This Halloween countdown calendar will help super excited children keep busy as they wait for the holiday! It’s chock full of Halloween activities for preschoolers to sink their hands into as they count down to the end of October.
You can grab your free printable version of the calendar at the end of this post!
Sometimes children get really excited for something the know is coming up, right? It could be a visit with friends, getting a new toy, or even an upcoming holiday.
Often this excitement comes with A LOT of questions, too. Right now, you might be hearing a lot of, “Is it Halloween yet?” or “Is Halloween tomorrow?” It’s hard for young children to understand the passing of time.
Why not channel that excitement into some fun, hands-on learning activities? Bonus . . . the children will also start exploring counting and how time passes at the same time!
Halloween Countdown Calendar Activities
The calendar has 31 spots, one for each day in October. It’s not created around one specific year. This way, you can use it with your students year after year.
Within each spot on the Halloween countdown calendar you’ll find a seasonal activity to try with the kids.
There are art, sensory, literacy, fine motor, and science activities for the kids to try.
Now, if you don’t want to try every single activity on the calendar, that’s okay!
Just pick and choose the ideas that most appeal to your kids, or focus in on the ones that don’t require you to grab too many supplies. The point is to have fun while engaging the kids.
Let’s take a look at each day . . .
October 1: Start the Countdown
Set up a pumpkin patch small world play invitation for the kids.
If you’re planning to go to the pumpkin patch later in the month, this is a great way for the kids to practice what might happen there.
You don’t need too many items to set this up. Rocks, toy pumpkins, and maybe some toy tractors are all you need to get started.
October 2: Countdown with a Craft
This Halloween craft for kids is super simple.
Grab paper plates, some orange paint, and some orange cupcake liners. The kids can create as they see fit.
Then add Happy Halloween in black marker. Now the kids have a sweet decoration for the home or classroom.
October 3: Halloween Countdown with Mini Erasers
Break out the mini erasers for these easy Halloween activities!
If you don’t have mini erasers, just grab some other little Halloween-themed toys.
October 4: Art with Pumpkin Seeds
Next up on the Halloween countdown calendar is colorful pumpkin seed art for the fall.
My students loved making fall trees with the pumpkin seeds, but yours might want to create something completely different.
October 5: Scented Fine Motor Fun
My students adored this scented fine motor pumpkin activity using dyed chickpeas.
Lots of counting and fine motor skills were practiced using the tiny “pumpkins” made from chickpeas.
October 6: Halloween Countdown Calendar Art
Explore fall process art with the kids with some pumpkin pie painting.
No, they’re not painting with pie, I promise! But they are stamping with mini pumpkins and adding some pumpkin pie spice to their paint.
I just couldn’t leave that off of our Halloween countdown calendar. It’s too much fun.
October 7: Pumpkin Sensory Bottles
Work with the kids to make their own pumpkin glitter jars.
We loved making them with round, plastic containers . . . but you can really use any containers you already have on-hand.
October 8: Coffee Filter Pumpkins
Your Halloween art activities wouldn’t be complete without these coffee filter jack-o-lanterns.
Try making them both ways, with coffee filters AND coffee filter art prints. You will love how creative the kids are with these.
October 9: Monster Slime
On the ninth day of the Halloween countdown calendar, we have a monster slime recipe.
It’s not that hard to make, and then the kids can create their very own slime monsters with it!
You can extend the slime activity with some early math skills as well if you want!
October 10: Bat Reader
Now it’s time for a printable bat emergent reader!
I’m all about incorporating printable books into the fun, and I’ve found children get a kick out of being authors and illustrators.
This bat book can also be used as play dough counting mats if you’d prefer.
October 11: Pumpkin Geoboard
Okay, this might be my favorite activity on this Halloween countdown calendar.
Make a pumpkin geoboard!
It’s just so engaging, and every child I’ve ever done this with has LOVED it! (Seriously . . . we’ve ended up with some mangled pumpkins because they wanted to play with them over and over again.)
October 12: Bat Sensory Bin
Put together a Stellaluna activity with a batty sensory bin.
This is a fun way to explore day and night, as well as camouflage. And what a fun sensory link to a favorite children’s book.
October 13: Matching Game
Make your own Halloween matching game with the kids, using the included free printable.
It would make for a fun Memory-like game, and you can also incorporate the images into writing or storytelling.
October 14: Sensory Play for Halloween
Create a couple of Halloween sensory activities using materials you’ve already gathered for previous days’ activities.
Remember, sensory bins don’t need to be super fancy to be fun and engaging for the kids!
October 15: Spider Sensory Bottles
These spider sensory bottle ideas will inspire you!
Choose your favorite, and then have the children work together to make a few.
Despite how I feel about spiders, these sensory jars are a must-have on our Halloween countdown calendar!
October 16: Halloween Countdown Calendar Bat Craft
Help the children make their own bat craft with a few simple materials.
