Halloween Games and Activities for Pre-K and Kindergarten

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Well, it's that time of year again...

Time to rustle around in my closets to decide what I will "BE" for our Halloween party at school this week!

I'm trying to show my daughters that you don't need to buy a new costume every year.
But it's a hard sell!

If you are looking for some Halloween party games, you might want to check out my
Halloween Party Ideas post from last year.  

It includes a number of different games perfect for a Preschool or Kindergarten group.

At school, this past week we introduced some Halloween activities at centre time.

We made a variety of monsters at the playdough table.




 We practised matching pumpkin letters to the leaves in the pumpkin patch.

(By the way, I'll be using this leaf chart again in the spring to match up flower letters)
 The children could either match pumpkins with upper case letters to the leaves, or flip the pumpkins over to match lower case letters.


For those who wanted the challenge of matching lower case to upper case, I created the chart below to use for reference if needed.
   
We also spent some time drawing faces on pumpkins with markers.  


Originally I put out erasable markers, but those lines were much harder to wipe off.  

So I switched to regular kids' washable markers.
  They weren't as dark, but they showed up just fine.

This week we'll use the pumpkins again for some new activities.  

I'll try to get the post in before the big day!

Ghost Wind Sock Crafts for Halloween

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A fun craft that we made with our 4 year olds this week was Ghost Wind Socks.
Can't you just see these cuties blowing around the porch on a dark night?  
Talk about Halloween ambiance! :)

For the most part, the kids were able to make these little ghosties themselves. 

At the end of the process, however, there were two steps that the students needed some help with - stapling the strip into a circle and attaching the handle.
  
(Hence the skimpy number of photos that you'll see documenting this craft!  It got busy at the craft table!)


Here are the materials you'll need to prep for this project:

When the ghosts are completed, just brace yourself for what will be coming next ...
the pleasant sound of woooooooooooo permeating the classroom  (not to mention lots of flying streamers!)

But really, who could blame them?

HOWEVER after a few minutes of hearing (and watching) ghosts circling the classroom in rapid flight, it was time for these little creatures to "take a nap" until going home time!

Teachers can only be so flexible!

If you'd like to read the steps for making this project, they're listed below: 

  1. Lay a white strip of card stock (with a wavy bottom edge) flat on the table 
  2. Add a line of glue across the length of the bottom of the strip
  3. Stick streamers onto the the glue all the way across the bottom of the strip of paper  (Note: Streamers don't all have to be the same length - a variety of lengths actually looks better)
  4. Flip over the paper to the other side
  5. Glue on googly eyes
  6. Draw on a mouth with felt along with any other decorative details desired
  7. Teacher staples the paper strip into a circle 
  8. Teacher tapes on a string/yarn handle to the inside edge (I found taping the two ends of the string much faster than punching holes into the strip and then tying the string through)


Puffy Paint Ghost Craft for Halloween

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Halloween's just around the corner.
Time to get a little spooky with this fun ghost craft!

Today we made the ghosts below using "puffy paint."

And for once the paint actually stayed puffy!

Some of the ghosts had LOTS of paint
 (which actually made me feel like eating them :0), 
others had a bit of a skimpier coating.
But ALL were very cute!

We gave the children SPOONS to spread the puff paint  (instead of paint brushes like we have in the past) and that seemed to be a better choice.

The kids didn't feel the same need to scrub the substance into the paper as they do with a brush 
(thus removing all the "puff!")

If you'd like to try this craft, here are the materials you'll need:
  • shaving cream
  • glue (just add a big swirl to the bowl of shaving cream and then mix)
  • spoons for spreading the paint 
  • cardstock ghost shapes
  • silver glitter or sparkles
  • googly eyes
  • pieces of yarn (for the mouth)


One thing to note is that the puffy paint takes a long time to dry so you may want to keep these projects overnight before sending them home.

Taking home a wet ghosty craft might scare the moms! :)




For more Pre-K - K ideas, you may want to check out the post that I linked up with below!

FREE Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on the Gate Poem and Colouring Sheet

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  Halloween is almost here say, "Hurray!"  
Halloween is almost here say, "Hurray!"

These are the final lines to the song I taught the kids at circle time today.  

This tune has been running through my head all day.  Against my will! 
You know you're a preschool teacher when...  :)

The other poem I introduced today was the old classic, 
Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on the Gate.

I think I love this one so much because it was a part of my own childhood! 

And even though it's been around forever, most of my little students have not heard it before.  

That's one of the bonuses of teaching preschool!
We are the first to introduce the children to all of the old favourites!

Sometimes I perform this song using magnet or felt/board images like the ones I created for my clip art shop below.


Sometimes I change things up by using my 
5 Little Pumpkins glove.  

I found an old black glove and I just glued a little pumpkin image to each finger.


Sometimes I use the gate that you see in the image, too, but most of the time I just use the glove by itself.
One less thing to hold!

I usually perform the song twice per circle time while the children are learning it - the first time with the students sitting on the carpet while I use a prop such as my 
magnet board images or glove,
and the second time with everyone standing up and doing the actions with me on a bigger scale.  

