25 Spooky Halloween Classroom Ideas
With costumes filling stores and a chill in the air, Halloween is right around the corner. Celebrate the spooky season with these fun and creative Halloween classroom activities for elementary school students. You’ll find various activities, from Halloween party games and crafts to educational activities like writing prompts and STEM challenges. Each of these delightfully fun activities requires minimal materials and is sure to get your students in a spooky mood for the holiday.
1. Scary Stories
Reading scary stories is the quintessential Halloween activity. Make the event as spooky as possible by following these steps:
- Hand out a reading worksheet that involves predicting the story.
- Tell the students not to read in advance.
- Turn off the lights to set the tone for the story.
- Play creepy and suspenseful music.
- Show a static image of a haunted house or dark woods on your projector.
- Tell the students to imagine that this is where the story happened.
From here, you can do a dramatic reading of your story, occasionally using sound effects while the students write. Every minute or two, stop reading and allow students to predict what they think will happen to build suspense.
2. Rock Painting
Going for a walk is a great way to get your students moving and experience the benefits of nature. Head outside to the playground for a nature walk and have students collect rocks along the way. Then, go back inside and have everyone paint their chosen rock, creating monsters, ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, zombies or whatever spooky character they desire.
3. Candy Corn Jar Guess
An easy but fun game involves filling a large jar with Halloween candy and having students guess how many are inside. You might include candies like eyeballs, candy corn, pumpkins and other spooky treats to celebrate the holiday.
4. Halloween Guess the Word
Guess the Word is an engaging game your students will love playing with you. To play it, write a Halloween-related word on a card and hold it above your head. Have each student take turns guessing the word on the card or provide a one-word clue to help them. You might hand out Halloween snacks while playing this game, as it’ll get your students’ brains moving as they eat.
5. Build a Skeleton
Make your own paper skeleton with detachable body parts, or find a printable one online to play this fun vocab game. Build your skeleton from the skull to the feet, pinning each part on your whiteboard or chalkboard to easily display it. As you build it, talk about each basic body vocabulary word, such as the skull, ribs and femur. Once you’re done, move the parts around and have each student come up to build the skeleton and name each body part.
6. Halloween Mystery Box
Decorate a cardboard box with Halloween colors and cut a hole at the top. Place different items in your box each week and have students reach in to feel the object and make a guess. They’ll try to become familiar with each item without seeing it, encouraging them to use all senses to imagine what might be in the box. You might consider adding things like:
- A piece of fruit, such as a grape or banana
- A utensil, such as a spoon or fork
- Craft items like a cotton ball or feather
- A small toy, like a slinky or slime
Have kids write down what they think each item is as they touch them. You might preface the game by saying you have creepy items in the box, such as a crow feather, a squishy eyeball or brains. They’ll be curious and excited to touch each object and guess what they think it is. You can also include candies or toys to use as an incentive for good work.
7. Whooooo Am I?
Another fun but simple game involves blindfolding one student and having the rest of the class stand in a circle around them. Spin the blindfolded student and stop them before one person in the circle. The student in the circle will say, “Whooooo am I?” like a ghost. The blindfolded student must guess who the student is and call out their name.
8. Creative Story Writing
For a spooky creative writing activity, prepare 10 of each main element of a story — a character, place, time and basic premise. Have students select four numbers corresponding to each story element, from one to 10. The first number will be the character their story focuses on, such as a witch, a scarecrow, a mummy or another Halloween character. The second will focus on the setting of the story, and so on.
Have your students write their numbers in their notebooks and tell them they cannot change them afterward. Then, project your list of story elements on the wall they will need to use for their own. Students can add characters or settings, but their chosen elements should be the focus. This fun activity promotes creativity in the classroom and can help jumpstart the spooky season.
9. Pin the Tail on the Black Cat
Instead of pin the tail on the donkey, play pin the tail on the black cat this Halloween season. Place a giant cardboard cut-out of a black cat on the wall. Blindfold your students, spin them around and see if they can pin the tail in the right place. The student with the nearest tail wins a prize or a turn at the Halloween mystery box of prizes or candies.
10. Word Find
Word Find is an easy game involving only a timer, paper and pens. Here’s how to play it with your students:
- Divide students into teams.
- Give each group a Halloween-related word like “Dracula” or “Frankenstein.”
- Have students find as many words as possible using the letters of that word.
- Give a time limit, such as two minutes.
After the timer goes off, the team with the most words wins.
11. Spider Webs
Teach students about spiders and their abilities as master engineers. For this activity, all you need is yarn. Teach your students about these amazing creatures, their silk and geometrical webs before having your students create their own web designs with the thread. Encourage your students to be inventive and creative since no two spider webs are the same.
12. Handprint Ghosts
Among the most fun Halloween classroom activities, handprint ghosts might be the easiest. Have your students paint their hands white and press them onto black construction paper. After the papers dry, they can turn them upside down and add ghostly faces and other spooky designs. You might hang these ghosts around the classroom as decorations or have students take them home.
