In my 15 years plus of professional nanny experience, I was fortunate to spend nearly 7 of those years working with the same family. While we shared many fun times together, one of our favorite traditions was hosting our annual Halloween party.
Each year, my nanny friends and I would pool our talents and creativity and come up with some of the best age-appropriate Halloween themed activities for children under 5.
Here’s a list of my top favorite kid tested, nanny approved, Halloween activities for young children:
1. Cookie decorating
I have fond memories of our girl’s night out where we’d spend the night before our party baking homemade sugar cookies cut out in the shapes of pumpkins, bats, hats and broomsticks. When it came time to decorate the cookies, each child was given 3 small paper cups filled with various colors of frosting and a plastic spoon. This activity provided loads of fun and doubled as a party treat.
2. Hide the bones
A Halloween themed scavenger hunt, we’d hide tons of plastic bones (available at party supply stores) throughout the yard and give each child a pail to collect the bones in. This game was lots of fun! If you can’t find bones, you can use small plastic pumpkins.
3. Donuts on a string
A real fun one to watch, we’d tie mini powdered donuts onto a short string and then tie each stringed donut onto a long string that we’d hold at each end, mouth level to the kids. We’d instruct the kids to put their hands behind their backs and to eat the donuts. I’m not sure who had more fun with this one. The adults watching or the kids eating!
4. Halloween sing-along
We’d make our own Halloween band as we’d sit and sing songs together like “5 Little Pumpkins,” and “I’m a Little Ghostie.” A simple Google search for “Halloween song lyrics for kids” will guide you to tons of sites that provide free lyrics to Halloween themed songs to familiar tunes for kids.
5. Halloween story time
A quiet, but fun activity was our Halloween lap-sit story time. The Biscuit series has several great Halloween themed books including “Happy Halloween Biscuit,” and “Biscuit Visits a Pumpkin Patch.” Some other favorites include “The Bernstein Trick or Treat” and “Curious George Goes to a Costume Party.”
In addition to our fun filled activities, we’d decorate with a pumpkin theme, have Halloween themed coloring pages and crayons out for the children to do while the remainder of the guests arrived, and had kid friendly Halloween themed music playing in the background.
Planning a party for a bunch of small children can be lots of fun. When the activities are age appropriate and structured, you and the children are guaranteed to have a blast!