Easy and Fun Halloween Activities You Can Do at Home with Kids!
If you’re looking for some fun ways to celebrate with your little one at home this year, we’ve got some great Halloween activities for you to try! Every October at the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County, we host FUNtazmagoria, a family-friendly Halloween-themed celebration. This spooky celebration features a number of fun and educational activities perfect for kids of any age.
There are so many fun ways to celebrate the spooky season with your little ones that also incorporate great hands-on learning opportunities! Check out our PLAYology Playbook blog to find even more Halloween STEAM Activities You Can Do at Home with Your Toddler!
5 Halloween Activities for Toddlers
Using common household items, your little learner can enjoy some friendly fun this October with these Halloween activity ideas!
These activities are designed for children of any age and learning levels. Plus, you will likely already have many of the materials in your home, making set-up super simple and easy. Better yet; because all of these activities are meant to provide a fun, hands-on learning experience, with just some small tweaks, you can enjoy them year-round too!
1. Halloween Lava Lamps
With this Halloween activity, you can make your own DIY lava lamp out of basic household materials! This activity is easy, safe, and looks super groovy! (Parent supervision is required for this activity.)
- Clear Glass Jar
- Vegetable Oil (any colorless oil)
- Food Coloring
- Alka-Seltzer Tablets
- Googly Eyes (optional)
- Permanent Markers (optional)
How to Make Halloween Lava Lamps:
- Draw a monster mouth and glue googly eyes to the outside of your jar to make it a Halloween Monster! (You can decorate your jar however you want, or skip this step.)
- Fill your jar 1/3 of the way up with water.
- Fill the remainder of the jar with your vegetable oil, leaving about an inch of space from the brim.
- Observe: How do the oil and water react to each other? Do they mix? Why not?
- Answer: Oil is less dense than water, meaning it’s lighter. So instead of the two liquids mixing together, the dense water molecules sink to the bottom of the glass, while the lighter oil molecules float to the top.
- Now add 2 or three drops of food coloring.
- Observe: Does the oil change color when you add the food coloring? Why not?
- Answer: Food coloring is water-based, so it is also heavier than the oil and sinks to the bottom of the glass.
- Break up one Alka-Seltzer tablet into smaller pieces and drop them into your jar one at a time.
- Watch your Halloween lava lamp erupt! As the reaction slows down, simply add more pieces of Alka-Seltzer.
- Once all of your Alka-Seltzer pieces have dissolved, you can keep your lava lamp securely covered to use again later! Just add more Alka-Seltzer!
- Observe: What caused the colorful water to react when you drop the Alka-Seltzer pieces in?
- Answer: When you drop the Alka-Seltzer pieces into the jar, they create a chemical reaction with the water creating Carbon Dioxide (CO2) bubbles. The CO2 bubbles fuse with the colorful water, creating colorful bubbles that float to the top of the jar. When the bubbles reach the top, they pop, and the colorful water sinks back down to the bottom.
2. DIY Halloween Oobleck Recipe
Every little mad scientist needs to know how to make Halloween Oobleck! This homemade slime is the perfect Halloween activity that combines spooky science with sensory play and only requires three ingredients!
Halloween Oobleck Recipe:
- 2 Cups Cornstarch
- 1 Cup Water
- Food coloring
How to Make Halloween Oobleck Slime:
- Mix a few drops of your food coloring into your cup of water. Start with just a few drops, and slowly add more to get your desired color. (Adding too much food coloring may get on your hands.)
- Then pour in your two cups of cornstarch and mix until your oobleck is formed! Muhahahaha! It’s that easy!
- Scoop out some of the oobleck into one hand.
- Observe: Without squeezing the oobleck, does it drip out of your hand like it’s liquid?
- Now squeeze the oobleck between two of your hands.
- Observe: When you squeeze and knead the oobleck, does it act more like a solid? Why does oobleck act like a liquid and a solid?
- Answer: Oobleck is neither a liquid nor a solid! Plot twist! It is a Non-newtonian fluid, which means it can exist in more than one state of matter: liquid matter and solid matter. When pressure is applied to it, (like when you squeezed it), its flow rate (viscosity) is changed, thus its state of matter is changed as well.
So oobleck acts more like a solid object when pressure is applied to it because this causes all its solid particles (the corn starch) to clump together. When no pressure is applied to the oobleck it acts more like a liquid because all the solid particles (cornstarch) are suspended in the liquid (water).
