Magical Halloween Activities

Magical Halloween Activities

Ideas for Creating a Magical, Memorable Halloween

Celebrating holidays is the perfect way to put a little bit of magic into our ordinary days. Halloween-themed movies, games, crafts, and stories bring us closer together and help cultivate memorable childhoods filled with magic and wonder. 

Here are some ways we make the Halloween season fun, memorable and magical. 


We decorate as a family on October 1st. Along with decorations we pull out all the Halloween books and games. Everyone loves reminiscing over their favorite decorations like the 6 foot giant, woolly spider that hangs on our stairwell and the pumpkin village we created together several years ago.

The Great Pumpkin

He may have never visited Linus, but he comes here!  The Great Pumpkin book

When the kids were little, trick-or-treating went so badly one year we ended up hiding candy in the front yard and told them The Great Pumpkin had come. That last minute idea saved Halloween, and has become a fun family tradition.

These days The Great Pumpkin visits on October 1st hiding candy and Halloween shirts or pajamas for the kids to find. And if trick-or-treating gets rained out or somebody is sick, he can always come by and hide candy again.

Spooky Portraits

You can get so creative with this. We used decorations and costumes we already had, worked together to design their scenes, then I edited the pictures on my phone to make them dark, sepia-toned, and spooky. 

Lollipop Ghost Hunt 

This was such a fun activity when the kids were little. Cover lollipops with white tissue and hide them in trees. There are many cute ghost books you can read before or after too.

Ten Timid Ghosts

There’s a Ghost in this House

The Little Ghost who was a Quilt

Halloween Themed Cocoa Bar 

Invite friends or just do it as a family before watching a movie. See my post about a dye-free cocoa bar here (Coming Soon).

Face Paints

My kids paint their faces all year, but it really ramps up in October. They will have a different face painted every day of the month. Here are links to our favorite face paints, easy to use and easy to clean up. 

Blue Squid Face Paint

Snazaroo Face Paint

Spooky Crafts

We had to try the ghost painting craft that has been all over the Internet:  Find an old painting and add ghosts, pumpkins, and bats. I love how the kids’ paintings came out—they will be treasures for a long time. Plus it’s a great way to recycle old art. It took us several thrift shop trips to find old paintings at a decent price. These prints on Amazon would also work:

Unframed Farmhouse Wall Art #1

Unframed Farmhouse Wall Art #2

Framed Canvas Print

Unframed Farmhouse Wall Art #3

Cheesecloth Ghosts

We had to try this viral craft too! It was fun and easy. 

Halloween Painted Rocks 

We updated our fairy garden to have a spooky vibe. 

Nat Geo Creepy Creatures Rock Painting Kit

Haunted Dollhouse

I saw this activity years ago on Instagram, and thought it was a perfect thing to do with Vampirina’s house the kids didn’t want anymore. We spray painted it black and gray, decorated it with Halloween items, and it has become a fun decoration for the house. Plus the kids still play with it.

Go on a Haunted Tour

This is a new one for us because they are usually too scary for our kids. This year we found a kid-friendly haunted tour that is more historical than scary.

Spooky Science 

Halloween is a great time for science experiments. Elephant toothpaste in a jack-o-lantern is always fun. Check out these Halloween science books and activities: 

Monsters Factory

The Science Spell Book

Nat Geo Super Gross Chemistry Set

Wizards Potion Science Kit

Spooky Books

The Skull

The Little Ghost Who Was a Quilt

There’s a Ghost In This House

Eerie Elementary Series

Black Day: The Monster Rock Band

Gustavo, the Shy Ghost

My boys favorite Halloween book: Weird But True Halloween: 300 Spooky Facts to Scare You Silly

Spooky Games

Haunted Mansion 8+

Johnny the Skull 5+

Villains Labyrinth 7+

Villainous 10+

Cute Halloween Corn Hole game

Spooky Field Trips

Corn Mazes, Pumpkin Patches and Apple Picking are great—but there’s so much more. 

Look to see if your local children’s museum, petting farm, zoo, botanical garden, planetarium or science center has planned any Halloween-themed activities. 

Halloween Lights

We love driving around and seeing how other people decorate for Halloween. It’s also fun to go to the hardware store and other shops and check out their decorations. Add a scavenger hunt for extra fun.

Free Printable! halloween scavenger hunt

Halloween Movies

The kids’ tastes and fear levels have changed over the years. Here are some of our past and present favorites.


The Addams Family 

The Nightmare Before Christmas 




Toy Story of Terror

Monster House


Hotel Transylvania

Room on the Broom

Spooky Buddies


Under Wraps

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The Beatryce Prophecy Novel Study

The Beatryce Prophecy Novel Study

We stumbled upon The Beatryce Prophecy (Amazon afilliate link) while in the midst of a medieval history unit (see this post for background). This lyrical, enchanting story captivated all of us. The prophetic goat. The mysterious girl. The brave boy with the heavy sword.

So many fun, engaging activities were born out of reading this book. We made maple candy, painted stained glass pictures, and wrote prophecies. 

The novel study I created for The Beatryce Prophecy includes extension activities, vocabulary, story maps, character analysis, and comprehension questions.  You can click the link below to access this free .pdf study guide.

The Beatryce Prophecy novel study

Please let us know in the comments below your thoughts, especially if you end up using it!

*1st Grade Language Arts PRINTABLES

*1st Grade Language Arts PRINTABLES

Main Idea Practice

Main Idea Bike
Main Idea Cat
Main Idea Dance
Main Idea Swim
Main Idea Glasses
Main Idea Puppy
Main Idea Baseball
Main Idea Boat
Main Idea Lunch

*Do you like these and need more? Email me:

Comprehension Pages

These are great for testing days or sub plans. Start off the year doing them whole group, and by the 2nd semester many of the kids will be able to do them on their own.

