Are your kids hyped about Halloween or just chatting about it non-stop? Can you believe it's getting to be that exciting part of the year when we roll into our holiday season? Do you know what that means? 🍫 Well, yes it means candy, but it also provides us with an opportunity to add fun into our lessons.
Let's add a little fun to our structured literacy lesson. Here are three DIY Halloween games you can make in minutes with your own materials!
DIY Halloween Game #1: Tic-Tac-Toe
Is your go-to game Tic-Tac-Toe yet? No matter the age, your kids will love a good game of Tic-Tac-Toe. Kids love the competitiveness of Tic-Tac-Toe, and they are so excited to beat their tutor. It's effortless to turn it into a holiday-themed game. Whether you play online or in-person, there are many ways to make it "spook-tac-ular".
If you are incorporating it with a reading lesson, grab your laminated word cards and put them in a 3X3 formation. Have students use white-erase markers to mark the cards with a fun Halloween shape. This week it was bats verses pumpkins. You can also play with word cards online! Just pop the word cards under the document camera.
If you are online and don't have a document camera, you can play Tic-Tac-Toe through a virtual whiteboard, like Zoom. Use a personalized wordlist with your students, type the words in the boxes, or write them with a stylus. I always have students read the words as I am typing, so they have that essential practice before the game begins, setting them up for success. And here is a little tip about Zoom and creating a holiday spin: If students choose the text box, they can pop in a fun Halloween emoji. Let them have fun with Halloween emojis like the pumpkins 🎃, ghosts 👻, and vampires. They can all be part of this fun game.
DIY Halloween Game #2: Halloween "Spooky Spell"
This one is for all your wiggly ones who say spelling is "boring". Create a grid with five columns. Practice five spelling words at a time. Each time students roll 1-5, they must write a spelling word in the grid. If a student rolls a one, the student will have to spell the word in one space. If they are not playing with a buddy, have them guess what column will win the race! If the student rolls a 6, that's the bonus roll. The student can fill in a box in any column with a Halloween picture, or maybe they want to use it as a roll again. If your students are extra wiggly, turn it into a "spooky" movement break. My students love moving like ghosts across the room, vampires, and whatever else they can think of.
If you want this game already made, guess what? I took care of it for you. Grab it for $1.99 in the new online store. This game comes with a lesson plan, a game board, and a spelling sheet. It can be played with any age group and spelling list. With only a couple of sheets of paper, it's a great game to keep on standby! Tag me on Instagram and show me how you're playing it. Click below to get yours before Halloween!
DIY Halloween Game #3: Reading with Sticker Fun
You will love this quick game if you have Halloween stickers 🎃 floating in your desk drawer. This has to be one of my kids' favorites to get through word-card reading or sentence reading. Word-card reading happens at the front of my structured literacy lesson. It jumpstarts the kids, and they get excited about the lesson. Grab your word cards or sentences and pop a Halloween sticker on them. Then, let those inflexible thinkers make the rules. Maybe a "Haunted House" sticker is a lose-a-turn. Or, a "Chased by the Ghost" means you read three more cards. If you have those wiggly ones, your kids will love to turn them into a movement moment. So creep through the haunted house on your tippy toes, or run in a place away from the ghost.
Halloween is a fun time for kids, but it can also be a time when behavior and levels of energy change. If you want a quick Halloween word card game, tap below for word cards ($1.99). Laminate them and have them for all your groups and next year too. 😉 Guess what? The new store has an editable version (as requested) and some other fun fall games!
Happy Halloween, guys, and don't forget to keep teaching the way you love to teach and the way the kids love to learn!