Candy-free Halloween Fun for Toddlers

Try these fun, sweets-free Halloween activities.

With Halloween right around the corner, you might be wondering how best to spend the holiday with your toddler. One-year-olds and two-year-olds may not yet be ready to hit the streets for trick-or-treating, and while you might take your toddler to a house or two, few parents want to deal with a toddler's sugar high after tearing through a bag full of Halloween candy. Skip the sweets and try some of these candy-free, Halloween-approved activities for toddlers and young children a try. 


Healthy Halloween Snacks

Copyright Crezalyn Nerona Uratsuji.

Halloween doesn't have to be all about the candy. In fact, filling your toddler or young child with hearty, healthy snacks is a great way to curb their appetites for the sweet stuff. For added fun, let your toddler help you out in the kitchen. Try easy, (mostly) healthy recipes with a Halloween twist. A few favorites include: Fire Ants on a Log, Mini Witches Brooms, Moldy Mashed Potatoes and Mummy Dogs. 


Halloween-themed Crafts

Break out the construction paper and the safety scissors -- toddlers love to get creative and Halloween calls for some not-so-spooky crafts. Try making a ghost suncatcher, paper jack-o-lantern, paper pumpkin lunch bag, pumpkin suncatcher or yarn spider web with your little one. 


Halloween Movie Night

While we don't want to go overboard on screen time, a special "movie night" complete with popcorn is a fun treat for Halloween. For toddlers, you want to stay away from anything that might scare them as well as longer movies (they probably won't be able to sit through it). Look for a great list of Halloween movies and cartoon specials appropriate for young children, including Dora the Explorer, Curious George, and The Cat in the Hat, and Mickey Mouse. 


Pumpkin Decorating

Giving sharp tools to toddlers isn't generally advised, so pumpkin carving is going to have to wait a few years. Instead, try decorating a pumpkin with paint, markers, glue and glitter. It might get a little messy, but your little one's pumpkin masterpiece will last longer than a carved pumpkin. 


Decorate for Halloween

Let your toddler help you decorate a room or even the whole house for Halloween. Head to a Dollar Store or another discount retailer where holiday-themed decor is typically only a few dollars. Let your little one pick out items and then decide together where in the house they will go. Toddlers will love helping mom and dad! 


Spooky Story Time

Visit your local library or bookstore and pick up some Halloween-themed books for a spooky (or spook-free) story time. Try these great books for toddlers and young children: Mouse's First Halloween, Five Little Pumpkins, and My First Halloween. Reading is a great way to wind kids down when a Halloween get together is coming to an end. 


Monster Mash

Toddlers can't resist a dance party, so clear a spot, and let little ones bust their best moves to a Halloween-inspired playlist. In addition to old favorites like Monster Mash and Thriller, add these songs to your iPod. This is also a great way to help toddlers "get their wiggles out" after a sugary treat. 


Costume Parade

Gather your favorite toddlers for a "parade" around the neighborhood that will allow them to show off their spooky and silly costumes. Keep routes short and avoid busy streets. Circling a local park is typically a great option. Little ones will love getting dressed up and seeing other kid's costumes. 

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