Do you celebrate Halloween in your preschool classroom or homeschool? Keep reading for some spooky preschool Halloween activities that are sure to make this October memorable & fun! And if you don’t celebrate Halloween, you can replace this unit with a Nocturnal Animals unit instead.
We are a participant in the amazon services llc associates program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to amazon.com and affiliated sites. This post contains affiliate links. Click HERE to read our full disclosure.
PRESCHOOL HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES
October is here, which means it’s time to break out all of the bats, spiders, & witches in your preschool classroom or homeschool. What better way to practice math & literacy skills than by teaching a Halloween unit that’s sure to engage your little ones in spooky & fun learning?
Keep reading for over 40 Halloween activities for your preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students. These ideas include math, literacy, fine motor, gross motor, sensory play, snacks, and more!
Oh, and there’s a freebie in this post, too!
PRESCHOOL HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES: LITERACY
Choosing books is one of my favorite things to do with each new unit. Check out our favorite Halloween books here!
Phonological awareness skills are the key building block to reading success, which is why they should be practiced a little bit every day. In order to keep things fresh & engaging, I like to use phonological awareness games that go along with my current theme. Click here to check out these Halloween phonological awareness games that will help your little ones become strong readers in less than 10 minutes a day (and with zero supplies!)
You’re definitely going to want to start your Halloween unit with these Halloween vocabulary cards! They are the perfect way to introduce your little learners to the vocabulary that goes along with this holiday. You can use these words in SO many ways, such as in your writing center, as a “Read the Room” activity, or as a picture match. They are also perfect for your Halloween sensory bin!
Another fun way to use the Halloween vocabulary cards is to set up a Scavenger Hunt. Tape the cards around the room, and have your little ones go searching for the cards. When they find one, they can color in the corresponding picture (or use dot markers…these are our favorites!)
Identifying syllables is a crucial part of phonological awareness that helps our little ones become strong readers. This spooktacular game will have them practicing syllable identification through PLAY! They will spin the spinner, move their game piece along the board, and tell you how many syllables are in each picture’s name. (There’s also a recording sheet if you want them to use that, too!) We use these clear spinners for all of our board games.
Let’s do some alphabet matching practice! You can hide the small spider letters in a Halloween sensory bin and have your little ones search the sensory bin for a letter. Then ask them to match it up to the large spider letters. This activity will help them recognize letters in both uppercase and lowercase font.
Another way to use the large spider letters is to work on letter formation. The spiders on the letters are positioned where we should start forming the letter. You can have your little ones trace these letters with their fingers, then ask them to use small manipulatives to form the letters (like these Halloween mini erasers). You could also have them write the letters in a sensory bin or tray of salt, rice, or sand.
Can you guess who’s hiding in the haunted house?! Memory games and activities help our little ones practice important skills, such as concentration, focus, and perseverance as well as strengthening their working memory. In this game, you’ll choose three spider letters to put on the mat (they can even spell a CVC word, such as “sat.”) Then have your little one close their eyes while you take a letter and hide it under the haunted house. See if they can remember which letter you took away!
An alphabet arc is a great tool for beginning readers. It helps them see the alphabet in a less-overwhelming way. (I love using these letters since the vowels are red and consonants are blue). Once you lay it out like this, you can use it in so many ways! One way is to say a sound, such as /m/, and ask your little one to point to the matching letter. You could also pull three letters from the arc to make a CVC word, then have your little one put them back where they belong.
When my son was in homeschool preschool, we used the arc to play a memory game. I asked him to close his eyes while “Batty” took a letter away & hid it in the cave. When he opened them, he had to figure out which letter “Batty” took away. We had a blast with this!
I know I already mentioned my favorite Halloween books above, but I couldn’t forget to shout out my all-time favorite for Halloween…Room on the Broom! Check out this blog post for lots of fun ideas to accompany this read aloud. Your kids will LOVE it!
