Holidays in the classroom are fun, exhausting, and full of opportunities to learn about cultures, traditions, and customs. But we also know that holidays in the classroom can be stressful because we always want to be inclusive and respectful of each student and their family. We are fortunate to be able to celebrate Halloween in the classroom as long as all families are on board. So, here’s how we handle holidays in the classroom:
The key is COMMUNICATE! Communicate with the families. I’m always surprised at how easily we can come up with a great plan to include everyone! And guess what…if we can’t do Halloween in October, that’s perfectly ok. We can do pumpkins, bats, and spiders! But remember, COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE COMMUNICATE!
And now onto the Halloween goodies!
Halloween Art Projects
Cylinder bats. Perfect for pulling in 3D shapes! For this, students make a cylinder and we staple it so it doesn’t unroll. I make a very basic and easy wing on black paper. They cut them out and glue the wings on. They make the eyes and mouth. We add purple streamers to the bottom and hang them from the ceiling!
Paper plate bats. We paint two paper plates black. Once they dry, we cut one plate in half. Glue or staple the pieces on for wings. Students make the eyes and mouth.
Go Away Big Green Monster. Read the book Go Away Big Green Monster. Students choose the color for their monster. Fold a 12×18 piece of white construction paper in the middle. Squirt paint in the middle of the paper. students close the paper and rub. Open the paper and let the paint dry. Once dray, students get paper to make the monster’s features. This is also a great lesson on symmetry!
Feet Painting-we LOVE handprint and footprint art projects and so do the families. My daughter makes handprint and footprint art at her school and they’re my favorite! And it’s fun to paint their feet and watch them giggle! We’ve done: ghosts, Frankenstein, candy corn, and witches! We do these one-on-one while students work in centers.
For the vampire project, we offer various skin colors and the students choose the paint color they want to use.
Torn paper pumpkins. Students use a white crayon to draw their pumpkins. Then they TEAR paper to fill in the pumpkin and stem. Tearing paper is one of the best fine motor activities we can do! So let them tear all the paper!
Spiders-Students make a large circle and a small circle. Glue them together. Add 8 legs and eyes.
Monster eyes-these are hilarious and look fun hanging from the ceiling. Students choose their color. They cut out a circle and glue it to a paper plate. Then they cut out a black circle and glue it onto the eye.
During October we celebrate Hispanic Heroes and Hispanic Heritage Month. One of the people we learn about is Picasso. We do a Frankenstein Picasso drawing!
Halloween Sensory Bins
Orange rice and bowtie pasta dyed black.
Oats and fake bugs from Dollar Tree!
Orange rice and glittery pumpkins from Dollar Tree
Split peas and plastic eyeballs from Dollar Tree. The skeleton hands are also from Dollar Tree. Students can use their hands or the tools to pick up objects in the sensory bin.
Spiders-rice that is dyed black, spider rings, and glittery spiders from Dollar Tree. Cards from our Spider Research Project.
Witches-Purple rice, mini brooms, and witch hats from Amazon. Cards from our Witches, Wizards And Zombies creation.
NOTE: We get our food coloring for sensory bins from Amazon!
Halloween Snack Ideas
Spider snack-Oreos, green M&Ms, pretzel sticks!
Monsters-pre-made Rice Krispy treats, insert the popsicle stick in the bottom. Students then choose the color of their monster and use frosting to cover the treat. Add candy eyes!
Mini No-Bake Pumpkin Pies-mini pie crusts, pumpkin pie filling, vanilla pudding, and Cool Whip. Mix the pie filling and vanilla pudding. Fill the pie crust. Add whip cream!
Bats-Oreo, Doritos, candy corn, and M&Ms and Twizzlers!
Monster Milkshakes! Vanilla ice cream, milk, green food coloring, whipped cream, Mint Oreos and sprinkles!
At my school. we celebrate birthdays monthly. Each grade level chooses a month and they do a themed celebration in the lounge. Here’s what my team did for October!
Disappearing Ghosts-use biodegradable packing peanuts! Draw a face on the peanuts. Place the peanuts in hot water and watch the ghosts vanish!
Exploding Ghost-balloons, vinegar, baking soda, and empty water bottles! Fill the bottle with vinegar. Fill the balloons with baking soda. Place the balloon over the bottle opening. Dump in the baking soda!
Cut bats from white paper. Hang from the ceiling. Add a blacklight and you have a bat cave!
Add some skeletons and fun lighting!