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Story Time: In the Haunted House


Story Time: In the Haunted House activities include a free capitalization printable, a printable unit on bats, a haunted house paper craft, and Pumpkin Ghost Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe.

Got a little that loves the shivers?  In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting is a perfectly shivery book without being too shivery.

It walks your kids through a haunted house, complete with ghossts, witches, bats, and other ghoulish inhabitants. Then at the end, you see that it’s a fake haunted house.

Even better? The dad is much more scared than the little girl who has just walked through it. Which is pretty funny.

Story Time: In the Haunted House activities include a free capitalization printable, a printable unit on bats, a haunted house paper craft, and Pumpkin Ghost Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe.

In the Haunted House Activities

I have to admit, Halloween Story Times are my favorite, and if you look through the big list of Story Times, there are probably more for Halloween books than any other holiday.

These activities are fun for little bitty kids or bigger kids and a great way to celebrate the holiday at home while learning some good stuff (because you know I’m all about learning while enjoying a good story).


Ghouls and goblins and creepy things sometimes have proper names, too. Let your kiddos practice their capitalization skills with this fun printable.

Creepy Capitals is a fun Halloween printable that gives your child a chance to practice captializing proper names


I love bats. I mean, a girl whose favorite holiday is Halloween is almost required to also love bats and spiders, and I do. To maybe an unhealthy level. When you get to be my age, they start calling it eccentric, okay? I’m not a weirdo.

This mini unit is full of bat information and has some fun puzzles for your kids to practice what they’ve learned.

Let's Learn About Bats in this mini unit that provides bat information and fun puzzles to create a unique learning experience for kids

Want to take an interweb tour of some really cool stuff about bats and bat culture? Visit The Art and Science of Bats on the Smithsonian website. You’ll spend hours. Your kids will thank you.


I love paper crafts, especially when you have cool tools to use with them. You don’t have to have awesome leaf lever punches to do this craft, but they’re so fun (I mean, I’m a grown up and I still get a certain satisfaction from pressing a lever and making a paper leaf) and they make adding autumn leaves to your haunted house super easy.

There is a LOT of cutting in this craft, so make sure your littles have the right size scissors. We’ve found Fiskars Student Scissors are best for bigger hands, but younger kids should use the Kid’s Scissors, because they’re smaller and safer.

You can make this craft easier or more difficult, depending on the ages of the kids making it, by using crayons to color the bat and jack-o-lantern templates instead of using them to cut the shapes from construction paper. We did a bit of both.

Paper Haunted House template and tutorial is a fun craft for kids to do while celebrating Halloween with picture books

Haunted House Paper Craft

What you need:

Supplies for Haunted House Paper Craft

  • Lit Mama’s Haunted House Template
  • White or grey card stock
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Black construction paper
  • Orange Construction paper
  • Red and brown construction paper (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Crayons (optional)
  • Lia Griffith Lever Punch Mini Leaf by Fiskars (also optional but very, very cool)

What you do:

Paper Haunted House Craft with cut windows

Paper Haunted House Craft with hinged door

  • Cut out the windows, then cut the door out halfway, leaving one side attached to use for the hinge

Paper Haunted House Craft house glied to yellow paper

  • Glue the house onto the yellow construction paper

Paper Haunted House Craft yellow windows and doors

  • Cut around the house so that the yellow only shows through the windows and doors

Paper Haunted House Craft place house and moon on black paper

  • Cut out moon template from yellow construction paper
  • Place moon and house on black paper and arrange to your liking, then glue down

Paper Haunted House Craft color house

  • Color house if you want to
  • Color bats and jack-o-lanterns or use templates to cut them from black and orange construction paper

  • Glue bats on moon, house, or wherever you think they look spooky

  • Glue jack-o-lanterns to either side of door

  • Glue a ghost peeking out of the door

  • Add more ghosts, bats, and jack-o-lanterns to your haunted house

Fiskars leaf punches

  • If you have a leaf punch, use it to punch leaves from red, yellow, orange, and brown construction paper (you could always cut simple leaf shapes out if you don’t have a punch)

  • Glue leaves around house to make it look like they’ve fallen from trees


Oh me. Oh my. There’s a reason I grow my own pumpkins. I totally could eat pumpkin-flavored food every day of the year. And these cookies are melt in your mouth goodness that should seriously be illegal. Plus, ghosts. And we’re haunting today!

Pumpkin Ghosts with Cream Cheese Frosting

Pumpkin Ghost Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting recipe is a great Halloween kids; activity to go with the picture book In the Haunted House by Eve Bunting

Pumpkin Ghosts

  • Servings: About 2 Dozen
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

What You Need

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2  1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Ghost cookie cutter

For the frosting

  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

What You Do

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy
  • Beat in egg and vanilla
  • Add pumpkin and mix well
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, salt, and baking powder
  • Gradually add dry ingredients to pumpkin mixture until well-combined
  • Roll out on a lightly floured surface and use cookie cutter to cut out ghost shapes
  • Place 1″ apart on ungreased cookie sheets
  • Bake 8-10 minutes until edges are lightly browned
  • Cool for 2 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely

For the frosting

  • In a small bowl, beat all ingredients until light and fluffly
  • Frost cookies
  • Store in an airtight container in refrigerator

I just love autumn. Now I’m off to have a cup of apple cider with my pumpkin cookies.

Life. is. good.

Looking for more autumn fun? Check out:

Story Time: Leaf Man includes 29 pages of free printables, language, science, and craft activities, and a snack recipe for Apple Cider Biscuits

Story Time: Leaf Man

Story Time: Leaf Jumpers includes math, science, language, and craft activities to supplement the picture book by Carole Gerber

Story Time: Leaf Jumpers

Story Time: Twilight Comes Twice with crafts, activities, printables, and recipes to engage your littles while they read the picture book.

Story Time: Twilight Comes Twice

Story Time: Goodnight Goon - Crafts, actvities, printables, and a recipe to go with the Halloween picture book

Story Time: Goodnight Goon

Recipes for Cast-Iron Skillet Pizza and Persimmon Snowballs to ohave with the film Goosebumps for a fun October family moive night

Dinner and a Movie: Goosebumps

KT Brison
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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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