October’s knocking at our door, and you know what that means: a season of pumpkins, falling leaves, and cozy sweaters. But let’s not forget the best part-awesome fall activities for you and your kiddos! I’ve been in this teaching game since 2011, and let me tell you, these fall-centric activities are where it’s at.
Teachers who’ve already tried them can’t stop talking about how much their students love these activities. So, from Math Games to Pumpkin Activities, these activities are perfect for embracing that fall spirit. You asked for more, and guess what? I’ve delivered!
Here are my 15 ultimate fall activities, organized by subject since I know your time is precious. And yes, I’ve added the ideal grade levels so you can pick what fits your class best. Buckle up, because these fall activities are about to make your classroom the place to be!
Fabulous Fall Science Activities
The Great Acorn Experiment (Grades 1 – 2)
Some kids dream of being astronauts; others get jazzed about sinking acorns. Okay, maybe it’s not that dramatic, but the Acorn Float or Sink activity is a home run for introducing the scientific method. It’s simple, quick, and incredibly effective. Kids hypothesize whether acorns will float or sink, test it out, and document their findings. It’s science, but there’s a pinch of magic in watching them discover basic principles through tiny acorns.
Don’t have acorns available? Try candy corn or small pumpkins. Also, you can use this FREE Scientific Method Flipbook to walk them through the process too.
Fall Life Cycles (Grades 1 – 2)
Bats are so much fun to study during October. I like using the book Stellaluna and Bats by Gail Gibbons to study these flying mammals. We look at the life cycles of Bats using this Bat Life Cycle pack, and students create a mini-book in which they read about bats and their life cycles.
Then, they create a bat spinner. I’ve included a comprehension page to check their understanding. Afterward, they create a timeline matching the pictures with the definition and stage of life.
Students like this activity because it’s hands-on and loaded with interesting facts. You can make the learning even more fun by throwing in a pack of Annie’s Bunnies and Bats Fruit snacks. Kids love these!
Pumpkins are my favorite for fall activities and October in general. They are magical! There are so many different things you can do with pumpkins, and I could write an entire blog post on that alone, but for now, I’m going to stick with talking only about the pumpkin life cycle.
To start, I use the Pumpkin Life Cycle activity pack from my TPT shop, which includes the reading passage, comprehension sheet, spinner, and timeline. These pumpkin activities help teach students about the different stages of a pumpkin by giving them a great visual.
If you want to get hands-on, try this! Take a real pumpkin and carve it out. Next, take one seed per student and place it in a small plastic bag. Then, place one wet cotton ball inside along with the seed. After that, hole-punch the bag and tie a string through it so students can wear this as a necklace. These jewelry bags work nicely for the purpose we’re using them.
Place the remaining seeds inside the pumpkin and fill them with soil. It will stink if you don’t cover it up. Water throughout the year, and by June, you’ll have lovely green pumpkins. Students can measure the pumpkin vines and learn about the parts of a plant with this activity, or you can use parts of the pumpkin for the next activity.
Decomposition Exploration (Grades 2 – 3)
If you thought compost was just for gardeners, think again! Get ready to try the Decomposition Jar experiment. Trust me, this isn’t just science, it’s a whole adventure. In this hands-on science activity, kids will be all over collecting leaves, sticks, and even a pumpkin slice. Toss them into a jar, seal it tight, and voila! You’ve got yourself a mini ecosystem. Have your students snap time-lapse photos, and you’ll hear those a-ha moments loud and clear. This isn’t just an activity; it’s a front-row seat to nature’s transformation process!
Bones (Grades 2 – 3)
We love learning about skeletons and mummies (because they’re creepy and cool). For this activity, students learn about the skeleton and why it’s necessary for the human body. Learning about the human body is such an easy way to tie in Halloween activities and science.
Finally, we end this unit by playing scoot with these Bones and Muscles Task Cards. Scoot is a fun game where students have a small amount of time to answer a given task card until they must “scoot” to the next card.
