Halloween Math Activities

Photo by poppet with a camera, ©2014 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License

Photo by poppet with a camera, ©2014 Some rights reserved. Licensed by Creative Commons Public Works License

Halloween is in full effect all around us, so why not pull some spooky inspiration into your child’s math learning? Break up the routine of worksheets by incorporating some spook-tacular Halloween fun into new and exciting activities. Depending on your child’s math skills, try one (or more) of the activities below!

Counting With Candies

You’re bound to have candy laying around the house– whether it’s for neighborhood trick or treaters or from your own, it seems like candy is as synonymous with Halloween as pumpkins and witches (but more on them later). Put those wrappers to work with some simple counting practice. Ask your young one to count out a certain number of candies, building up to their total number of candies. Tip: if you’ve got older children, you can turn this into a division activity as well! For example, if they have 87 candies and they were to eat three per day, how many days would they have candy for (assuming Dad didn’t sneak any)?

Pumpkin Problems

Even counting pros will jump on this activity- what kid doesn’t like getting their hands in an ooey-gooey mess? Do larger pumpkins have more seeds than smaller pumpkins? The answer may surprise you! When picking your pumpkins for carving this year, purchase a few pumpkins of different sizes. When carving them with your child, save the seeds from each pumpkin in a separate container or plastic baggie and count them up once the carving is finished.

Popsicle Stick Game

This game is easily adaptable for whatever math level your child may be at. All you’ll need is a handful of wooden popsicle sticks and a few (at least 5) small plastic hollow pumpkins. Start by writing numbers on each of the plastic pumpkins with a sharpie marker- these can be any number you want, but the higher the number, the better. This of course depends on your child’s math ability, but a good rule is to stick with numbers below 30. Next, write math problems on the popsicle sticks whose answer is one of the numbers you wrote on the pumpkins. Depending on what grade your child is in, these can be addition, subtraction, multiplication or division problems. For example, if one of your pumpkins has the number “24” on it, some of your popsicle sticks can be “8 x 4 = __” or “25 – 1 = __” etc. Do as many popsicle sticks as you and your child would like. Then, hand your child the popsicle sticks and have them sort through them, putting each stick in the pumpkin with the correct answer!

If all else fails, remember that you can always use candy as a reward for finishing homework or chores! We’ve found that chocolate is always a great motivator!

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