We focused on Halloween for weeks 35 & 36 of Tot School, well mostly week 36. Between some sickness and just too much to do, most of our activities were focused around the actual date of Halloween.
Our Focus Board for our Halloween theme included the letter H, the number 5, the color Black, and a Triangle shape. Throughout our Halloween weeks we focused on these four items during our activities. Our Focus Board is apart of our daily routine that includes calendar time and singing. If you missed our post about that particular routine, you can check it out here!
We started off our Halloween theme with a sensory bin full of all things Halloween as well as items relating to our Focus Board. This bin stayed out throughout both weeks for Grace to explore and play with and she did just that as I was constantly tracking down items from this bin around the house. She especially loved “punky” bear and still asks for him every day!
Our books for weeks 35 & 36 were Five Black Cats by Pat Hegarty, Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson, and Babies Love Halloween by Scarlett Wing. We found Five Black Cats at our local library and this book was perfect to go along with our number and color of the week! Room on the Broom was found at a local big box store for less than $5 and is a really cute story about a witch, cat, dog, bird, and frog. And bonus: Netflix has the movie version of the book! We ordered Babies Love Halloween from Amazon. It’s a simple lift a flap board book with basic Halloween themes. We read our books daily during our Halloween themed weeks and Grace especially enjoyed counting the five black cats!
In addition to our sensory bin, Grace was able to play with a Halloween village we scored at Target and little Halloween figures. Of course there were five houses we could count for our number of the week, lots of black to point out, and the roofs were shaped like triangles. Grace loved the wooden figures and would carry them around with her all over the house.
Our media for the week included two YouTube videos by Pink Fong (the Baby Shark people): Halloween ABC & Five Little Pumpkins. Grace LOVED Halloween ABC and would say her letters with the song. We also enjoyed several Sesame Street videos on YouTube as well including: Making Pumpkin Faces, The Cookie Monster Nosh, Sharing Things (Stranger Things Parody), and the Halloween Street Story. We also included StoryBots’ Letter H, The Number 5, When It’s Black, and Triangle videos to go along with our Focus Board.
Our next activity focused on our letter of the week. H is for Halloween or better yet, a haunted house! I cut out an orange H from our card stock pile and then cut out some black pieces for the roof, windows, and doors. I placed the H shaped house in front of Grace at our work space and handed her Halloween themed stickers (We really love Target for things like this!) to place on the H. Not only was this activity great for focusing on our letter of the week, but I could also tell her to place stickers on the black roof, window, etc. to help her identify our color of the week, and I purposefully made a Triangle shaped roof top for our shape of the week. Also manipulating those small stickers works out Grace’s fine motor skills as well!
After Grace was finished placing stickers on the H, we hung it up on the refrigerator for the remainder of our Halloween themed weeks.
Grace played with this foam pumpkin multiple times throughout weeks 35 & 36 of Tot School. She loved pointing out its eyes, ears (bolts), nose (not pictured because it went missing and we haven’t found it yet), mouth, and bow! She would take the pieces off and put them back again and again. We did not carve a pumpkin this year (insert sad face) so this was the closest we got to making a jack-o-lantern. Also, while this particular jack-o-lantern set did not have Triangle shaped eyes or nose, we pointed out our shape of the week on every jack-o-lantern we saw!
Our next Halloween themed activity was making a cotton ball ghost and hanging Halloween window clings on the front door. I’m not sure what it is, but every activity we do on the glass door is a hit with Grace. This time I drew and cut out a ghost on contact paper and taped it sticky side out on the glass door. I placed a basket next to the door with cotton balls and showed Grace how to pull them apart some and place them on the ghost. She did just that, but at some point lost interest in putting the cotton on the ghost, and just wanted to pull the cotton balls a part. So I pulled out the Halloween window clings which renewed her interest in decorating the door. Grace loved taking the Halloween themed window clings on and off and repositioning them and eventually started adding more cotton to her ghost. My intention was to leave all of it up as decoration for Halloween but Grace had other plans, as she usually does. Ha! While cleaning up Grace came up to me saying “ghost” and handed me the crumpled remains of her cotton ball ghost she decided to pull off the door and squish into a tiny ball. At least the window clings stayed up for Trick-or-Treaters!
The rest of our activities relating to our Halloween theme were enjoyed on October 31st, as the weather turned scary and trick or treating was cancelled until the next night in our area. So we created multiple Halloween stations for Grace to explore while dressed up in her Halloween costume: Minnie Mouse. The first activity Grace was really interested in was digging for spiders through their spider web. This was super simple to set up. I just grabbed a laundry basket and tied black (our color of the week) yarn cris crossing it from top to bottom to create the web. Then I added spider rings to the bottom of the basket. Grace loved collecting the spiders from their web and putting them in a “punky” bucket and carrying them around. I would empty her spiders back into the web and she would do it all over again.
We also had a felt black cat for Grace to decorate, and 5 black witch hats (cones…another Target Find) that we used to hide a ghost and let Grace find. Grace loved this activity as well. I made the ghost from a ping pong ball, tissue paper, and a hair tie. I would hide it under a cone, then mix them all around and ask Grace to find the ghost. She would be so surprised every time she would lift the cone up containing the ghost! Too cute! We also counted the hats while she stacked them on top of each other over and over again.
Her daddy suggested we trick or treat inside the house to practice for the real thing! So we took turns hiding behind the doors in our house and let Grace knock and we filled her bucket with candy.
We finished up Halloween night by watching Spookly the Square Pumpkin and Room on the Broom on Netflix.
While we had so much fun with all our Halloween activities, nothing beats the real thing. Thankfully our neighborhood had Trick-Or-Treating the next night and Grace was able to go door to door for the first time. She even tried to hand her candy out of her bucket to the neighbors. She’s the sweetest! All that practicing definitely paid off, and Grace can now say “candy”. 🎃
EVERYDAY a little Grace 🌷