For this theme, we have planned a series of special days that can be explored with your group as we get closer to Halloween.
(Open thematic poster-Halloween-Special Days) Print, laminate, and display all kinds of posters.
(Open educa-decorate-Halloween) Print, cut out, and laminate. Use the items to decorate the walls of your daycare and set the mood for the theme.
Cut strips of orange and black construction paper. Loop them together to create a colourful garland. Hang it within your daycare throughout the theme.
(Open educa-theme-Halloween) Print and laminate the items that represent the theme. Use them to present the theme to your group (and parents) while decorating your daycare.
(Open banner-Halloween) Print and laminate. Use the banner to decorate your daycare.
This special tool was created in response to a special request received. (Open picture frame-Halloween-Special days) Print and use the frame to display pictures of the special days presented within your daycare or to send a souvenir home with children.
(Open schedule-Halloween party) Print and display. (Open schedule-Halloween party-Blank) Print and display.
Hang a huge piece of white paper on a wall in your daycare entrance. Ask parents to write a message or draw a small picture for their child. This small gesture will make the day extra special for little ones.
Trace the outline of a large tree on a piece of paper and cut it out. Use adhesive putty to display it on a wall. (Open memo-Pumpkin) Print several pumpkin memos and set them next to your daycare entrance. Encourage parents to write a brief note on a pumpkin for their child and then glue it in your tree. This activity can last all day. Little ones can whisper kind words they would like to write down for a friend. Throughout the day or week, take the time to read the pumpkin memos to your group.
Circle time game-Halloween
(Open circle time game-Halloween) Print twice. Use the pictures to draw a circle shape on the floor. Have children take turns picking a picture to determine where they are to sit in your circle time area (on the corresponding picture).
SPECIAL ACTIVITIES WITH PARENTS
At the beginning of the week, give each child's parents a small bag containing a variety of arts & crafts materials. Invite them to make a Halloween-themed craft at home with their child. Determine a special day when children are to bring their craft to daycare. Prior to the crafts returning to daycare, set up a special Halloween tree. Children can hang their craft in the tree to decorate your daycare.
(Open perpetual calendar-Halloween breakfast) Print and display. Help children prepare a special breakfast for their parents the day before. Invite parents to join you between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. They will appreciate the opportunity to socialize with the parents of the other children in their child's group. Serve muffins, fruit, crescent rolls, and coffee. Children will be so proud to share their daycare environment with their parents.
SUGGESTIONS: MORNING SNACKS
Cupcake decorating activity
Have children decorate cupcakes. Simply provide Halloween candy and orange, dark brown, or purple icing.
Purchase miniature plastic pumpkins and use them to serve fruit salad to your group. These simple containers will make a healthy snack seem extra special.
Ask each child's mother to prepare a special treat for your group. Children will be so proud to share their mother's treat with their friends.
Purchase butter cookies (Social Tea) and use icing to assemble them to represent haunted houses. Spread icing all over each tiny house and decorate them with candy pieces.
SPECIAL MORNING ACTIVITIES
Fishing for gifts
Hide tiny candy-filled pumpkins throughout your daycare. Have children hunt for them. Once a child has found a pumpkin, invite him/her to help the others.
With the children in your group, cut Halloween shapes out of colourful construction paper. Glue them on a large piece of white paper. Add glitter, ribbon, etc. Deposit the tablecloth on the table at lunch time.
(Open placemats-Halloween) Print for each child. Invite children to color their placemat. When they are done, laminate each child's placemat. Little ones will enjoy setting their placemat at their place at the dinner table.
(Open bingo-Halloween) Print. Set several small Halloween-themed trinkets on a table. Play bingo with your group. Every time a child cries "bingo", he/she can pick a surprise.
HALLOWEEN PARTY LUNCH
(Open menu-Halloween-blank) (Open recipe card-Halloween-blank) Print and laminate. Use the documents to share your Halloween party menu and/or a special recipe with parents.
Organize a potluck lunch where each child brings his/her favorite dish to share with the group.
Prepare a cold buffet for your party. Use the Halloween tablecloth or placemats you made with your group. Add a variety of Halloween accessories and decorations on the table and food items (colourful cake decorations, candy, etc.). Add a few drops of orange food coloring to children's glasses of milk. Play Halloween music and turn the lights down during lunch time. Hang miniature Halloween lights next to the table.
