Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween Stories and a Halloween Math "Book"

My birthday is 6 days before Halloween, so that may be the reason I enjoy the holiday so much.  I don't like the gory or scary parts of the season (I HATE going into costume shops...), but I love the kid-friendly version of Halloween.  That being said, it's hard to narrow down only a few books, but here are some of my fave's.  If you keep on reading, I'll share the fun math Halloween house we made.  Happy Halloween!

Froggy's Halloween by Jonathan London

We love Froggy.  What more can I say?

The Little Old Lady Who Wasn't Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams

This little old lady isn't afraid of anything, including walking alone in the woods and some lively clothing items.  Or is she?  Clever resolution at the end.

Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson

This friendly witch can always find room on her broom, and her kindness pays off in a big way.  Great rhyme and repetition, and fabulous illustrations.

My Monster Mama Loves Me So by Laura Leuck

Sweet rhyming text about why Mama Monsters love their children.  Look for the fun hidden pictures in the illustrations.

Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O'Connell

A cute Halloween countdown story.

Mouse's First Halloween by Lauren Thompson

Mouse is scared of things on Halloween night, but they all end up being not so scary after all. 

The Teeny Tiny Ghost and the Monster by Kay Winters

This is the third Teeny Tiny Ghost story, but my favorite one.  This time the timid teeny tiny ghost has to create a monster that no one has seen before for a school contest.  He doesn't like the scary creations his classmates create.  With his cats, he creates a friendly monster to enter into the contest.  Will his monster be unique enough to win the first prize ribbon?

And now, for a book to MAKE...

This was a fun little art project, as well as a way to practice several math concepts.  The added bonus: Everything fits neatly into a brown bag book.

Halloween Math House:

You will need:

6 brown paper bags
black marker
crayons, stamps, stickers to decorate your cover
small foam shapes for sorting
die cut or clip art images
Halloween picture to use for the puzzle

Cut out the roof line of a house on the tops of six paper bags and staple them down the side to form a book.

Draw a simple house on the front bag with a black marker.  I drew a roof, chimney, windows, porch steps and a door.  Don't worry about it being straight.  After all, it should look a little spooky and have some character.

I wrote the different tasks on the front of each bag (you'll have to write on the back of the first bag because the front is decorated) with the black marker also.

Have the kids decorate their homes with whatever supplies you want.  We used crayons, Halloween stamps and stickers.  Write names on the back covers.

In each bag, place the items for the activity listed on the bag.  Have fun practicing and playing!

1st house-  Pumpkin Shape Sorting

I used my friend's Cricut to die cut 6 pumpkins, then traced one of the 6 basic shapes onto each pumpkin (circle, oval, square, rectangle, diamond, triangle).  I also put a small baggie of foam shapes inside to sort.  I didn't have all of the shapes in my pre-cut foam shapes, so I cut out the missing shapes with leftover pieces.  (Just using what I already have...)

2nd house- Spider Size Sequence

I used the Cricut to create 5 spiders, scaling them 1/2 inch smaller for each one.  I think I started out with 3 1/2 inches and went down to 1 1/2 inches.  I laminated these, because their legs were too fragile to handle without breaking.  The kids can then take them out and put them in size order.

3rd house- Ghost Matching

I had a copy of these ghosts in my kindergarten file, so I made two copies of the ghosts on white cardstock and made a matching game.  I liked this set because you really have to look carefully at the faces to find the exact match.  Some were quite similar.  I saw a cute Halloween printable here that you could print to use if you don't want to draw ghosts, or make a matching game with some Halloween stickers.  The kids can just find the matching pairs, or you could play concentration.

4th house- Bat Counting

I copied this set of bats (I didn't have a bat die cut) and wrote numbers 0-5 on the bellies.  My older son is working on "teen numbers" so his are 10-15.  Use these bats to arrange in order and count, or add small items to count out onto each bat for some great one-to-one correspondence (pumpkin seeds, spiders, candy corns...).

5th house- Candy Patterning

Again, I used the Cricut to die cut three different candy shapes and colors to pattern with.  I had 6 of each shape in the bag ( ex: 6 green suckers, 6 purple tootsie rolls, 6 yellow candy corns), enough to create a decent repeating pattern. If you had Halloween foam shapes, you could substitute a handful instead of cutting out candy shapes.

6th house- Halloween Puzzle

I went through some of my Halloween worksheets to find a picture that would make a good puzzle.  I enlarged the picture and printed it on colored card stock.  I cut it into pieces to make a puzzle.  You can vary the level of difficulty two ways:  you choose the number of pieces you want and you can cut them into even-sized squares or into "puzzle" shapes.  It is more difficult to piece together the squares than puzzle shapes.  I made a smaller copy of the picture to place in the bag and use as a reference.  For my 22 month old, I cut 6 pieces into jigsaw shapes.  For my 4 1/2 year old, I cut 15 evenly sized squares to make it more difficult.  They both needed some help, but it was a good little challenge.

Again, Happy Halloween to all! 

Go to eighteen25 for more Halloween ideas.


  1. Wow, you guys have been so busy. I love all of it.

  2. Happy birthday and I really enjoyed this post. Your Halloween book bag is very creative, and I bookmarked it for the next year. I hope you will link your post to my WMCIR linky on Saturday :)

  3. I love the spider sequencing activity-so cute!

  4. So creative! It looks like you all had fun this week!

  5. I love how you incorporated math into your Halloween activities. My birthday was on the 24th. Happy belated B-day! :)