Here are some fun Halloween themed games and activities for toddlers and preschoolers that I've enjoyed playing at Halloween parties and with my students when I was a teacher:
Drop the Ghost: Give each child a tissue to make a ghost. Help the child pinch the centre of the unfolded tissue and twist it to make the head of the ghost. Once everyone’s ghost is made, let the kids drop their ghosts from the top of the stairs or throw them into the air. As the ghosts float down, the kids try to catch the ghosts.
Ghost-Ghost-Witch: This is a variation of Duck-Duck-Goose. The witch goes around saying "ghost-ghost -ghost.......witch". Then the witch has to chase the ghost and if she catch the ghost she can put a spell on it. (ie: make him sing, dance, bark etc.)
Pass The Pumpkin: Sit in a circle. Provide a plastic pumpkin for children to pass while the teacher beats on a drum. Children pass the pumpkin to the tempo of the music. Alternate between slow and fast. When the music stops the child who has the pumpkin stands and takes a bow. Continue process.
Spook-E-Do: Tell the children that each one of them will have a chance to show the others in the group a trick. Call on a child and lead the group to chant: "Hello, (Child's Name), Spook-E-Doo. What is the trick you are going to do? Will you hop, or bend, or spin around? Stretch, or wiggle, or touch the ground?" Continue until all the children have had a chance to show their trick.
Eyeball Mini Putt: You will need approximately a dozen golf balls with pupils drawn on to make eyeballs. Decorate boxes or containers in a festive deco and cut out a large enough entrance/exit to allow the balls to pass through. Then just set up a miniature golf course inside or outside and practice putting!
Pin the Grin on the Jack-O-Lantern: Draw a picture of a jack-o-lantern with eyes and a nose on a large piece of paper. Do not draw a mouth on the picture but cut a mouth out of black construction paper. Attach a piece of masking tape to the back of the mouth. Take turns blindfolding the children to see if they can stick the mouth onto the picture of the jack-o-lantern.
Halloween Twister: Take a large white sheet of paper and draw or attach pictures of witch hats, pumpkins, ghosts and black cats in rows. Then play a Halloween version of Twister.
Pumpkin Face: Cut a pumpkin shape out of orange construction paper, complete with eyes, nose, and a happy mouth. Then have children sit in a circle and all close their eyes. Tap one child on the shoulder and he/she comes and sits with caregiver. Put the happy pumpkin face in front of her/his face. Tell the rest of the kids to open their eyes and then sing together: "Who's behind the pumpkin face? Nobody knows but me! Who's behind the pumpkin face? Nobody knows but me! I won't tell you, you will have to guess! If the answer's right, I will tell you YES!". Then they take turns guessing who it is. Talk a bit about how we knew who it was, because of their curly hair or blue shirt etc. They love this game and we play it again and again.
Monster Freeze Dance: Play Halloween music and have the kids dance around like monsters! The Monster Mash is a great song for this game. When the music stops the kids freeze in their monster positions. The first kid to move is out, and the game continues until only one child is left.
Donut Chomp: Thread donuts on a long piece of string and make sure to leave space between each. Have the kids race to eat the donuts off of the string with their hands behind their backs.
Witch's Spell: Have kids form a circle. The Witch (teacher) will stand in the middle of the circle, spin around, then raise her hand and cast a spell on the kids, turning them into a particular animal or Halloween characters. Say: "Hocus, Pocus, Ala Kazam! Turn into dogs, if you can!" To change all animals back into kids: Say: "Hocus Pocus Ala Kazam! Now turn back into you!". You can change them into animals or Halloween characters.
Pumpkin Walk: This game is played like musical chairs. Place different colored pumpkins on the floor (made from construction paper) and the children walk around them to music. When the music stops the adult calls out a color and the children try to find a pumpkin of that color and stand on it.
Pin The Heart On The Skeleton: Buy or draw a skeleton on a big sheet of paper then tape a heart to the skeleton where a normal heart would be. Cut out hearts from red construction paper and put tape on the back of the hearts. Blindfold the children and have them put the heart on the skeleton.
