Halloween is such a fun holiday to celebrate in the primary classroom. Students LOVE all the spooky things, which means you can use this to your advantage in your lessons! Planning fun, Halloween-themed lessons will engage your students and make learning extra fun. Check out a few of my favorite fun and simple Halloween activities for kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade!
Halloween Books & Writing Activities
If you teach littles, you likely have a deep love for picture books. After all, they are such a great way to tie together a theme, teach about new concepts and help foster a love of reading among your students. I LOVE Halloween books and have more than a few! My favorites include:
- How to Catch a Witch by Alice Walstead
- Trick or Pete by James Dean
- The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams
- There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Bat by Lucille Colandro
- Pumpkin Jack by Will Hubbel
- Halloween Is…. by Gail Gibbons
- Where’s My Mummy by Carolyn Crimi
There are so many fantastic books out there for Halloween, I could go on and on! The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything will always be my favorite out of all of these! It’s a great story to use for practicing inferring and looking closely at picture clues. Students will love proving why the Little Old Lady actually IS scared despite what she says!
I love using books as an introduction to thematic lessons or a jumping-off point in our lessons. “Where’s My Mummy” by Carolyn Crimi is a great book to use for a fun writing activity I do every year with my students. First, we read the book, and then the students answer a related writing prompt and make a mummy craft. These always turn out super cute, so I display them on a bulletin board. If you’d like to try this activity with your kiddos, you can grab it for free below!
Halloween Activities For Math & Science
Speaking of using books to inspire lessons… let’s talk science for a minute! If you’ve never read Pumpkin Jack before, it’s a must! Here’s a read-aloud version you can play for your students from YouTube in case you can’t get your hands on a copy. Essentially, this story covers the pumpkin life cycle in a new and interesting way by showing how a jack-o-lantern that’s left outside all through the fall and winter will decompose and grow a new pumpkin plant in the spring. This concept always amazes my students and makes a great opening activity for pumpkin exploration.
Bring a pumpkin to school and spend some time making an anchor chart discussing the visual features of the pumpkin. You could also do a sink or float experiment and make a class graph with student guesses and results. Once you’re finished exploring the outside, cut the top off and let your students explore the inside! Keep it in a sensory bin or take this activity outside to control the mess. Kiddos will love exploring the inside of a pumpkin and brainstorming and describing words for what they see and feel.
You can also have kiddos collect the seeds from the pumpkin and count how many were inside. Make sure to save them for other Halloween activities too! We use them as counters throughout the month of October in our math lessons.
Another fun math activity I like to use for Halloween is these spooky, Halloween Pattern Block Mats.
My kiddos love using these during centers and small groups and they are a great way to practice counting and build spatial reasoning and fine motor skills. This fun set of fine motor mats includes a bat, witch hat, spider web, and more! There are 2 versions included, one with full-color blocks shown and 1 “challenge version” which students will have to figure out on their own.
Halloween calls for delicious treats, right? My favorite, simple Halloween treats for the classroom are “Frankenstein Rice Crispy Treats” and “Candy Corn Rice Crispy Treats” these are both super simple and fun for the children to make. For the “Frankenstein Rice Crispy Treats”, you’ll need:
To make it, melt your candy melts and dip a rice crispy about 1/2 way in. Then dip in black sprinkles for Frankie’s hair. Add eyes and a piece of licorice for a mouth and you’re good to go. Let the treats dry and enjoy!
The Candy Corn Rice Crispy Treats are also a fun option if you want to make your treats from scratch. This recipe is a good one if you’d like to give it a try. Either way, these are fun and festive spooky treats your students will love!
Literacy activities can be extra engaging during Halloween with just a few, simple additions to your routine! My number one, favorite idea for small reading groups is using witch fingers as pointers.
The kids LOVE these and they are super cheap and easy to find during the month of October. I usually see them in the Dollar Spot at Target as well as Dollar Tree.
To use, simply give each kiddo in your group a witch finger and ask them to point at each word as they say it.
Alternatively, you might try having a “flashlight” reading session to get in the spooky spirit! Grab some mini flashlights for your students and flip off the lights. Kiddos will use their flashlight to read silently during this time. This is a simple and fun way to mix up silent reading time!
Halloween Activities For Center Time
Centers are one of my favorite parts of our day. I love seeing my students interact with each other and practice what they’ve learned. Truth be told, my students LOVE center time as well since it’s such a hands-on and engaging part of our day. My favorite hack for making centers a hit day after day is seasonal activities.
When October rolls around, I am ALL about the Halloween morning tubs and center activities. I love using fun and festive manipulatives with our activities to add some Halloween flair. In my room, we use fun Halloween mini-erasers, plastic spiders, candy corn, and playdough just to name a few.
Our morning tub activities focus on a variety of skills reviews for math and literacy while incorporating fine motor practice. I love morning tubs because my kiddos are always interested in the activities, and eager to participate! I count this as a big win when it comes to getting that much-needed practice in everything we’re learning!
Celebrate Halloween With Your Students
I hope you had fun taking a peek at all the Halloween activities I like to do in my classroom. It’s such a fun holiday, I’m happy to celebrate it all through the month of October with my kiddos. If you’re looking for even more Halloween inspiration for your classroom, be sure to check out my October resources. Whether you’re looking for digital activities, no-prep printables, or hands-on centers, I’ve gotcha covered! Oh and don’t forget to download your Mummy Craftivity FREEBIE too! Just fill out the form found earlier in the post and it will be sent to your inbox.
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