By Pam Molnar
Halloween classroom parties have always been a special time for preschool and elementary students. My children especially enjoyed wearing their Halloween costumes and participating in an all-school parade. As the years passed, however, my kids started to complain when a craft or game was repeated from a previous year. If you are looking to bring some new life into your child’s classroom party, check out these fresh ideas for crafts, games and activities.
Craft 1: String Pumpkin Door Hanger
Purchase a 6-inch wooden embroidery hoop for each student along with a skein of orange yarn. Cut 10-foot pieces for each child. Secure the end of the yarn at the top of the hoop and randomly wrap the yarn across and around the hoop to create a unique pattern of orange. Tie off to secure. Cut out a foam stem and hot glue it to the top of the embroidery hoop along with foam leaves. Provide a foam sign and self-adhesive letters for the kids to spell out “Happy Fall” and glue it to the bottom of the hoop. Make a hanger out of ribbon or leftover orange yarn.
Craft 2: Fall Coasters
Purchase four 3 x 3 tiles for each student. Mod Podge colorful leaves over the coasters and set out to dry. Add felt circles on the bottom of the tile to keep it from scratching wooden surfaces. When the tiles are dry, stack and tie with a ribbon to make a coaster set to enjoy for the rest of the season. (Hint: It is best to let the tiles dry overnight before stacking. A hair dryer helps the drying process if pressed for time.)
Game 1: Trick or Treat
Write the word “treat” on 10 pieces of paper and fold into quarters. Place the papers inside a plastic trick or treat pumpkin or bag. Use 10 additional pieces of paper to write a “trick” that the kids can perform like, “count backwards from 10,” “recite every other letter of the alphabet” or “pat your head and rub your belly at the same time.” Fold and add those to the plastic pumpkin, too. Let the kids take turns pulling out a trick (that they have to perform) or receive a small prize for each treat.
Game 2: What’s in the box?
Decorate six empty tissue boxes with orange and black paper. Fill each box with different items that the kids have to identify by feeling without peeking. Some ideas may include: popcorn kernels, candy corn, dried pumpkin seeds, spider rings, “googly” eyes, pretend fangs, acorns or pine cones. Ask the kids to record their answers on a sheet of paper and give a prize to each kid who correctly identifies the contents.
Game 3: Skeleton Relay
Purchase two jointed skeleton wall hangings, the kind where you can move the parts. Take each apart so you have separate bones, head, hips and ribs. Place all the parts in a large pile, mixing up the two skeletons for a greater challenge. Break the kids up into two teams. On “go,” each team needs to put the skeleton back together. The first team that completes their skeleton is the winner.
Activity: Photo Booth
If the kids are wearing costumes, assign a parent volunteer as the photographer to take silly pictures with their friends and classmates. If they are not dressed up, bring a box of old costumes for a photo booth. A simple sheet and colored lights make a nice backdrop. In order for everyone to see the pictures, share them on a private websites like Shutterfly. When the pictures are posted, the parent volunteers or teachers can notify the parents via email, giving them the account name and password.
Time Filler Games
If you are trying to use up the last few minutes of party time, here are some quick ideas that are appropriate for the classroom.
20 Questions: Put names of Halloween items or phases in a plastic trick or treat pumpkin. Have the kids pull one out and answer the questions from the other students.
Pictionary: Using those same names, have the students draw and let the others guess what it is.
Add To The Picture: Start by drawing a Halloween item like a ghost or a pumpkin. Have the kids come up to the board one by one to add something quickly to make a Halloween scene.
Who is the ghost?: Ask a volunteer to be “it.” He or she will close their eyes while one of the students hides under a white sheet. When the student opens their eyes, he has to guess who the ghost is.
Telephone: Have the kid split up in two teams. Whisper the same Halloween term or phrase in the first person’s ear on each team. Have the teams continue to whisper the word to each member of their team and the team who gets the word correct at the end wins.
Pam Molnar is a freelance writer, mother of three and has volunteered as a Room Mom for 10 years. Check out her other party ideas on Etsy at PamsPartyPrintables.