Trick or treat! The spooky season is upon us and while we’re all for a good sugar rush, we also know that as an educator, teaching a classroom full of students who’ve eaten too much candy isn’t easy.
While Halloween candy is a huge part of traditional trick-or-treating excitement, some students may have allergies or dietary sensitivities that might leave them out of the celebrations.
Don’t let that stop you!
We’ve compiled the best spooky activities and alternative goodies to candy to have your kids howling with excitement!
Table of contents:
- Exciting Halloween activities
- Halloween themed movies
- Great candy alternatives
The most exciting Halloween activities
All of these spooky Halloween games and activities can be done in the classroom while social distancing or even at a virtual Halloween party!
Halloween themed bingo
The best part of this fun Halloween game is that all you need is a printer and some pencils to play!
What you’ll need:
- Download The Incremental Mama’s PDF of free Halloween-themed bingo sheets with unique calling cards!
- Pens or pencils for students to mark their sheet
- If you don’t want students to write on the printed sheets, you can use store-bought pumpkin seeds as markers instead!
How to play:
- Give every player a card (if you are virtual, you can mail them a card or have them print it out at home).
- Have each player grab a handful of pumpkin seeds, or have them bring out a pen or pencil.
- Everyone can put a marker on the FREE space!
- Put all the calling cards into a bowl or bag.
- Randomly select a card to announce to your class. If a player has the same image on their bingo sheet, they can mark it off with their markers.
- Repeat this until someone calls, “Trick or treat!”
- Give the winner a prize and play again!
Great pumpkin math investigation
This is a great way to combine teaching and celebrating Halloween with kids!
What you’ll need:
- Enough small pumpkins for each small group in your class and an extra for yourself
- OR if it’s too messy to carve pumpkins to scoop out the seeds, you can replace each pumpkin with a brown bag full of store-bought seeds).
- Next, print out these free activity sheets!
How to play:
- First, do a demonstration of the activity. Get your own pumpkin or brown bag. Have them guess and record the number of pumpkin seeds.
- Take out the pumpkin seeds on a plate, and have your kids estimate the number of seeds on their plates.
- Then, count the number of seeds using the different grouping mats.
- Model how you can use the number mats and add leftovers.
- Record the total number of seeds on the provided chart. Have a discussion by comparing the estimations and the total amount of counted seeds.
- Ex. 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 +10 + 10 + 7 = 127 OR 100 + 20 + 7 = 127
- Now, it’s time for your students to do the same thing in small groups! Give around 4-5 kids a pumpkin or bag and have them repeat everything you did.
Have your students learn about rectangles, squares, and triangles while crafting bats!
What you’ll need:
- Black and orange construction paper
- Googly eyes
- The Geometric Bat for Younger Kids downloadable template.
- The template is free to download but you’ll need to make an account on Teachers Pay Teachers first.
How to construct the bat:
- Use the template shapes to cut out the pieces from black construction paper.
- Follow the design on the download to glue the pieces onto the orange piece of construction paper.
- Glue on googly eyes.
- Hang your bats around the class.
- Let the discussion questions be the beginning of a great conversation about sizes, angles, and decomposition of shapes!
Decorate these bats around the classroom to add to the Halloween flare or have your students take them home to tape to their front doors.
Halloween themed movies for all ages
When finding something for your class to watch, it might be hard to find a movie that won’t scare the easily-spooked kids too badly yet will also grab the attention of the ones who like scary things.
We’ve got just the list of family-friendly movies to make sure your Halloween parties go smoothly without any crying or bored kids!
Spookley the Square Pumpkin (2004) – Rated G
This fun animated movie is about Spookley, a square pumpkin who gets teased and bullied for his shape. This is the perfect movie for young children and teaches them how to deal with bullying and how to accept and love themselves.Spookley: The Square Pumpkin is free with a Netflix subscription.
The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) – Rated PG
When Jack Skellington from Halloween Town accidentally stumbles into Christmas Town, he begins to fall in love with Christmas. So much so that he kidnaps Santa Claus!The Nightmare Before Christmas can be rented on Amazon Prime for $3.99.
Coraline (2009) – Rated PG
Bring the haunted house to your classroom with this spooky stop-motion movie! After moving to a new home, Coraline discovers a portal to a parallel world of her current life. But she soon discovers that the mother of this world has a dark and terrible secret.
Coraline is one of the scarier movies on our list so if your students are younger or easily scared, we suggest skipping this one.
Amazon Prime is currently having a sale so you can rent Coraline for just $2.99 today!
Corpse Bride (2005) – Rated PG
A nervous man named Victor accidentally finds himself married to a corpse-woman named Emily after practicing his wedding vows in a forest. It’s up to his living fiancee to face Emily and get Victor back.
You can rent Corpse Bride on Amazon Prime for $3.99.
5 great alternatives to candy that your students will love
Luckily, Amazon has a vast selection of treats that aren’t candy that you can pass out in class.
The great part about having these candy alternatives is that you can take whatever you have leftover at the end of the day and hand it out to trick or treaters at night.
1) Spooky stickers
What kid doesn’t love stickers? Amazon has a great selection of different stickers that you can pass around for some more Halloween fun.
Our favorite spooky sticker set has over 1000 stickers and is less than $15 if you have Amazon Prime.
2) Halloween erasers
Erasers are always in demand for students and can make for a good bingo reward. Our favorite Amazon pack comes with 60 erasers, including cute black cats, shouting ghosts, and great pumpkins, all for $22.
3) Glow in the dark temporary tattoos
Choosing and putting on temporary tattoos is a guaranteed way to excite any kid, even the ones who are disappointed for not getting candy! We promise that these non-toxic glow-in-the-dark tattoos will be a huge hit for all your students.
You can find a stack of 20 temporary tattoo sheets with 200 assorted styles for less than $8. What a spooky steal!
Sticking on these fun tattoo stickers is easy:
- Cut out the design you want.
- Remove the clear film.
- Stick it on any clean and smooth surface on the body.
- Wet the tattoo sticker with water and wait for 10-20 seconds before slowly peeling off the sticker.
- Tip: don’t touch the design as it dries! This will help it last longer.
Did you know that these temporary tattoos can last up to 5 days? These fun designs will make your kids popular with all their friends and can spice up their trick or treating costumes!
4) Glow sticks
This pack of 100 vibrant glowing sticks is the perfect Halloween party accessory and is only $13. Students can wear them around their necks or their wrists and the glow lasts for up to 12 hours, long enough for them to go out trick or treating at night!
5) Halloween themed masks
Masks are still a common sight but we know just the way to turn these masks into the perfect fashion statement with Halloween-themed protective masks! Run and get a 50 pack of these disposable, holiday-themed face masks for only $18.
You don’t need candy to have a spook-tacular Halloween!
There are a number of great ways educators can bring Halloween to the classroom without candy and trick or treating! Whether it is playing Halloween bingo in costumes or laughing over glowing tattoos as they watch a movie, we know your students will have a lot of fun!