October 20, 2014

Halloween Candy Math with Free Printables

These math activities are suitable for kids in preschool through 3rd grade and will make for an engaging lesson!

There are a few things I love about November 1st -

1. I can openly admit I'm listening to Christmas music without being labeled "Crazy Christmas Lady".

2. I don't have to feed the kids because they just eat candy the whole day.

3. We get to use all that Halloween candy as manipulatives for some fun math activities and exploration!

Every year we take our piles of candy and sort through them, separating and categorizing. We also do some weighing with our scale (which the kids LOVE), estimating, graphing, and word problem solving.

This year I have typed up some worksheets to make it easier for me and you! Feel free to print and use as many as you need. These could be used in your homeschool or in your classroom in a small center. If you are using in a classroom, you can bring in some of your own candy (or your kids) to have the kids sort through and graph. After the kids have all taken a turn at the halloween candy center you could send them home with one. (If you are in a school setting, I made a peanut free version of the candy graph, just in case you can't bring in snickers or reese's peanut butter cups.)

To download the pages, click on the word link above the picture. If you just click on the picture, it won't take you to the download page. I'm still working on figuring out PDF previews.

Weighing Activities

Graphing Activity

Easier Graphing Activity

Peanut Free Graphing Activity

Estimating and Graphing an M&Ms fun pack

Favorite Candy Venn Diagram

Halloween Candy Word Problems

I hope you enjoy using these in your homeschool or classroom!  Be sure to check out our other Halloween school ideas on the blog and follow on Pinterest, Facebook, and email for more great ideas!

Mummy Math

"Frank was a Monster who wanted to Dance" book activity

Roll a Monster Art Activity

Candy Corn Math Place Values

And lots of fun Halloween Games!

October 13, 2014

Mummy Math

This Halloween math game is a simple and fun way to practice math facts with children in the early elementary grades.

I have a confession - I've been a lazy homeschooler lately. It's just been me and Christopher and Nathan at home. Christopher's in 2nd grade. I've already done 2nd grade twice. I'm just cruising through things. But then the other day Christopher saw a picture of some of the fun school activities I had done with Maren and Joshua when they were his age and he figured that he was missing out on something. He asked when we were going to do something fun for school and made me feel a bit guilty. Sigh. Fine.

This game I call "Mummy Math" because I like the alliteration, but you could adapt it for reading too.

I cut out a mummy shape and then wrapped it in it's mummy clothes. Christopher's been working on his multiplication up through x5s, so I wrote numbers 2-5 on each piece of the mummy's wrapping strips on the left side, and on the right side I wrote the numbers 2-10.

To play the game, Christopher would pull back one flap of the mummy wrap on the left side, and then one on the right side, and multiply the two numbers together. If he got it right, he went again. His goal was to get the whole mummy unwrapped (because I had put a couple of jelly beans underneath the paper).

Nathan (preschool) also wanted to play, so I made a new mummy wrapping for him. This wrapping had a beginning sound on the left side and a word ending such as "at" or "ot" on the left side. Some of the words did not make sense when he smooshed the beginnings and ends together, but that's okay. He was just practicing sounding out words and laughed when we made a nonsense word.

Nathan also wanted to color in his mummy.

To play at your home or school, download the mummy template, print it on cardstock and cut it out. The kids can decorate their mummy if they like. Print out the wrappings template onto regular printer paper. I find the regular paper stays wrapped around the mummy a bit better than cardstock.

(And for some reason when you click the link, you may not be able to see the preview of both pages but both should be in the same document when you download it to your computer. I'm not a computer genius but I'm trying my best. Hopefully it will work for those who want to use it.)

click here for mummy outline and mummy wrapping 

You can cut around the outside of the mummy wrapping and then have the kids cut on the dotted lines to make the linen. (Fine motor skills practice! Yay!)  You can either write in the numbers/letters yourself or let the kids do it based on your instructions.

As a motivator (instead of sugar) you could cut out several mummies and write a joke on each one. Then once the child has answered the problems and unwrapped the mummy they could trade mummies for a new joke to uncover. Just a thought.

Other ways to use this idea:

 - have the kids apply the same operation to every number they open (ie. always multiply by 4, add 3, subtract 1 . . .)

- have the kids tell you what number they would have to add to "make 10" (i.e., if they open the number 7, they would tell you 3)

- as a matching game - write the same sight words on both sides of the page then have the child to find the matching words. If they find them they keep them open. If they don't make a match they wrap them back over the mummy. This could be a way to play this game with another person.

- matching number words to numbers, or color words to colors

I hope you find this idea useful for your Halloween School activities! Be sure to check out other ways we make learning fun around this time of year:

Halloween Book Activities

Candy Corn Math

Follow Chicken Babies on Pinterest!

