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A Halloween Countdown for Tots & Preschoolers with Free Printable

My kids LOVE Halloween. The minute they begin to see Halloween decor and candy in the stores they start counting down the days until the special night. 

To help my kids develop an understanding of time and anxieties, we created a Halloween Countdown when we were really young. 

Everything on and about the countdown was designed NOT to be scary, so every child could enjoy it.

All of the kids enjoyed it so much. We hope your family can do the same!

Our Halloween Countdown

A Halloween Countdown for Tots & Preschoolers with Free Printable

I've put the activities in an order that worked 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 Halloween window decals.

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!

Movies choices will differ between family depending on the age and maturity of your tots and preschoolers. Three of our favorite movies for this age include:

5.  Autumn Nature Walk

Halloween Countdown for Tots & Preschoolers: 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

A Halloween Countdown for Tots & Preschoolers: Halloween Pajama Day

It's tradition in our house that each of the kiddos have a set of Halloween PJs.  Besides wearing them Halloween night, we try to have a pajama day at least once during the month.

7.  Visit a Pumpkin Patch/Corn Maze/Wagon Ride

A Halloween Countdown for Tots & Preschoolers: Visiting the pumpkin patch

All three events are located at the same place for us, which is why the activities are lumped into one.  The kiddos have the foundest memories of these events and always look forward to returning.

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.  We enjoy sending them to extended family and friends.

10.  Halloween Story Time

Halloween story time is such a favorite activity in our house.  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.

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 will 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
For more ideas, check out the posts below.

12.  Halloween Photo Shoot

A Halloween Countdown for Tots & Preschoolers: Halloween Photo Shoot

Each year my kiddos also pick out a Halloween shirt.  When I can, I pick up fun accessories for each of them, like head bands, hats, jewelry, hair ties etc.  We always have fun dressing up and taking pictures.

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

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, Bingo or Pictionary.

15.  Play in the Leaves

October wouldn't be the same without playing in the leaves. If you don't live in an area where leaves fall, pick up some fabric ones at your local dollar store and let the kiddos go to town!

16.  Halloween STEM Activity Day

It's always fun to incorporate learning into our countdown, especially when they're STEM activities.  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.

19.  Halloween Dance Party

Music is a huge part of our everyday lives.  Each holiday season I create a new Pandora station or Amazon play list.  The kiddos love our Halloween music and 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.

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.

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 a special themed Halloween party.  The kiddos have a blast.  

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 Printable!  This printable is free. Just click the link below.

For those who would like more holiday ideas and activities for kids, be sure to subscribe to our free newsletter by clicking the link below.

Don't forget your free printable! 

If you enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy the resources below.

Montessori-inspired Arachnid Activities for Preschool Students with FREE Printable Day of the Dead Comparison Activities for Preschoolers Bat Activitites for Preschoolers Fall Harvest Pumpkin Unit Halloween Activities for Tots and Preschoolers Day of the Dead Comparison Activities for Preschoolers Montessori-inspired Halloween Jack-o-lantern Printable Pack Montessori-inspired Halloween Animals Printable Pack Montessori-inspired Halloween Themed Language Bundle


  1. This is a brilliant list of activities. I am getting excited for the holiday now!

    I've included this in a round up of Halloween ideas on the Sunday Showcase.

  2. GREAT ideas! I love the personalized Halloween video! My kids would LOVE that. You've given me some great ideas for new Halloween traditions! Thanks for linking up to the After School Linky party.

  3. This is a FABULOUS list of ideas!! I'm pinning it on my (CarlaINHouston) Halloween board--thanks for sharing!