October is hands down my favorite month of the year in New Hampshire. The air has that crisp chill to it, all the leaves have finally changed color, and it’s not too late for apple picking – and making the yummy seasonal foods that go along with it (hello, apple cider donuts). It’s also the month we celebrate Halloween, which is conveniently one of my favorite holidays.
Yes, October is a good month.
And while this October looks and feels different than years past, I’m determined to keep the month’s traditions alive. Given my background as a teacher, I know that sneaking fun Halloween themed reading and writing activities into a child’s day is a great way to get them in the spooky spirit!
So, whether you’re homeschooling, remote learning, or somewhere in between, these ideas are sure to be beneficial and entertaining.
Here are my suggestions for Halloween inspired literacy activities for the bigger kids in your life.
This idea is classic, but it never gets old. Encourage your kiddos to write their own scary story for Halloween. Give them a story starter to help them out or let them pick from a creative list (this website has some great story starter ideas).
For a twist on this classic activity, help your kids turn their story into a movie or a play. And if it’s not too scary, encourage them to read it out loud to the younger kids that they know.
Scary Book Club
This is a super simple idea, but a great way to encourage your kids to read. Pick a spooky book that everyone is interested in reading and start a book club. You can talk about the book with your kids, read out loud together – even have themed snacks to match the book. I have a zoom book club going with my niece and we always have tons of fun.
If you need spooky book suggestions, reach out to your local Seacoast library for help. Our resident librarian has these incredible Halloween book recommendations.
Local Legend Storytelling
I recently learned through a Portsmouth Library zoom event about some of the amazing Seacoast local legends – and they blew me away.
Encourage your kids to become detectives and locate a few of these tales. Have them report back in any creative and spooky way they would like. Retell the legends in the dark using flashlights, put together a slideshow with lots of pictures, or even go on a ‘field trip’ together to bring the stories to life.
Create a Halloween Inspired Cookbook
Does your family make pumpkin cake during the month of October? Have a favorite candy apple recipe that your kids beg for as soon as the leaves change color? Encourage your kids to make a list of all the fall inspired foods they love and create a cookbook.
For each dish, list ingredients, write the recipe, and include a short description explaining why the food is special to them. Don’t forget to include pictures! Want more Halloween cooking with kids ideas – particularly healthy ideas? Check out this post!
Make a Halloween Word Search or Crossword Puzzle
This activity can be trickier than it sounds, but it’s sure to get your kids in the Halloween mood. Help them come up with a list of words and questions for the holiday and then show them how to construct the puzzles. Once they know what they’re doing, swap creations and see who can discover the most words correctly.
Do your kids live for trick or treating? I know I did back in the day and I’m sure my boys will when they get a little older. Why not suggest that they make a detailed map to plan out their trick-or-treat route? Write directions, add landmarks, create illustrations – this project will become a keepsake to remember the nights of Halloween adventure.
Not trick-or-treating this year? Have them create a map of their home or outside area for a candy hunt instead.