Follow Chicken Babies on Pinterest.

October 9, 2014

Top 10 Halloween Party Games

Kids love halloween parties! What's better than dressing up and getting candy and pretending things are scary?

Here are my kids' top ten favorite Halloween Party Games. All of these are simple and inexpensive. They would be perfect for a school party or just a gathering of friends at home. 

1. Ping Pong Eyeball Bounce

Decorate some ping pong balls to look like eyes, then let the kids try to bounce them in the buckets. They love the challenge!

2. Hungry Monster People Toss

Why do a boring old bean bag toss when you can throw little people into a hungry monster's mouth instead? Kids enjoy screaming when they get a person in the mouth.

3. Spider Fishing

My kids have always loved a good fishing game. At Halloween, we like to tie a spider on the line and pretend he's dangling from his web and going down to catch flies! (or anything else you can imagine, like . . . he's a giant spider going down to eat naughty children for example.)
Just tie a spider on top of the magnet you are using for your fishing game to turn it into a Halloween game.

4. Lair of the Spider Queen

This favorite spider game requires the participants to make it through the spider's web without getting caught!

5. Mummy Wrap

All you need for this game are some rolls of toilet paper and willing participants. You can make it a competition (see which team can wrap up their teammate the fastest) or just let kids take turns turning each other into mummies for fun.

6. Cauldron Drop

For this game you just need a pot to be your cauldron (I wish I had a cool black one but I didn't) and some small items to drop in it. I found some cheap party favors in the dollar spot at Target. Have the children hold the items up to their nose while kneeling on a chair and see if they can drop the items into the witch's cauldron so she can make her potion! You can have them keep all the items they try or just let them keep the ones they drop successfully in the pot.

7. Donut on a string

I don't have a picture of this one, but it's pretty much just how it sounds. It's one of kids' favorite games. Who wouldn't love eating a donut off of a string? You can tie up donuts on individual strings and hang them from something (like a large doorway). Have the kids put their hands behind their back and say go. The first one to finish their donut is the winner! (But really, everyone wins in this game, because everyone gets a donut!)

8. Unwrap the Mummies Head

This is a fun game involving candy. Wrap pieces of candy in white streamers or yarn to create a ball (aka mummy head). Kids take turns unwrapping the head to collect the candy.

(picture and post coming soon)

9. Roll a Monster Craft

This is a fun open-ended art activity. Kids take turns rolling the die and adding parts to their monster. You could have kids play a certain number of rounds, or let them play until their bored, or let them play until one person has at least one of each part on their monster and is therefore the winner.

10.  Halloween Musical Chairs

Yay for musical chairs! Play this classic game using some fun Halloween music! Also, for each round, you could have one of the children who is "out" spin a spinner or roll a die which tells the remaining participants how to dance during the next round (i.e. stomp like a zombie, fly like a witch, etc . . .)

Party Food:

And just because I want to, here are some of our favorite things to eat at a Halloween Party!

11. Decorate Pumpkin Cookies

This is a Halloween must at our house (mostly because I remember loving it so much growing up). We decorate pumpkin sugar cookies with candy corn and chocolate chips!

12. Monster Meals 

My kids love doing our Monster Meals each year where we turn ordinary food into something monstrously delicious.

I hope these ideas have been helpful! Subscribe by email and receive great ideas in your inbox every week!

This post is part of a "Top Ten" blog hop. Check out these other great Halloween posts!

Top 10 Candy-Free Trick-or-Treat Options from P is for Preschooler
Top 10 Hands On Halloween Science Sensory Play from Little Bins For Little Hands
Top 10 Halloween Cloud Dough Recipes from Lemon Lime Adventures
Top 10 DIY Family Halloween Costumes from Bare Feet on the Dashboard

October 1, 2014

Halloween Book Activity: Frank Was a Monster Who Wanted to Dance

My kids love doing activities with books, so we decided to do some fun Halloween Monster Activities with a favorite Halloween book. 

One of our favorite Halloween books is "Frank Was a Monster who Wanted to Dance" by Keith Graves. It's a short, quick, silly read.  In this book, our monster friend Frank decides to follow his dream to be a dancer, but after parts of his body start falling off as he dances, the audience leaves. Frank doesn't let that stop him though and continues to boogie.

One of the first body parts Frank loses is his eyeball, so we decided to play some eyeball games!

First, we turned some ping pong balls into eyeballs with markers. We used permanent markers, but I closely supervised them. You could also just make them yourself. While we made them, we talked about the parts of the eye and what each one was for. Art- check. Science - check.

