Do you dread the craziness and hype of Halloween in your classroom every year?My students were always more difficult to manage during the Halloween season. There were some years that I couldn’t make a big deal about the holiday at all because they just couldn’t handle it. Additionally, not all students celebrate Halloween, so some classrooms may not want to go all-out with a celebration. I’ve rounded up a variety of classroom Halloween activities that range in prep time as well as classroom impact. Check them out and see what will work best in your classroom!
No-Prep Halloween Activities
Halloween Color by Codes
If you want to incorporate some Halloween-fun without doing a big celebration, use color by code activities! I love color by code activities because they can be done independently and quietly. They also engage fine motor skills and can be used as morning work, early finisher, or homework.
This is a no-prep activity because all you have to do is pick your pages and print!
Low-Prep Halloween Activities
Make a Mummy
This activity is great to do during a Halloween celebration. Some years, we’ve been expected to throw a class ‘party’ for Halloween and this is a fantastic game to play during a party.
This is low-prep because all you need is toilet paper! And yes, that’s me as a mummy 🙂 You can do this activity a few different ways.
- You can ask students to estimate how many rolls of toilet paper it will take to make a mummy.
- You can time students to see who can make the fastest mummy.
- Challenge students to make a mummy without breaking the toilet paper.
Make sure to lay some ground rules before playing this game. I tell my students that they may not wrap faces or necks. I also only ask for volunteers that feel comfortable participating as a mummy. Luckily toilet paper is easy to break free from, especially if you use lower-ply toilet paper for the activity.
Pumpkin math is always a hit! This is a low-prep classroom activity because all you need are some pumpkins! I ask my students to work in groups so that I only have to bring in 4-5 pumpkins.
Students can measure their pumpkin using non-standard or standard units of measurement. They can weight their pumpkin. You can also incorporate language arts skills and ask students to generate adjectives to describe their pumpkin.
If you and your students are feeling adventurous, you can even cut open the pumpkins and count the seeds inside! Some of my students felt averse to the feeling of ‘pumpkin guts’ so I make this part totally optional. Before counting, ask students to estimate the number of seeds they think will be inside!
I recommend cutting the pumpkins beforehand and then taping the tops back on so that you don’t have to cut them at school.
Halloween Story Retelling
Another way to incorporate classroom Halloween activities and still keep the focus on learning is by doing a story retell!
Choose any story and students will identify the title, author, beginning, middle, and end! You can choose a Halloween book and use the Frankenstein, witch hat, or candy corn topper. If you want to lean more on fall and less on Halloween, use the pumpkin topper! My students could always use more practice retelling, so this is one of my favorite Halloween classroom activities!
Medium-Prep Halloween Activities
Pumpkin Book Characters
This is a really fun activity to do with your students, but it may take more prep time! Instead of doing a typical book report, do a pumpkin-themed book report! Students will choose a book to read and identify a character they would like to focus on for their report.
They will create their character using a pumpkin and write a brief report about their character! When we did this in my class, we had a lot of parent involvement and were able to make it a project done at home. It could easily be done at school too. You could have students work in groups so that you don’t have to purchase a pumpkin for each child. Provide some materials for them to use to create their pumpkin and let them go to work!
You could even get faux pumpkins at a craft store so you don’t have to carry heavy pumpkins in your classroom. This project was a hit with my students! They had a blast re-creating their characters.
Students can plan out the materials they will need to create their character. They can then create a ‘report’ about their book character and identify character traits or a description of their character. This would be a great time to introduce character traits if your students are unfamiliar with them!
These were also fun to display outside of our classroom! Other classes could walk by and look at each pumpkin and read its book report. It may take more prep time, but this is one of the classroom Halloween activities that will be long-remembered!
I did this project with a first grade class. If you have younger students and aren’t able to utilize parent assistance, you could do this project with an older buddy. We had a buddy program where kinder and first grade students were paired with a fifth grade student. This would be a great activity for buddies to work on together!
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Hi, I’m Libby!
I’m so happy you’re here! I love all things first grade – the curriculum, the content, and the sweet kiddos. I’m passionate about helping K-2 teachers save time in the classroom with fresh ideas and fun, engaging resources.