13. Coloring Cut-Outs
Another fun Halloween craft involves creating or coloring in a cardboard cut-out. Each student should choose a spooky character, such as a pumpkin, black cat, spider or witch, color it in, and add fun designs. Have scissors at the ready and instruct your students to cut their character out. Then, you can add tape to the back and use them as window displays or for other fun activities.
14. Whisper Down the Alley
Whisper Down the Alley, or Telephone, is a game involving passing one message between a group of people. Start by coming up with a spooky phrase and then whispering it to one student. That student must then whisper the message to the person next to them. The phrase will pass from person to person until the last student must share it out loud. The goal is to get the message to pass through the group without error, but this rarely happens, often concluding with laughter.
You might consider trickier, spooky messages like:
- The fiery jack-o-lantern was displayed on Halloween night.
- The spooky skeleton ate soup for supper.
- The witch brewed a potion in her giant black cauldron.
15. Flying Bats
Similar to designing cut-outs, this craft involves creating and cutting out cardboard bats. Have your students color in their bats with any colors of their choosing. They might also add glitter or glow-in-the-dark paint to spice things up. Then, attach strings to each bat and hang them around the classroom as a spooky decoration.
16. Pumpkin Investigation
Introduce the basics of scientific observation with a pumpkin investigation. Fill a tub with water and have students conduct experiments to test whether a pumpkin will sink or float. This activity will challenge your students to make predictions, graph and discover density and buoyancy. After the investigation, carve the pumpkin together and enjoy an afternoon of other fall festivities.
Another spooky science experiment involves testing the reaction between vinegar and baking soda. When combined, they form carbon dioxide gas. You’ll need the following materials to conduct this spooky experiment:
- Gummy worms
- 3 tablespoons of baking soda
- 1 cup of warm water
- Two clear beakers
Combining these materials will cause carbon dioxide bubbles to rise through the vinegar, making the gummy worms “wiggle.” This activity offers students a delightfully spooky and simple chemistry lesson as they watch the worms “come to life.”
18. Paper Pumpkin
Making paper pumpkins is a classic Halloween activity. Follow these steps to craft the perfect pumpkin:
- Have your students stuff crumpled newspaper into a plain brown paper lunch bag.
- Instruct students to paint their bags with orange paint.
- Tie the bags with thick green yarn.
Voila, students have a cute pumpkin decoration they can display in the classroom or take home.
19. Trick or Treat
For this Halloween activity, write a different “trick” on several slips of paper. These tricks might include “hop on one foot” or “spin in a circle.” Place these slips into a brown lunch bag and have each child take turns saying “trick or treat” and drawing a paper from the bag. After they perform the trick, say “treat” and give them a piece of candy or a Halloween sticker.
20. Word Searches and Crosswords
Test your students’ knowledge of Halloween with a themed word search puzzle. You’ll find plenty of word searches online with varying difficulty levels, or you can generate your own to have an unlimited supply to use in the classroom. A fun way to pass the time as the spooky season approaches, word searches and crossword puzzles can also help kids develop their problem-solving and analytical skills.
21. Paper Plate Masks
Ask your students to draw and color paper plates and add their own cut-outs to create a spooky mask. Choose from witches, pumpkins, black cats, scarecrows or anything they desire. Hole-punch the sides to loop a string through, and you have a mask.
You might have students wear them for a Halloween classroom party or hold a competition to give out prizes for categories like the funniest, the scariest or the most colorful.
22. Mummy Dress Up
Another fun classroom activity involves dressing your students up like mummies. Separate the class into teams and have one person in each group be the mummy. Set a timer for a minute and then have the other team members wrap the mummy up in the toilet paper. The team with the best-wrapped mummy wins.
23. Halloween History Time
Read about the history of Halloween to your students, detailing what the holiday means, where it comes from and why we celebrate it. Your students will have many questions, so provide them with a history lesson to help them get into the spirit of the season. Ask questions following your lesson to ensure reader comprehension and provide hand-outs for them to learn more about the holiday.
24. Spooky Videos
During your fun Halloween activities, project spooky videos in your classroom. You might watch music video classics like Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” or something more educational, such as fun facts about pumpkins and how Halloween is celebrated around the world. Whether you have the video on in the background while working on Halloween crafts or make it a central part of class, spooky videos are sure to set the right mood for the season.
25. Costume Party
To conclude the October festivities, throw a big Halloween costume party for your kids. Have them wear their homemade masks or bring their own costumes for a fun afternoon of games, tricks and treats. Decorate your classroom with your students’ Halloween crafts, read scary stories, have a costume contest, give out spooky prizes and share themed snacks like blood-red vampire punch and witch finger cookies. Whatever festivities you plan, you and your students are sure to have a spooky good time!
Celebrate the Spooky Season With the Right Supplies
You can enjoy many activities with your students this Halloween season, from spooky crafts to educational games. As October approaches, it’s crucial that you have the right supplies on hand.
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