Written by Jo Fletcher & Kellie Blinco for Astute

Are you one of the many families from all over the world ready to celebrate Halloween with your under five but don’t know where to start? If you are, you might be one of us who is thinking that Halloween isn’t for toddlers or pre-schoolers because it’s too scary, or gory.  Well, look no further as we have some ideas that aren’t scary, just a little spooky and friendly for you and your under five-year-old to enjoy.

It’s all about the sugar high right? Wrong. Halloween doesn’t have to be one big sugar crush and knocking on people’s doors looking for treats and tricks.  This particular tradition might not be for you, and that’s okay! Let’s have a look at some other ways to celebrate with children under five.

  1. Dress up time!

It’s time to dig deep in the dress up and craft box, get yourself dressed up, and decorate your house in a spooky friendly décor.  Nothing comes to mind, no need to stress.  Let your children lead the way as you search and rummage through the house collecting anything that can be turned into a costume.  Scraps of material, old pillow cases, paper, scissors, cereal boxes, ribbon and more! The options are endless when it comes to the imagination of a little person under five. Let your hair down, relax and enjoy the crafty side of the ride as your children create their won costume! 

  1. It’s dinner time with a Halloween twist!

Halloween themed food seems to be all about the treats filled with sugar, and let’s face it, YUM! But if you’re wanting a little more nutrition for your under five, then why not create a Halloween dinner feast!  Children love to cook with their parent or adult carer in their life, so get in the kitchen and start creating your own spooky food, or, check out some of the recipes below:

  • Frankengreen smoothie 
  • Halloween Fangs (gluten free)
  • Halloween Apple Spiders 
  • Pumpkin Pancakes (gluten free)

These recipes and more can be found on line, or make your own spooky recipes with ideas and more from:


3. Pumpkin carving & small world play

When we think of pumpkin carving our thoughts generally wander straight to Jack O’Lanterns, but not this time, no no no!  This year have a go at carving out a pumpkin house for your under five to create their own fairy house or even an animal house. As the adult, it will be your job to gather your child’s ideas and put in the elbow grease to carve the pumpkin but; once this is done, let them decorate it and enjoy the joy of small world play!

  1. Have fun with Halloween themed games!

Nothing beats the fun and laughter of a few good old fashioned games with the family right?  Get ready to wear off the sugar high and get physical! Think about your favourite game as a child and reinvent it with a spooky Halloween twist.  Ask your under five what games they play with their friends and mix it up a little with Halloween themes.  Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Musical chairs are always a favourite- change it to Halloween Freeze and make a spooky pose when the music disappears
  • Keepy Uppy in true Bluey style with a white ghost balloon
  • Ten Pin Bowling turned into Boo Bowling
  • Decorate a pumpkin that becomes ‘Hello Mr Pumpkin’

Once more, the options are endless on many sites all over the internet just like the one below.  But don’t stop there.  Get creative and make your own games and who knows, you might even create a Halloween tradition custom built for your family to last a lifetime of spooky nights!


  1. Halloween Bedtime Story

So much sugar, so much fun and laughter and now it’s time to wind down ready for bed with a bedtime story.  One that comes to mind for me is ‘Room on a Broom’ which has been on repeat in my house each and every Halloween night.  Stories like this one (and the ones listed below), have all the Halloween themes without the scary. You could even try and make up your own Halloween story where fun and laughter are in, and scary and gore are out!

However, you decide to celebrate Halloween, just remember it can be fun for all ages.  Let your children tell you what it means to them, and how they want to celebrate and make it your own Halloween this year!