Sleeping Beauty–any version
Where the Wild Things Are –Maurice Sendak
How to Catch A Star–Oliver Jeffers
Unlovable–Dan Yaccarino
Six-Dinner Sid–Inga Moore
Dumpy Larue–Elizabeth Winthrop and Betsy Lewin

Fun Stuff

Mystery Words I used this at the end of 1st grade when the kids could read the sentences on their own and they had a firm grasp of repeating patterns in words. It was easy for the higher-level kids, but they enjoyed it. I only made one, but I really liked it.

*Let me know if you use this or like it, I can make more.

Word Posters

Are your students constantly asking how to spell words? We all know telling them how to spell something doesn’t help them. In 1st grade they shouldn’t be focused on spelling anyway. My solution increased their independence and their sight word vocabulary. I filled the entire wall under my while board with words. The first list is an alphabetical list of words they were constantly asking for–but weren’t at their reading level. If they can figure out the first letter and find the picture, they can find the word. The other posters are done by subject. *You’ll need a good color printer for these, but I printed mine on cardstock, laminated them and they lasted 6 years.

Alphabetical Words
Clothing Words
Family Words
Sports Words
Popular Characters
Days and Months

Guided Reading

Last year my classes were overcrowded so I decided to try something new for Guided Reading that ended up solving my biggest GR problem–the behavior and management of the other kids while working with one group.
And it was so simple! Instead of having them reading quietly at their seats, waiting for their group to be called, I had all of them sit on the carpet in their group and I moved around the room with my box of guided reading supplies (white board, flash cards, whatever I needed). The kids sat back-to-back so they didn’t bother each other, and turned around to form a circle when I came to their group.
This worked great for me because I’ve always liked to do groups on the floor. (I’m too small to use a kidney table–I can’t reach the kids books!) The best part–for some reason it took less time and I was able to meet with every group, every day.

My 2nd favorite tip for Guided Reading: Loud Fridays.  One day a week we did Loud Reading instead of Silent Reading. On Fridays they could read with their friends, sing from their song books, and read out loud. This encouraged shared reading, increased fluency because they didn’t have to whisper and they loved it. (This is also a great day for Reading Buddies!)

Guided Reading Lesson Plans 1
Guided Reading Lesson Plans 2

*Phonics PRINTABLES (K-1)

*Phonics PRINTABLES (K-1)

Chunks, Blends, and Vowel Digraphs

Two Blends Worksheets th sh ch str spr sw
Chunk worksheet  (chunks: -at -og -ick -in -ike -ot -ad -op)

Vowel Digraphs cut and paste -ee -oo -ea

Long Vowel Word Families

-ake mini book
-ake Finish the Sentences
-ake Write Sentences
-ake Cut and Paste
-ike mini book
-ike Finish the Sentence
-ike Write Sentences
-ike Cut and Paste
-ight Finish the Sentence
-ight Write Sentences
-ight Cut and Paste

More Printables

short and long vowel chart I taped these charts on the kids desks for a quick reference. In order for it to work, we referred to it OFTEN.

*Printable BOOKS (PK-K)

*Printable BOOKS (PK-K)


These are books I created to help my little ones who were struggling with word boundaries, sight words and alphabet skills.  They loved having their own books they could color, write on and keep in their book boxes. 
I laminated a few for the classroom too.

Instructions: Click on the title, not the picture. Print, make copies, cut along the dotted line, stack pages and staple.

Putting these together is very kid friendly, as there are no page numbers. As long as the title page is on top, the page order doesn’t matter. Use the dots under the words to reinforce word boundaries and pointing while reading.

School book Repetitive words: I, have
Farm Animals book Repetitive words: lives, on, farm
Firefighter book  Repetitive words: I, see, a

Free Printable books from Disney: 

Brave and Tangled
Cars and Toy Story
(from 123 Homeschool 4 Me)



For letter studies and high-frequency words:


Letter Aa book–easy Repetitive word: The

Letter Bb book–easy Repetitive word: The

Letter Cc bookRepetitive words: Here, is, a

Letter Dd book Repetitive words: Here, is, a

Letter Ee book Repetitive words: An

Letter Ff book Repetitive words: Here, is, a

Letter Gg book Repetitive words: Here, is, a

Letter Hh book Repetitive words: I, see, a

Letter Ii book Repetitive words: I, see, a

Letter Jj book Repetitive words: I, see, a

Letter Kk book Repetitive words: I, see, a

Letter Ll book Repetitive words: I, see, a

Letter Mm book Repetitive words: I, see, two

Letter Nn book Repetitive words: The

Letter Oo book Repetitive words: The, big

Letter Pp book Repetitive words: This, is

Letter Qq book Repetitive words: This, is

Letter Rr book Repetitive words: A, and

Letter Ss book Repetitive words: A, and

Letter Tt book Repetitive words: A, and

Letter Uu book Repetitive words: is, for

Letter Vv book Repetitive words: is, for

Letter Ww book Repetitive words: I, see, a

Letter Xx book Repetitive words: I, see, a

Letter Yy book Repetitive words: I, see

Letter Zz book Repetitive words: I, see, a


Books that are more challenging:

Letter Bb book-harder End of 1st grade, focusing on harder vocabulary and lower case “b.”
(I made this book for 1st graders struggling with “b” and “d” confusion.)

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