Throughout the years we've tried and tested many ways to celebrate the holiday. Our favorite way of all time is our Halloween Countdown. Whether you attempt the entire countdown, or just choose a few activities, you're guaranteed some Halloween fun!
I've put the activities in an order that works for us, but they can be put in any order you'd like. In the past, we've made a garland using Halloween ribbon and tissue paper ghosts. A little countdown card is attached to each ghost. Each day the kiddos cut the next ghost down,and discover which Halloween activity we'll be doing. A Halloween countdown wall hanging would work well too.
Our Halloween Countdown
1. Decorate Inside and/or Outside of the House for Halloween
I never realized how much children like to decorate for holidays until Dinomite came along. Now they all love it and look forward to it every year. If you don't want to spend an arm and a leg on decorations, try your local dollar store or have your kiddos make their own decorations.
2. Halloween Window Painting
A great way to add to Halloween decorations is painting windows using window paint or markers. My kids think this is such a treat.
If you're not into window paint, try these other window decorations.
3. Halloween Coloring Contest
My kiddos love to color. What's more fun than a coloring contest where everyone wins? The internet is filled with fabulous free coloring pages to download.
4. Halloween Movie Marathon
A Halloween movie night can be loads of fun, especially when you pair it with fabulous Halloween themed treats! If you're looking for ideas, check out the posts below!
5. Autumn Nature Walk
Nothing compares to a beautiful nature walk on a crisp autumn day. There is a beautiful and historic cemetery behind our house. We walk there often. Our best walks are always close to Halloween.
6. Halloween Pajama Day
7. Visit a Pumpkin Patch/Corn Maze/Wagon Ride
8. Halloween Scavenger Hunt
The kiddos love looking at all of the decorations around town, and so we've made it a point to have Halloween themed scavenger hunts. If you're looking for ideas and printables, check out the ones below.
9. Make a Family Halloween Music Video
We are big fans of JIBJAB and have made Halloween movies each year using this fun program. The kiddos watch them again and again. In years past, around Halloween, the company usually has a free video you can create. This is my favorite from a few years ago.
10. Halloween Story Time
Halloween story time is such a favorite. The books are introduced on their proper day of the countdown, but then remain out until Halloween. If you're looking for ideas, be sure to visit the posts below.
- Not-So-Scary Monster Books for Preschoolers
- 17 Picture Books About Bats
- The Best Easy Reader Books with Seasonal Themes
- Halloween Counting Books
- 12 Perfect Pumpkin Books for Kids
11. Halloween Olympic Games
There are so many cute Halloween games out there for kiddos of all ages to play. Why not put them all together? Depending on the ages of your kiddos would depend on how many and for how long you'd keep the events going. So far on our list are:
- Witch's Broom Race
- Eyeballs on a Spoon Relay
- Ghost Drop Contest
12. Halloween Photo Shoot
13. Halloween Play Dough Activities
There are so many great play dough activities out there. Halloween play dough activities can be so much fun! Especially when you include them as part of an invitation to play. If you're looking for ideas and recipes, be sure to check out the posts below.
14. Halloween Game Night
The games played this day depend heavily on the age of our kiddos each year. We've gone as simple as Halloween themed memory, charades, or Pictionary, or you can choose from these fun games below.
- It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown Game
- Spot it! Halloween Card Game
- Fotorama Johnny the Skull Skill and Action Game
15. Play in the Leaves
16. Halloween STEM Activity Day
It's always fun to incorporate learning into our countdown, especially when they're STEM activiites. If you're looking for ideas, check out the post below.
17. Halloween Manicures and Pedicures
This is more geared for girls, but my boys love having their nails polished too. I figure if I pick up Halloween nail polish, the activity won't be too feminine for them, especially this time of year.
18. Halloween Crafting Time
There are endless craft ideas for Halloween. Why not dedicate a day to crafting? If you're looking for ideas, be sure to visit the following posts.
- Paper Plate Spider Wreath
- 30 Preschool Halloween Craft Ideas
- Pom Pom Bats
- 20 Ways to Create Monsters
19. Halloween Dance Party
Music is a huge part of our everyday lives. Each holiday season I create a new Pandora Station. The kiddos love our Kid's Halloween station. It's free. There's variety. We can dance the day away! Of course if you want to go all out and have a real dance party that's fine too. It all depends on how much effort you want to put into it.
20. Create a Halloween Sensory Kit
It's not secret that Halloween Night can be a bit difficult for some kiddos. Why not create a sensory kit to help them cope with the holiday? If you're looking for ideas, be sure to check out the posts below.
- Halloween Calm Down Balls for Kids
- How to Have a Sensory Friendly Halloween
- Creepy Crawly Halloween Sensory Bottle
21. Halloween Costume Fashion Show
The kiddos love wearing their costumes, why not try a practice run through and have everyone show off their new attire. If you still have costumes that fit from years past, it would be fun to add them too. If you're looking for costume ideas, visit the posts below.
- Making a Bat Wing Costume
- Last Minute Halloween Costumes for Preschoolers
- Last Minute Homemade Halloween Costume Ideas
- 16 Book Inspired Halloween Costumes for Kids
22. Outdoor Night Games
I have such fond memories of playing Hide & Go Seek in the fall at night with my friends as a kid. My kiddos love it as well. If your kiddos are younger, give them each a flashlight and let the fun begin.
23. Make a Trick or Treat Bag
Each year our kiddos make their own Trick or Treat Bags. At first they were just fifty cent paper bags colored with crayons. Now they're a bit more sophisticated and sturdy. If you're looking for ideas, you may like the post below.
24. Halloween Face Painting
Face painting can be so much fun, especially around Halloween. Grab yourself some face paint and enjoy the day!
25. Attend and/or Host a Halloween/Fall Harvest Party, Event or Play Date
There are so many Halloween and Fall Activities through churches, schools, play groups etc. If you can't find one, plan your own. It can be as large or as small as you want.
26. Tell Spooky Stories w/ Flashlights
My kids love telling stories at night with flashlights in hand. Adding a Halloween theme around the holiday only seems fitting.
27. Halloween Treat Making Marathon (& Neighbor Delivery)
There are so many fabulous Halloween treat ideas out there, some healthy and some not. Why not make treats for a day and then deliver some to the neighbors?
28. Halloween Safety, Rules & Etiquette Lesson w/ Activities
This may not be the most fun activity in the world, but extremely important to review before the big night. Though not as exciting as other events, the lesson and activities are always a hit!
29. Decorate Pumpkins
There are so many options with this activity, depending on the ages and skill levels of your kiddos. You may just print out paper pumpkins and have them color. Painting pumpkins is fun too. Carving is always a great tradition, but you don't have to if you don't want to. That's the beauty of it!
30. Serve a Halloween Themed Meal or Snack, or host a Witches & Wizards Halloween Party
Each year we celebrate Halloween with our Witches and Wizard's Party. The kiddos have a blast. For more details about our party, you can check out the post below.
If you're looking for other party ideas, this is one of my favorites!
31. Trick or Treating
Last but not least, we can't forget trick or treating! Sometimes we just do this at home, go to an event, or walk up and down our street. No matter which way you do it, enjoy!
If you'd like to start your own Halloween Countdown, be sure to print out our Halloween Countdown Cards HERE! There's something for everyone!