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Have a Low-Cost Halloween

By Allie Magnuson on October 17, 2013
  • Grades: PreK–K

What with candy, crafts, costumes, and crepe paper, bringing Halloween festivities into the classroom can get pretty expensive. But with these 15 ideas, you can say good-bye to overpriced fun . . . and hello to a headache-free holiday!

1. Separate your students into groups. Give each group a pumpkin and some paint to decorate it with.

2. Swap out the regular pieces in your board games with Halloween-themed pieces.  

3. Turn off the lights! Let your students read or tell spooky stories with flashlights and lanterns.  

4. Do an estimation activity with candy corn, pumpkin seeds, and Reese's Pieces.

5. Make some cutouts in a piece of orange butcher paper, and play a game of Pin the Shapes on the Pumpkin.  

6. Have a costume-dressing race with clothes donated from families. 

7. Play a recording of scary sound effects during writing time. 

8. Invite some students to "go trick or treating," while others count out "candy" (such as Halloween erasers) and drop them into the buckets. 

9. Provide small groups with crayons and a piece of paper, and have each child draw part of a make-believe creature. 

10. Combine Halloween images and vocabulary for a game of charades. Ideas to act out can include: witch, ghost, bat, black cat, vampire, mummy, zombie, skeleton, werewolf, goblin, jack-o-lantern, and spider.

11. Set out magnetic letters and pieces of a snap-together skeleton, and students can try to guess mystery words (such as each other's names) in a game of hangman. An incorrect guess means a limb gets snapped on, and a hanged skeleton means, "game over!"

12. Encourage oral and social skills with circle sharing time, during which students toss each other a light-up squishy toy and ask questions such as "What are you going to be for Halloween?" or "What's your favorite candy?" Kids love to talk about themselves!

13. Designate a student as the first to be "It" in Flashlight Tag.

14. Add donated Halloween props to your dramatic play center so your students can make it into a haunted house. 

15. Talk about the human body while examining an x-ray on your smart board. (Aside: that's a real x-ray of my broken wrist!)

Hope this list gives you some ideas for an easier — and much cheaper — Halloween. Price doesn't matter to kids. They'll love anything you do!


Comments (6)

Hi, Allie,

Boo! I just saw your ideas and am planning on using a few in my classroom of developmentally-delayed three-year-olds here in Miami. We will have some fun estimating candy, matching shapes and playing charades. Thanks for these ideas.

Great ideas! My parents donate items for the party but I like to incorporate activities across the curriculum and throughout the day and you did just that on a 'teacher's budget'.

Thank you for the nice comments. I sure had fun doing them. I love the hangman game too and the kids can't wait to come to small groups to play

So festive and fun! Great ideas!

Great ideas. Especially like hangman skeleton!!!!

Fantastic ideas, Allie....I can't wait to hit up the dollar store and try some of these with my kiddos...thanks!! You've proven that Halloween doesn't have to mean $$!

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