Ask each child to bring a special stuffed animal from home. At naptime, encourage children to trade their stuffed animal with another child. Transform your naptime area for the occasion. Set Halloween-coloured cushions on the floor, add Halloween-themed books, a flashlight, Halloween pictures, slippers, a special Halloween blanket, and Halloween-themed stuffed animals in your relaxation corner. Prepare your own haunted reading corner by decorating a large (appliance) cardboard box. You can, for example, cut slits in black and orange garbage bags and use them to represent curtains. Hang miniature Halloween lights and let children paint and decorate the outside of the box as they see fit. You can also set a plastic Halloween tablecloth on top of the box.
Picture clue story-Halloween safety
(Open picture clue story-Halloween safety) Print. Sit in a circle with your group. Begin reading the story. Every time you reach a picture, pause to give children the chance to complete the sentence with the correct word, using the picture as a clue.
SUGGESTIONS: AFTERNOON SNACKS
For each child, deposit a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a bowl. Set a miniature ice cream cone on top of each child's scoop of ice cream. Let children spread icing (vanilla icing with a few drops of black food coloring) on the cone to "paint" it black. When this step is done, provide tiny Halloween-coloured cake decorations or candy they can use to decorate their witch hat snack.
Give each child a cookie and let them use icing and Halloween candy pieces to decorate it. Let them eat it when they are done.
Have children prepare edible garlands by threading Froot Loops cereal on black licorice laces.
Melt chocolate and serve it with cut fruit. Show children how they can dip their fruit in the chocolate for a special treat. If you prefer, serve a yogurt-based dip with strawberry coulis.
SPECIAL AFTERNOON ACTIVITIES
Witch hat game
(Open game-Witch hat) Print, laminate, cut out, and display the witch on a wall. Give each child a laminated witch hat. Have them take turns trying to stick their witch hat in the correct spot while blindfolded.
Form a special Halloween choir with your group. Practice singing several different Halloween songs and sing them for other daycare groups. If you prefer, you can sing your Halloween songs as you walk around your neighbourhood with your group. Add musical instruments and use makeup pencils to paint children's faces for extra fun.
Fill a box with Halloween stickers and small treats. Wrap the box. Sit in a circle with your group. To the sound of music, children pass the box around the circle. Every time you stop the music, the child holding the box may partially unwrap it...until the music starts again. At the end of the game, children share the contents of the box.
(Open large colourful pumpkins) Use adhesive paper to stick the pumpkins on the floor. Play music. Children walk or dance around the daycare. When the music stops, they must quickly find a pumpkin to stand on.
Fill small gift bags with Halloween treats and set them here and there within your daycare. If you wish, hang them on hooks, from the ceiling, or in a special Halloween tree. Before they leave, invite children to pick one treat bag they can take home.
HERE ARE A FEW SUGGESTIONS OF SPECIAL DAYS THAT CAN BE ORGANIZED DURING THE WEEKS LEADING UP TO HALLOWEEN. PICK AND CHOOSE THE ONES YOU PREFER.
(Open perpetual calendar-Special Day-Ghosts) Print and display. For this special day, invite children to wear white clothing items and bring a white toy from home.
Wear a piece of white tulle on your head to welcome children in the morning. Hand each child a piece of white tulle as they arrive so they can also become ghosts. The use of tulle is ideal since it does not obstruct children's vision. Wear white from head to toe and ask parents to dress their children in white clothes for this special day too.
Replace a few lights with black lights and close the curtains and blinds in your daycare. Children will be fascinated by the magical effect the lights will create. Hang tiny ghosts from the ceiling throughout your daycare. Add white bed sheets in the different corners of your daycare too.
(Open educa-decorate-Ghost Academy) Print, laminate, and cut out the items. Use them to decorate the walls of your daycare.
(Open my ghost path) Print several illustrations and use them to create a path leading to areas children visit regularly during the day (cloakroom, bathroom, table, etc.).
Trace and cut out ghosts of all shapes and sizes. (Open model-Ghost) Decorate the ghosts with glitter, lace, ribbon, cotton balls, etc. Glue the ghosts back to back on either side of ribbon or string. Hang your mobile from the ceiling.