Oh, and while you’re checking out my Room on a Broom blog post…you can download this FREE Halloween Rhyming game! Rhyming is another important phonological awareness skill that we want to develop in preschool and pre-k. Use this freebie to practice word families, either orally or by having your little one read them (if they’re ready for that step). Download it for free from this post!
PRESCHOOL HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES: MATH
This is an engaging activity that will help little ones with number recognition, one-to-one correspondence, fine motor skills, pencil grasp, and subitizing. Have your little one spin the spinner, identify the number, and count out that many of a small manipulative (such as plastic spiders). Then have them find the corresponding number on their mat and trace it. They can also count the dots in the ten frame below the number.
This fang-tastic activity helps our little ones with number identification and matching. They will choose a card, identify the number, and then cover the matching numbers on the card. (We used Halloween mini erasers for this). You can also pair this activity with a Halloween sensory bin by hiding the cards in the bin for your little one to find. Incorporating different senses during learning not only helps keep their focus, but it also helps them retain the information.
Are you Team Candy Corn or Team No Way?! I actually love candy corn, which is one of the reasons I created this game! Your little one will choose a card, name the 2D shape, and use a clothespin to clip the matching shape. We also kept the clothespins in a small cauldron to go along with our Halloween theme!
Trick or Treat … counting sure is neat! This Trick or Treat math activity is perfect for our little ones to practice their counting skills. They will slide the slider, identify the number they see in the small window, and add that many pieces of candy to the jack-o-lantern. There are different number strips you can use depending on your little one’s level, including numbers 1-10, 11-20, addition, and subtraction. We used candy mini erasers that worked great, but you could real pieces of candy instead to increase the fun (and then eat them when you’re done!) Educational and delicious!
This hands-on sorting activity was so easy to put together! I printed out these colorful baby monsters (this clip art is free from Creative Clips on Teachers Pay Teachers), then I taped them to my mini cauldrons. I added some pom poms to a spiderweb bowl I found at the Dollar Tree, grabbed some mini tongs, and let my little guy get to work sorting the pom poms. Sorting and classifying is an important math skill, and this was a fun way to practice it.
PRESCHOOL HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES: SENSORY & HANDS-ON IDEAS
How fast can we get all the spiders out of the web? That’s what this Spider Webs Race is all about! Your little ones will use the mini tongs to grab the spiders out of the spider webs and run to place them in a cup on the other side of the room. Don’t be scared to play…I promise these spiders won’t bite!
Let your littles’ imagination brew and bubble for this Witch’s Brew water play! Simply add water to a big plastic bin, then add in some black food coloring to make it look spooky. Place in whatever Halloween toys you have and let your kids explore and create! We used our plastic spiders, mini cauldrons, pumpkin ten frames (from Dollar Tree), and droppers. I bet your little ones will LOVE this activity and spend so much time playing and creating MAGIC!
Did you know you can freeze spiders in ice cubes?! Yep, it’s pretty much the coolest thing to little kids! We just froze our plastic spiders in an ice tray with black-colored water (although it looks more green than black in this picture!). Then I popped them out and added some to our Witch’s Brew water play! You could also have your little ones free the spiders by using squirt bottles of water to get them out of the ice cubes.
Creating a sensory bag is so easy! You just add hair gel to a zipper bag and make sure to tape it shut. Then you can tape it to the wall or a table and have your little one trace letters or numbers on it. We used clear gel and added orange food coloring to make it festive!
How cute is this handprint? My daughter made it when she was in kindergarten, and I knew I would bring it back out every Halloween! First, help your little one paint their hand with white paint, then have them make a handprint on black paper.
Using an orange piece of paper, cut out the shape of a pumpkin. Tape the black paper to the back of the orange paper, add googly eyes, and you’ve just created the cutest Halloween craft for preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten!
