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Toddler Talk: Paper Ghosts and Spiders

If you haven’t started planning some fun activities for Halloween, have no fear! Here’s an easy way to add some spooky cheer to your home.

Ramona has been more and more curious about spiders. It seems that the new cold weather is driving them all indoors, so she’s had ample opportunity to see her mother "EEK!" in surprise at finding a spider in the shower, at the foot of the bed, crawling on her foot (the worst), etc. I try to play it cool, after all, I have no idea why I am scared of spiders and not other creepy crawlies. But more often than not I am “moving” the spider outside. Ramona’s not yet terrified of them, but she is becoming more and more hesitant around them. This activity, perhaps, will change that for the both of us.

I’m also using this October to introduce Ramona to the friendly haunted creatures out there, like your archetypal ghost, with white sheet, dark eyes and all. I’d like her to think of these otherworldly creatures (including monsters) as her friends rather than being fearful of them later. So using her hands and feet, we set out to create some spiders and ghosts for her to put around the walls of her room, in honor of Halloween coming up in just two short weeks.

What you need

paper (ideally both black and white)

black and white crayons (chalk works great, too!)


your little one’s imagination, and her hands and feet for tracing

What you do


1. Trace your child’s foot onto the white paper.

2. Cut it out (or have her do it if she's coordinated enough).

3. Have her make eyes and outline the “ghost” (the toes are the bottom of the ghost).


  1. Fold the black (or dark colored paper) in half.

  2. Place the heel of the hand along the crease.

  3. Trace your little one’s hand.

  4. Cut it out, leaving the fold intact. In order to have a spider’s round body, be sure to cut out an exaggeration of the palm (you can see the difference in my two spiders).

  5. Unfold the paper and, voilà! You have a spider!

  6. Let your child draw on it, adding a face and outlining the legs.

Finally, tape these new spooky creatures around the house: on windows, doors, walls, along staircases. Boo!

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