Elementary School Halloween Party Ideas

jack o'lanternElementary School Halloween Party Ideas

You are the room parent! You get to find activities that the whole class will like so that your child is not embarrassed. Activities that will keep the children entertained, the leave the room in tact, and receive teacher approval. No problem! You are up to the task!!! Put on your superhero costume (don't wear it to school! Egad!) and let's get started.

Our school allows 45 minutes for parties. This generally allows for a couple games, a treat or snack, and a third game or craft. If children have to use part of the party to put on their costumes, plan for it. Especially with the younger kids, this takes some time.

You can often overlap the craft or table activity with the snack if the activity is not too messy. A useful option, if you have enough parent volunteers, is to break the group into small groups, and have the games/activities set up as stations. The children can rotate stations to take part in all your activities. This works well if the games or activities require adult assistance, smaller groups, or are messy. Lastly, have a spare activity or game prepared in case things go faster than planned.

What you need: Parents assigned to bring snacks, a parent assigned to bring a beverage, and one assigned to bring napkins and plates if you need them. You will need supplies and prizes for each party. Keep the prizes small so you can give more out and there will be less bad feelings for any children who do not win.

Contents at a Glance

buttrefly halloween costume

It's Not So Scary!

Planning a classroom halloween party is not hard, either!

Ghoulish edibles that won't leave a mark.

Our favorite snacks are ones that parents' donate! The best ones are single serving, do not require plates or forks, and clean up easily. A few goodies:

  • Chocolate dipped pretzels with halloween sprinkles
  • Halloween decorated cupcakes or cookies
  • Apple cider
  • Rice Krispy treats (love these cocoa kitties from RiceKrispies.com!)
  • Apples with caramel

(In the past I have tried to bring healthy options for these parties. These wholesome treats could not compete with a simple rice crispy treat! As the children threw them away at the end of the party, I conceded. Now I let other parents bring the treats and plan to send home more than one or two per child. They simply don't have time during the party to eat more than a cookie. Have paper bags ready for transport!

elementary school halloween paradeYoung Ghoul Activities

- Ideas for Grades K-2

  • HOST Bingo - with small prizes for everyone! Use candy corn for markers.
  • WRAP THE MUMMY - Divide the little monsters into groups of 3, giving each group 2 rolls of toilet paper. It's a race to see who can wrap the volunteer and use up all their TP first! Get your camera's ready.
  • MYSTERY GOO - Fill covered boxes with slippery stuff that the children try to identify by putting a hand in to feel it. You can use canned spaghetti for intestines, little sausages for pickled fingers, peeled grapes for eyeballs, and dried apricots for ears. Include a wash station!
  • PAINT A PILLOWCASE - Children each contribute a new or old pillowcase, and decorate it for trick-or-treat with fabric markers. Provide some halloween art at the front of the classroom for reference.
  • COSTUME PARADE - March around the room in a circle, then have the children vote by secret ballot for the best, scariest and funniest costume.
  • CARNIVAL GAMES - Have a bowl of small prizes for the winners of these simple games: Set up a Ring Toss using a large spider decoration, legs up, as the target. Or offer a bean bag toss with an easy-to-make target: A series of orange halloween bowls, a cardboard pumpkin shape with a cutout mouth and eyes, or a ghost with an open mouth.
  • DONUT CHALLENGE - Messy, but amusing, put down a tarp for the child to kneel on. A standing child holds a 14" string with a donut tied to the end of it. The kneeling child, with no hands, tries to eat the donut. You can set a timer, or you can have two children race to finish the donut.
  • COOKIE DECORATION - frost and decorate a halloween cookie for yourself! Provide small cups of frosting, sprinkles and other goodies, and plastic spoons.

