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Celebrate a Healthy Halloween in Your Classroom

Patty Murray

Celebrate a Healthy Halloween in Your Classroom

As Halloween approaches and candy sales rise, students look forward to celebrating this spooky holiday in the classroom. Fighting childhood obesity is becoming a bigger focus in schools, so a candy free-for-all may go against your school’s nutrition initiatives. Why not experiment with some healthy Halloween snacks for school?

Is it possible for teachers to maintain healthy habits in their classroom celebrations during this candy-packed holiday without being a total drag? Absolutely!

Here are tips to help you create healthy Halloween snacks for school and throw a nutrition-friendly event.

Shift the Focus from Food

Halloween is a holiday with more to offer than just treats – there are also tricks and all things spooky to get your students attention.

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Your party activities could range from costume contests (bonus points for any educational theme), a haunted classroom, super fun craft projects, pumpkin painting or a Halloween-themed play. You can even break out the ghost story popcorn – where students start a story and then pass it on to the next student to tell the next part.

Beyond party time, there are also tons of themed learning activities to tap into the holiday enthusiasm. Check out our Top 5 Halloween Science Tricks and Classroom Halloween Activities for Any Grade for some ideas.

Get Up & Go Halloween Activities

It is no secret that Halloween creates a fun and exciting atmosphere in the classroom.  Generally, students are more energetic and often impatient when restricted to their desks. Therefore, use this additional boost of energy to your advantage by getting the students active. Here are some ideas:

Ghost-ified Games

If you are able to create enough room in the classroom, take the classic game of duck-duck-goose and turn it into ghost-ghost-goblin. This adds a little spooky twist to the traditional game. The Center for Science in the Public Interest suggests other classic games such as ghost sack races, pin the hat on the witch and bobbing for apples as fun activities for students.

Costume Parade

Showing off the student’s costumes is also a fun way to stay active. Ask the head administration if the school can host a small parade. Something small scale such as a walk around the block provides family members and neighbors the opportunity to see the student’s costume while providing an extra exercise for the students.  

If weather does not cooperate or there are just too many students, have each class vote on the best male and female costumes of the class and have these winners walk displaying their costumes in a hallway parade.

Fall-themed crafts

If your school doesn’t allow Halloween celebrations, embrace the fall weather and do some seasonal crafts.

Teachers can also take the class outside to gather the orange, red, and yellow leaves of fall. These natural resources are great for arts and crafts projects and create an opportunity for exercise. The leaves can provide a pop in color to the classroom through the following fall classroom projects:

  • Place leaves under a white piece of paper and outlining it with a crayon color of your choice. The outline of the leaf will then come out on the white paper in that chosen color.
  • Paint the leaves the color of your choice. While the paint is still wet, press the leaf up against a piece of white paper. It will leave a colorful imprint once it is pulled away from the white paper. 

Your room will instantly fill with color by hanging these projects up around the classroom.

Healthy & Nutrition- Friendly Treats

Inedible Treats

Instead of having it as a day full of sugar-filled snacks, why not throw in some useful items as giveaways? You can always go with themed school supplies like pencils, erasers, stickers, vampire teeth and other dollar store favorites.

Healthy Alternatives

Although these items are great, we all know students will still want something to sink their teeth into, literally!  There are some low-sugar alternative treats and healthy Halloween snacks for school that will keep the student’s belly full without creating a classroom full of sugar crashers.

There are some absolutely adorable options for ambitious treat-makers at the 15 Hauntingly Healthy Halloween Snacks page, including toast ghosts, apple bites and the pear witch projects.

For the less-motivated among us, try cutting and decorating graham crackers, rice cakes, apples or other healthy alternatives into Halloween shapes like a witch’s hat, jack-o-lanterns or a ghost instead of traditional cookies.

No matter what you do as a teacher, students will over-indulge in something during this holiday. Why not have them overindulge in spook-tacular games and healthy Halloween treats?

How do you make healthy Halloween snacks for school and at home? Share in the comments section!