I love Halloween, but I honestly feel like sometimes it can be a little over the top and too much for my kindergarten kids. I want them to have a fun day, but I don’t want Halloween Station activities to be overwhelming for them or for me. Stree-free is key in kindergarten! So I made a promise to myself a long time ago that with all the craziness of the holiday, our day would be fun but manageable with some great stress-free activities.
Stress-Free Halloween Day Schedule
I am one of those teachers that, if at all possible, I want my routine and schedule for the day to remain the same whenever possible. So for that reason, on Halloween Day, my morning looks very similar to every other day. For little ones, routines are key and they fare better when their day seems familiar and predictable. Of course, depending on the year, I may have specials to work around but in general, my day will look like the following:
- 8:35-9:05 Breakfast and Morning Work Stations
- 9:05-9:35 ELA Whole Group Activities
- 9:35-10:35 Daily 5 Stations
- 10:35-11:00 Calendar/Whole Group Math
- 11:00-11:30 Math Stations
- 11:35-12:10 Lunch/Recess
- 12:10-12:30 Rest/Halloween Video
- 12:30 1:30 Halloween Themed Fun Stations Each station lasts for about 10-15 minutes depending on how many stations you use.
- 1:30-2:15 Dress in costumes and enjoy our Halloween snacks
- 2:15 – School-wide Halloween Parade
- 3:00-3:35 . Return to class to change costume and pack up for the day.
The afternoon could be crazy if I let it, but I tend to limit the kinds of snacks we have for our classroom party, and I use my school aides rather than parents for helping with stations and dressing kids.
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I have found that too many people and unfamiliar faces in my class on such a high-energy day can sometimes overstimulate kids and creates anxiety for some. There are so many parents that want to come to help and volunteer that this just makes it easier and fair to everyone and all parents are welcome to come to watch the parade so it’s not like anyone gets left out. Everyone’s happy and my kiddos are at their best!
Stress-Free Halloween Stations
Criteria for stations include ones that do not take a lot of prep, they must be completed in 10-15 minutes, they should be independent if needed, and, most importantly, my students MUST love them. This makes them STRESS-FREE for me and perfect for them. The bonus is that most of these stations, once you have them, can be used over and over again. If you are looking for some ideas for your own day, here are a few for you to choose from.
This is a classroom favorite. It’s so fun and there is virtually no set up.
What You’ll Need:
- one straw per child (I found some fun Halloween themed ones at Walmart!)
- 2 plastic spider rings (cut the ring part off from the back)
- couple of pieces of tape
Simply mark a starting point on one end of a table and the other end for the finish line. Students place their spiders on the starting line
and when you say go, they blow through their straw to see who will be the first to the finish line.
So easy! So fun!
Completely independent. This station is a must.
What You Will Need:
- White plastic cups (I use 100 per student that will be at this station). I usually only have 4 students to a station so I purchased 400 cups.)
- Black permanent marker
Draw a ghost face on each cup. I think I actually may have had my sons do this. It’s three ovals (2 for the eyes and one for the mouth). Then divide the cups into 4 groups of 100.
Students use the cups to build the tallest ghost tower they can.
Halloween ghosts were made from whiffle golf balls and a piece of cheesecloth about 100 years ago when I taught preschool, and I’ve always found a way to use them every year. Sometimes my students throw them back and forth to each other as they count to 100, but this past year I changed it up a bit.
What You Will Need:
- 6-8 whiffle golf balls
- 6-8 pieces of 12×12 inch cheesecloth or even a white hanky would work
- black marker
- 2-4 plastic pumpkin trick or treat buckets
When making your ghosts, simply place your ball in the middle of the cloth and secure a string around its neck. Next draw ghost eyes on the balls to make a ghost face.
To play, you will need to set up your buckets and place a line (I use painters tape) on the carpet for your students to stand behind. Then they simply take turns attempting to toss their flying ghosts into a bucket. They get one point for each ghost that lands in a bucket.
Watch out for flying ghosts!
So easy and a great fine motor activity. Students use tongs to select a spider without dropping it from the spider web. They keep all the spiders they can collect without dropping them unless it has a white spot on its belly. If that happens, all their spiders go back in the basket.
What You Will Need:
- A plastic basket with holes on all sides.
- Black or white yarn (really any color will work in a pinch)
- A bunch of plastic spiders with one or two that has a white mark on their belly (I just used ones from the Dollar Tree)
- White paint pen
- Tongs of your choosing.
Thread yarn through the basket weaving a spider web. Place several small spiders at the bottom of the basket. Select a couple of the spiders and draw a white dot on their belly and place them in amongst the other spiders. Students then take turns selecting a spider. If they drop it, they lose their turn. If they get it out of the web, they keep and collect it. However, if they select a spider and it has a white mark, all their spiders go back in the basket. The student with the most spiders wins!
Other simple stations you might include . . .
DOT IT SPIDERS (and other Halloween Pictures!)
Q-tip Dot It activities are a MUST in my classroom. I use them for practicing sight words, letters and sometimes just for fun. This FREE thematic spider Dot It page is yours just by clicking on the image below.
What you need:
- Dotter page
- plastic palette (or a paper plate) – you can get these at the Dollar Tree
- washable Crayola paint
- paint squirt bottles (optional)
I love this fine motor activity and my students do as well. If you’d like to make it really independent, these small squirt bottles are perfect for distributing paint.
Also if you’d like to learn more about these thematic pages, click on the picture below.
The letter and sight word Dot-It pages are included in my Dot-it, Paint-It, Stick-It packet. You can see that item HERE.
LEGO PUMPKINS (and other fall items!)
You can find this and other Lego Challenge cards in my Autumn Lego Challenge Card set by clicking on the picture below or click HERE to get a fall Lego Freebie to try out in your own class.
What you need:
Just set the image cards out with your lego pieces and bases, and your students are ready to go.
GEOBOARD HALLOWEEN IMAGES
Geoboard challenge cards are another popular activity you can add that needs little to no supervision of direction.
What you need:
That’s it! All these activities will make your student’s love Halloween with a celebration that doesn’t make you lose your spooky mind.
For more great hands-on station ideas you can check out my blog post about October’s set by clicking the post below: