Pretend Potion Play
For this Halloween-themed play space we gathered an assortment of objects suitable for tossing into a witch’s cauldron, such as toy mice, plastic bugs, pinecones, leaves, moss and fake spiders. We arranged these in baskets and had pots, pans and wooden spoons available for mixing and stirring into magical potions! Witches’ hats, broom sticks and other spooky dress-ups helped to set the scene. We also had clipboards, paper and pencils on hand to inspire the children to write down their recipes and spells.
Spooky Spider Mini World Play
The little ones love letting their imaginations run wild in mini world play. We placed a sheet of fake grass on a toddler-sized table and covered it with small logs, sticks and toy spiders to create a spooky spider habitat. Mini magnifying glasses were added to inspire inquisitive minds.
Creepy Crawly Counting
This is a great activity to reinforce number recognition and one to one counting correspondence, as well as providing an opportunity for fine motor practice. Children select a number card from a pile and then use the mini tongs to collect this number of bugs to place into an ice tray or other partitioned box. For older children the task could be easily adapted to be an adding or subtracting activity or the number range could be increased.
Of course Halloween wouldn’t be complete without pumpkins… Arm your little ones with paintbrushes and paint pots and let them go to town! Children can decorate their own personal pumpkin or they can work collaboratively on one large specimen. We recommend setting up this activity in an outdoor space, especially if you plan to hand over the glitter shakers too, like we did! For a less messy, indoor pumpkin project we loved WeeWarhols’ idea of hammering in golf tees. It’s another great hand-eye coordination and fine motor work out for toddlers and it certainly leaves you with a unique sculpture or table centrepiece as a result!
For this hands on activity, whip up a batch of brightly coloured play dough (we chose green) and provide googly eyes and toothpicks. These three materials are all you need for some mini monster making! Why not put a mathematical spin on the task too – Who can make the tallest monster? Who can make the longest? Widest? Shortest? Etc!