10 Spooky Halloween Homeschooling Activities

by ChristinaPilkington on October 29, 2011 · 13 comments

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For the past two weeks my son has tried on his skeleton costume. He plays in it for hours. My daughter hasn’t touched hers, but it’s hanging up in her room, and she loves to look at it.

Every night we light up our jack-o-lanterns right before bed and sing spooky songs together. During the day we listen to our Halloween CD and dance to the theme song from the Adams Family, The Monster Mash, and Have you Seen the Ghost of John?

 Needless to say, celebrating Halloween last longer than just one day in our family.

While it is fun and games, I’m often surprised at how many other subjects and topics we learn about around Halloween time. We’ve explored the history of Halloween, learned more about famous ghost towns and conducted lots of fun experiments.

 Here are 10 ideas for things to learn about during the Halloween season

1. Learn more about bats. Check out some books on bats. Some fun ones are: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat, National Geographic Reader: Bats, and Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats.    Visit the zoo and check out the bats. Watch some DVDs about bats – here’s an interesting one: The Secret World of Bats. Also, play some fun bat games.  Mathwire has some really fun activities and book suggestions about bats including: Pascal’s Bats and Fat Bat Game.

2. Make some slime. Here’s a good video to watch for a very simple way to make slime How to Make Slime.

3. Research the history of Halloween. Here are some sites to get you started: History.com (fun videos), Halloween History (from National Geographic), and the Halloween entry in Wikipedia.

4. Do an anatomy study. Pamela at Red, White and Grew put together some great ideas about doing an anatomy study including making fake blood, pretend “brains” and has uploaded a fun skeleton dance video.  Also, check out the Magic School Bus Human Body kit. It’s awesome!  Since my daughter is big time into learning about the human body, it’s been one of our most fun science kits.

5. Smoke Machine Chemistry.  Make your own fog machine with dry ice.

6. Read aloud together some classic Halloween literature. Some suggestions are: “The Raven” by Edgar Allen Poe, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Shakespeare’s Macbeth or Hamlet, “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Washington Irving, and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson.

7. Make your own mummy. Here are instructions on how to make a mummy from a chicken (a dead one of course!)

8. Do some fun Halloween math activities.  Education World has some really fun math ideas including graphing your Halloween candy, creating a symmetrical spider and making a spider web from spaghetti and glue.

9. Visit your local cemetery.  See who can find the oldest grave. Research famous/historical people who might be buried there.

10.  Science Matters has a wonderful collection of science experiments you can do with all that candy you’ll have after Halloween. Some experiments include: Tasty Atomic Models, Digestive System: Kinesthetic Model, How Many Licks, and Density: A Sweet Demonstration.

What are some fun ways your family learns around Halloween?

Photo Credit: kennymatic

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  • http://twitter.com/sattvicfamily Bradley Family

    Chris you absolutely are my fav unschooling blog, period. Your ideas are the best!!!

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! I love to think up fun ideas. And I love to share them with awesome moms (and dads :) ) like you!

  • http://profiles.google.com/kacagle Karen Terry Cagle

    What great ideas! I wish I had seen this last week. ;)

    • Anonymous

      I’m going to write a post about Thanksgiving activites that will go up on the 12th. Hopefully you can find some useful ideas there :)

  • Pamela Price

    BTW, I love “interest-led learning.” We’re “curiosity-driven learners” over here. (I’ve even got a blog post on that topic in the hopper for later this week.) =)

    • Anonymous

      I really look forward to reading it. I firmly believe that if we (both adults and children) are not curious or interested in a subject, or if it does not have personal meaning for us in some way, real learning will not happen. We’ll memorize or do what we have to for the moment, but it won’t bring about any lasting change in perspective or the way we think.

  • Pamela Price

    Thanks for the link to RedWhiteandGrew.com! Off to tweet your link. =) Pamela, aka @redwhiteandgrew

    • Anonymous

      You’re very welcome. I’m so glad I stumbled across your site. I’m a new fan!

  • http://learningwithmouse.blogspot.com/ Natalie

    It’s a great list. I saw the mummification chicken post before, but my daughter will have nothing to do with mummies. She is deathly afraid of them since I foolishly took her to the local Egyptian museum when she was 3.5.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks! My kids are a little strange that way; almost nothing scares them. My son especially loves anything to do with skeletons, mummies, ghosts, spiders and evil villians. He loves to dress up and fight “bad guys” and even play bad guys for hours on end. But most of the kids I know get scared about a lot of those things.

    • Anonymous

      BTW,I love the quote in the header of your blog.

  • http://momto3feistykids.blogspot.com Steph

    Oh my gosh — I love that pumpkin! And I love this list of Halloween inspired ways to learn. I think I’ll pass on mummifying the chicken, though. :-P

    • Anonymous

      I knew that was the picture I wanted for this post the moment I saw it. It’s something my son would have created. I love researching and thinking up new activities and projects. I guess I’m wierd, but I’m actually kind of excited to mummify the chicken!

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