by Julie Snyder
Older kids have their own ideas to share for Halloween fun, but don’t forget the little ones. They're always eager to join right in there and get their hands slimy with pumpkin guts or paint as well!
Before you get started, goblins and monsters may be too scary for tiny kids.
Are you searching for crafts and activities that entertain your preschooler and include them in the Halloween fun, not fright? We've collected crafts, decorations and activities that are so easy it's almost scary -- but not for your child!
Last-minute Halloween crafts for preschoolers
Double the jack-o-lantern fun
The satisfying sloosh of paint! The creation of not one, but two, masterpieces perfect to decorate your windows or your wall!
✓ White paper
✓ A pumpkin template, with features cut out
✓ Orange paint and brushes
Place the template on the white paper, taping only at top of the stem. Paint the face and all around it with the orange paint. Set it aside to dry. Remove the template and your child has two pumpkin faces -- the "positive" orange one and the "negative" white one.
Perhaps your small princess, fairy or wizard needs a wand. Create the base of the wand use odds and ends of tinker toys, dowels or even a stick.
✓ A wand base -- dowel, tinker toys or a stick
✓ Craft glue
✓ Glitter, ribbons and scraps of cloth
Once the wand shape is chosen let your budding witch decorate it with paint, glitter, ribbons or scraps of cloth. You can make it an all-day event. Start with a nature walk and search for the perfect wand stick. Come home for hot cocoa, wand decorating and a movie with that magic corn -- the kind that pops!
Paint and preschoolers go together like ghost and boo. Here's an activity your child can leap into with both feet!
✓ Newspapers or plastic sheet
✓ Black construction paper
✓ White and black non-toxic paint
Protect your work area with newspapers and put down a sheet of black construction paper. Sponge white paint on the bottom of your child's bare foot. Have your child step on the black paper and roll the foot to make sure a print of the entire foot transfers to the paper.
Wash paint off your child's foot and allow them to sprinkle a little glitter on the ghost. When it's dry, paint or draw a simple face -- two eyes and a mouth -- on the heel with black paint.
Ew! Blech! What is this goo?
You might hear it called cornstarch goo, oobleck or a non-Newtonian fluid. No matter what the name, kids of all ages love to play with it.
✓ Large bowl or pan
✓ 1/2 cup water
✓ Food coloring, optional
Pour the cornstarch into the bowl. If you want to use food coloring, add a few drops to the water. Slowly add the water, gently mixing with your hands until the cornstarch feels wet.
What's wet enough? Oobleck feels like a liquid when you're mixing it slowly. When the consistency is just right, it feels like a solid when you tap the surface with your finger or a spoon. Add a little more water if it's too powdery. If it's too wet, add more cornstarch.
What's your favorite preschooler Halloween craft? Share it with us!
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.