Celebrating Halloween provides lots of fun activities and learning opportunities in Early Years settings and is celebrated on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.
The word Halloween or Hallowe’en dates to about 1745 and means “Saints’ evening”.
Many homes, gardens and public spaces may be decorated with traditional Halloween decorations including witches, skeletons, ghosts, cobwebs and headstones, making it fun and exciting for children dressed up to come and “Trick or Treat”.
Considered nowadays to be quite an ‘Americanised’ activity, the roots of trick or treating date back to early ancient, pre-Christian Celtic festival of Samhain.
Many Christian churches offer “Light Parties” as an alternative celebration, often also involving sweets to ensure children do not feel left out from the activities their peers are taking part in!
How do you get involved with Halloween?
Try using a variety of resources, think how activities can link to your chosen framework and share them on eylog;
- Pumpkin carving
- Pumpkin play
- Halloween Gloop
- Popcorn kernels counting
- Torch play – can you create different shadows?
- Make skeletons out of cut straws
- Create play doh monsters
- Print out pumpkin or ghost outs and help children draw different faces for different emotions
- Egg carton bats
- Taste test seasonal treats
- Handprint spiders
- Footprint ghosts
- Monster Noughts and Crosses
- Books – Meg & Mog, Winnie The Pooh, That’s Not my Witch and Funny Bones are all great Halloween themed books
- Make a simple pattern using Halloween stickers that children can repeat
- Use food colouring, bicarb and vinegar to make potions
- Talk about how other countries celebrate Halloween and other festivals
- Discuss nature at this time of the year, collect fallen leaves, conkers etc
- Create Halloween lanterns with jam jars and tea lights (battery)
- Use chalk to create ghosts and monsters on the patio or bricks
- Collect pebbles to paint
- Spooky Baking/Cooking – Haunted Pizza, Strawberry Ghosts, Mummy Cookies, Spooky Halloween Jelly, Halloween Baked Potato Skins