3. Mummy Counting Game
This Halloween counting activity is a great way for little learners to practice their numbers, and their motor skills at the same time. Plus, the Mummy Counting Game also doubles as a cute DIY Halloween decoration!
- Paper Plate
- Single Hole Punch
- White String
- All along the rim of your paper plate, punch some holes. You can punch as many or as few as you want, and they can be spaced out however you like, as long as they are all along the edge of the plate. (more holes = more counting)
- Using a pen, label each hole with a number, but make sure to put your numbers in random order.
- Let your little one draw a Mummy face in the center of the paper plate.
- Cut a long piece of string and tie one end of it to the hole labeled as number one. (The string should be long enough to wrap all the way around the plate quite a few times.)
- Now let your little one string through the numbered holes counting in order! Once they have strung all the holes, the plate should look like a mummy’s face all wrapped up!
4. The Dancing Ghost Science Experiment
This ghostly science experiment demonstrates static electricity and only requires a balloon and kleenex. The results may shock you!
- A Tissue (Like a Kleenex)
- A Balloon
- A Pen
How to Do the Dancing Ghost Experiment:
- Trace a ghost shape onto your tissue, and give your ghost some eyes and a mouth.
- Once you have completed drawing your ghost, cut it out and place it on a flat surface.
- Blow up your balloon and tie it closed.
- Then rub your balloon really fast through your hair for about 10-15 seconds.
- Observe: What did your hair do after a few seconds of rubbing the balloon on it?
- Once your balloon is charged, slowly move it directly over your tissue ghost, and watch it rise off the counter and dance!
- Observe: Why does the tissue ghost float off the table when you move a balloon toward it? Why do you have to rub the balloon in your hair first?
- Answer: By rubbing the balloon in your hair, you’re building up a static charge! This “charge” is a bunch of negatively charged electrons that have built up on the surface of the balloon. The negative electrons pull positively charged electrons toward them. In this case, the invisible charge is pulling your tissue ghost around and making it dance!
5. Exploding Monster Bags
This Halloween STEAM activity gives your young Frankstiens front row seats to a chemical reaction! It’s alive! It’s alive!! (To avoid a mess, consider taking this science experiment outside.)
- Plastic Ziplock Bags
- Baking Soda (1 tbs per bag)
- Vinegar (¼ cup per bag)
- Toilet Paper (single ply-works best)
- Food Coloring (optional)
- A Baking Dish or Container
- Clear Tape
- Black Sharpie (optional)
- Safety Glasses
How to Make Exploding Monster Bags:
- Make Your Monster Bag: Using a permanent marker, draw a monster face on the outside of your ziplock bag.
- Make a Baking Soda Pouch: In one single square of toilet paper scoop 1 tbsp of baking soda.
- Fold and tape the toilet paper closed, sandwiching the baking soda inside. Make sure the pouch is fully sealed so no baking soda can fall out, but don’t use too much tape so that there is still enough toilet paper exposed.
- Make Your Vinegar Solution: Mix a few drops of food coloring into your vinegar.
- Fill your Monster Bag with ¼ cup of your vinegar solution and close the bag at least halfway. (Keep the bag open wide enough to place your baking soda pouch inside.)
- Make Your Monster Bags Explode: Make sure all your scientists are wearing their safety glasses, and then carefully place your baking soda pouch inside your Monster Bag and seal the ziplock bag.
- Lightly shake your Monster Bag a couple of times to make sure the vinegar saturates the baking soda pouch, and quickly place it into the baking dish/container.
- Step back and watch your Monster Bag explode! (If the bag does not pop open you just need to add more baking soda next time.)
- Observe: What happened inside the bag after you added your baking soda pouch and closed it? Did the bag begin to expand? Did your bag pop?
- Answer: By mixing baking soda and vinegar, you created a chemical reaction! This reaction produces carbon dioxide (CO2). If your Monster Bag is properly sealed, the carbon dioxide fills it up, making the bag expand like a balloon until it pops!
FUNtazmagoria at The Children’s Museum of Sonoma County
Come see the magical transformation of the Children’s Museum every October during our annual FUNtazmagoria event! Don’t miss your chance to get front row seats to our explosive Pumpkin Plop show and watch pumpkins get dropped into a landing zone from 50ft up! Explore our ghostly Glow-In-The-Dark Laboratory, help the Mad Scientist brew up potions, participate in spooky themed programming, and so much more!