We had another great day outside today! I am trying as many different things as I can in our outdoor classroom. I love doing centres in this area because students can freely move from centre to centre and explore. Today I tried to make some of the centres Halloween themed. Before students start at the centres, I always walk through them with them first, to show what each centre includes and what to do. I also remind students that materials from each centre need to stay at each centre. Hopefully our Halloween outdoor play gives you some ideas to try at with your class or at home.
I strung balloons in our outdoor classroom structure. This was a really simple idea, but it was very popular with students. I wanted a centre that was interactive and required students to move. Kids had a blast hitting the balloons and bopping them to a friend.
For this centre, I strung orange streamers around our smaller structure to look like a spider web. I challenged the kids to get from one side to another without touching/ripping the streamers. A few students worked really hard to pass through the spider web successfully. Since it was a bit damp, the streamers did not last long, so I used yarn with my classes later in the day.
I love the look of this and my students that are typically drawn to art based centres did too. I got some stick on (peel off) chalk board stickers in the shape of pumpkins from a local dollar store. I stuck them to our plexi glass easels and set out chalk. Many pumpkin faces were drawn!
Although this centre was not Halloween themed, it was one of the most popular. I set a bin of musical instruments out and allowed students to explore and play.
The students that I teach love science, so I always try to include a science based centre when we do our outdoor play. I used a latex glove and added food colouring and some small Halloween goodies (rings, eyeball balls etc.) I then froze the gloves overnight. I removed the glove and put out the ice with eye droppers, magnifying glasses and warm water. Some students stayed focus on this centre for the entire time we were outside. Anything they were able to get out, was theirs to keep!
I created a not so spooky haunted house. A covered a row of chairs with my fabric sheets and draped more sheets from the chairs to the fence. I used large clothes pins to secure the fabric and create a tent/house. Inside the house I put 2 sensory bins with ‘bat eggs’ (water beads) and ‘zombie hair’ (cold cooked spaghetti). Students enjoyed crawling through and feeling the contents of the bins. I also had a few lights and spooky music playing. The house was not scary at all, but it was a fun sensory experience for students to go into a ‘haunted house’ and guess what the bins were actually filled with.
Although we are lucky to have the outdoor space that we do, all of these centres could be done without the specific outdoor structures. Balloons could be taped to the ceiling and spider web challenge could be done by wrapping yarn around chairs or couches. I am so glad that we were able to do these centres and be outside before the weather turns really cold. However, I do have some ideas I can’t wait to try out in the snow!