13 Things to Love about Halloween and Preschoolers

The Witch Hat Ring Toss game at Party City.

Pumpkin Bowling, where decorating the water bottles is half the fun.
Use them empty for the smallest kids, then fill with sand or water the next year.

Garland made from those big tubs of foam shapes at Michaels.

Painting pumpkins

Or just putting stickers on them.
The face kits at Oriental Trading- $5 for 12 kits -

Toddler Party Activities

When my daughter turned 2, we didn’t have family nearby, but we did have a group of “playgroup” friends with children the same age.  The kids, of course, didn’t play together, but they’d grown accustomed to playing next to each other.  And so they did at this party, with these simple, unstructured activities:

Playdough TableWelcome Bubbles
I set up a battery-operated bubble machine like this one on our front deck, so the children walked through bubbles as they entered the house.

Homemade Playdough
Play-doh is non-toxic, but the homemade variety (recipe below) goes over better with most moms of toddlers.  You can add food-coloring or glitter, but it’s not necessary at this age.  I taped kraft paper over our living room table and put out gobs of dough and a few simple tools.

If you’re new to playdough, don’t ever try to clean it up with water.  Just wait until it dries, and vacuum it right up.  It’s a wonder for toddlers who are just old enough not to put it right in their mouths.  And a gift for moms ready for something new to occupy the time.Painting the deck

Painting the Deck
Foam brushes from Dollar Tree and water are fun for toddlers who can “paint” deck rails, a fence or a brick wall – anything that turns darker with water.  When the water dries, it needs more paint!

Sand TableSand Table Party
See my Toy Hall of Fame post.  Best $70 we ever spent.

Playdough Recipe
1 c flour
1/2 c salt
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 c water
1 tbs oil

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and cook over medium heat.  Stir constantly until mixture forms a ball.  Knead until smooth.  Store in a covered container.  It lasts in the refrigerator for months.