Taking a walk at this time of year is extra exciting for little ones. There is so much to see! We have put together a Halloween Scavenger Hunt to make your walk special. You’ll find a printable link at the bottom of this post.
Admiring decorations on neighborhood houses is always fun, and during Halloween, it can help make things not-so-scary.
- Let your child approach things at their own pace. If they would like to stay far away from something scary, you can help with words to describe how they are feeling. “That skull is making you feel uncomfortable and you don’t want to get any closer. That’s okay with me!”
- If your child does want to get closer, you can model how you are gentle and respectful of other people’s belongings. If it is appropriate to touch the decor, you can talk about the textures and origins of the item. “Oooh, Jed and Willa’s family made those ghosts out of tissue paper. We can touch them and see how they swing from the tree.”
- Many children are interested in how things work. You can point out or ask aloud how things that are hanging may be hung. Investigate the layers, hooks, cords, and plugs that allow the decorations to be displayed.
Take this scavenger hunt on your walk and see how many items you can find.
- Use the PDF if you want to print it and bring a pen. Some families like to put their printables in a plastic sheet protector and use a dry-erase marker to cross things off. Clipboards are always a big hit with toddlers. Remember, they like to exert maximum effort!
- Tech-savvy folks might prefer saving the image on their device and using the image markup function to cross items off.
- Follow your child’s lead. There’s no need to complete every item. If your child would prefer to search only for pumpkins, that’s okay, too!
Extend the fun and learning on your Halloween Scavenger Hunt
Leaf collecting is a wonderful sensory activity at this time of year. A popular Montessori science practice in the later years is leaf classification. You can adjust this activity to your child’s abilities. Collect different leaves from the ground as you walk.
- Make observations about their differences: colors and shapes will vary. This builds your child’s classification and language skills.
- At home, place the leaves in a basket or transparent storage bag so that you can revisit them later. When your child can select items from a shelf to investigate, they are exercising independence and you are reinforcing that you support their interests.
- Hold the leaves up in front of a window to see if you can make their shapes appear as shadows. Invite your child to trace the shadow with their finger. This is a fine motor skill activity (with no cleanup!)
Repetition is a crucially important aspect of play as it leads to concentration and deep learning. Toddlers love to repeat, whether reading a book many times, walking the same path to the park, or singing a song over and over.
This often means that your child is working on a new concept and will likely not move on until they have satisfied their curiosity. Repetition of tasks strengthens the connections in a child’s brain. While it’s important to try new things, your child is best served if you also encourage and respect their desire to repeat.
If your child would like to do the scavenger hunt again and again — or point out the same Halloween decorations every day — enjoy the time together!