Crumple a tissue and cover it with another tissue. Tie a piece of ribbon around the tissue ball to represent a ghost head. Hang your soft ghost from the ceiling with invisible wire or thread.
SNACKS AND MEALS
All snacks and food items shall be white for this special day!
Morning snack: White cheddar cubes with rice crackers.
Lunch: Sole fillets, cauliflower, white rice, or macaroni with a white cheddar sauce. For dessert, serve vanilla yogurt.
Afternoon snack: Vanilla ice cream with tiny Halloween-shaped candy pieces or cake decorations.
(Open puppets-Ghosts) Print the models on cardboard or heavy paper. Have children cut them out and decorate them with a variety of Halloween-coloured arts & crafts items. Glue the ghosts on Popsicle sticks so they can easily be manipulated by little hands.
My miniature ghost
(Open miniature ghost) Print, cut out, and color. Children glue the pieces on an empty toilet paper roll to create a ghost figurine. They can hang it from the ceiling or set it on a shelf.
I am a ghost
Have children press their hands in white poster paint and then on black poster board. Turn the poster board upside down to see tiny ghosts appear.
You will need a square piece of cheesecloth. Mix equal parts glue and water. Create a ghost silhouette by pressing the cheesecloth in the mixture and then setting it on an empty soda bottle. Let the cheesecloth dry completely. When it is dry, remove it from the bottle and glue two wiggly eyes on the ghost shape.
Trace a ghost shape on white construction paper. Fill the shape with cotton balls, tiny balls of crumpled tissue paper, white pasta pieces, or any other white material. Glue two wiggly eyes on the ghost shape.
Paint an empty toilet paper roll with white paint. Let dry. Use a permanent marker to draw a ghost face.
Cut a ghost shape out of heavy white cardboard or Fun Foam. Glue a Popsicle stick behind it.
Wrap lollipops with white tissues. Use string, ribbon, or a pipe cleaner to tie the tissue around the lollipops. Use a permanent marker to draw a ghost face on each one.
Cut a ghost shape out of a large piece of adhesive paper. Have children fill the shape with cotton balls or white tissue paper.
(Open model-Ghost) Print for each child. Have children color their model. Cut them out and glue a Popsicle stick behind each ghost. Display them on a counter or windowsill.
(Open model-Ghost) Print. Let children decorate the ghosts. Cut them out and hang them within your daycare or near your daycare entrance to form a garland.
Give each child a small Styrofoam ball. Have them set a white tissue over the ball. They can use a pipe cleaner to hold the tissue in place. Add eyes and a string that can be used to hang each child's ghost from the ceiling. Children will enjoy making several ghosts.Ghost town scene (Open ghost town scene) Print, laminate, and cut out. Children use the various pieces to decorate the scene.
Who is the ghost?
Have children close their eyes. Set a white bed sheet on top of a child. When they open their eyes, they must guess who the ghost is.
It's raining ghosts
(Open model-Ghost) Print and cut out enough ghosts so that each child has at least ten. Deposit all the ghosts in the centre of your parachute or a blanket. Have children hold the edges of your parachute. When you give the signal, they must raise the parachute very quickly to send the ghosts flying through the air. They must then rush to collect as many ghosts as possible. Count how many ghosts each child collected, just for fun. Start over and over again.
(Open perpetual calendar-Special Day-Candy) Print and display. Invite children to wear multi-coloured clothing items for this special day.
For each child, fill an empty toilet paper roll with stickers or other tiny Halloween surprises. As children arrive in the morning, hand them their large candy piece. Wear very colourful clothing items and ask parents to dress their child in multi-coloured clothes.
(Open garland-candy pieces) Print and cut out several candy pieces. Assemble them to form a garland and hang it within your daycare or cloakroom. Hang fake candy pieces from your daycare ceiling. Glue candy wrappers on your daycare floor using adhesive paper. Ask parents to create a unique candy-themed hat for their child. If you wish, organize a candy hat contest!
Game-This is my spot-Candy
(Open Game-This is my spot-Candy) Print each illustration twice. Stick one copy of each illustration on your table using adhesive paper. Deposit the remaining illustrations in an opaque bag and have children take turns picking a picture to determine their spot at the table. You may also use the illustrations to determine naptime spots or children's spots in the task train.
SNACKS AND LUNCH
Since candy is usually very colourful, celebrate by preparing colourful food for your group!
