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October 11, 2017

Low- and No-Prep Halloween Fun

By Nancy Jang
Grades PreK–K, 1–2

    The school year is well underway for everyone, and before you know it, Halloween and all the excitement of costumes, parties, and trick-or-treating will be all that the kids can talk about. Especially at my school, where all the kids are little — the excitement is palpable! As teacher, you can fight the battle every day, or harness all the excitement into some fun art projects, writing prompts, PE lessons, and math games.

    Here are seven low- and even no-prep activities to keep the spooky fun going all month long.

    1.    Help the Witch Find Her Broom Game

    This amazing game board is available on Scholastic Teachables and could be used for any subject. All you need to do is grab a die and some game tokens. I wrote all the of our sight words that we have been working on the last few weeks in the blank area of the bats. If a student lands on a space after rolling the die, they must read the sight word. You can do the same using math problems. Click on the image below to download your game board. It's free from Scholastic Teachables until November 13!

     

    2.    Ghost Windsock Craft

    Grab a class set of cheap paper plates (big or small) and a roll of white streamers. Add a few pieces of black construction paper and punch a hole in the top to hang it up! If you need to tire your energetic kiddos out, tie a short piece of yarn to the top and have the kids test it outside, holding onto their windsock while running. My kids were running around my classroom making spooky sounds and the glue wasn't even dry yet!

     

    3.    Trick-or-Treater Dress Up Relay

    Create teams of five students with a sixth one to act as the "mannequin." Use any random pieces of holiday costumes and accessories and dump into a laundry basket or other container. Position the "mannequin" at one end of the room and the basket at the other. Each team of five kids has to run back and forth relay style to grab an item from the basket to dress their classmate mannequin in a costume. The first team to put five things on their teammate mannequin and the items STAY ON, shouts “Trick or Treat!” You want to make sure the clothing or accessory items are simple to put on such as a shawl, scarf, hat, necklace, etc.

     

    4.    Spider, Spider!

    This math game is perfect for my little firsties. We are learning to count, write, and recognize numbers to 100. This 10 frame activity is great for counting on, writing numbers to 100, and skip counting to 100. Just click here to download and print the game board, and then grab a pencil, a crayon, and a die, and you are ready to play!

     

    To play, give each child a game board and one die per two–three kids. Each child takes turns rolling the die and writing that number into the ten frames. When they fill a ten frame, they can color a spider. The first child to get to 100 wins. To extend the game, they can trace over the numbers using crayons and play a second time. 

     

    5.    Write Halloween-Themed Mini Books

    We have been reading short vowel books and sight word books, but by far, my kids favorite books are ones that their classmates write. Store all the Halloween-themed stories in a trick-or-treat bucket in your library to lure even the most reluctant readers!

     

     

    6.    Frankie Stein Cut and Paste

    Some of my little kiddos are still struggling with scissor skills and learning how to use a glue bottle. So, we complete this step-by-step project to allow them to practice both! The book Frankie Stein is a fun literature connection to read as a follow up to this adorable portrait. The kids drew their shapes on each paper with pencil or white crayon before cutting and gluing.

    To create the portrait, you will need the following for each child.

    • 1 9" x 12" sheet of green paper for the face
    • 1 3" x 9" piece of black paper for the hair,
    • 1 2" x 4" piece of black paper for the mouth
    • 2 2" x 4" pieces of white paper for the eyes and teeth
    • 1 2" x 4" piece of gray paper for the bolts                               

     

    7.    GoNoodle!

    Take a brain break with GoNoodle! This is a free website that has short videos that are great for moving and exercising, or for mindfulness and calming. They can be used for brain breaks, indoor recesses, and refocusing your mind. I love playing the themed videos every day for a fun quick break between subjects.

    On a personal note, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Halloween and I can’t wait to dress up and march in our parade! And I hope that these activities help you get in the Halloween spirit and make it easy to have some good clean fun with your class.

