8 Spook-tacular Literacy Ideas and Activities for Halloween

October 16, 2023

Halloween is a bewitching time of year, filled with costumes, candy, and creativity. It’s also a fantastic opportunity to foster a love for literacy in children of all ages. Whether you have a toddler just beginning to explore the world of words or a middle-schooler eager for more advanced reading challenges, plenty of Halloween-themed literacy activities can enchant and educate. Read on for eight suggestions to get you started.

Pumpkin Letter Hunt (Toddlers and Preschoolers):

Take advantage of the season’s most iconic symbol, the pumpkin, to teach your little ones their ABCs. Write letters on small paper pumpkins or use alphabet stickers and hide them around your home or yard. Encourage your child to find and identify the letters, helping them associate each letter with its corresponding sound.

Spooky Storytelling (Preschoolers and Kindergarteners):

Encourage young imaginations by telling spooky stories together. You can start the story with a spooky setting like a haunted house or a dark forest and take turns adding to it. This collaborative storytelling activity enhances creativity and improves vocabulary and narrative skills.

Witch’s Brew Word Game (Early Elementary):

Create a “witch’s brew” by filling a cauldron (or a large pot) with water and adding letter tiles or laminated cards, or letter blocks. Children can take turns fishing out the letters and creating words with them. This game enhances spelling and word recognition skills.

Costume Character Diary (Elementary School):

Encourage your child to keep a diary from the perspective of their Halloween costume character. This activity helps them practice descriptive writing and get into the spirit of Halloween. Whether they are a friendly ghost or a fierce superhero, writing in character can be a lot of fun.

Monster Mad Libs (Elementary School):

Mad Libs are a fantastic way to teach parts of speech and sentence structure. Create Halloween-themed Mad Libs with spooky nouns, adjectives, and verbs, and let your child fill in the blanks. The result will be entertaining and educational.

Spine-Tingling Book Club (Middle School):

Start a Halloween-themed book club with your middle schooler and their friends. Choose age-appropriate, spine-tingling books, and set a reading schedule. Encourage discussions about the plot, characters, and themes, fostering critical thinking and comprehension skills.

Cryptic Crosswords (Middle School):

Introduce your older child to cryptic crosswords with a Halloween twist. Create cryptic clues about famous monsters, haunted houses, or spooky movies. Solving these puzzles requires creative thinking and wordplay. Need help getting started? Check out these online puzzles.

Halloween Poetry (All Ages):

Explore the poetic side of Halloween. Younger children can create simple, rhyming poems about their favorite Halloween creatures, while older kids can experiment with more complex forms like haikus or sonnets. Encourage them to express the eerie beauty of the season through words.

Are you looking for some great Halloween-themed books to share with your children? We recommend the following titles:
It’s Pumpkin Day, Mouse
Karma Moon-Ghost Hunter
Mercy Watson: Princess in Disguise
Pumpkin Day!
The Day of the Dead, El Día de Los Muertos: A Bilingual Celebration
There Was an Old Lady That Swallowed a Bat

Our Literacy Tips are presented by Reader’s Digest Foundation.