With Halloween quickly approaching it is a good idea to start thinking about some simple and fun crafts for kids. Pumpkins, friendly ghosts and black cats are perfect for some easy Halloween activities. While all children differ in their crafting abilities, the ideas below are perfectly suited for the average preschool age child. Always use caution with small pieces and supervise children while using scissors.

Fan Ghosts

Create a flurry of ghostly activity with this easy and inexpensive craft. Begin by gathering a box of thick, white tissues, white yarn or pipe cleaners and a black marker. Open a tissue and lay it flat on the table. Have the child tightly ball up another tissue and place it in the center of the open tissue. Twist the outer tissue below the balled up tissue that is now inside, leaving the ends free. Tie a piece of yarn or pipe cleaner, approximately 18-inches long, around the twisted portion of the tissue. Use the marker to dot on eyes and draw a circular mouth. Have the child create enough of these that they can be hung on the blades of the ceiling fan. When the fan is turned on, the ghosts will appear to be flying!

Black Cat Masks

Easy masks are great for pretend play and quick Halloween costumes. These black cat masks require a paper plate, two 18-inch lengths of yarn, markers, crayons, scissors, glue, and a hole punch. Start by cutting the bottom third off of a paper plate, so that it will not cover the child’s mouth when worn as a mask; also cut two holes for eyes. This part can be a bit tricky, so adult supervision and assistance may be needed. Use the piece of the paper plate that was cut off to make two pointy ears. Color the ears with marker or crayon and glue them on to the top of the plate. Punch two holes, one on each side of the plate at about nose level, for the yarn that will be used to tie the mask in place. Thread the yarn through the holes and fasten a piece to each side. Have the child color the mask to look like a cat’s face – do not forget the whiskers! When he is finished, tie the mask around his head and enjoy the fun and creative imaginary play that follows.

Paper Bag Pumpkins

With Halloween comes a multitude of pumpkin related decorations. Have your children make some of these cute and easy paper bag pumpkins to decorate your house or your preschool classroom. Gather a white or brown paper lunch bag and a sheet of newspaper for each child. They will also need crayons or markers and a green pipe cleaner. Have the child decorate the bottom two-thirds of the paper bag to resemble the face of a jack-o-lantern. Once the decorating has been done, open the bag and place the balled up piece of newspaper in the bottom. Gather the bag together at the top of the face and twist it closed using the green pipe cleaner. Bend the ends of the pipe cleaner back to form the shape of leaves. Display the pumpkins on a mantel, windowsill or shelf and enjoy them throughout the fall season.

Halloween is filled with a lot of decorating opportunities. Instead of focusing on store bought, mass-produced items, try the inexpensive ideas above.