Ask kids what their favourite celebration is, and many will say, “HALLOWEEN!” They get to dress up and run around the streets at night, collecting candy. Lots and lots of free candy! But can this much excitement also be educational? Halloween is a great opportunity for children to learn and practice important skills, such as time management, numeracy, creative thinking, and communication.
Managing time effectively is crucial for achieving goals and being productive. It involves prioritizing tasks, setting realistic deadlines, and avoiding distractions to make the most of the available time. Trick-or-treaters must do a lot of time management calculations.
You can support the development of your children’s time management skills by encouraging them to plan their outing. First, have them figure out what time they need to leave. They can then work backward to determine the ideal time to start and finish dinner and estimate the amount of time they’ll need to get ready.
Once they are ready to go, let them know how long they can be out for and then encourage them to think about how best to manage their time. Where should they start? Are they meeting up with friends? Do they want to collect candy before they meet their friends? How many houses do they want to visit? These are all things they can consider before they head out the door.
Estimating, comparing, dividing, and sorting are all math skills that are used throughout life, including at Halloween.
You can help your children practice their math skills by asking them to estimate how much candy they think they’ll get. At the end of the night, have them count the candy and compare their estimate to how much candy they actually got. Was their guess close? Was it way off? You can extend the learning by asking them to calculate how long their treats will last if they are allowed to have two treats every day.
After a fun night of trick-or-treating, children typically participate in the activity of sorting. This involves sitting down surrounded by their treats, and categorizing their haul while they go about sampling them. Talk about different ways the candy can be sorted. They may sort by type (e.g., chocolates, gummies, hard candy), by flavour (e.g., salty, sweet, sour) or by colour. They may group their treats into keep, share, or trade piles. There’s a lot of decision-making and math happening on Halloween night!
The Halloween season is full of opportunities to express creativity. Children are often very involved in choosing their costumes, making it a great chance to get them involved in the design and construction process. Decorating the house with spooky items and carving pumpkins are also creative activities to enjoy during this time. If you’re looking for a unique pumpkin carving template, visit this website. 60 Free Pumpkin Carving Stencils to Personalize Your Porch Decor (bhg.com).
As children go trick-or-treating, they are given a unique opportunity to interact with many different adults. This can be an intimidating experience for some children. However, by encouraging your children to engage in these conversations, they can develop and refine various communication skills. Children learn to say, “thank you”, and they get to practice introducing themselves and explaining their costumes. When they return home, they can share their adventure with their family and friends, and in doing so, develop their storytelling skills. Halloween conversations can help build children’s confidence and encourage them to engage in conversations with people of all ages.
To learn more about supporting your child’s learning at Halloween, visit these websites.
Community Literacy Outreach Coordinator – Elk Valley
Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy