10 Spooky Activities to Try on Your Busy Baby Mat or Toddler Mat
Halloween is just around the corner and there are lots of fun things for kids to do this season.
But we know some indoor arts and crafts can get messy. And the last thing you need is something else to clean up.
Many parents and caregivers find it easier to enjoy arts and crafts on a smooth flat surface that’s easy to clean.
Olyn, Busy Baby #2 loved doing water color painting with the water right in the tray of his Busy Baby Mat.
Below are 10 projects you could do at home with your little ones. We had fun with a few of these last weekend!
We love this fun and simple zombie slime recipe! Since it can get a little messy, making the slime on a smooth silicone surface, like our mat, will allow for an easier cleanup.
In a small bowl, mix 6 tablespoons of clear laundry detergent with three drops of neon gel food coloring. Set this mixture aside to use later.
Then grab a larger bowl and empty a 4oz bottle of Elmer’s glue in it. Now grab the neon laundry detergent mixture you made earlier and slowly mix a teaspoon of it into the glue. Continue to add one teaspoon of the detergent at a time, mixing between each teaspoon. It should take at least 6 teaspoons to reach a slimy consistency. Once the mix begins to stick to itself, and not the sides of the bowl, you’ve got zombie slime!
If the mixture is a bit too sticky, you can make it less sticky with a baking soda water combo. To make this, grab another small bowl on the side and mix six tablespoons of water and one tablespoon of baking soda. Then add a tablespoon of that mixture to the slime until it reaches the consistency you’d like.
After your child has enjoyed their zombie slime creation, use an airtight container to store the slime in a dry cool place for them to play with later.
As you can tell…we love to keep it simple and making spooky rocks is as simple as it gets. Take your little one outside and have them collect a few rocks that catch their eye. Then head back inside, clean your rocks off with some water and let them dry. Once dry, place the rocks on your mat and get ready to paint!
Using acrylic paint works best at creating vibrant images on the rock's surface. But you can any type of craft paint.
If your child wants more detailed drawings on their rock, you can also use a posca pen to create more defined lines. If your kiddo isn’t sure what to paint, we found a great site all about painted rocks to get them inspired.
To make a straw skeleton, grab a black sheet of construction paper and place it on your mat. Then, use scissors to cut up plastic drinking straws into different sizes and have your child create the skeleton body. Once you’ve done this, use non-toxic glue to secure the straws on the paper. After it dries, use white chalk or a white crayon to draw the skeleton’s head, add googly eyes, and you're done!
Pony Bead Pumpkins
Pony bead pumpkins are another quick and easy activity that you can try right on your Busy Baby mat. In fact, the mat is helpful in keeping the beads in one area without rolling around your table.
To start, twist two pipe cleaners around each other, making an X shape. Continue to add pipe cleaners by twisting them around the middle until you have about 8 pipe cleaners to add beads to. When adding the beads, be sure to leave an inch at the end of each pipe cleaner. Once you’re finished adding the beads, connect all the ends by twisting them all together. This will form what looks like the pumpkin's stem.
Now that you’ve formed a nice-looking pumpkin, add a green pipe cleaner around the bottom of the stem to add the vines. Use a brown pipe cleaner to wrap around the stem and cut off any extra length. If your little one is having trouble following along with this activity, they may need some assistance. Older children should get the hang of it. But if not, we found this quick video on how to create a pony bead pumpkin masterpiece.
Popsicle Stick Puzzle
Grab a pack of popsicle sticks from your local craft store. When you’re ready to get started, place the sticks on your mat and glue them together, to make a flat surface. Once the glue is dry, it’s time to start painting! Choose your favorite spooky Halloween monster as inspiration for your puzzle. We found a great tutorial if you’re looking to make a pumpkin, ghost, or Frankenstein puzzle (If you don’t have any paint handy, using washable markers works too).
