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!