At 10 or 11 years old, fifth graders are creative and capable enough to enjoy DIY and craft projects that are a bit more challenging, and require more advanced tools and techniques than those for little kids. Fifth graders can generally be trusted with hot glue, sharp scissors and craft knives as well as potentially messy stuff, and of course, they're old enough to clean up after themselves.
This opens up a whole world of Halloween craft ideas to enjoy at a Halloween party, at home or in the classroom with only some minor, hands-off adult guidance required.
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Something that is key to making Halloween crafts fun for fifth graders is letting them express their own sense of creativity and style. These fun Halloween activities do just that.
Straw-blowing paint projects
Fifth graders have probably tried straw-blowing paint projects before, but as older kids, they're now capable of directing the paint into really cool Halloween art rather than little kids' random (albeit cool-looking) creations.
The wavy, organic lines created by blowing thinned-out paint or ink through a straw can resemble the bare branches of a spooky tree, the spindly legs of a spider or a witch's tangled hair.
- Have fifth graders optionally create a backdrop on art paper first using either paint, crayons or oil pastels.
- Next, paint the black tree trunk, spider's body or witch's face and pointy hat.
- For the straw blowing, instruct them to drop a small blob of thinned black paint or ink into position at the top of the tree trunk, the side of the spider's body or the brim of the witch's hat.
- Then, they blow gently through the straw to send the paint in the direction of a branch, spider's leg or tangled strand of hair. Repeat this step to complete the design.
Another fun version of this Halloween paint-blowing project would be blowing white paint into ghostlike blob shapes on black construction paper. Glue on googly eyes for a fun finishing touch.
Build structures with toothpicks and candy
The popular activity of creating free-standing structures using toothpicks and mini marshmallows is very simple and fun while also challenging fifth graders' engineering and artistic skills.
Adapt it as one of your Halloween crafts for kids by switching out the marshmallows for candy corn, gummy pumpkins or other small Halloween candy. Buy extra because those kids are probably going to eat a few candies while they create their structures.
You could make this Halloween activity a contest by challenging fifth graders to make the tallest structure or longest bridge, to use the most candy connectors or to create Halloween-themed 3D art.
A haunted house or spooky castle
The theme of a haunted house or spooky castle can really get fifth graders' creative skills, artistic skills and construction skills engaged.
- Cardboard. Have them collect empty cardboard boxes, such as cereal and snack boxes, empty juice cartons, toilet paper and paper towel rolls and similar items to use as building materials.
- Tools. Supply scissors or craft knives and masking tape or hot glue guns and ask the kids to construct a house or castle in any way they desire.
- Finishing Touches. Then, they'll cover the entire building with paper mache strips or alternatively paint it all one color.
This Halloween project could be spread out over several days or crafting sessions, as after the paper mache or paint is dry, the second stage is to decorate it.
- The kids could paint or draw mortar lines to resemble stone or brickwork, add windows and doors and create any other features they desire.
- Then, give the house or castle a spooky makeover by adding ghosts in the windows, bats hanging from the roof, a black cat in the doorway or spiderwebs in the corners.
Painted pumpkin art project
Painting pumpkin crafts as a spin on traditional carved jack-o'-lanterns is a favorite Halloween activity suitable for all ages, from preschoolers to adults. Just because it's an easy Halloween craft doesn't mean it's any less fun for fifth graders.
You could, of course, go with the classic scooping and cutting of pumpkins, as fifth graders should be capable of using pumpkin-cutting kits. However, painting is much less messy and allows for a greater range of decoration options. Also, the pumpkins last longer.
- Supplies. Supply acrylic paint and brushes or paint markers and, optionally, a selection of printable templates.
- Inspiration. The kids can look online for inspiration or just come up with their own original ideas. Let them know they don't have to stick to the classic jack-o'-lantern face and could decorate the whole pumpkin with a pattern, add lettering or go with any design they desire.
- Crafty Mother Father: How Old Are You In 5th Grade
- Education.com: Haunted Castle
- Buggy and Buddy: Make Spooky Trees for Halloween Using Blow Art
- We Are Teachers: 55 Frightfully Fun Halloween Activities, Crafts, and Games for the Classroom
- Lemon Lime Adventures: Building Structures with Candy Pumpkins