October is near, which means it’s time to start planning for some Halloween activities. I love this time of year because we can engage students with imaginative characters and spooky symbols. There’s so much learning that can happen with fun themes of pumpkins, bats, and bones.
Below are my favorite Halloween activities. I’ve arranged them by subject. Please note, I’ve put the ideal grade level in each activity. These Halloween activities range from grades kindergarten to third grade.
Halloween Science Activities
Bat Life Cycle (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. Students create a mini-book in which they read about bats and their life cycle.
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!
Pumpkin Life Cycle (Grades K-2)
Pumpkins are my favorite for Halloween 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, the spinner, and the timeline. These pumpkin activities help teach students about the different stages of a pumpkin.
If you want to get hands-on, try this! Take a real pumpkin and carve it out. Take one seed per student and place it in a small plastic bag. Next, place one wet cotton ball inside along with the seed. Then, hole-punch the bag and tie a string through it. 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.
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.
Halloween 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.
Spookly the Square Pumpkin (Grades 3 – 5)
I love integrating Halloween activities with English language arts. One of my favorite stories to read is Spookly the Square Pumpkin. My friend, Lisa Taylor Teaching the Stars, created this free, volume activity. Students create a square pumpkin and find the volume of their cube. These turned out so cute! Here’s a video of the story.
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.
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.
Halloween 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.
STEM Task Cards (Grades K – 5)
These STEM task cards are fun for adding to your morning tubs or STEM boxes. I included 18 Halloween-themed STEM task cards. I’ll be updating these cards to have a QR code, two suggested STEM challenges, and an invitation to learn more.
While it may seem like play, I decided to add these to the ELA component because students actively speak and listen. Plus, the QR code links to articles related to the subject. You can also use these cards for word work by having students use the letters in each subject to create new words or word chains.
I love the articles from Wonderopolis because they have an immersive reader option so students of all ages and abilities can read and learn!
Halloween STEM Activities
Finally, I worked with my pal, Lisa Taylor Teaching the Stars, to create a series of simple STEM challenges for kids in primary grades. We developed these FUN Halloween STEM challenges for STEM Fridays, centers, or Halloween parties.
These STEM challenges are a great way to incorporate critical thinking and problem-solving. We included four different activities that require simple, inexpensive materials. I’ve included a video for each one so you can “see” what each entails. Our students LOVED participating in these activities.
Bone Tower of Terror
This Halloween STEM Activity takes about 10 – 15 minutes. Students create the tallest tower using Q-tips (or bones). You can add a picture to students’ portfolios, so they can “keep” their memory.
Spider Web Catcher
This Halloween activity is excellent for building fine motor skills and subsidizing. We learned about the different types of spider webs with posters, and then we challenged students to create a spider web that would catch the most spiders. This one was a lot of fun!
I love activities that challenge our patience and perseverance. This STEM activity precisely does that! Students must use a steady hand to create a pumpkin paradise using pumpkin candies and craft sticks. It’s trickier than it looks!
Flipping for Candy Corn
Finally, we had a blast flipping for candy corn. We used four different water bottles that were empty to place candy corn inside—there were various amounts of candy corn in each bottle. Next, we tried flipping the bottle to see if we could land it. This Halloween activity is a great way to introduce statistical thinking, counting, graphing, fractions, and so much more!