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I have assembled a great list of fast and easy Halloween-inspired crafts and activities that I think any busy Mom could try with a toddler. These activities are all pretty simple and easy. In many cases the activity is more about the process than anything else. Sweet Pea is 2 years old and as much as I would love all of her art projects to be mini Monets, I realize that the act of doing art… and the act of doing art with me, is what matters the most.
Footprint Ghost Puppets
I got the idea for this super cute craft from Toddler Approved, which has many, many great craft ideas for toddlers and preschoolers. You can see the complete instructions here. Granted, the craft is super simple, which is why I knew I could do it with Sweet Pea one night after dinner and before bed. Basically, the biggest hurdle is to convince your 2 year old to stand still long enough to trace their footprints on the piece of white paper. We ended up making four ghosts. After I cut them out and used a sharpie to draw on faces, the goal was for Sweet Pea to color them. Ha, not so fast clever Momma! Did I mention we did this craft after dinner and before bed on a school night? Yeah, Sweet Pea was not in the artistic mood. She was in the throwing mood. So, she gave the coloring a token attempt and then proceeded to throw the crayons all over the kitchen. Being the eternal optimist that I am, I reframed the activity from coloring extravaganza to, ‘Pick Up Clean Up’ activity. It worked.
After that, Sweet Pea was more than interested in helping me glue tongue depressor craft sticks to the backs of the ghosts. After a few minutes the puppets were ready to go and we had a great time making them fly around the house and zoom, zoom, zoom, at each other’s faces and bellies. Ok, that was the best part.. lots of giggles. I highly recommend this activity.
Ok, so this one is a no-brainer, right? You have to decorate or carve pumpkins before Halloween night. I was not brave enough to wield a knife anywhere near Sweet Pea, so we went the decorating route. Fortunately, Target and the local craft store are great for supplies. Target sold adhesive mustaches and eyeglasses. I picked up googly eyes from the craft store and decided to let Sweet Pea have a different kind of painting experience. We used Creatology Do-A-Dot Art! Markers. They are great for little hands and not nearly as messy as full on paint. Sweet Pea had a great time mixing and matching colors and the result were some pretty cute Mommy-Sweet Pea pumpkins for Halloween night.
Apple Stamp Pumpkin Prints
This craft is a great example of a super quick and easy craft that any busy Mom can do with just a little prep. However, it is also a great example of a super cute craft in concept that doesn’t always work out the way you expect.. especially with a 2-year old. I got the idea for this craft from Denise at Mom in Madison. You can see how cute her pumpkins turned out here. I had high hopes. However, as soon as I gave Sweet Pea the apple stamp, splat! splat! splat! The paint went flying! Sweet Pea was less Martha Stewart and more Jackson Pollack for sure. So, I decided to just roll with it. She was having fun. As long as she didn’t get orange and green paint on the wall, why shouldn’t I have fun too, right? The resulting work of art looks more like ‘pumpkin craft deconstructed.’ However, it was a fun experience… and really, at 2 years old, art is more about the process than the end product anyway.
Stickers and Sprinkles
So, the last two activities are so simple and quick, I considered not including them. Except, that sometimes it is really the simplest things that are the most fun.. especially for a 2-year old.
Stickers– Pick up a sheet or two of Halloween-themed stickers. I saw some cute spider and jack-o-lantern stickers at Michaels but honestly, any stickers would be fine. I like the stickers we used for this activity because they were puffy and Sweet Pea’s two-year old fingers had enough dexterity to pull them off the stickers page herself. All I did was supply the orange construction paper. Of course, 2 year olds are fun and unpredictable, right? So, after all the stickers were arranged on the construction paper, the next phase of course was to stick them on the belly. Why didn’t I think of that? Sweet Pea gave herself ‘Spooky Pox.’
Cupcake decorating- Again, this is a super simple and fun activity any kiddo would love to do. I didn’t use any special kind of cake recipe. A Duncan Hines cake mix coupled with Halloween-themed cupcake liners, orange frosting, and spooky-colored sprinkles, and we were ready to go. I baked the cupcakes the night before. The next day, I frosted (not brave enough to let Sweet Pea near the vat of frosting.. yet) and had set out bowls of brightly colored sprinkles. Sweet Pea had a blast decorating the cupcakes. More than that though, she had a blast doing a fun activity with Mommy… and that is really what it is all about, isn’t it? Well, that and the ensuing sugar high. Ha!
Anyway, there are tons of great craft and activity ideas you can try with your toddler and preschooler. These were a few that a super busy, ‘work outside the home’ Mom could handle. I know, because I had a blast doing them with my sweet girl.
What are some easy and quick crafts and activities you have tried? I would love to hear your ideas!
Thanks for reading!