As soon as fall is here, my kids are getting ready for Halloween. At school, children are getting excited and talking about their costumes and candy. Since they all love STEM challenges, I try to make the activities themed for the season or holiday. These 3 quick and easy Halloween STEM activities for kids are perfect for the classroom, home, or a Halloween party!
If you have never done a STEM activity before, these are a great place to start. They are simple to prepare and give children the opportunity for problem solving, creating and hands-on learning.
STEM activities include Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. One of the wonderful things about STEM activities is that children are given the opportunity to solve the challenge in their own way. There is not one right way, but rather endless possibilities.
I always love to watch all of the different solutions that children come up with using simple materials during our STEM activities.
So, if you’re ready for ghost towers, skeleton homes and pumpkin patches, these STEM activities are for you!
All of these STEM activities use simple materials and often materials that children are already familiar with. However, the supplies are presented to them to use and create with in a whole new way.
The STEM activities work well for classroom centers and are great party games for kids too.
STEM Activity for Kids #1 Ghost Tower
The Challenge: Create a tower using as many of the ghost (cups) as you can to create a tower tall enough and strong enough to hold the glowing ghost.
- Foam Cups – The more the better. At least 25 cups for each tower is best.
- Permanent Marker
- Plastic Ghost Figure (Optional)
Start by drawing ghost faces onto the foam cups. Once they are on, you are ready to do the STEM activity!
Give each child, or group of children, a collection of the ghost cups. Challenge them to create a tower of ghosts using as many of the cups as they can. The tower must be strong enough to hold the plastic ghost and the taller the tower the better.
You don’t need to use a “glowing ghost” for your ghost tower. I like to use a plastic figure of some kind to encourage children to make sure that their tower is strong enough to hold it.
However, children can simply have fun building with the foam cups.
If several children are building their own tower, you can measure the different towers to determine which tower is the tallest. Measuring the towers is also a simple way to include some math into the activity.
Another fun idea is to use orange cups and draw pumpkin faces onto the cups. You do the activity the same way, by stacking and building with the cups, but instead of ghosts, you are creating a pumpkin tower.
Pumpkins are a great option for schools/children who do not celebrate Halloween and are also an option to use anytime during the fall.
STEM Activity for Kids #2 Pumpkin Patch Bridge
The Challenge: Some pumpkins rolled out of the pumpkin patch! Create a bridge over the water (blue paper) to get the pumpkins back into the pumpkin patch.
This STEM activity turned out to be my kids favorite. This is also the type of STEM activity for kids that I love to watch as children each work to find a solution. There are endless ways to solve this STEM activity and I am always amazed at what kids can come up with.
- Small Pumpkin figures
- Orange Play Dough
- Blue Paper (to represent the water)
- Popsicle Sticks (Large and/or Small)
Children are challenged to use the materials to construct a bridge or structure over the blue paper. I gave children large popsicle sticks (tongue depressors), but I also provided regular popsicle sticks. Children had the choice of what they wanted to use.
Children used the playdough to make their bridge stable. With older children you can add to the challenge by not allowing anything to touch the water – including any of the popsicle sticks.
Once a bridge has been created, children can move their pumpkins over to the ‘pumpkin patch’. Putting the pumpkins on the bridge, as they move them across, also tests the bridge strength.
STEM Activity for Kids #3 Skeleton Home
The Challenge: Create a home for a skeleton out of ‘bones’.
Cotton swabs are an easy, but perfect material for this STEM activity because they look a little bit like bones.
Supply children with cotton swabs and lots of pipe cleaners that have been cut up into smaller pieces.
- Cotton Swabs
- Pipe Cleaners
- Playdough (Optional)
Using the pipe cleaners to attach the cotton swabs together children can create a home for a skeleton.
This is a great fine motor activity and children can design some amazing houses.
Some children found the pipe cleaners challenging to work with. If you are using this STEM activity with young children, I suggest using playdough instead of the pipe cleaners to attach the house together.
However, if older children are creating, the pipe cleaners add an extra level of difficulty which can be a great challenge.
We had so much fun trying out each of these STEM activities for kids. I hope that they have given you some ideas or inspiration for a fun Halloween activity to take to your classroom or home.
Halloween Escape Room
One of my kids favorite activities are escape rooms. We love creating and solving them any time of year. I created a Halloween escape room that can be done at home or in the classroom with a group of children.
You don’t need any keys, locks or special materials for this escape room. Simply print the pages and play!
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More Pumpkin STEM Activities for Kids
Fall is a great time for STEM activities and for science experiments. If you have some pumpkins around your house or school, try out a science experiment using pumpkin seeds and pumpkin goo.
You can also challenge children to create a boat to hold a small pumpkin. There is so much to do this season!
More Hands-On Teaching Ideas
If you are looking for more hands-on activities for the classroom or home, below is a collection of my favorite and most popular fall and year round learning activities.
From more STEM activities for kids to escape room puzzle ideas to printable resources for Halloween and pumpkin scavenger hunts, there is lots to keep kids busy and learning.