35 Fun Halloween Facts for Kids
Teach your children about Halloween with these 35 fun Halloween facts for kids.
Second only to Christmas, Halloween is a very popular holiday! Children and adults both get excited about celebrating this spooky night each year. While extremely popular in the United States and the rest of North America, it is celebrated all over the world! Some countries may do things a little differently, but the night usually involves plenty of candy or delicious food and costumes wherever you go.
Many of us have always known Halloween as a fun time that comes around once a year. But do many of us know where Halloween had its beginnings? Probably not!
How many of us know the most popular Halloween candy and costumes? You might have a good guess, but the answer may surprise you! Read on for some fun Halloween facts for kids.
Fun Halloween Facts for Kids
- Halloween in celebrated on October 31st all over the world!
- Halloween started being celebrated in the United States in the 1840’s. However, the holiday is much older than that!
- Trick or Treating has been around since medieval times! They did not give out candy.
- The largest Halloween parade is in New York City every year.
- There is a Halloween theme park in New Hampshire!
- The president hands out candy at the White House every year!
- Americans spend around 10 billion dollars every Halloween!
- Witch means “wise one”.
- Harry Houdini died on Halloween in 1926.
- Candy corn was originally sold for chickens! It was called “chicken feed”.
- In China, Halloween celebrations are called the Festival of the Hungry Ghosts.
- Around 35 million people go trick or treating every year!
- Halloween is the second most popular holiday in the United States!
Facts about Pumpkins and Jack O’ Lanterns
- Illinois grows more pumpkins than any other state!
- Pumpkins were originally grown in Mexico!
- In Ireland, they would carve turnips. Not pumpkins!
- The largest pumpkin ever was in Italy! It weighed almost 3,000 pounds!
- The fastest pumpkin carving took only sixteen seconds!
- A city in New Hampshire holds the Guinness World Record for the most jack o’ lanterns!
- Jack o’ lanterns come from a story about a man named Stingy Jack!
Learn more about pumpkin facts with these printable Building Sentences Pumpkin Facts worksheets on Teachers Pay Teachers or in the Little Learning Corner Store.
History of Halloween
Halloween had its early beginnings during a Celtic holiday called Samhain. Most of the main traditions we have to celebrate Halloween were a part of the Gaelic and Celtic way to celebrate the Samhain festival. Irish and Scottish immigrants brought over these traditions and the name Halloween comes from a catholic holiday! Below you’ll find an easy-to-read breakdown of what is believed to be the beginning of what we celebrate today as Halloween!
While we associate Halloween with fall and autumn, it actually had its beginnings at the end of summer! Around 2,000 years ago, at the end of summer, the first Samhain festival was held.
Samhain festival is a celebration for Celtic people. The Celtic people lived in Ireland and Scotland. The word “Samhain” means end of summer and the festival was started to celebrate the fall harvest time! They wanted to make gathering all of the supplies they needed for winter more fun and exciting. Members of the towns and villages would go around to every door and request money and food for the festival. They gathered all of this food on the night of October 31st.
Gaelic people in Ireland and Scotland believed supernatural events happened every year on October 31st. Their beliefs were that the living world and the world of the dead connected on this night. This connection allowed the dead to come back to life.
The Gaelic’s thought this connection could bring them sickness and harm their harvest. So, they would light fires to honor the dead and keep them from bringing over sickness and bad luck.
November 1st was the day they celebrated as their New Year’s Day. They wanted to make sure they started out their new year right! In addition to lighting fires to honor the dead, they would also wear costumes to confuse evil spirits. They were usually made from animal skin and were supposed to protect them.
The Transition to American Celebrations
Irish people began coming to the United States in the 1800s because of a potato famine in their country. They brought Samhain celebrations with them! Over the years, these Irish and Scottish celebrations combined with American celebrations and created what we know as Halloween! Going from door to door to gather money and food became trick or treating for candy. Wearing costumes on October 31st for protection became a fun way to get creative and celebrate the Halloween night.
The name Halloween comes from a holiday celebrated by the Catholic church on November 1st. All Saints’ Day or All Hallows’ Day is meant to honor all of the saints in the Catholic church. The night before was called All Hallows eve and eventually was commonly called Halloween!
Halloween Traditions for Kids
Need some fun and new ways to celebrate Halloween? Here are some great ideas!
Sometimes Halloween falls on a school night, and that can put a little damper on trick or treating. Maybe you live in a small neighborhood and trick or treating goes by really fast. You may need a couple more activities to fill the night and make it feel special. Or, are you are looking for some fun activities to do during the week leading up to the Holiday? Whatever the reason, these spooky and not-so-spooky activities will get the kids excited every year!
Trick or Treating
This is an obvious one, but its popular for a reason! Even those that have a fear of Halloween, or scary stuff, have a hard time saying no to free candy!
Jack O’ Lanterns
Carved pumpkins make your home feel spooky and special. After the kids carve a pumpkin, put a battery-operated candle inside, and watch it glow through the night.
Don’t feel like trekking around your neighborhood this year? Start a scary movie tradition! There are great Halloween movies that aren’t too scary for young children. Hocus Pocus, The Muppets Haunted Mansion, HalloweenTown, and Casper the Friendly Ghost are perfect for younger eyes who don’t want something too scary.
Many children will get some sort of Halloween party at school. If not, this is a great time to gather together at home, and make the night feel a little more special. Carve pumpkins or decorate Halloween cookies together! When it gets a little later in the evening everyone can venture out for trick or treating as a group.
Spooky House Decorations
Head over to the dollar store and let everyone pick out some Halloween decor for the house! Kids will love getting to do this themselves.
Teachers can pick up inexpensive decorations from the dollar store and let their students spend a little time pitching in! If you are looking for something free, have students and children make decorations out of items you already have on hand!
The Switch Witch
Do your kids get an insane amount of candy on Halloween? See if they are interested in the Switch Witch! The night after Halloween, they can leave some candy out for a witch who will take it and leave a surprise for them instead! You can switch out the candy for books, puzzles, toys, or whatever! There is a poem you can read to them if they want to participate.
Popular Halloween Candy
Chocolate candy seems to be the most popular. However, there are plenty of other options to choose from. Having a combination of chocolate, fruity, and sour candies is always a safe bet!
Fun fact: North America’s favorite Halloween candy is Reese’s Cups! Skittles come in second!
- Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
- Kit Kat
- Tootsie Rolls
- Sour gummy worms
- Milky Way
- Reese’s Pieces
- Nestle Crunch Bar
- Candy corn
- Sour Patch Kids
- Sour Skittles
- Tootsie Pops
Popular Halloween Costumes for Kids
Are the young children in your life not a fan of scary costumes? That’s alright! There are plenty of other popular dress up options available each year. Superhero and princess costumes are always the most popular, but feel free to get as creative as you want!
Did you know North American families spend around 3 billion dollars on costumes? With cute costumes, like the ones below, I can see how that number adds up.
- Star Wars characters
- Black cats
- Cruella DeVille
- Princess (Elsa, Anna, Moana, Cinderella, Belle, etc.)
I hope you’ve enjoyed these Halloween facts, the history of Halloween, and the popular candy, costumes, and traditions.
Before you go, here are more Halloween related posts you’ll love:
15 Best Halloween Poems for Kids
55 Free Halloween Activities for Kids
30 Best Halloween Books for Kids
5 Things to Take When Trick-or-Treating