While your sticks are drying, take a black sheet of paper and cut out the eyes, mouth, nose, and any other shapes you'll need to make your character's face. You can also use a marker to write the letters of your child’s name on each stick. This activity encourages counting and symmetry, making it a great learning activity for preschoolers.
There’s nothing more fun for a kid than making something explode. All fun aside, this activity is a great learning experience because it demonstrates what can happen when you mix two chemicals together; baking soda and vinegar.
To get started, grab a small pumpkin from your local store or pumpkin patch. Keep in mind that the bigger the pumpkin…the bigger the explosion. Once you’ve got the perfect pumpkin, empty the inside of it and remove all seeds. You can also carve out a face to add to the explosion!
After all the insides are out, place a bottle or container inside your pumpkin and fill it up about ¾ full with warm water and food coloring (any color you choose will work). Then add 4-5 drops of dish soap and a few tablespoons of baking soda.
Now you can get your little one ready for the big moment. When it’s time, slowly add ¼ cup of vinegar and watch your pumpkin explode!
Masking Tape Mummy
If you’re short on time and materials, making a masking tape mummy is the perfect speedy craft. Grab some black construction paper, white masking tape, a white crayon, scissors, glue, and googly eyes.
First, draw the outline of your mummy’s body. Then cut strips of masking tape in different sizes and tape them at different angles across the outline of your mummy. After you’ve wrapped your mummy up, cut it out and get ready to make it come to life! Grab the glue, add some googly eyes, and voila! Your little ones got a mummy best friend to call their own.
Coffee Filter Monsters
If you’re a parent that uses ground coffee at home, this one is for you!
Grab a few of your coffee filters and let your child color the inside of the filter with washable markers. They’ll need to leave the rim of the filter white for blending later.
When they’re done coloring, have them gently spray the coffee filter with water. This part of the process can get a little messy and should be done on a washable surface like our mat, a plastic tray, or butcher paper. Once the water has blended the colors on the filter, let it dry.
While you're waiting for it to dry, cut out different shapes for the monster's face. You can use white or black paper to cut out the monster’s eyes, mouth, teeth, horns, and hair. As soon as the filter is dry, finish creating your coffee filter monster by adding the shapes to the filter using glue.
Googly Eye Sensory Bottle
Sensory bottles are perfect for a child who experiences anxiety or needs help with self-regulation. The bottle acts as a calming tool by taking their focus off themselves. It is also a great tool for children with sensory needs and sensitivities.
To get started, grab a plastic water bottle, and remove the label. Once your bottle is clean and empty, fill it halfway with room-temperature water. Then add as many googly eyes as you want, as well as a few spoonfuls of glitter. The color of the glitter doesn’t matter, as long as it’s a color your child likes.
After these are added, fill up the remainder of the bottle with baby oil until the bottle is completely full. Then place the cap on and shake it up to make sure your bottle has all the googly eyes and glitter you want. If you’re satisfied, seal the bottle by using a hot glue gun and let it dry. If you don’t have one handy, you can also use masking tape to secure it.
Egg Carton Bats & Leaf Ghost
If you’re in need of some spooky decorations, making egg carton bats and leaf ghosts will be a great addition to your Halloween decor!
To make an egg carton bat you will of course need one egg carton, scissors, black paint, string, googly eyes, and glue. Since this craft is a bit more involved, we found a great video to guide us through the process.
While you wait for your egg carton bats to dry, head outside to find the perfect leaf ghost. Look for a maple leaf that’s nice and full. Then paint it white and use black paint or a black marker to add the eyes and mouth. Now, cut the top of the head to be more rounded like a ghost's head. Finally, cut the stem off and you’ve got one scary leaf ghost!
No matter which activity you try, our Busy Baby Mats and Toddler Mats provide the perfect surface for your child to create and explore, without leaving a big mess for you to clean afterward.
If you’ve tried any other Halloween activities on your mat, we want to see how your creepy creations came to life!
Share your spooky pictures on social media and tag us @Busybabymat.