Medium Monster Options

- Activities for the middle years, grades 2-4

Use any of the ideas in the Young Ghouls section, above, and add one of these slightly more challenging games:

  • GHOST CHARADES - Put charades characters on small slips of paper and put them into white balloons. Blow up the balloons and tie with the paper inside. As each child comes up to play charades, they select a balloon, pop it to find their word, and then act it out for the class. First correct guess is next to go. For the charades words, try costumes like: spider man, ballerina, ninja, police office.
  • COSTUME RELAY - Have a 2 or 3 bags of costume accessories prepared with equal number of items in each bag. Divide the children into teams. Each player in turn runs down to his bag, puts on one item, and returns to the line. When the bag is empty and the last costume piece is back across the line, that team wins. (Dropped costume pieces must be retrieved by the runner and he must cross the line wearing the item.)
  • PAINT A PUMPKIN -Provide each child with a pie pumpkin, and allow them to paint or glue decorations on it. Provide some halloween art at the front of the classroom for reference.
  • COSTUME CATWALK - Form a circle. Each child takes turn crossing the circle in character with their costume. Then have the children vote by secret ballot for the best, scariest and funniest costume.
  • HOT PUMPKIN - This version of the game "hot potato" is played with a small decorative pumpkin, or stuffed pumpkin. You need fast music. Who ever holds the pumpkin when the music shuts off is out!
  • SEAT SWITCH - You can play this one with a large group, or break into two smaller groups. Ahead of time, make slips of paper with numbers on them 1-30. Give each child a number on a slip of paper, using the numbers up consecutively from one so there are no gaps in the number sequence. They should keep their number a secret. Set out chairs in a line, back to back. One less chair than the total number of kids. Everyone sits. The one child standing calls out two numbers, i.e. 3 and 12 (not calling her number, of course!). The children who received numbers 3 and 12 jump up and switch places. The standing child must slip into one of their seats before they do. The child left standing calls out two numbers, and tries to get a seat.

Grades 4-6 Goblins

-Party activities for elder elementary school creatures

Many of the younger kids games are still popular with the tweens. However, you may want to add a couple more challenging games to the mix, especially if they have played GHOST bingo every year previously!

  • WHO HAS THE PUMPKIN? - You, the grown-up, toss an imaginary pumpkin to a student. They "catch" it and you provide a play-by-play of the action. "I am tossing the pumpkin to John. He catches it one handed! He tosses underhand it to Abby. She lobs it high toward Luke." Then stop the game and ask "Who has the pumpkin?" The point of the game is for the children to figure out the rule determining who "has the pumpkin" after you ask. Abby calls out "Luke has it." But, you announce, "no, Luke doesn't have it, you have it Abby!" Play again until the children figure out that the person who has it is the first one who answers "Who has the pumpkin."
  • HANGMAN - The old chalkboard game is a great time filler. Use halloween theme words for the game, and let the kids take turns at the board.
  • halloween bingo game for 5th GradeHALLOWEEN POEM BINGO - Print out these free bingo game cards and cut them apart. Each child gets a bingo card and a small scoop of candy corn to use for markers. Print this page and read the halloween poems SLOWLY and clearly, aloud, as the children look for their words on their cards. Creapy voice recommended! The poems can be read in any order. Here is the first poem on the sheet:

    Season of Witch
    by Paul Curtis
    When the werewolf ’s howl
    And vampires take to the wing
    When the witches start to brew
    And you hear the banshees sing
    When the ghouls are on the move
    And the ghosts can all be seen
    Then that’s the time you know
    That it’s the night of Halloween

Whole School Activity Ideas

  • A pumpkin carving contest. Teacher judges choose winners for each grade, and for family-created entries.
  • A Halloween Costume Parade. Through the halls or through the neighborhood, it's a chance to show off costumes and move!
  • A Halloween Dance - a parent club event with music, snacks and silliness.
  • Halloween theme games in gym class for the week, and group games at recess.
  • Halloween arts and crafts decorating the hallways.
  • Best decorated classroom contest - students can peek in during the parade through the halls
  • Coordinated Teacher costumes: different color crayons, characters from a story, or following a theme like the circus.

It's no wonder that Halloween is America's favorite party holiday! Hope it's fun!

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