October Play and Learn Activities for Kids – A Month of Fun

October play and learn activities for kids are some of my favorite during the year. It’s such an exciting month and the season of fall is full of golden treasures, as well as other bright colors too. Nature seems to invite us outdoors to enjoy the sun as much as we can since the days are getting shorter and shorter. Play, of course, has it’s own magic but we’ll try and do some of our own too with cooking and science. As for learning, there’s sequencing, making patterns, following instructions, counting, sharing books and stories, singing, and more. Print off this calendar below and enjoy these October plays-of-the-day!

October play and learn activities


Tips for a Safe and Happy Halloween

Here are some tips for a safe and happy Halloween. Besides the candy, a fun afternoon or evening with our kids is quite a treat-mostly. Enjoy!

tips for safe halloween

  • No matter how scary the costume, ghosts, goblins, witches, and other Halloween characters should only go out with parents or adults.
  • Like toffee, stick with areas that are known. Walk on the sidewalks instead of the road and go to the corners to cross the streets.
  • “Candy, stay in the bag until getting home.” It’s a sad reality that treats need to be checked first but so important to do.
  • Did you know at Halloween the main reason for injuries and visits to emergency rooms is from simple falls? Check kids won’t trip in their costumes (or adults either).
  • There’s so much to see at Halloween. You don’t want to miss any of it by not being able to see. Make sure kids can see up, down, and all around.
  • Most people turn on their outside lights if they are participating in Halloween. Lights out is the message to skip that house for tricks and treats. No matter if lights are on or off though, stay outside.
  • Halloween is a dark, scary night, but you’ll feel safer with a bright flashlight.

Not every country in the world celebrates Halloween. In the US and Canada more than a billion pounds of pumpkins are harvested each fall. More chocolate is sold at Halloween than in February for Valentines. The number of kids who will be out for Halloween night is between 40 and 50 million!! That’s a lot of little and a few big bodies who will be excited and barely slowed down at all with the layers of a costume. The night will be dark and if we’re lucky, not rainy or snowy. We all need to be extra cautious and take care.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!

tips for a safe and happy halloween

Turning Pumpkins into Jack-o-Lanterns – Quite a Transformation

Turning pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns is quite a transformation. This happens both by adding and by taking away. Learning is like this too.

turning pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns

In order for pumpkins to shine as jack-o-lanterns something needs to happen. There needs to be some action. Carving a pumpkin gives it eyes for seeing, a nose for smelling, and a mouth for talking. In a way, learning for kids also requires action. Some of this learning comes from their own play and exploration. Some of it also comes from the action of parents, families, and caregivers. That is to say, from us.

Every day we can facilitate kids’ interaction with the world. For example, in the morning when helping little ones get dressed, talk about the weather and choosing clothes for the day. Count the buttons on the shirt, name the colors, sing about getting ready, “This is the way we get dressed, we get dressed, we get dressed.” In order to connect with others, we use language. The words we use with and around a child are downloading language into that child’s brain. We add features to the jack-o-lantern and we add to a child’s day with our actions, big adventures and ordinary, everyday experiences.

Carving the pumpkin leaves some empty spaces in the shell. For kids we need to make sure we leave space in the day for them to play. Days get so busy it seems like every moment is full, but kids need time to figure out the world in their own way. We might have to get creative in order to do this, like letting them have a drawer in the kitchen with things they can touch and use when we’re busy making a meal. Bring home a big cardboard box. It isn’t empty, it’s full of possibilities.jack-o-lanterns

We also put a candle or light inside. Now, the jack-o-lantern can shine. Turning pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns might be your activity for the day. Some people use turnips and recently, there have been photos and instructions for pineapple lanterns. Whatever we use, maybe our job as parents and caregivers is to put a light inside kids so they can shine too?

Childhood Fears and Halloween – Even Dragons Get Scared

Halloween is a very special time of year, both exciting and scary, so it’s a great time to talk about childhood fears. Even dragons get scared. At this age, fears are common, like monsters, the dark, loud noises, and unfamiliar people. Some of these fears are real and some are imaginary. Sometimes to adults, they … Continue reading Childhood Fears and Halloween – Even Dragons Get Scared

Pumpcano: Pumpkin Baking Soda Vinegar Volcano

Not only does this pumpkin baking soda vinegar volcano create a gas (carbon dioxide), it is a gas, as in lots of fun. It’s a great science experiment too. Although baking soda and vinegar are inexpensive, the bigger the pumpkin the more of it you will need. Smaller pumpkins are easier for the bubbles to … Continue reading Pumpcano: Pumpkin Baking Soda Vinegar Volcano

Geo Pumpkin Craft Fun with Pins, Elastics, Yarn, and Buttons

Today’s geo pumpkin craft fun was inspired by the photos on several sites for Halloween activities.  This gives us another day for pumpkin play and learning. What is a geo pumpkin? The name geo pumpkin comes from the math resource known as a geo board. This is a square board with pins or nails placed … Continue reading Geo Pumpkin Craft Fun with Pins, Elastics, Yarn, and Buttons

Veggies or Fruit Pumpkin Dip Snack – Halloween or Thanksgiving

After finding a nice, small pumpkin with a flat bottom we were able to make this fun pumpkin dip snack. It’s great for dipping either veggies or fruit, making it nutritious too. **Unless this is for the family and half the neighborhood, use a small pumpkin.** Start by cutting off a small slice on the … Continue reading Veggies or Fruit Pumpkin Dip Snack – Halloween or Thanksgiving

Visiting the Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze Adventure

In between rainy days, we’ve squeezed in visiting the pumpkin patch and corn maze. What a special place for kids and grownups with lots to enjoy. The pumpkin patch engages our senses. Visually, it’s bright with color. The autumn leaves dance with orange, gold, and sometimes red. The pumpkins glow against the backdrop of the … Continue reading Visiting the Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze Adventure

What’s Inside Your Pumpkin? A Show and Tell Activity

After scooping out a pumpkin, here is a way your child can show and tell about it with this What’s Inside Your Pumpkin activity. More fun but less gooey. It also makes a book your child can read, even if there aren’t any words. Before starting this activity, you and your child need to explore … Continue reading What’s Inside Your Pumpkin? A Show and Tell Activity