How do witches get their hats to be so perfectly pointy? How do jack-o’-lanterns get their spooky grins? How do we know how many days are left until Halloween? The answer may sound scarier than ghosts to many: math.
But there’s no need to be frightened! Practicing math with little ones can be easy and fun with the right activities. Here are a few ideas.
1. Paper Plate Crafts
With just a few paper plates, craft supplies and some imagination, kids can make a ghost, a classic jack-o’-lantern and even a witch’s hat and cat! As you create the characters, think about the shapes they are made up of and talk to kids about them as you say the name of each shape. For example, a pumpkin is a circle with triangle eyes and a semicircle mouth, while a witch’s hat is a circle with a cone on top (you can find a template for a cone here) and a cat’s face is a circle with triangle ears.
2. Witch Halloween Countdown
This witch-shaped countdown from The Suburban Mom is fun to make and helps kids practice counting. Remember to talk about all the shapes you see in the provided templates. Once you hang your witch countdown, as each day goes by, have your child remove one ring and count out the remaining ones. You can even try counting backwards when there are few days left!
3. Spooky Math Printables
In these 12 printable “Spooksheets” from Math Seeds, kids can count, fill in numbers, add to small numbers, see and create patterns, color in spooky characters while counting and even talk about length and time. The best part about these? Kids can take the reins themselves and math away almost by themselves for a while.
4. Puffy Ghosts
Ideal for little learners, these soft and fluffy ghosts from Thriving Home may not be very scary, but they sure are useful when talking about 3D and 2D shapes. As you glue the cotton balls in to fill your ghost outline, talk about how the cotton ball looks round and spherical compared to what it looks like when you glue it down and it becomes a half-sphere. If you press it even more, its outline even looks like a circle. Don’t forget to count the cotton balls as you glue them on!
Related Articles from PBS SoCal
- 8 Fun Kids Halloween Alternatives to Trick-or-Treating This Year
- Family Math Activity: Make a Robot Piñata. Available in English and Spanish.
- Dia de Los Muertos: A Holiday to Celebrate Life With Your Family