Leaf Chromatography (Grades 3 – 4)
If autumn had a mascot, it’d be a rainbow of falling leaves. That’s where Leaf Chromatography comes in! This activity isn’t just a colorful science experiment; it’s an opportunity for your students to play detective with nature. All you need is some rubbing alcohol and eager little scientists to uncover the hidden pigments in leaves. Trust me, they’ll get so into this, that they won’t even realize they’re learning about chemistry. Plus, it’s a great way to add some vibrant learning to your classroom.
Fall Math Activities
Odd and Even Numbers (Grade 2)
During October, we’re usually just finishing up learning about odd and even numbers. I like to review that concept with this hands-on Halloween Math Game. Students read the question on the card, and then they answer. Students then check their answers on the back of the card, which tells them how many spaces to move on the board game.
Candy Corn Math & Grammar Games (Grades K – 5)
Want to take what you already have and make it more festive? Use candy corn as game markers. Not only will the kids love it, but it’ll add that special fall flavor to your math and literacy centers. I’m all about those “a-ha” moments.
Let me tell you, there’s something special about earning a candy corn piece that makes those lightbulbs flash even brighter. Use candy corn as the pieces students earn in STEM to Win or Race to 20. Trust me, they’ll be eager to rack up those delicious little rewards. You can even use them as markers for the board games.
Halloween Math Facts Games
I love using these Halloween Math Games for easy math centers. In this pack, there are five different decks of cards. The math facts include addition and subtraction within 10 and 20 (with pictures), addition and subtraction within 20 with no pictures, and multiplication and division.
Here’s How We Play
I use the deck of cards for different games. One of the games is a simple board game. Students answer the question and move the number of spaces it says on the card. Another way we use them is for STEM challenges. Students earn materials from our STEM Boxes based on their answers. Once we’re finished with the deck of cards, they get a surprise STEM challenge and only use the materials they earned.
These are so much fun. There are six STEM task cards in the bundle. We make things like pumpkins, haunted houses, a structure to hold a pumpkin, and more.
In a different station, we have trick-or-treaters. This is similar to a roll and cover, except students must “trick” the trick-or-treaters by placing an eyeball or a spider on their face. This is a cute way to keep them engaged.
Divide the Harvest (Grades 2 – 4)
Real-world connections, here we come! The classroom turns into a mini harvest festival, but the kids are doing more than just playing with mini-pumpkins and corn kernels. They’re grasping division like never before. Plus, working together to divide the “harvest”?
To play, put your students in small groups or teams of 2 or 3. Give each team a mix of mini pumpkins, corn kernels, or whatever else you’ve included in your “harvest.” Then, have your students divide the harvest evenly. Have your students share their math equations and rotate throughout the class. They can even answer questions like, “Were there any remainders that made things tricky? How did they handle that?”
Candy Corn Counting (Grades K – 1)
A sprinkle of sweetness never hurt anyone-especially not in math! Let your little ones use candy corn for counting and basic arithmetic. When you engage multiple senses, the learning sticks like glue. Your little ones are handling candy corn to nail counting and basic arithmetic. They’re becoming little math scientists, questioning and testing theories all while getting a handle on early math skills.
Fall ELA Activities
Halloween ELA Activity (Grades 2 – 3)
If your students are like mine, then they need some extra practice using capitalization and punctuation. I also added multiple-meaning words because it’s essential to introduce students to new words early on. In this game, students read the question and answer it. Then, they check the back of the card for the correct answer.
Students don’t earn anything for incorrect answers, but they earn toothpicks for correct answers. The numbers are on the back of the card. They keep doing this until all cards are answered.
Finally, students use the toothpicks they earned to create a stand that holds a cauldron. We used these candy corn marshmallows and Switches’ Brew gummies to add weight to the pot. It was so much fun! The plastic cauldrons are from the Dollar Spot in Target.
