Last year, Grace and I did some pretty neat educational Halloween activities, and I never finished writing the blog post. You know the story, life happens, priorities shift, other opportunities arise, blah blah blah. But I’ve really been missing documenting all the fun Grace and I have together. With Halloween headed our way soon, I thought it was the perfect time to focus on writing blog posts again, so while this isn’t necessarily current with Grace’s age, I still wanted to document the fun we had, and offer inspiration for the upcoming Halloween season for our followers. And I’m positive we will be doing some of these activities again this year as well!
For this particular theme, we focused on the letter H, the number 4, a square shape and the colors black, orange, green, and purple. We enjoyed reading the books Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and The Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat by Stan and Jan Berenstain throughout our Halloween theme. Room on the Broom accounted for several different activities and really became a book study for Grace. We really enjoyed all the activities relating to this particular title. We also listened to quite a few songs and Halloween themed videos via YouTube as well. I’ve linked our Halloween YouTube playlist to the photo below.
We also took full advantage of our streaming services to watch Spookley the Square Pumpkin and the Room on the Broom movie.
We turned bath time into a spooky good time several nights throughout our theme! I colored the bath water with Crayola Bath Drops for 3 of our focus colors. I also made some really simple bath toys for Grace to enjoy out of craft foam. Keeping with our focus number, shape, and colors for our Halloween theme, I cut out four ghost shapes, four bat shapes, and four square shapes for fun in the bath tub and for spooky counting practice. I also included 4 orange plastic balls, four plastic spider rings, a foam letter H, and miniature jack-o-lantern and cauldron perfect for pouring and collecting different items. This was such a simple activity to set up and was loaded with various educational opportunities for Grace to enjoy. We counted the different items, found the letter H, located all the squares, and worked on color recognition as well. Those fine motor skills were also being applied here, with picking up and placing the foam shapes on the tub walls, and with the pouring from jack-o-lantern to cauldron and vice versa.
Grace worked on those early handwriting skills by placing candy corn along the outline of the letter H. I cut out a square pumpkin from construction paper and drew and upper case and lower case letter H in the middle. I did laminate so we could also use with play dough. I put candy corn in a small plastic cauldron for Grace to use and instructed her to place the candy corn along the H’s. I think we have a little perfectionist on our hands, as she was very cautious in placing the candy corn exactly on the lines to make the letters, making sure there were no spaces between each candy corn. After she finished and enjoyed a few pieces of candy corn, I let her use play dough to make the letters as well. I helped with rolling the play dough out and she placed it and smooshed it into place.
We enjoyed some spooky kitchen science for our next activity. I found this awesome activity posted in several different places via Pinterest. It’s very similar to our previous Dancing Corn activity from our Fall Theme in 2020, with a ghostly twist. I had every thing we needed laid out on a plastic tray in the kitchen including: 3 empty plastic water bottles, 3 white balloons with sharpie drawn eyes and mouths, baking soda with a tablespoon for scooping, vinegar, and a funnel. Using the funnel, Grace and I filled each balloon with a tablespoon of baking soda then laid them to the side. After wiping out the residue from the funnel, we used it again by filling each water bottle with a 1/2 cup of vinegar. With the help of Grace’s Daddy, we then carefully placed the baking soda filled balloons onto each water bottle, making sure to not let the baking soda fall into the vinegar just yet. While her Daddy held the balloon in place (just in case) Grace tilted each balloon upright so that the baking soda would fall into the vinegar below and created a chemical reaction. The gases created from this reaction in turn inflated the balloons and made our balloon ghosts come to life! Grace loved seeing the reaction and her ghost balloons inflate! Such a cool twist on the vinegar/baking soda reaction that was perfect for our Halloween theme!
Our fall tree on our homeschool room door got a little Halloween makeover as well. I snagged some felt Halloween craft kits from our local dollar store, and attached to our classroom’s door with painter’s tape. Grace loved putting all the felt parts on the characters throughout our Halloween theme! There were lots of pieces to count, colors and shapes to identify, those fine motor skills were exercised as well, and it was a great low mess and quiet creative activity for Grace to enjoy.
