for ages 2 and up with Adult Participation & Supervision
We recently received Monster Bowling by Melissa & Doug. This game lends itself perfectly to the Halloween season, but can also be enjoyed throughout the year. If your child is frightened of monsters, ghosts and the more frightening aspects of Halloween, they will not be frightened by these monsters. They are silly monsters that made my kids giggle. Who would be scared of these guys?
I set up the game like a traditional bowling game and gave each child 3 chances to knock down the monster pins. The bowling game came with a plush ball perfect for knocking down pins. The soft pins are weighted on the bottom which makes it easy for even a child to set up. Despite the weight, they are able to be knocked down fairly easily when hit with the ball.
It took the kids a few turns to figure out how to aim the ball and how hard to roll it. But once they got the hang of it they were knocking down pins like old pros.
Halloween Hide and Seek
All kids love to play hide and seek. To make this game more Halloween friendly, hide some Halloween props and have kids seek them. We used our Melissa & Doug Monster Bowling friends, but you can also use some fun toys like plastic spiders or bugs or small ghost or pumpkin erasers.
I started out the game hiding all the monsters while the kids turned their backs. When I was done, I let the kids loose. They searched all over the backyard and were thrilled when they found the monsters.
They really loved this game but they lost interest in me hiding the monsters. They insisted that they take turns hiding the monsters and finding them. I was surprised they worked so well together and did not argue at all.
Memory is a classic game that my kids love playing. If your kids are like mine, you can easily create a Halloween themed Memory game to play with them.
I simply went to my Word program and did an image search for "Halloween." I printed 2 of each image on a piece of paper. I ended up with 8 matches. The beautiful thing about making this yourself is that you can make it as easy or challenging as you want depending on your child's particular skill level.
Once you have your images printed out you will need some construction paper and glue. I used Melissa & Doug Multi-Colored Construction Paper and Melissa & Doug Non-Roll Glue Sticks.
Cut our your images and cut some construction paper in the same size to glue on the back. I chose orange construction paper since I thought it seemed perfect for Halloween.
Lay out the cards face down on the table and play a game of Memory with your child.
You can even have the kids play together which will build their turn taking and cooperation skills.
Not a match, try again!
Make a Jack o' Lantern
For this activity you will need some construction paper, scissors, glue and markers. We used Melissa & Doug Non-Roll Magic Markers. You will want to start by cutting some large circles out of orange construction paper. Next, cut some eyes, noses and mouths from black construction paper. I did different shapes for variety and so the kids could have a choice as to how their jack o' lantern looked. If you have older kids they would probably enjoy cutting the faces for the pumpkin themselves.
You can make this into a game by calling out pieces for kids to glue on. "Everybody find a mouth and glue it on!"
When the kids are done gluing on faces they can use their markers to add some other features like eyebrows and to further decorate their pumpkin. We glued our pumpkins to a background paper to complete the project.
Cut a stem out of green construction paper, glue it to your pumpkin and your jack o' lantern is complete.
As you can see, it's simple to add a Halloween twist to some familiar games and activities. Doing so will breathe new life into old favorites and add to the excitement of an upcoming holiday.
Vicky Perreault is a busy mom to three kids - 3 year old twins and a 2 year old. She believes that kids learn best through play and hands on activities. As a former teacher, Vicky finds great joy in facilitating learning and play experiences for her children and sharing those ideas with other parents on her blog Mess For Less.
and add small pic to the left