Pass The Witches Broomstick: All you need is a broom with the wooden handle with foam. The kids sit in chairs or stand in a circle and pass the broom around the room on the steady beat until the music stops. Whoever has the broomstick when the music stops has to ride it around the room (if the want to) while everyone else claps. Let them wear a witch's hat to get the mood going. You could say it as a chant if you like:"Pass the witches broomstick round and round the room. While the music's playing, quickly pass the broom. Anyone is out, if the broomstick drops, Or the one who has it when the music stops!"
Trick For a Treat: Make up a bag with candy and a bag with slips of paper in it. The bag with slips of paper will have all 'trick' apart from one which will have 'treat'. The number of slips of paper should equal the number of children. All the kids who draw a 'trick' will have a specified trick that they will need to perform to get a piece of candy. One lucky child just wins a special 'treat'. The tricks can be singing a song, doing jumping jacks while turning around, other fun things that are fairly easy for little ones.
Pumpkin Buckets: This game is based on Bozo buckets and uses pumpkin buckets that children use to collect candy on Halloween night. Use five or six buckets and place them in a line (front to back). Give children bean bags to try to toss into each pumpkin beginning with the closest pumpkin.
Pumpkin Patch: Have children find places in the room and crouch down to look like pumpkins. Adult walks around the room saying: "Pumpkin Patch, pumpkin patch. Looking for a pumpkin in a pumpkin patch. Here's one nice and fat, turn into a jack-o-lantern just like that!". Adult stops and taps the child closest to her on the word "that" and then child gets up and joins adult by the hand. The activity repeats until all the children have been chosen.
Guess Which Paper Cup Has Candy Under It: The name of this game says it all. Have children turn their backs while you place five or six cups upside down on a table with candy under one. Tell them to turn around. Have one child at a time come to the table, guess until he guesses the correct cup. Give him a small prize "for being such a good guesser".
Marshmallow Bobbing: This game is a variation on Apple Bobbing. Take a large tub with ice water in it and float full size marshmallows in it. Each child is given a straw cut in half (shorter straws are easier to suck and hold the marshmallow). They then have to race to see who can suck up a marshmallow the fastest. Once a child scores a marshmallow they can eat it, and sit out to let another child have a turn if they cannot all fit around the basin at one time. Keep rotating until all the kids have had one or two marshmallows.
Halloween Eye Spy Activity: Go for a walk outside with the kids and look for Halloween decorations around the neighbourhood. Take turns playing eye spy and describing things such as: scarecrows, black cats, witches, pumpkins, ghosts, skeletons, monsters and vampires. Keep track of how many of each kind of decoration is seen on the walk.
Halloween Exercises: 1. Pumpkin fists (make tight fists) 2. Boo hands (have the children stretch their hands as far as they can saying "boo!!") 3. Spiders (tapping fingers on the table/floor). 4. Smashing spiders (smash "spiders" with flat hands onto table or floor). 5. Witches hats (use pincer fingers to make a triangle, place it on your head and cackle like a witch). 6. Two ghosts flying (have the children take their hands and press the palms together and "fly" with their arms). 7. Frankenstein sitting (chair or floor sit ups with flat palms). 8. Shake the scaries out (shake your whole body).
Guess The Ghost: Start by having the kids sit/stand in a circle. Have one child leave the room and take a large sheet and have another child stand and hide under the sheet. Mix up the remaining children in the room and then allow the child who left the room to come back inside. That child has to guess who's the ghost, by process of elimination they need to figure out which child is hiding under the sheet. Then that "ghost" goes out of the room and a different child becomes the new ghost, mix up the remaining children and repeat until all of the children have had a turn being the ghost.
I hope I've given you some neat games to try out at your next Halloween party. If you are looking for fun Halloween learning activities that you can do with your toddlers/ preschoolers check out my Halloween Countdown Calendar found in my Etsy shop. Happy Halloween!