Although the excitement of Halloween can make children difficult to manage, the holiday also provides a wide selection of games that make the task easier. It’s important to choose games for the youngest children that won’t hurt them emotionally or physically. These games may create the illusion of being spooky, but should not actually frighten them. Teachers who are designing or selecting games for older students have more leeway in this area, though it’s important to ensure that games chosen are always age-appropriate.
“Bobbing for Worms” is a game for preschool and kindergarten-aged children that begins with each player being given a plate bearing a single gummy worm. The teacher covers each plate with whipped cream, and the children compete to see who can most quickly eat his way to the gummy worm at the center. Middle-school children can play the classic “Scary Foods Guessing Game” in which they try to identify a series of freaky foods they touch while blindfolded.
In a game called “Pass the Pumpkin,” a game for preschoolers and kindergarteners, players sit in a circle and pass around a pumpkin at varying speeds depending on the tempo of the music being played. The one still holding the pumpkin when the music stops is "out." The game continues until only one child remains. Organize a game of "Pumpkin Bowling" by using toilet paper rolls or empty cans as bowling pins. Let the children attempt to knock down the pins using a pumpkin rather than a bowling ball.
Mummies and Monsters
Elementary school-aged children may enjoy a game called “Mummy Wrap” in which the class is divided into teams and one person from each team is designated the mummy. Using crepe paper or toilet paper, kids work together to wrap up the chosen students, trying to make them look as much like a real mummy as possible. Prizes are awarded to the groups that come closest. In another game for younger kids, “Monster, Monster,” the teacher stands on one side of the room while the class stands on the other. The children call out, “Monster, monster are you hungry?” to which the teacher replies, “No, come closer.” They continue moving closer until the teacher says, “Yes!” and the students run. The first student to be tagged by the teacher becomes the new monster.
Educational Halloween Games
In the vocabulary-expanding “Halloween Word Game” for elementary school kids, everyone has a partner. The teacher writes Halloween-themed words like “pumpkin” or “ghost” where everyone can see them and gives each student a certain amount of candy in a bag. The teacher then asks a question, such as, “What are you doing for Halloween?” and the partners have to discuss this question without using the words. When a student accidentally uses one of the words, she gives a piece of candy to her partner. At the end of the game, the winners on each team are the ones with the most candy left in their bags. In the “Spider Counting Game,” each pair is given a plastic bucket covered in yarn with small holes at the top. As the teacher calls out a number, the two students compete against each other to see who can get that number of plastic spiders into the bucket. The students with the least number of spiders trapped in the yarn at the end win.
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