Morning snack: Prepare candy (fruit) skewers with your group. Simply have them slide prepared fruit on wooden skewers, alternating colors.
Lunch: Use red food coloring to prepare red spaghetti pasta (it will look like red licorice laces). Slice zucchini into half-moon shapes to represent minty jellies, etc. For dessert, serve raspberries, strawberries or bananas and invite children to pretend they are candy.
Afternoon snack: Serve Goldfish crackers (to represent jelly fish) and vegetable juice.
Cut a piece of paper big enough to wrap an empty toilet paper roll for each child. Fill the empty toilet paper rolls with candy or tiny Halloween surprises. Wrap the rolls and tie both ends. Children will love opening their special candy piece.
Picture clue story-Trick or treating
(Open picture clue story-Trick or treating) Print. Sit in a circle with your group. Begin reading the story. Every time you reach a picture, pause to give children the chance to complete the sentence, using the picture as a clue.
(Open lacing-candy) Print, trace the candy on cardboard or construction paper, and cut them out. Use a hole-punch to make holes all the way around each shape. Encourage children to thread ribbon or string through the holes.
(Open twister-Candy) Print. Stick the large candy illustrations on the floor using adhesive tape, creating a 4 ft² playing surface. The leader of the game picks a body part card and a candy card and gives the group instructions as in the traditional Twister game. For example, he/she may say, "Put one foot on the chocolate." Variation for younger children: Simply use the illustrations to decorate your daycare or for an easy recognition activity.
(Open colourful candy) Print and arrange the candy illustrations on the floor. To the sound of music, children walk around the daycare. When the music stops, they must quickly step on one of the candy illustrations. If you wish, you can remove candy illustrations as the game progresses or give children more precise instructions. For example, you may ask them to step on a candy piece of a specific color, have them touch the candy pieces with different body parts, etc.
SPECIAL DAY-BLACK CATS
(Open perpetual calendar-Special Day-Black cats) Print and display. Invite children to wear black clothing items for this special day.
As children arrive in the morning, use makeup pencils to draw cat moustaches on their face. Wear black from head to toe and ask parents to dress their child the same way.
(Open educa-decorate-Halloween in the dark) Print, laminate, and cut out. Decorate the walls of your daycare to set the mood for the theme.
Game-This is my spot-Halloween in the dark
(Open game-This is my spot-Halloween in the dark) Print each illustration twice. Stick one copy of each illustration on your table using adhesive paper. Deposit the remaining illustrations in an opaque bag and have children take turns picking a picture to determine their spot at the table. You may also use the illustrations to determine naptime spots or children's spots in the task train.
(Open models-Halloween cat) Print. Let children decorate the cats with glitter. Cut them out and hang them within your daycare or near your daycare entrance to form a garland.
SNACKS AND LUNCH
For this special day, all food items must be black (or dark brown)!
Morning snack: Black grapes or raisins with dark rye bread.
Lunch: Black bean chili or black pasta (available in grocery stores). Another possibility is meatballs served in VH sauce with wild rice. For dessert, serve dark chocolate mousse.
Variation: Serve lunch in the dark.
Afternoon snack: Chocolate brownies
(Open puppets-Cats) Print the models on cardboard or heavy paper. Have children cut them out and decorate them with a variety of Halloween-coloured arts & crafts items. Glue the ghosts on Popsicle sticks so they can easily be manipulated by little hands.
Scene-In the dark
(Open scene-In the dark) Print, laminate, and cut out the pieces. Children use the items to decorate the scene.
My little cat
(Open craft-cat) Print for each child. Invite children to color the parts and glue them on an empty toilet paper roll to create a cat figurine.
For this craft, you will need paper plates, black poster paint, wiggly eyes, pipe cleaners, and two triangles cut out of black construction paper. Let children paint their paper plate black. Have them add the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears... Remind them to add moustaches!
The cat and the mouse
This activity must be done in the dark with flashlights. Select a child who will be the mouse at the start of the game. He/she must be under the parachute. Select a second child who will be the cat. He/she positions himself/herself on top of the parachute. The other children hold on to the edges of the parachute and move it up and down to help the mouse escape. Once the cat catches the mouse, the cat becomes the mouse for the following round. Another child becomes the cat.