Toddler Halloween Party: Activities for the Very Active

10.27.09: Leo's 17th month


“So,” wrote my friend Joy about the Halloween party we’re co-hosting. “What activities should we do?”

“Oh,” I emailed back, “weren’t we just going to give them sugar, then grab a beer and sit back and watch them trash the house?”

Just call me Martha Stewart. Of course, the party’s at Joy’s house, so I suppose I can see why she might not go for my original concept. That and, once again, I’ve neglected to notice that our children are, in fact, capable of activities (and not just the one wild endless frenzy of activity that has characterized their play since they learned to walk a few long months ago).

So Aaron called his sister the teacher. Joy did some online research and ordered 200 plastic balls. And I made a test batch (ahem) of pumpkin buttons, which we’ll be serving along with cheddar and scallion bites. Here are the activities we’ve got in mind (if you’ve got suggestions, please leave them in the comments!):

Ball Pit! Fill inflatable kiddy pool with 200 balls, add toddlers, stir.

Touchy-Feely Bags! Fill bags with things that are hard (block), soft (rubber ball in a sock), squishy (wet washcloth tied in a sandwich bag), bristly (nailbrush) and crinkly (tin foil ball) and let kids stick their hands in and feel around without looking.

Bucket Brigade! Everyone gets one of the 10,000 empty yogurt containers we’ve apparently been hoarding for just this occasion. We stand in a line and dump a handful of raw pasta from one container to the next. “No no,” we shout as we play, “not for eating!” Hmm…Maybe there’s something else we can use?

Streamers! This involves streamers! And trashing the house.

Bubble Wrap! We put down lots, and we jump on it!

Drum Circle! You know.

Monster Mash! In which we distribute lentil-filled sock-covered water bottles to shake and my dignified husband leads a musical interlude that involves arm-waving and roaring.

Mittens and No-Snowballs! In which we all put on mittens and try to transfer the balls from the ball pit to a big sack!

Recipe: Vegan Pumpkin Buttons