7 Ways to Celebrate Halloween at Your Child Care Center

Kids take part in Halloween activities at daycare.


This blog was originally published on Oct. 20, 2021, and was updated on Oct. 23, 2023, with new information. Children love making Halloween crafts and doing Halloween activities! Is your child care center ready? Let’s look at seven ways to celebrate with simple games and art projects!

1. Pumpkin Painting

Pumpkin carving is the ultimate fall activity. Instead of carving pumpkins, consider painting them instead!

Buy at least one pumpkin for every child enrolled in your program as well as plastic sheeting, an assortment of colored paints and a pack of small paint brushes.

When you’re ready to paint pumpkins with your kids, lay the plastic sheeting on the floor and on top of the table to keep them clean. Then let each child pick out a pumpkin and unleash their creativity upon it.

If you want to make the activity educational, ask them to paint specific things on their pumpkins such as eyes, noses and mouths.

And if you really want to get creative with the pumpkins in your preschool room, check out this fall-themed pumpkin-bowling lesson for preschoolers that focuses on physical development!

When activity time is over, you can let each kid take their creation home to show their families or you can display them around your child care center.

2. Indoor Trick-or-Treating

Accessorize the doors in your child care center with festive Halloween decorations. Then give your kids a bucket and have them collect candy from a different teacher behind each door.

This is a super fun way to trick-or-treat while being safe.

If you have an outdoor space and the weather is nice, you can set up different trick-or-treat stations in the yard. Make use of the space you have and treat your daycare kids to a fun activity they’ll remember for years to come.

3. Costume Fashion Show

Kids have wild imaginations, which is one of the reasons why Halloween is such a fun holiday for them. They can be superheroes, animals, princesses — whatever they want.

Embrace this and plan a costume fashion show for your little tikes. It’s really easy, just line your kiddos up at one end of the room. Then give each of them the chance to strut their stuff in front of the others, making sure to cheer loudly for each participant.

Ask your teachers to dress up and participate, too!

4. Scary Good Treats

Baking cupcakes is a fun Halloween activity.


Start your holiday baking now and whip up some scary good treats to share with your daycare kids: skeleton-shaped cookies, orange-dyed Rice Krispies cut to resemble pumpkins or marshmallow-topped cupcakes that look like ghosts all will be popular!

If your kids are old enough, have them bake with you. This is a great way for them to work on their math skills, learn to follow directions and practice patience.

Here are a couple recipes:

  • Mummy Pops: These pops are real show-stoppers. Make them in under two hours!
  • Ghost Cupcakes: These cupcakes only require a few ingredients.
  • Oreo Spiders: These treats are super easy to make (no baking) and incredibly tasty.

5. Halloween-Inspired Crafts

Take a look at your daycare schedule and pencil in time for Halloween-inspired crafts.

Like the scary good treats mentioned above, the internet is full of fun crafts you can do with your kids on Halloween.

Do you want to make pom pom spiders? Think your kids will get a kick out of mummy mason jar luminaries? Give them a try. Or maybe popsicle stick scarecrows are more your daycare’s speed!

And here’s one more activity to consider:

A Halloween craft in which children can finish drawing a picture of a ghost using squares.

6. Fun Halloween Games

There are a TON of different Halloween games you can play with your daycare kids.

Stick with the classics and have children bob for apples. Or play hot potato with a small pumpkin — just make sure to call it “pass the pumpkin” instead. Or play pin the tail on the donkey, but have kids pin eyes on a ghost or something similar.

Looking for something a little different? Try the Monster Monster game. Here’s how to play:

  1. Stand at one end of the yard and have your daycare kids line up at the other.
  2. Have your kids yell to you from across the yard, “Monster, monster are you hungry?”
  3. Respond to your kids, “Not really, come closer” and have them inch forward.
  4. Repeat the question and answer process until you finally reply, “Yes!”
  5. Chase your kids and try to catch as many as possible before they run back to safety.
  6. Start over with the kids you caught in the last round joining you on the monster side.

7. Spooky Music Time

Finally, make a playlist of spooky songs to sing with your daycare kids during music time.

Not sure which songs to add? No problem, here’s a great Halloween playlist on YouTube. And here’s another Halloween playlist on Spotify. Listen to both playlists first to make sure the material is appropriate for your kids.

Of course, your kids don’t have to just sit and listen to the songs. Turn music time into game time and have kids dance while the music is playing, then freeze when the music stops.

If you care for slightly older kids, try telling spooky stories instead. This activity is especially fun if you build a blanket fort first. Then crawl in and tell a kid-friendly story or two. Just make sure your stories aren’t too frightening!

Make Your Halloween Celebration Memorable

Kids take part in Halloween activities at daycare.


Halloween is one of the best days of the year for kids. Make your daycare’s Halloween celebration memorable this year by planning one (or two or three!) of the activities listed above.

When your crafts are done, send them home with your kids so that their parents can admire their handiwork. This is a great way to keep parents engaged.