Halloween Learning Fun
Halloween Learning Fun!
The holidays are a wonderful time of year! You can practically see the joy in children’s eyes as their faces light up with excitement. Fortunately for parents, there are many different holidays which provide chances for learning opportunities with your children. The best part is, those opportunities can be “disguised as fun,” and your children will be enjoying themselves so much that they forget they are learning at the same time. Keep reading for some tips on Halloween Learning Fun!
It’s hard to believe that October is already here, but if you make the most of it, your Halloween is sure to be filled with treats instead of tricks!
Fairy Tale Re-Tellings
A favorite activity of many of the children I have worked with over the years are Fairy Tale Re-tellings. I must admit it is a favorite of mine as well!
A retelling is an important skill to have in reading and in life. It involves being able to tell someone about the most important parts of a story in the correct order in your own words.
Begin by taking your child to the library (or their bookshelf) to check out a variety of fairy tales. Even if they were familiar with these stories when they were younger, it will be a good idea to refresh their memories. Find a comfy spot or go outside and have a “reading picnic,” by stretching out and reading together on a blanket.
Add a Halloween Twist
For holiday fun, we give this activity a Halloween twist. We still practice this crucial skill, but we change the characters in the fairy tale to Halloween characters. For example, The Three Little Pigs might now become the Three Little Witches or the Three Little Ghosts. Goldilocks and the Three Bears might turn into Goldilocks and the Three Scarecrows or Goldilocks and the Three Monsters. The possibilities are only limited by your child’s imagination.
Encourage them to write their re-tellings with their Halloween Twist and you might even want to join in on the fun and write one too.
Children always get excited when adults they care about participate with them. Have them illustrate their story and perhaps make it into a book. Kids love sharing their stories and take great pride in them.
Once their work is complete, have them read and share their books with as many people as possible and watch them beam and gain confidence in their reading and writing skills.
Maybe they read their story to an elderly neighbor, a younger family member or friend, the librarian, or even to their grandparents or aunts and uncles on Facetime or Skype. Be sure to save their project as a cherished memory that you can look back on and enjoy together again in future years.
Make Research Fun
Children love learning new things and showing others how smart they are by teaching them what they have learned. Since you will already make a trip to the library for the last activity, be sure to pick up some books on bats, cats, and spiders too.
Often we neglect to have our children read enough nonfiction books and practice their reading skills with them, when in reality, we spend the vast majority of our adult lives reading nonfiction to be able to find the information we need. It is never too early to have our children start practicing this life skill.
Mention to your child that you have been wanting to learn more about bats, cats, or spiders (choose whichever one you think your child would be the most interested in), but you haven’t had the time and ask them if they could help you. Then read the books from the library together and talk about the VIPs (very important points) or cool facts that you are learning.
Teaching Them to Use the Computer
Share your favorite with your child and ask them to share their favorite with you. Then tell them that you are going to let them do some more research on the computer like the big girl or boy that you know they are, to find some more facts to share with you.
Some websites that are kid friendly and have a lot of information on animals are: http://kids.sandiegozoo.org/, http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/animals/, http://www.nwf.org/kids/ranger-rick/animals.aspx, http://pbskids.org/wildkratts/.
Trust me, you will want to save this list of websites as they could prove to be invaluable to you on many different research projects that your child will undoubtedly encounter during their academic career in elementary and middle school.
After your child has had a chance to use the computer to research, let them share what they learned with you in a fun and visual way. You can have them create a tree map or other graphic to record their facts.
You can find a fun fact recorder I’ve created for you here. This is also a fun time to review fact and opinion with your child’s new knowledge.
Draw an outline of whatever animal your child researched. Then have them glue either small puffs of black tissue paper or small cut or torn pieces of black construction paper into the outline and add facial features for a fun Halloween craft.
If your child researched spiders, have them attach the eight legs to the spider with four legs being facts they learned and four legs being opinions that people have about spiders. Similar things can be done with cats writing the facts and opinions on the cat’s whiskers and with bats with facts being written on one wing and opinions being written on the other.
Halloween Mad Libs
Another fun activity that is always good for lots of laughs is family mad libs. At this time of year, a fun Halloween twist is to use a song or rhyme for your mad libs creation.
An easy one to think of is the song The Itsy Bitsy Spider. First ask your child to fill in the blanks with words that are the given parts of speech. Once all of the blanks are filled in, begin by singing the original song together to get the tune in your heads. Then sing your mad libs version and tickle your funny bones!
You can find this activity I’ve created for you here for The Itsy Bitsy Spider and The Five Little Pumpkins to get you started.
Finally, any time you can get your child involved in cooking with you, is a wonderful learning opportunity and a great source of fun for them. It is an excellent way for you to help them keep their math and reading skills sharp as they learn to read a recipe and measure ingredients.
So whether it is a recipe for edible homemade pumpkin clay, for homemade slime, or for some Halloween cupcakes, enjoy the quality time with your kids and rest assured you are making many memories that you will all cherish for many Halloweens to come!
Find your mad libs activity and fun fact recorder here!
What Halloween Learning Fun Tips did you enjoy? Do you have any Halloween Learning Fun Tips to share? Tell us in the comments below!
Marisha Wright is the proud mom of a toddler named Isen. She is originally from New Jersey but has called Hampton Roads her home since graduating from Hampton University with her master’s degree. She settled down in Hampton when she landed her first job at NASA Langley Research Center. After her son was born, Marisha decided to find her true passion and calling in life and that was to help other children succeed academically, just as she had done. Marisha believes education is a tool that creates the freedom to choose your own destiny in life. When she is not helping children succeed and taking care of her son, she enjoys walks on the beach and occasionally pampers herself with spa days. Marisha is thankful that Hampton Roads Moms exist in that it provides a fun and safe place for parents to learn and grow together on this great journey called motherhood!