Simple Halloween Activities
There is nothing that brings more joy to my students than good holiday fun. Halloween is especially a favorite. Halloween activities are incredibly motivating for my students, so I’m sure to squeeze in as much learning fun as I can over Halloween. Here are some of my favorite engaging, low cost (but simple to do!) Halloween activities.
*As a note, not every student or family participates in holidays, and it’s important to respect and honor this. Have good communication with your families about what works for them if this is the case. In years past I’ve focused on pumpkins, bats, and spiders instead of Halloween. Whatever you do, make it work for the families and students you serve.
Find the Pumpkin
This is a classroom favorite. We fill our sensory bin with black beans and orange chickpeas that were painted with glow in the dark/black light paint in orange, so they look like little pumpkins. Then we turn on a black light and the kids are so excited to ‘find the pumpkins’. Students can simply find them and pick them up with their fingers (encourages pincher grip) or use tweezers to pick them up (work on that hand strength). We’ve used the bin for math extensions by counting the pumpkins found, making 10 frames, adding or taking away from what is found. We write about what we would do with the pumpkins found. Writing can be as simple as “If I had ___ pumpkins, I would _____”. We build letters with the pumpkins, too!
*Note: If you’d rather avoid food for sensory bins (this can be necessary if you have students with food trauma or food insecurities in the home) try picking up cheap, plastic pumpkins from dollar tree or Target dollar spot! Always be sure to wash hands before using sensory items to help keep them clean and help them last longer!
Catch the Spider
Grab some plastic spider rings (I cut off the ring piece, but that’s optional), a tray, and some rubber bands or yarn. Make a web using the rubber bands or yarn and place the spiders inside. Have students remove the spiders using their fingers or tweezers, sorting them by color as they go. When they are finished, make a graph showing how many of each color spider students found.
Using cut out pumpkins in either cardboard or felt (felt is a little more money at $0.25-$0.50 per sheet, but can be used every year), and cut out black pieces for eyes and a mouth (I just use circles, triangles, and squares), have students make a jack-o-lantern. Ask them to make a happy pumpkin, a sad pumpkin, and excited pumpkin and a scared pumpkin. We then write about why our pumpkin is happy, sad, excited, or scared. You can count how many pieces it took to make the pumpkin’s mouth.
Always a favorite, TAH has some perfect adapted books to use. These are perfect for one on one or small groups. Build those reading and math skills with one product!
Have I told you how much I love these (Be sure to check out my Learning to Learn blog post for more on this topic.)? The Halloween ones are so engaging – plus you can get them digitally so you can use them on google slides or boom cards! Tip: Try using Easy Matching Workbooks in small group by modeling using the digital books on your board and having your students do the physical book together. This builds attention and focusing skills, and is perfect for the beginning learner!
Now that your students know procedures and routines, it’s the perfect time to change things up! This October, find ways to squeeze in some fun during learning!