween scenes such as a ghost train, a haunted house or a life sized skeleton with glow in the dark paints.

Halloween Party Crafts for Children

Simple craft activities will keep kids entertained over the Halloween period and keep mum from having to shop around for Halloween decorations. A generic craft kit spiced with Halloween special effects are all that is required. Of course, ensure the craft table is splatter-proofed with old sheets or plastic.

Halloween Supplies

Halloween gifts
Halloween party accessories
Halloween makeup and fancy dress

Photo credit: Andreas Praefcke