The highlight of the Halloween season is the night of October 31, when everyone heads out to trick-or-treat in their costume of choice. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have some fun at home or in the classroom prior to the big night of candy collecting!
Kids of all ages delight in the thrills, spooks and treats of Halloween, but it’s particularly fun for those between the ages of 9 and 13. Whether you’re an upper elementary or middle school teacher, or you’re a parent of a tween who wants to add an extra dose of frights in this year, these ideas will help you make this the best Halloween yet.
6 Halloween Fun for Kids Ideas
Pumpkin Carving Contest
Around the age of 10, children may be able to start using safe pumpkin carving tools to create their own jack-o-lanterns. Giving them the freedom and autonomy to do this on their own will help them build confidence and inspire them to get creative. Teachers can host a pumpkin carving party in their own classrooms, or parents may opt to host a weekend event that involves a trip to the pumpkin patch with a carving contest to follow. Be sure to create lots of categories so that everyone walks away with a winning jack-o-lantern!
Pumpkin Painting Party
Sometimes it’s just too daunting to let a bunch of 11-year-old kids start hacking away at pumpkins. As an alternative option to the carving party, consider hosting a pumpkin painting party. Pie pumpkins are great for painting because they are smaller and easier for elementary and middle school students to handle. This could be a great addition to the art class lesson plan, or it could be a viable option for an after-school play date.
About the time that students enter the fourth grade, they can begin to identify the different elements of a story. It’s important to start introducing the concept of an introduction, a climax, a conflict and a resolution to students, while also encouraging them to take note of the characters, setting and time period of any story.
To help with these concepts, ask the children to write a scary story that includes all of the necessary components. On the day the assignment is due, ask each student to read their story aloud in their most mysterious and spooky voice. This Halloween story hour will quickly become an annual tradition! Click on the image to the right to see a list of awesome 30 scary story writing prompts for kids!
Halloween Poetry Reading
Students in upper elementary school and middle school are just beginning to discover that poetry can be a wonderful way to showcase their creativity and express their emotions, but many are surprised that you can create thrilling poems with a Halloween twist. Ask students to spend some time drafting poems that include ghoulish characters and dark, twisted themes. After the poems have been written, host an event where students can read their poems out loud while others relax, have a few snacks and offer feedback as to which poems left them sitting on the edge of their seats with fear.
Historical Halloween Party
While modern superheroes and contemporary icons often make amazing Halloween costumes, teachers and parents alike can have a bit of fun with Halloween by incorporating a historical twist. Ask the kids to read a book about a favorite historical figure, and then encourage them to make their own costume that represents the individual they chose. Everyone needs to wear their costume to the Halloween party, and those in attendance need to guess who they are dressed up as. It’s an easy way to create a living history lesson that is not just informative but also tons of fun!
Concoct a Creepy Snack
Kids who are entering their tween years have not lost their desire to get their hands dirty and make a mess, yet they are craving a lot more independence. Give kids the freedom to create their own creepy recipe and allow them to make it for their friends. Hot dogs wrapped in biscuit dough can make some pretty frightful mummies, or green olives skewered onto mozzarella cheese balls can become delicious yet disgusting eyeballs. These are the perfect treats to serve at the next Halloween gathering!
Take one or more of these ideas and incorporate them into your lesson plans this Halloween, or plan a party for the kids after school to get them excited for Halloween. There’s an educational element to each activity, but they are so fun-centric the kids won’t even realize they are learning along the way!
Hopefully these ideas help you have a spook-tacular Halloween!