This year I also made a printable of this poem with images that the children can colour.

I love using printables like this because they remind and encourage students to perform the song for their parents or siblings at home.  

And although my students can't read the words, their parents can assist them if they'd like help remembering some of the lines.

If you'd like a copy of this printable for your class, just
click {here}.

Hope you're enjoying the Halloween countdown, too!

I'm joining up this post with a linky party 
on the following site(s):


Check them out for more ideas!

Awesome Halloween Book for Pre-K or Kindergarten Plus a Set of FREE Pumpkin Playdough Mats

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I must say, I love fall - fall songs, fall crafts, fall activities...and of course, Halloween!  

I'm the prissy type of Halloween lover though.  
Give me the happy jack o' lanterns, the smiling ghosts, and the friendly bats.  
The gory stuff is not for me!

One of my favourite Halloween books for this time of year is called The Hallo-Wiener by Dave Pilkey.

By the way, I'm linking this book idea to Deanna Jump's Book Talk Tuesday series.  
You may want to check out the book recommendations there once you're done this post!

Now, The Hallo-Wiener is about a little daschund
 named Oscar.


Oscar gets his fair share of ribbing for being a wiener dog
 and as you would expect, the teasing only gets worse when his mom buys him a "hot dog" costume to wear for Halloween.
Poor Oscar.  The humiliation!  

But everything changes when Oscar becomes a hero on Halloween night.

This book is hilarious and the perfect choice for the preschool or Kindergarten crowd.
It's definitely my favourite book for this time of year.

Halloween is still a few weeks away (and my Hallo-wiener book will have to stay under wraps for now!), but I plan on introducing a few Halloween inspired activities right away.
I want to squeeze in as many as possible before it's too late!

I just made these pumpkin printables today.


I'm going to print a couple copies of each and then laminate them for use at one of our centres.  

Students can either draw faces on the pumpkins with 
wipeable markers OR they can create faces on them with play dough.

If you'd like to download these pumpkin mats,
click {here} to grab the set!

Enjoy!
 

p.s. - New freebie coming soon! 
If you don't want to miss it, you can sign up to receive my posts by e-mail on the sidebar of my blog! 
  

Fall Tree Finger Painting and Free Fingerpainting Printables

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We don't do a lot of finger painting in our classroom, but we probably should!

The children love to stick their hands and fingers into the paint - even when supplied with brushes and instructions to use them! :)  

This past week, I thought, why fight it?
Painting is fun, but indulging in the act of dipping hands and fingers into the paint makes it an awesome sensory experience, as well!

So we did some fall tree finger painting and saw quite the variety of results!


There were trees with small fingerprint leaves evenly distributed around the page...



trees with large blobs of leaves and fully painted trunks and branches...



and then there were the full-on hand smeared extravaganzas!


That reminds me.  
You'll want to have paint smocks on hand as well as some damp paper towels for finger wiping at the table!

But surprisingly, the finger painting process was not much messier than when we use paint brushes.

When I prepared this craft, I cut the tree shapes out of brown paper.

The students then glued the tree cut outs onto a blue page before they started painting.

Another option would be to print copies of a tree image on blue paper and then have the children do the painting directly on the page.  
The students could then colour or paint the tree trunk AND add the leaves. 
(And you would save time by not having to cut anything out!)

If you'd like to try this craft in your classroom, you may want to download the free tree printable below.  

And if you'd like to try a similar, but more involved project, you may want to download this page of 4 trees.  
Your class could paint one for each season!
If you decide to try worksheet #2, you may want to do one  tree at a time to avoid confusion (and lots of smudging!)

Since the trees on this printable are smaller, you may also want to consider having the students paint the leaves on these trees with a Q-tip rather than their fingers - or at least offering the suggestion!


To be notified of more ideas and freebies like this, just click on the sidebar of my blog to receive my posts by e-mail.  
I post a couple of new ideas every week! 

To download the tree images, just click {here}.

Leaf Crafts with Personality!

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I collected some leaves on the weekend to use at one of our art tables. 

It was a great excuse to get outside and enjoy the woods with my doggy!
Yes, Sammy, sniff in that lovely scent!  

 I was initially thinking the kids could do some sort of collage or painting activity with them, but then I thought of something a little more unique - 

Leaf People!


It was such an easy art activity - no cutting or prep for me - and lots of fun for the kids.

All you need for supplies are:

  • leaves
  • background paper
  • glue
  • googly eyes
  • markers/felts



 As you'll see in the picture, my leaves were a little spotty!  

Unfortunately, there's not too many red or orange leaves around here yet, but the projects looked fine nonetheless.

One thing to note is that the lighter leaves allowed the marker drawn mouths, etc. to show up the best.  
(An obvious result, but something to keep in mind when collecting leaves for this project the next time around. :))  

Here's some of the crazy leaf characters that were created.


:



I still have a lot of leaves left, so expect another fall leaf craft coming soon!



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