Then we tried bouncing them into pumpkins. The boys loved this game. We gave each pumpkin a different point value and then added up points to see who won. So, ya know, math.

Frank also loses an arm. We figured an arm would make a good golf club. The boys traced around their hands, colored them in, cut them out, and taped them on to wooden utensils to make our arm golf clubs. We also looked at a picture online of a skeleton arm and hand and marveled at all the little bones that are in our hands. Developing fine motor skills - check!

Christopher made a simple golf hole for them to try and hit the ball in. We counted how many tries it took for them to get the ball in hole. 

The boys decided it would also be fun to play a game of basket"eye"ball. Nathan would hold the bucket and Christopher would try to throw the eyeballs in. Nathan tried to hold it really high to make it hard.

hey! get down from there! (but not until after I take a picture)

Since Frank likes dancing so much, we decided we should give it a try. One of my kids' favorite songs to dance to at Halloween is "Hall of the Mountain King" by Edvard Grieg. It's part of the Peer Gynt Suite. 

In the beginning, the music is very quiet. We like to pretend we are tiptoeing around a cave where there are sleeping trolls. 

It starts to get louder, and we start moving faster. 

When it gets really loud and fast, we must have accidentally awakened the troll king!! All the trolls are chasing us and the kids are dancing (ie. running around) like crazy. 

We ended our fun with some deliciously monstrous snacks - Eyeballs made from powdered donut holes, gummi life savers and chocolate chips. Yum!

We had a fun book activity and the boys are already planning another for next week! It's a good thing we have all these activities from other bloggers to choose from:

This post is part of an AWESOME Halloween Read and Play Blog Hop.  Make sure to check out the other book based activities from fantastic bloggers!

Preschool Powol Packets- Room on the Broom- Croaking Frog Craft
Betsy's Photography- Popcorn- Making Popcorn Bars
Where Imagination Grows- 5 Little Ghosts- Ghost Collages
Rubberboots and Elf Shoes- Skeleton Hiccups- Paper Chain Skeleton
Little Bins For Little Hands- ABCs of Halloween- Sensory Bin
Line Upon Line Learning- The Spooky Old Tree- Prepositions Game
Wise Owl Factory- Bunnicula and others- Halloween Book Fun Learning Round Up
Planet Smarty Pants- The Picky Little Witch- Halloween Cupcakes
Study at Home Mama- 10 Halloween Books and 50 Activities

Don't forget to check out the Halloween Read and Play Pinterest Board which features ALL these great activities!

September 16, 2014

A Fun Way to Teach the Names of Music Notes

Christopher needs help with his music lessons. He has had such a hard time memorizing the names of the notes on the staff. I decided to play a little game with him.

I drew a staff on a piece of paper. Drawing lines on either side of the ruler made perfectly spaced lines for our purposes. I added a treble clef. 

We reviewed the note names. Christopher whined and complained about having to practice his notes.  Then I pulled out a bag of mini Oreos. Interest immediately increased. Turns out mini Oreos make perfect little notes.

I asked him to put the Oreo on a note. He'd think for a bit, put it on, and if it was right he got one point. When he made a mistake, his score went back to 0. He had to get 5 points in a row in order to get to eat the Oreo. Then we'd pull out a new Oreo and start again. 

He did not get tired of this game. He wanted to keep playing and eating Oreos, but I had to cut him off for the sake of his health. By the end of our session, he knew the notes really well.  Now we can start on the bass clef tomorrow. 

I hope this post is helpful to you in teaching your kids music! I'd love for you to follow along and share! 

September 15, 2014

No-Sew Knight Costume

For Nathan's Castle party, I decided to make some easy no-sew felt Knight tunics for the kids to wear. In the past knight birthday parties, I used a silver plastic table cloth for knight armor, but thought felt would be just as easy to cut and would last longer for the kids.

I bought grey 72 in. wide felt at the fabric store. I only bought a yard, and it was on sale for $3. It was a great deal! I cut the fabric into 12x36 in. pieces (so I was able to get 6 costumes out of the yard of fabric).

I folded it in half and cut a hole in the middle for the head, plus a slit a few inches down the back so it was easier to put on. (see picture)

To make the fleur-de-lis on the front, I used my silhouette cameo. If you don't have one of these machines, you can cut something out by hand, but I would definitely make it a simpler shape.

I first cut a 10x10 piece of shiny fabric I had leftover from making a superhero cape long ago. I cut a piece of heat n' bond to match and ironed it on the back of the fabric. Then I was able to put it through my machine. Once it cut the material, I just pulled it off and ironed it on. It was very simple.

I cut slits of red and black felt to use as belts. Just tie them around the waist and you have a very simple knight costume for halloween or your next knight party.

my tough knights


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