Then let them hang the bats up to decorate for Halloween!
October 17: Costume Book
Grab the free printable Halloween reader to make with the children.
It’s a fun way to work on early literacy skills while talking to the children about their Halloween costumes.
October 18: Name Fun for October
Use colorful pumpkin seeds for some name activities with the kids.
This allows the children to engage their fine motor skills while exploring letter identification, letter formation, and important sight words (their names)!
October 19: Retell a Favorite Story
Set up a Halloween sequencing activity using the book Big Pumpkin. This is one of my favorite Halloween books, so I had to be sure it was included on our Halloween countdown calendar.
Make some construction paper props and let the kids really get into retelling the story.
October 20: STEM with the Halloween Countdown Calendar
Next up, try a pumpkin STEM challenge with the kids!
You can use old pumpkin candies or even Styrofoam pumpkins as the basis for this STEM activity.
October 21: Pumpkin Book
Once the STEM challenge is done, use pictures from that activity to make a pumpkin counting book.
This is a marvelous way to really integrate STEM concepts with early literacy! All while counting down to Halloween.
October 22: Witchy Fingers
Break out the witch fingers for a Halloween fine motor activity the kids will really get behind.
Kids can wear the witch fingers while playing and building with a variety of Halloween-themed manipulatives. You can also use tongs or chopsticks, too.
October 23: Pumpkin Pie Sensory
Next on the Halloween countdown calendar is a pumpkin pie sensory play invitation.
Add pumpkin pie spice to a bin of oats, along with some small pumpkin toys. Let the children manipulate and explore away!
October 24: Spider Emergent Reader
A printable spider counting book is another great addition to the Halloween calendar!
While it’s not specifically geared towards Halloween, I know many teachers enjoy a good spider unit in October.
Plus, any excuse to work on math and literacy skills in a way that grabs the kids’ attention!
October 25: Sticky Table Art
Set up an invitation to make Halloween contact paper art today!
The children can make transient, sensory art while exploring different textures.
My students have always been fascinated with the stickiness that Contact paper has. This was a good way to let them literally get their hands on it.
October 26: Halloween Countdown Calendar Sorting Activity
Combine sensory play, fine motor skills, and math with a pumpkin sorting activity.
We loved the colorful chickpea “pumpkins” and the printable pumpkin sorting cards come in handy for a variety of activities.
October 27: Haunted Sensory Play
Next up on the Halloween countdown calendar is a “haunted” pumpkin patch Halloween sensory activity.
The great thing about this is that the children can use the materials to create their own sensory experience. It can be built however they see fit.
October 28: Pumpkin Decorating
If you’re not up for actually carving pumpkins with the children, this monster pumpkin creative invitation would be a great alternative.
Choose your preferred materials and then let the children build, paint, or even glue on bits and pieces.
October 29: Monsters Book
Halloween bookmaking definitely needs to be on our Halloween countdown calendar!
The children can create their own art for each page of the book, and it’s a blast to see what they create!
I have to tell you, this is one of the kids’ favorite books to make in preschool!
October 30: Experiment Setup
Only one more day left until Halloween! This is the perfect time to start talking about a smelly pumpkin experiment.
Talk to the children about what they think will happen to pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns after Halloween. If possible, find a spot where you can start your own experiment on November 1.
October 31: The Final Day of the Halloween Countdown Calendar
It’s finally here! Let the children dress up or make something to wear on Halloween!
How to Use the Halloween Countdown Calendar
As I mentioned earlier, you can grab your own copy of the Halloween calendar at the end of this post (right above the last image).
How you use it is really up to you! But of course I have a few suggestions for you.
Keep a Hard Copy of the Halloween Calendar
Once you’ve received the file, be sure to download it to your computer. That way you know where it is.
Then print a copy for your classroom or home. I suggest placing it somewhere the kids can easily see it.
Look at the activity for the day and decide if you want to try it with the kids. Take your time and enjoy yourself along the way.
At the end of each day, have the kids help you cross off the day. Then work with them to count how many days are left until Halloween.
Refer back to the calendar on your computer if you need links to the informational posts about each activity. Clicking on each underlined activity will take you to the post detailing the materials and steps.
Halloween Countdown Calendar Paper Rings
Make a traditional countdown ring out of construction paper. If you want to, write the activities on the rings of paper.
As each new day arrives, have a child remove one ring from the end of the chain.
Refer back to the computer file of the Halloween countdown calendar to find out the details of the activity.
Send the Halloween Countdown Calendar Home with Students
Print out copies of the countdown calendar and send it home with your students.
You can give the families the link to this post if they’d like to read more about each of the activities.
Alternatively, you can email a copy of the file to your students’ families. You may not post the file anywhere public (school websites, Facebook pages, etc.). You only have my permission to send the files to your own individual student’s families.
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