10 Playful Hallowe’en Invitations to Learn


Hope you enjoy these playful Hallowe’en invitations to learn. We always try to look for items we already have on hand and can reuse.


However… I had been drooling over Tuff Trays/Builders Trays in the UK for years now and hadn’t thought of an alternative until now. Home Depot carries these water heater trays that do the trick. They are small and need packing tape to cover the hose hole, but other than that our learners love them. They especially love this witches cauldron provocation. We have measuring spoons and cups, spoons, orange peas, black beans, Hallowe’en critters, a cauldron, and bowls. To add an opportunity for math we put in some plastic numbers. We have also taken this outside to play. It’s very easy to transfer.



In providing early learners loose parts on mirrors they have created some spooky scenes and told some scary stories. It is a great opportunity for writing and connecting to Hallowe’en books.


Our learners have been quite interested in pumpkins. We set out some paint rollers and sponges so our learners could wash and scrub pumpkins. They early had painted them and wanted to clean them so they could start all over.


This simple math provocation of counting the lines/ribs on a pumpkin led to further questions about size, measuring, and weighing. We added measuring tape another day so our early learners could have the opportunity to measure the height, width, and circumference. Such rich math vocabulary has come about with this authentic learning opportunity.


I was really excited when I saw these ghost beans on http://stimulatinglearning.co.uk . Such a great idea! We have been using the ghosts for loose parts, but also for some math provocations.


Our early learners have chosen to count ghosts and put the corresponding number in this math provocation. We set out 10 muffin cups with numbers written in them and plastic cups to hold the muffin cup shape. We’ve also used 10-frame Hallowe’en ice cube trays as well. With some of our learners we challenge them to recount their ghosts. This provides an opportunity to do mental math.



Early learners do enjoy teacher generated ideas. However, they are so very creative and innovative. They thrive on opportunities to create. Some of our learners made haunted snowmen, Hallowe’en caterpillars, and spooky ants. We love giving our learners an opportunities to take something old and make something new. Our learners know that we celebrate when they come up with a new idea. It’s hard to tell from this photo, but we added glitter into the black play dough.



Some of our learners were interested in the number of bones that are in different parts in our bodies. This is one art provocation that our learners were looking closely at skeletons and counting bones.



We brought the same book outside and wondered what we could use as bones to create a new skeleton. Our learners thought the pine cones were too short, but the sticks were perfect and we could break them into little pieces.


We enjoy setting out provocations with intentional materials for our early learners to create their own learning. This provocation uses a Hallowe’en number line (which I’ve had for so line I can’t remember where it’s from), Hallowe’en loose parts plastic toys, a Hallowe’en basket, and some dice. Some learners rolled the dice and covered up the matching number with the dice. Others have counted up and back on the number line using the number that was rolled. One learner had a game where they rolled the dice and had to put a Hallowe’en critter on a number less than or greater. We love when our learners use what they learned from explicit teaching time (like greater/less than) and use it in their created games.


Our early learners love having their own personal sensory bin. This learner was counting as she filled the 10 frame ice cube tray with peas.


Every Monday we make sure we have some sort of a provocation that’s messy. Our learners always get excited for Messy Monday. This learner is mucking about in shaving cream with creepy critters from the Dollar Store. We did have a writing focus when we created this provocation, however, this learner took her learning in her own direction. The oral language opportunity that came with this sensory experience was exciting to watch unfold. With it came rich descriptive vocabulary like smelly, cold, soft, squishy, fluffy, etc.

Hope you enjoyed our playful Hallowe’en provocations! Happy Hallowe’en!


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