A classroom Halloween party has the potential to be a chaotic, sugar-induced commotion. However, it is possible to keep your party under control and maintain structure in your classroom during this exciting time of the year. Here are a few tips for your classroom party:
Plan a menu: If you do not plan what you would like students to bring for your classroom party, you may end up with 20 trays of cupcakes, complete with extra-sugary icing and sprinkles on top. An easy way to avoid this is to pre-plan a menu. Involve the class in planning what types of food should be brought. Include healthy snacks such as cheese and crackers, fruit and vegetables. Then have each student sign up to bring one item. For example, one student could bring carrot sticks, another could bring dip and another could bring cheese. Send a note home to each parent telling them what their child volunteered to bring. This will actually cut down on cost for each parent, as they are only bringing one small item rather than a larger tray of baked goods. And, your classroom will be the envy of the rest of the school, as you will have the best planned party food around!
Plan a schedule for the party: Schedule exactly how the party will work, and write the schedule on the board so that students know what to expect. For example, students might get their costumes on after noon hour, then have a snack, play a game and lastly pass out any treat bags that they have brought for the class. If students know exactly what to expect, it will help to maintain structure in your classroom.
Recruit parent volunteers: There are almost always parents that are keen to be involved in their child's Halloween party. Recruit one or two parents that can help set out snacks, facilitate games or activities and help students with their costumes. Be sure to have tasks planned in advance for each parent volunteer.
Plan an art project for the afternoon: Keep students busy and engaged with a Halloween art project. If you are looking for some ideas for Halloween crafts, you can check out my Pinterest-inspired blog post here.
Create Halloween-themed learning centers: If you are fortunate enough to have some volunteers or assistants in your classroom for Halloween, consider putting each adult in charge of a fun Halloween center in your classroom. At each center, have students complete an engaging activity or game. Some ideas for Halloween centers include:
- Print off a pumpkin template and have students create a jack-o-lantern design. You can find lots of Halloween printables on Disney's Family Fun website by clicking here.
- Have a volunteer read a Halloween story to a small group and discuss.
- Create a Halloween "feely-center" by putting eyeballs (peeled grapes), worms (cold, cooked spaghetti) and other items into plastic containers. Label each container. Then have students feel the items without looking and describe how each one feels.
- Play Halloween "Memory." Print off six pairs of Halloween pictures. Have pairs of students place the pictures upside down in an array. Then one student can flip two cards and try to make a pair. The game continues until all of the pairs have been made.
Play a whole-class game: Some fun whole-class games include:
- Wrap the Mummy: Have groups of 3 students use a roll of toilet paper to wrap one student up like a Mummy.
- What's Missing? Gather 10-12 Halloween items and set them on a tray. Show the students the items one-by-one. Then, have students cover their eyes while you remove one item from the tray. Have students try to guess which item is missing.
- Who/What Am I? Write a Halloween-themed character or item on a recipe card for each student. Fasten the card to each student's back (the student should not know which character/item is on his back). Have students mingle around the classroom, asking other students "yes" or "no" questions about what is written on their back. The goal is for each student to try to guess which character is written on his recipe card.
Remember that whenever you play a whole-class game that involves moving around the room (especially on an occasion like Halloween), it is really important to set your expectations before beginning. This will improve classroom management during the activity.
If you are looking for a way to integrate creative writing into your Halloween celebration, I have recently posted a Halloween freebie on Teachers Pay Teachers that you might find useful. Feel free to download it by clicking here or on the picture below.