Are you ready for Halloween Tot School? This week I’ve rounded up some of the best fine and gross motor skills activities and crafts I could find. And as usual I’ve thrown in some links to Halloween themed printables, books yummy snacks so you have everything you need for a Halloween Tot School for your toddler or preschooler.
Halloween fine motor activities
Fine motor skills are an important part of your tot’s development, because without them they won’t be able to write, grasp small objects or fasten zips on their clothing.
Here are some wonderful Halloween fine motor activities for them to have fun with:
- Spider play dough – I love this invitation to create with lots of straws, pipe cleaners and goggly eyes to have fun creating spiders from play dough.
- Fine motor spider pull – A bag of spiders and spider web can easily be turned into a fine game that will test fine motor skills by playing catch the spider.
- Spider learning and fine motor table – I love this fine motor activity with a spider’s web woven with white yarn. I didn’t realise that including a relevant book in the play session could help with development and this is something I’ll try in future.
- Giant lacing spiderweb – For fine motor skill development on a giant scale this lacing activity is perfect!
- Scissor practice – Most of the time we use printables to encourage scissor practice, so I love this activity because it helps to develop those skills slightly differently using spiders and webs.
- Witchy fingers – If your little one has been practicing picking up items with tweezers this witchy themed activity will be perfect.
- Ghost bead count and lace – If you want to combine some maths work with fine motor skill development this count and lace game would be a great choice.
- Halloween play dough – I love this ghoulish invitation to play with witches, cats and spiders!
Halloween gross motor activities
We must not forget about helping develop the larger muscles needed for gross motor skills and encouraging climbing, running, crawling and jumping. Here are some wonderful Halloween gross motor activities to get your little one up and moving.
- Pumpkin move and match game – This game looks like so much fun, you stick the pumpkins on the wall and then the kiddos have to run around finding the shapes and matching them to the right pumpkin.
- Spider web walking – This one caught my eye because I love the mix of balance and problem solving.
- Halloween gross motor fun – There are four gross motor activities to choose from here, I think the spider toss looks like a lot of fun.
- Ghost catch craft & game – I love crafts that turn into games so this one jumped out at me. You turn milk jugs into ghosts and then use them to catch all kinds of Halloween themed items, from leaves, to pumpkins and of course spiders!
- Halloween scavenger hunt – If your neighbourhood has been decorated for Halloween why not take the kiddos out for a scavenger hunt and see what they can find.
- Mummy bowling game – I love how Kim has turned some water bottles and bandages into a great bowling game!
- Halloween obstacle course – If it’s cold and wet outside why not build an indoor obstacle course, complete with not so scary Halloween house.
- Sticky spider web – This is a wonderful gross motor activity to help the little ones practice their throwing skills.
To help develop numeracy and literacy skills you can use one of the many free printable packs that are shared by other mums. Here are some Halloween printables:
- Ten little monsters – printable book for early readers
- Jack-o-Lantern Halloween pack
- Halloween Pre-K pack
- Halloween counting cards
- Halloween charades
- Halloween bingo
- Halloween unit
- Halloween Do a Dot printables
Halloween sensory tubs and small world play
Sensory tubs are a brilliant way to encourage learning through invitation to play. Little ones can explore their senses as well as practicing pouring and measuring, counting and patterning. There is also an opportunity for small world play too as they explore and comprehend the world around them. Here are some brilliant ideas for Halloween sensory tubs and small world play:
- Monsters sensory bin – This is such a good idea for a Halloween themed sensory bin, and I can’t get over those little sponge monsters!
- Halloween sensory bin – Orange black and purple just screams witches doesn’t it? Your little one will have a blast discovering this sensory bin, and I love the idea to try it in a room with a black light.
- Halloween sensory bin with pumpkin spice rice – If your’e looking for ideas for a rice bin then this one is perfect, I like how Jaime uses pumpkin spiced rice to add to the sensory experience.
- Halloween sensory bag – I have hair gel and zip lock bags ready to make a sensory bag and I think Halloween might be the perfect time to do it!
- Slimy spaghetti – Oh this one just looks perfect for some Halloween sensory fun, might need to do this one while it’s still warm enough to play outside!
- Monster stew – If you have a baby around and you want to involve them in the Halloween fun check out this monster stew that Jen created.
- Halloween sensory bin – I love how this started out life as a sensory bin and then turned into a loading zone. It just goes to show that our children have vivid imaginations.
- Witches brew – If the weather where you are is still warm enough for some outdoor water play this witches brew activity will be the perfect choice.
- Edible eyeballs – Here’s another awesome sensory activity that’s great for toddlers and babies to play together… edible eyeballs!
Crafts are another way to develop fine motor skills and creativity and at the end of the session your tot will have created something they can show to daddy or their grandparents. These are some of my favourite Halloween crafts for toddlers and preschoolers!
- Paper plate black cat – This black cat is so cute with his pipe cleaner whiskers.
- Coffee filter spiderwebs – If your little one is ready to practice cutting with scissors this adorable craft is another great way to practice that fine motor skill.
- Melted bead Jack-o-Lantern suncatcher – Oh my this is so beautiful that i want to make one too! Another great fine motor skill craft as there are tiny beads involved.
- Tape resist skeleton painting – If you’re looking for a life sized craft then this one is just perfect, and it would work great for a medical/know your body themed Tot School too. Older siblings will have a blast making these too, you could have a whole family of skeletons!
- Beaded spider – This adorable little guy is a great Halloween craft for practising threading and beading skills.
- Painting pumpkins – If your little one loves to play with paint but isn’t really adept with a brush yet this painted pumpkin activity will be perfect for them. Could get a little messy though so be prepared.
- Potato print ghost garland – These potato print ghosts are super cute, and if you sting them all together you’ll have an adorable garland to hang on the mantle.
- Shadow puppets – These simple to make shadow puppets are a wonderful Halloween craft, but they can also be used at all times of the year to encourage children’s creativity and dramatic skills.
Here are some Halloween themed books for you to read together:
- The Very Busy Spider
- One, Two… Boo!
- The Spooky Wheels on the Bus
- The Night Before Halloween
- Creepy Carrots
All this learning is enough to make anyone hungry, so why not fix one of these tasty Halloween snacks to enjoy together!
- Pumpkin pie bites – Cute little pumpkin shaped pies that are just the right size for little hands to hold.
- Halloween chocolate sprinkle cookies – I don’t let my kiddos eat chocolate, but since it’s Halloween I might make an exception!
- Bat sugar cookies – Here’s another tasty snack that your little one can help you decorate before they eat it.
- Monster cookies – Since we’re on a cookie roll right now why not try these monster cookies, your little one can let their imagination to go town.
- Frozen Boo-nanas – My two go mad for bananas but we’ve never tried them frozen before… or covered in chocolate!
- Spooky spider snack – Grape lovers, like Miss E, will love this edible little spider.
- Homemade spider web pizza – A slice of an individual pizza can make a great snack when your little one has had an active day, and this spider web pizza is perfect for Halloween week!
~Clare – currently pinning to Spooky Halloween Fun and Recipes.