For virtually all children, Halloween is nothing more than a wonderful holiday on which kids can dress up as their favorite characters, and head out into the streets with their friends and parents, going from house to house to collect delicious candy from the neighbors. It is a truly sweet holiday, packed with excitement and intrigue and even a few scary surprises.
But just because Halloween is filled with candy and costumes does not mean that it can’t include some learning as well. In fact, Halloween presents a host of learning opportunities that will help keep your child’s brain churning through the sugar and the surprises.
Are you interested in incorporating learning into the Halloween holiday this year? If so, consider these simple activities to have some fun and even learn a thing or two during the spookiest night of the year.
How Much Candy Do I Have?
One of the easiest learning activities to try requires asking your little ones to guess how many pieces of candy they believe are within their Halloween bags. This requires them to guesstimate at first, and then use deductive reasoning to decide on a reasonable number.
Don’t just let your child wildly guess without actually putting any thought into the number. Instead, begin by having them feel the size of some pieces of candy with their hands. Using this knowledge they should be able to feel with their hands and look with their eyes to develop a better guesstimate of the amount of candy within the bag.
Of course, at the end of the night, once you get home, make sure to count the pieces of candy in the bags and see who was closest. You can give out prizes for the winners or simply play for the fun of the game.
Sort by Shapes and Sizes
Do your children love to play with toys of all shapes and sizes? If so, then Halloween is the perfect time to continue the fun. Look inside of your child’s Halloween bag and take notice of all of the different types of candy within – notice how each one comes in a different shape and in a different colored wrapper?
When you get home, have some fun with your kids by dumping out the candy onto the carpet in the living room and sorting it all out in a variety of ways. Start by sorting based on shapes; you can put all of the rectangular pieces together, all of the circular pieces together, and then all of the miscellaneously shaped pieces together in one pile. After this, switch up the requirements and have your children sort by color, instead; there are so many colors in a Halloween bag that this should provide a large amount of fun. Once you’re finished with this, you can continue by thinking of different guidelines to which you can adhere when sorting the candy into separate piles.
How Much Time Did it Take to Trick or Treat?
This is a wonderful activity to try either while you are between houses when trick or treating, or before you leave the house and the children’s minds are sharp.
If you choose the latter, begin by telling the children a time that you will leave your own home; for example, 7:00 PM, after the sun has gone down. Then, tell them that you will come home at 8:45 PM after you have been to all of the houses in the neighborhood. Now it is your children’s job to calculate how long you were out trick or treating; this is a great activity if they are already proficient at both telling time and basic arithmetic.
If your children perform this task fairly easily, make the activity more difficult by changing up the starting and finishing times; for example, ask them how much time would elapse if you left the house at 7:37 and came back at 9:22. Utilizing various times will help them become stronger at counting and addition skills.
Finally, once you have tried out this activity with numerous times, finish the activity by making calculations based on houses on the different blocks you plan to visit in total. For example, if you plan to visit four separate blocks, each of which contains twelve houses on each side of the street, ask them to calculate a total of the estimated amount of houses you plan on visiting when you go. This will make them extremely excited to get out and go hunting for candy!
Incorporate Learning Into Halloween This Year
Although Halloween is often about costumes and treats, it can also include learning aspects as well. If you wish to incorporate learning into Halloween this year, try these few fun activities before and after you go trick or treating with the kids.