    Happy Teaching and Happy Trick-or-Treating!

    Nancy

    The school year is well underway for everyone, and before you know it, Halloween and all the excitement of costumes, parties, and trick-or-treating will be all that the kids can talk about. Especially at my school, where all the kids are little — the excitement is palpable! As teacher, you can fight the battle every day, or harness all the excitement into some fun art projects, writing prompts, PE lessons, and math games.

    Here are seven low- and even no-prep activities to keep the spooky fun going all month long.

    1.    Help the Witch Find Her Broom Game

    This amazing game board is available on Scholastic Teachables and could be used for any subject. All you need to do is grab a die and some game tokens. I wrote all the of our sight words that we have been working on the last few weeks in the blank area of the bats. If a student lands on a space after rolling the die, they must read the sight word. You can do the same using math problems. Click on the image below to download your game board. It's free from Scholastic Teachables until November 13!

     

    2.    Ghost Windsock Craft

    Grab a class set of cheap paper plates (big or small) and a roll of white streamers. Add a few pieces of black construction paper and punch a hole in the top to hang it up! If you need to tire your energetic kiddos out, tie a short piece of yarn to the top and have the kids test it outside, holding onto their windsock while running. My kids were running around my classroom making spooky sounds and the glue wasn't even dry yet!

     

    3.    Trick-or-Treater Dress Up Relay

    Create teams of five students with a sixth one to act as the "mannequin." Use any random pieces of holiday costumes and accessories and dump into a laundry basket or other container. Position the "mannequin" at one end of the room and the basket at the other. Each team of five kids has to run back and forth relay style to grab an item from the basket to dress their classmate mannequin in a costume. The first team to put five things on their teammate mannequin and the items STAY ON, shouts “Trick or Treat!” You want to make sure the clothing or accessory items are simple to put on such as a shawl, scarf, hat, necklace, etc.

     

    4.    Spider, Spider!

    This math game is perfect for my little firsties. We are learning to count, write, and recognize numbers to 100. This 10 frame activity is great for counting on, writing numbers to 100, and skip counting to 100. Just click here to download and print the game board, and then grab a pencil, a crayon, and a die, and you are ready to play!

     

    To play, give each child a game board and one die per two–three kids. Each child takes turns rolling the die and writing that number into the ten frames. When they fill a ten frame, they can color a spider. The first child to get to 100 wins. To extend the game, they can trace over the numbers using crayons and play a second time. 

     

    5.    Write Halloween-Themed Mini Books

    We have been reading short vowel books and sight word books, but by far, my kids favorite books are ones that their classmates write. Store all the Halloween-themed stories in a trick-or-treat bucket in your library to lure even the most reluctant readers!

     

     

    6.    Frankie Stein Cut and Paste

    Some of my little kiddos are still struggling with scissor skills and learning how to use a glue bottle. So, we complete this step-by-step project to allow them to practice both! The book Frankie Stein is a fun literature connection to read as a follow up to this adorable portrait. The kids drew their shapes on each paper with pencil or white crayon before cutting and gluing.

    To create the portrait, you will need the following for each child.

    • 1 9" x 12" sheet of green paper for the face
    • 1 3" x 9" piece of black paper for the hair,
    • 1 2" x 4" piece of black paper for the mouth
    • 2 2" x 4" pieces of white paper for the eyes and teeth
    • 1 2" x 4" piece of gray paper for the bolts                               

     

    7.    GoNoodle!

    Take a brain break with GoNoodle! This is a free website that has short videos that are great for moving and exercising, or for mindfulness and calming. They can be used for brain breaks, indoor recesses, and refocusing your mind. I love playing the themed videos every day for a fun quick break between subjects.

    On a personal note, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Halloween and I can’t wait to dress up and march in our parade! And I hope that these activities help you get in the Halloween spirit and make it easy to have some good clean fun with your class.

    Happy Teaching and Happy Trick-or-Treating!

    Nancy

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