We loved creating “Batty” and then using him in our games this month (like the Alphabet Arc I mentioned earlier). We created him using a toilet paper roll, black paint, googly eyes, and white paper for the fangs. This project is part of my Nocturnal Animals Pack if you’re interested in learning more.
One of my family’s favorite traditions is carving pumpkins, but that’s not always easy to do with little kids (or in a classroom). So we also try to paint pumpkins every year! You can paint white or orange pumpkins, and they always turn out unique and special.
A Halloween scavenger hunt is a fun activity to do at home or in your classroom! Just type out cute little poems that are clues to the next location on the scavenger hunt and hide them around your house or classroom (or outside if possible). Then help your little ones read the clues, determine the locations, and find the treasure at the end (which could be Halloween candy or another treat!)
I’m sure you’ve heard of decorating gingerbread houses at Christmas time, but what about decorating haunted houses at Halloween time? This Halloween Haunted House Kit from Trader Joes is SO much fun to complete each year! My kids look forward to putting it together and making it look different than the year before.
Every time I switch to a new theme, I like to switch to a new sensory bin. This simple dyed-rice sensory bin couldn’t be easier! I made three batches of dyed rice to create this: black, purple, and gray. Then I combined them all in a plastic tub and added in any Halloween toys we had. Easy peasy!
You can use your Halloween sensory bin in different ways…you can have your little ones free play and explore the bin, or you can add in academic activities (like the Halloween vocabulary cards) to increase the engagement. So many options!
If you want to create a Halloween sensory bin that’s a bit more involved than dyed rice, you should definitely try Monster Noodles! This sensory bin is ALWAYS a hit with my little ones. Read all about how to create Monster Noodles by clicking here!
In the fall, I love to create an Apple Pie sensory bin for my little ones. But when Halloween rolls around, it’s time to transform those Apple Pies into PETRIFYING Pies! This activity is so much fun…I just put out rolled oats, mini pie pans, and Halloween toys, and I watch my kiddos’ imaginations and creativity take over!
PRESCHOOL HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES: SNACKS
The following snack ideas would be PERFECT for a Halloween party, whether you’re celebrating with your class or at home with your own kids! Pair these with your favorite Halloween read aloud and you’re setting your kids up to LOVE reading!
Cut up yellow and orange fruit (we used pineapple and oranges) and place them in a clear plastic cup. Add whipped cream on top and a few candy corn pieces, too. Now you have a Candy Corn Fruit Cup that’s sure to be a hit!
Add four small pretzel sticks to Oreos on each side as the spider’s legs. Then stick two yellow M&Ms on top for eyes (we used peanut butter to make them stick, but you could also use frosting).
Cut a few banana in half. Then stick in chocolate chips for two eyes and a mouth. Spooky!
Unwrap a few mini Reese’s peanut butter cups and place them upside down. Then stick in a pretzel stick to create an edible witch’s broom.
Whatever kind of sandwich your little one likes to eat, you can make it Halloweeny by cutting it out with a Halloween cookie cutter. These ghosts are adorable, but you can also use pumpkins, bats, witches, or whatever cookie cutters you have!
Using a black sharpie, draw two eyes and a mouth on the outside of a cheese stick wrapper to make it look like a ghost. To make the most delicious snack mix, follow the recipe found in this post. Then add in some candy corn, pumpkin candy, or yellow & orange M&Ms to make it festive for Halloween!
We love pancakes anytime of day, and it’s super easy to make them Halloween-themed…just cut them out with Halloween cookie cutters! Perfect for a spooky breakfast or snack on Halloween.
Using a sharpie, draw a jack-o-lantern face on the top of an orange fruit cup (these are peaches). So easy but so much fun for kids!
THE MOST SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN ACTIVITIES FOR PRESCHOOL
I hope these ideas helped you fill-in your Halloween lesson plans (and party plans!) for your preschool classroom or homeschool! All of the printables for this unit (that aren’t freebies!) can be found in my Halloween Party Mini Activity Pack.