Side note: You can substitute the gummies for mini-erasers.
Fall STEM Task Cards (Grades K – 5)
I love using STEM task cards to extend learning into other subjects and build curiosity. These may feel like play, but active listening and speaking steal the spotlight. Additionally, QR codes link to related articles, amping up reading comprehension and media literacy. This structured dialogue develops higher-order thinking skills.
Plus, the STEM task cards can be used in conjunction with popular fall read-alouds so that the literary world and the real world collide in the best way possible. It’s like your classroom becomes a mashup of storytime and a science lab.
Halloween Activity Pages
Okay, we’ve gotta talk about this Halloween Activity Pages bundle that’s so much fun! Tucked right in with all those other goodies, it’s like the cherry on top or should I say, the candy corn on the cupcake?
These are perfect for early finishers, sub plans, and just making learning fun! We’ve got color-by-number activities that don’t just add a dash of color but help reinforce basic math facts. It also includes word search challenges for pattern recognition and Halloween Bingo for listening skills.
Finally, one of our favorites is Halloween Bingo- can we talk about ending the week on a high note? My students look forward to this each week. And let’s just say it’s the perfect way to build community in our classroom. Trust me, it’s a hit!
Spooky Synonyms & Antonyms (Grades 2 – 4)
Okay, ready to level up your vocabulary? First off, pass out Halloween cards with words like “spooky” or “creepy.” Now, here comes the twist; let your mini-wordsmiths turn into language detectives, and give them opportunities to find synonyms and antonyms. For example, a kid who has “creepy” might find another student with the word terrifying if they’re searching for synonyms. On the contrary, they might find another student with the word “relaxing” if they’re searching for antonyms.
Finally, kids love feeling like experts and connecting words and their opposites or similar is cognitive mapping. You’re not just filling your time, you’re filling their minds!
Apple Adjectives (Grades 1 – 3)
This isn’t just snack time; it’s a verbal buffet. As they taste different apples, kids dive into adjectives. Words like “tangy,” “crisp,” and “sweet” become more than just flavors; they’re tools for expression. This helps kids articulate their thoughts more clearly, both in speech and in writing.
Thankful Journals (All Grades)
Daily gratitude is way more than a feel-good activity; it’s basically Emotions 101 for your students. Right now is when we start writing about what we’re grateful for, so this way, we can share at the end of November. Additionally, this lets students practice active listening and empathetic speaking. At last, hearing classmates’ different perspectives builds necessary life skills.
If you’ve made it this far, give yourself a high-five because that means you’re as pumped about these fall activities as I am. Seriously, there’s something in here for everyone- from your scientists to your blossoming linguists. Your classroom’s gonna be the hotspot of hands-on, minds-on fun this season.
Everything I’ve told you about can be yours in a jiffy, so if you’re ready for the next step, here’s what you’ll need to do. Head to the links below to shop these game-changing resources, because trust me, these activities are the glow-up your classroom needs this fall.
Here’s what you need to know!
So guess what? You’re already making an impact in your classroom every single day, and according to your students, you’re the MVP in your students’ eyes, so why not add a sprinkle of fall magic to keep those sparks flying?
Listen up, I see you grinding, and you bet I’m here to back you up any way I can. So, here’s my challenge to you: Give these activities a whirl. Not only will your students be high-fiving you, but so will your sanity!
Click the Links Below to Shop the Resources Mentioned:
- FREE Scientific Method Flipbook
- Bat Life Cycle
- Bats by Gail Gibbons
- Bunnies & Bats Fruit Gummies
- Pumpkin Life Cycle
- Jewelry Bags
- Bones & Muscles PowerPoints
- Bones & Muscles Reading Passages
- Bones & Muscles Task Cards
- Odd & Even Math Game
- Halloween Math Games
- STEAM Boxes
- Halloween STEM to Win
- Fall STEM Task Cards
- Halloween Activity Bundle
- FREE Editable Vocabulary Cards