We broke out the play dough again for this next activity, with a Halloween monster themed invitation to play. Using craft supplies I had on hand, I set out a tray containing different colors of play dough, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, and pom poms. Grace was able to use her imagination and work on those creativity and fine motor skills to make little monsters. Grace is not one to stay with an activity for very long, so I was pleasantly surprised at how long she worked on these monsters. She really enjoyed this invitation to play and I foresee a lot more of this type of activity in our future.
Grace completed several different activities related to one of our books for our Halloween theme, Room on the Broom. If you go to the publisher’s website, they have a good amount of FREE educational resources that go along with this story, as well as other book’s from the same author. I snagged several and cut out the various pieces and laminated them so we could save them and use them again and again. Grace practiced pen control with the seek and find activity picture above. Since I had laminated this activity, it paired perfectly with a dry erase marker, and with Mommy’s help calling out the items to find in the picture, Grace practiced making circles around the items she found.
I made character sticks out of one of the resources featured on the Room on Broom’s website. In addition to each stick having a character from the book, I also numbered the sticks in order of the character’s appearance in the book. After reading the book while Grace was playing with the character sticks, I asked Grace to show me which character appeared first in the story, then second, and so on. This activity was intended to work on not only number sequencing but also to gage her reading comprehension skills. To my surprise, she recalled which order the character’s appeared, only mixing up the bird and the frog. This was actually interesting to me because both of those characters are smaller in relation to the others and they are both green. I did not expect Grace to recall what she did, and realized we were probably headed towards learning and exploring some new skills in the future.
We took our next activity outside for some gross motor fun, with a scavenger hunt based on the book Room on the Broom. Prior to Grace joining me outside, I hid a yellow hair bow, a wand (made from a paper straw and craft foam), a felt witches hat, a fake bone, and a faux lily around our backyard. She also searched for a pinecone and twig. When we went outside, I gave Grace a broom and a plastic cauldron and told her to fly around like the witch’s character in the book to find her lost items the items used to create the perfect broom from the story. And oh man, did she have a blast searching and pretending to ride her broom around the back yard!
Working with those focus items for our Halloween theme again, I cut out some more Halloween characters/items for our colors, shape, and number from craft foam. Using a black window marker, I drew a haunted house on the outside of our glass door. I placed the foam cutouts onto a cookie sheet with a little bit of water so they would stick to the door, and let Grace place the Halloween items in the haunted house.
Again, this seems like a simple activity, but we were able to count each of the pieces, sort by color, work on shape recognition, Grace exercised her imagination and fine motor skills, and she had a blast! She continued to play with the foam pieces on the door even after Halloween was over and the haunted house was washed away.
Besides trick-or-treating, our last activity was the ultimate sensory experience and tradition. We carved a pumpkin as a family. This was our first year doing so with Grace participating, and it was nothing short of comical. Mommy drew out the design and prepared the carving space for all the fun. Daddy handled the knife and cutting out the pieces. Grace was supposed to be responsible for the guts. Yeah, that did not end up going so well. This chick is not afraid to hold any type of bug or amphibian. She will dig in the dirt, burry her hands in sand, and if there’s water she will have her hands in it…but pumpkin pulp…FORGET ABOUT IT! The neighbors probably thought there was a real life horror story happening next door with the screams Grace emitted after feeling the insides of a pumpkin and desperately trying to remove it from her hands. So, we did all the dirty work instead, while Grace supervised with a spoon in hand. The end product she LOVED. But she for sure wanted no part in the process unless she used the spoon and no remnants landed on her. Here’s to hoping next year’s pumpkin carving tradition goes a little more smoother and is a little less dramatic, HA.
Grace was a mermaid for Halloween this year, specifically a Princess mermaid. We were blessed to be able to trick or treat at our family’s homes, enjoy an outside event featuring her Poppa’s band, and see some pretty awesome Halloween lights and decorations. I think Grace had a wonderful time learning and having fun exploring our Halloween theme in 2020, and we will definitely be repeating some of the activities from last year with a few new one’s added.
Since this time last year, several things have changed for Everyday a Little Grace! You may have noticed some design changes around everydayalittlegrace.com, and we now have an Etsy Shop full of play based learning resources covering letters, numbers, shapes, colors, and so much more! We recently added a Halloween Activity Pack perfect for Halloween preschool themes and gift-able MINI Halloween Play Dough Mats.