Halloween Activities and STEM Learning
With Halloween fast approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how you and the children will celebrate the spookiest time of year. There’s no reason you shouldn’t combine the fun of Halloween with some dynamic STEM learning, and there are plenty of great activities.
This blog post is about how to have fun with your kids this Halloween while also helping them learn some important STEM concepts.
So, if you want to learn about some excellent activities, read on – because these ideas are sure to interest learners of all ages.
What Is STEM Learning?
STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and it involves a learning approach that focuses on activities and projects that combine all four subject areas.
While traditional classroom teaching methods often separate different subjects, STEM allows learners to apply and connect the dots to understand how the principles fit together.
We live in a digital-first society, and most professional jobs require a strong understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, so applying it to a child’s education can prepare them for careers in the future.
STEM Activities You Can Incorporate Into Halloween
Teachers, tutors, and parents can make the learning experience more fun, and Halloween-themed STEM learning allows you to combine the fun-filled season with some practical learning projects.
Here are some of the best activities available.
What child doesn’t love slime? Making slime teaches children about scientific elements and a deeper understanding of chemistry. It’s a great way to introduce STEM learning – and they’ll have so much fun they won’t even know it’s an educational activity.
Better still, plenty of slime types are available, including magnetic and glow-in-the-dark slime. If you’re not keen on making your own slime, there are kits available that are easy to use but still provide an excellent educational experience.
Halloween is all about spooky drinks; you can use this as a chance to teach children about chemical reactions. Mixing different juices and using dry ice can create eerie-looking beverages with a science lesson built into them.
You can also combine tonic water, bleach and a blacklight to make glow-in-the-dark water, a fun-filled activity that creates an impressive finish.
Just ensure you warn young learners about the implications of consuming bleach to ensure safety, and never leave them unattended.
Costume-making is a great way to incorporate engineering into Halloween. Working with fabric, designing patterns and creating props can all involve essential concepts children need to learn.
Take it one step further by asking them to create their costume using recyclable materials or even incorporating technology in the form of LED lights or electronic components.
The sky’s the limit when it comes to creativity and learning opportunities.
Families gather together yearly to enjoy some traditional pumpkin carving, but why not take it a step further this Halloween season?
Pumpkin volcanoes are unique, easy to create and always make an immediate impression. All you need to do is hollow out a pumpkin and fill it in with the vinegar. You can also add some washing up liquid if you’d like to add some colour to the eruption.
Then, add a spoonful of baking soda and mix it with vinegar to create the reaction. Make sure everyone stands back and take some time to explain to the kids why the reaction occurs.
Hollow out a pumpkin and mix vinegar and baking soda inside to create a fizzy reaction that looks like flowing lava. You can also use the experiment to teach kids about chemical reactions and acids/bases.
Spider Web Building Challenge
Kids love Spiderman, and with this activity, they can become a superhero themselves. It also engages engineering and design skills as they plan out how to construct their web.
You can use yarn or string to construct the web and challenge them to make it as strong and intricate as possible. Or, you could add an element of maths by challenging them to create a web with a set number of intersecting lines.
Some people also use string slime, which combines chemistry elements too, but it depends on your preferences.
Skeleton Floor Puzzles
Skeletons are a big part of Halloween, and using floor puzzles can provide a fun way for kids to learn about anatomy. By putting together the puzzle, they’ll see how the bones fit in with each other and understand their placement within the body.
You can also use this opportunity to discuss how muscles work with the skeleton or even talk about different skeletons, such as those found in animals. They’ll enjoy a hands-on learning experience while getting their daily dose of exercise.
A simple yet effective activity is using Lego to create Halloween-themed designs. Children love Lego, and most people have some at home – so it’s perfect for a mess-free STEM activity.
Whether creating a Halloween-themed amusement park or ghostly figures, Halloween Lego making is a cost-effective way to bring some spooky fun to STEM learning.
If you have a group of learners, you can create a big project where everyone contributes to building a Halloween-themed Lego model, which teaches children to work together.
Create a Lava Lamp
Lava lamps are ideal for combining chemistry and art; most people find they have all the items they need at home. Grab a beaker or jar, cooking oil, Alka Seltzer tablets, water and food colouring, then follow the directions here.
Create A ‘Bone’ Bridge
This activity involves a little planning, as you’ll need some straws and pipe cleaners (or substitute them for other small objects). Challenge the kids to create a bridge using only the materials given or set a limit on how many they can use.
Not only does it teach problem-solving skills and engineering, but they also learn about structures such as bridges and how they’re able to support weight. It’s also nice because it doesn’t require much preparation or cleaning up afterwards.
Learning about the skeletal system is vital for young learners, but you can ditch the textbooks and substitute them with this practical experiment.
Using straws, pipe cleaners or small sticks, challenge kids to create a movable hand which replicates the natural movement of the tendons in your hand.
Please click here for the full instructions.
The Bottom Line
These activities should give you ideas about incorporating STEM learning into the classroom or at home, but it’s important to remember that traditional learning is still important.
Children have many educational opportunities in the UK, and taking advantage of them gives young learners better prospects later in life.
If you’re a parent struggling with the STEM side of learning or would like some help with other subjects, Fleet Tutors offers a range of learning packages, including online or private one-to-one tutoring for learners of all ages.
Our specialists offer a fully bespoke package tailored to each learner’s unique needs and implement goal-based study to achieve the best results.
If you’d like to discuss our tutoring services, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.