Holidays can be exciting for kids, and Halloween lends itself to many fun and different games that can get children moving while learning. With obesity and its many complications on the rise in children today, teachers can incorporate educational play that encourages exercise. Check out these four fun Halloween games:
- Moo Moo Boo
- Pass the Pumpkin
- HALLOWEEN Spells What?
- ‘Dem Body Bones
Moo Moo Boo
Many children love to play Duck Duck Goose. (click on the link below to see how to play the game and other variations of Duck Duck Goose.) Give Duck Duck Goose a Halloween theme by making it Moo Moo Boo! This active game can be expanded to talk about rhyming and words that have the “ooh” sound. After playing a few rounds of Moo Moo Boo, encourage the kids to think of other words that rhyme with moo and boo. Write those words on the board so that children can see different ways that this sound may be spelled.
Other Halloween variations of Duck Duck Goose include:
- Crow Crow Scarecrow with a lesson on compound words
- Bird Bird Bat with a lesson on bats and/or the letter B
- Sweep Sweep Fly with a funny lesson on modes of transportation, including imaginative ones like brooms and flying carpets
Pass the Pumpkin
Have kids to sit in a circle and pass a mini pumpkin that can easily fit in the palm of their hands. If a pumpkin prop is not available, make one out of orange construction paper. Instruct the kids to begin passing the pumpkin from one child to the next around the circle. Play fun Halloween music and stop the song periodically. The child that is holding the pumpkin when the music stops then answers a review question.
Examples of review topics might include:
- Reading comprehension
- Math skills
- Science concepts
Variations to make this game more challenging would be to have the children pass the pumpkin behind their backs or under their legs while either sitting or standing.
HALLOWEEN Spells What?
This game requires large letters that spell the word Halloween with a class size of at least nine children. Classes with eighteen or more students may create two teams. Classes with greater than nine or eighteen students can have team captains.
Children who are not team captains are given one letter each. Begin the game by having the children move around to spell as many words as they can for a designated period of time. Team captains can help arrange students to spell the words or may write words on a piece of paper or on the board. Make this game more active by having the children move across the room to a designated spot and then return to get credit for each word.
This game can also be used as a craft activity by having children decorate the various letters before or after playing the game.
‘Dem Body Bones
Children who are learning the bones of the body can get a kick out of this skeleton game. The simplest variation of this game is to have students stand and touch each set of bones. Start at the toes and move up the body saying which bone is connect to what: “The foot bone is connected to the ankle bone…the ankle bone is connected to the leg bone” and so forth. ‘Dem Body Bones can be altered to a shorter time frame by using the song “Head Shoulders Knees and Toes.”
Variations of ‘Dem Body Bones Game include:
- Having the students to do the above game multiple times but getting faster each time
- Saying the body parts in Spanish or another language
- Using more difficult anatomical words – students might also find it fun to review the full skeleton using this University of Minnesota WebAnatomy web site learning game
- Incorporating information about diets that are healthy for one’s bones – MyPyramid offers lots of information related to healthy eating
Four Halloween Games Designed to Get Kids Up and Moving
Halloween can provide lots of creative and active educational play for students of various ages. Have the cool classroom this Halloween by playing Moo Moo Boo, Pass the Pumpkin, HALLOWEEN Spells What?, and ‘Dem Body Bones. Teachers may also be interested in these fun Halloween books for children. Readers are encouraged to share other variations of these games or additional Halloween classroom ideas in the comment section below.