by Melissa Jaramillo
Halloween will be here before you can say "black cat!"
Are you ready to enlist the kids and create some boo-ti-ful crafts?
Parents with older kids can choose from hundreds of projects, but finding one for your tot-sized ghost or goblin can be scary!
From pumpkin to bats, with a bit of adult supervisions, even a small child can create cool but spooky stuff with these toddler-friendly Halloween crafts!
Haunting but happy Halloween crafts
Although Halloween has frightening origin of Halloween, you can make it fun and non-scary for your toddlers. Just use a smiley face on those happy jack-o-lanterns, friendly ghosts, and fun little monsters.
Hand print spiders
✓ White construction paper or card stock
✓ Black paint
✓ White gel pen
✓ Paint brush or cotton balls
Apply paint to your toddler's palm and four fingers. Skip the thumb. Help your child make a hand print on the paper.
Turn the paper around and make another hand print, facing the opposite direction with the palm area overlapping. Distract your child and with black, paint over any white areas in the spider's body. Set the spider aside to dry. Paint white circles for the eyes and add a big smile.
The pumpkin patch
✓ White construction paper
✓ Orange tempera paint
✓ Non-toxic crayons or markers
With a green marker, draw a wide, squiggly line across the paper. Have your helper add the leaves. It's okay if they're just green scribbles. That's how toddlers learn to draw.
Place a small amount of orange paint in a shallow dish. Have your wee pumpkin how to make a fist. Dip the four-finger part into the paint and stamp it near the "vine." Repeat to make several pumpkins. Allow the paint to dry.
Dot glue and have your child add paper eyes or draw on eyes and a happy smile. Hang it up for all to see.
Sparkly clothespin bats
✓ A 6 to 8" bat template (you can draw one freehand)
✓ Black paint and a paintbrush
✓ Wooden clothespin
✓ Craft glue
✓ White pencil
✓ Hole punch
Using the white pencil, trace and cut out two bats from your template. Glue the two bats cutouts together at their wingtips. Use the hole punch to make eyes. Set the bat aside to dry.
Cover the work area with plastic or newspaper. If your child enjoys painting, put a bit of black paint into a lid and have them paint the clothespin. Otherwise, it can be a finger painting project.
"Paint" a design on the bat with glue. Your child can sprinkle glitter over the glue or top it with small scraps of paper. Allow to dry. Place glue on each side of the clothespin. Slip it between the bat cutouts and pinch it in place for a few second. Once dry, hang the bat from the highest reach of your living room to welcome your guests.
✓ Pumpkin shapes cut out of card stock
✓ Orange finger paint
✓ Black construction paper
✓ Black permanent marker
✓ Hole punch
Spread a plastic sheet on the table and let your little one paint the pumpkin shapes orange. Set them aside to dry. Cut eyes from the black paper. If your child doesn't eat them, you can use googly eyes.
Once the pumpkins are dry, dab glue where the eyes go and show your tot how to add them. If they end up a bit skewed, that's okay.
Add a jagged or smiling marker mouth. Punch a hole in the top of the pumpkin and hang from the ceiling with a piece of string.
Your toddler's project might not be perfect, but that smile you see as you hang it up can't be beat!
Do you have a favorite toddler holiday craft?
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.