In planning ahead for Halloween morning, I am considering what I can do to maintain the excitement and delight of the day, while helping my students manage themselves and all their energy! Halloween is one of those events with more than 31 days worth of energy and anticipation rolled up into it. When it is finally Halloween, it is almost more than my kids can handle to wait until the afternoon for our parade and celebration. So I need to plan ahead and do all I can to help them out, without squashing any of the fun.
Here are some ideas:
1. Teach them to draw Halloween things. I find that direct drawing instruction is deeply calming for my kids. I tend to do this about once a week already, but even if you have never done it before, give it a whirl! Get your kids set up at their desks or tables with a blank piece of paper, a pencil, and some crayons. Then model in front of them, step by step, how to draw something. A bat, a witch, a Jack-o-lantern sitting on a gate – whatever you (or they) want! If you give them direct instruction on what to do, you will be amazed at how well they do. Kids love this, and it is a great way to keep things calm while still having some Halloween fun.
Here are my kids working on their witch drawings:
Here is my example:
Here are some of my kids’ finished drawings:
2. Try a team made book. This one takes a little bit of prep work, but it is great fun! I prepare several tubs of materials (usually one tub per table in my classroom.) I put all sorts of craft materials in each tub – construction paper, tissue paper, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, stickers, cotton balls – you name it. Then prepare one large piece of blank construction paper per table with a sentence pre-written on the bottom of the page. For example, “We can see the Halloween costumes,” “We can see the Halloween Jack-0-lanterns,” or “We can see the Halloween bats.” Then organize your class into teams. Each team gets one tub of supplies and one page. They must work together to illustrate the page. They begin by talking and planning. For example, they should discuss if they want to create one Jack-o-lantern or many. Then they get to work. Give the kids access to scissors, glue, tape, and lots of time. I find that they adore working with all of these supplies, and they work incredibly well as a team. They could seriously do this all morning without interruption. I eventually give them a five minute warning, and then we gather the pages and make a class book (after the glue dries!) If you try this, I recommend talking to the kids about making sure the pictures match the words (not adding random things that don’t make sense), and not overdoing it. Some of them can get a bit crafty crazy! Unfortunately I don’t have any photos for this one, as we have not done it yet this year. I will try to upload some later on.
3. Halloween Yoga – I am planning on trying this one this year! I am working with yoga stories in my classroom this year as a way of incorporating movement into oral storytelling. I love this through yoga because you get the added bonus of extra practice breathing and building body control. So, this year I plan on taking my kids through a yoga story all about Halloween. It will include pumpkin carving, trying on costumes, and making witch’s brew, all through the imagination and yoga! If you are interested in my Halloween yoga story you can get it at my store here for $3.50. Here is a peek inside:
How do you keep your kids calm on Halloween, while still celebrating and honoring this super fun day?