Halloween Activities

How to Make a Bat Signal Light

Place a flashlight or spotlight face down on cardboard. Trace the circular outline of the flashlight face onto the cardboard. Remove the flashlight from the cardboard. You should have the outline of a circle exactly the same size as your flashlight's face on the cardboard. Cut the circle out using scissors or a razor knife.

Sketch the bat symbol directly onto the cardboard. It might take several attempts to get it right, so prepare several cardboard circles. Make sure the tips of the wings touch the outermost part of the circle on either side. Once the bat is completed to your liking, cut it out using the razor knife or scissors.

Place the bat cutout directly on the face of the flashlight, and trim it as necessary to make it fit securely. Use tape to secure the bat symbol to the flashlight. The tape can either be affixed to the bat and then onto the side of the flashlight, or the tape can be connected to itself to form a sticky-side-out circle and placed between the bat symbol and the flashlight. Make sure the bat symbol is securely attached.

Turn on the light. You will be able to see your bat signal.

Things You Will Need

  • Large flashlight or spotlight
  • Bat symbol
  • Large piece of cardboard (might need several)
  • Pencil
  • Scissors or razor knife
  • Tape

Halloween Activities for Kids in San Diego, California

Pumpkin Patches

If your little one wants to pick his own pumpkin, San Diego features an array of pumpkin patch options. Bates Nut Farm's annual pumpkin patch has been a southern California tradition for more than four decades. Kids and families can choose from pumpkins in an array of sizes and colors daily through Halloween. Oma's Pumpkin Patch has a fee-for-spree admission charge. This includes a free Jack pumpkin, a bottle of water while searching and activities such as a hay maze. The Lavender Hill Pumpkin farm is a mega-sized patch with pick-your-own activities just outside of San Diego.

Haunted Houses

Older kids and teens can get spooked at one of the San Diego area's local haunted house Halloween attractions. Located in San Diego's Gaslamp District, the Haunted Hotel features the Hellavator to take you to Freddy Krueger's workshop, a Texas Chainsaw Massacre theme and other thrills and chills. Another option is the Haunted Trail at Balboa Park. While this outdoor woodsy Halloween attraction technically isn't exactly a house, it features similar spooktacular scares for kids aged 10 and up.

Festivals and Activities

Fall festivals often feature a Halloween theme, kiddy rides, food, petting zoos and much more. San Diego's Pumpkin Station's locations in Del Mar, Mission Valley, Chula Vista and El Cajon all have festival-like attractions from the start of fall through the Halloween holiday, including rides, giant slides, petting zoos, games and hayrides. For an over-the-top Halloween fall festival, Sea World San Diego's Spooktacular features spooky, kid-friendly, live performances that include the characters of Sesame Street, holiday-inspired treats and an undersea pumpkin patch. The Mountain Valley Ranch's yearly fall pumpkin patch and festivities feature a sizable selection of pumpkins and gourds, along with Indian corn, a petting zoo and a corn maze.

Trick or Treating

On Halloween night, San Diego kids can take to the neighborhood streets for an evening of trick or treating. If you don't want to walk around your immediate area, there are a few area options that allow your little one to ask for candy without going up to strangers' homes. The Little Italy district sponsors a Halloween night trick or treat at local business on India Street. Another option is the Sea World San Diego Halloween Spooktacular's trick or treat at 13 different park-wide locations.

Halloween Painting Crafts for Toddlers to Make

Halloween Shapes

Painting large Halloween-themed shapes teaches toddlers what Halloween is all about. Using sponges to apply the paint requires little precision while producing results your tot will be proud of. Before painting, cut several shapes out of sturdy paper like pumpkins, spiders, cats, bats or ghosts. Consider using black paper and white paint or white paper with black and orange paint to expose your tot to the colors commonly associated with Halloween. Cut a 3-by-5-inch kitchen sponge into two or four squares big enough for your toddler to grasp. Use paper plates as your paint palette, designating one plate for each color of washable, non-toxic paint. Dampen the sponge before applying the paint, then show your toddler how to dip the sponge in the paint and press it on the shape.

Paint a Pumpkin

Let your toddler enjoy the smooth, slippery surface of a pumpkin by covering it with paint and glitter. Provide a chunky, easy-to-grasp brush or let her use her hands to paint. Prep the area by drying the pumpkin thoroughly and placing it on newspaper. Help your tot paint a face using triangles, circles and rectangles or let her cover the pumpkin in her own design. Sprinkle glitter over wet paint to add shimmer. Add chenille stems, colored pom-poms, plastic eyes or foam shapes and letters for additional decor.

Halloween Scene

Help your toddler draw a Halloween scene with crayons on a piece of paper. Draw simple shapes, like a pumpkin, ghost, tree without leaves, fence posts or a black cat. Let your toddler color the shapes in with crayon, encouraging him to press hard and fill in the entire shape with crayon. Finish off the piece by water-coloring over the entire page to create a magical sky where the wax from the crayons resist the water in the paint.

Rock Creatures

Encourage your toddler's creativity by transforming a variety of rocks into Halloween creatures. Begin the project with your little artist by collecting several rocks in any shape and size desired. Rinse and dry the rocks as necessary. Set out a variety of paint colors and an easy-to-grip brush for your child. Let her paint her rocks as desired. Return to the project after the paint has dried to transform the rocks into Halloween-inspired creatures by adding plastic eyes, colorful craft fur, glitter or pom-poms.

Halloween Safety Tips for Kids Who Are Trick or Treating

Safe Costumes

Picking or creating a safe costume is one way to keep kids safe while trick-or-treating. There are many things to consider when assessing the safety of a costume. Swords, weapons, or other props should be soft and flexible. Masks should allow full visibility. If costumes do not have light-colored fabric, consider adding reflective tape for safety. Children should also wear comfortable, supportive shoes if they are going to do a lot of walking. Lastly, costumes should fit well without excessive baggy fabric that might cause tripping.

No Eating Uninspected Treats

Before your kids begin trick-or-treating explain that they should not eat any treats they collect before you have a chance to inspect them. Let them know that although it's not typical, sometimes, bad people put bad things in treats that might be harmful to them. You should then check each child's treats for unwrapped items, homemade items, and any other suspicious or dangerous items -- and dispose of them. If your child has any food allergies, read the labels of all the treats to ensure that your child doesn't eat anything that will cause a reaction. Also, you might want to give your child only a certain amount of treats to eat at one time, so there's no temptation to gobble up all the treats immediately.

Carry a Flashlight

Carrying a flashlight will add protection and safety to any child's costume. From avoiding dropped items to staying mindful of curbs, a flashlight will help children travel safely from one house to another. In addition, carrying a flashlight will make groups of children more visible to drivers. Always make sure your children's flashlights are loaded with fresh batteries before they set out on their night of trick-or-treating.

Stay Together

Trick-or-treating usually occurs after dark when dangerous circumstances are more prevalent. Insist that your children stay together in a group, or trick-or-treat with a trusted adult if they are young. An adult can ensure that the kids follow rules, such as walking on the sidewalk, crossing at crosswalks, and not stopping to talk with strangers. If the kids are older and trick-or-treating on without an adult, review safety rules with the group before they leave the house to remind them of your expectations.