“There is magic, but you have to be the magician. You have to make the magic happen.” – Sidney Sheldon, Are You Afraid of the Dark?
Halloween is one of the most fun holidays. Kids love the spooky monsters, sounds, music, dances, treats, traditions, haunted houses, and costumes that surround the holiday. As an educator or parent that has a mobile device you can capitalize on this time to help kids learn while celebrating the holiday. Here are free apps to help encourage math, literacy, and problem-solving skills. Some of the apps are just fun!
- Make a Zombie (iOS/Android)- Students create zombies and choose from various backgrounds, bodies, clothes, eyes, hairstyles, heads, pair of legs and mouths. A follow-up task includes having students get into pairs. Student A describes the zombie created. Student B must try to recreate the zombie by the verbal description. Make sure the students save the zombie to their photo library to compare. You can also have your students create stories about their zombies and read them in a circle aloud.
- Horror Fingers (iOS)- Dress your fingers! Create finger chants and make them sing/talk with apps like YakIt for Kids or Chatterpix Kids.
- Halloween Card Creator (iOS/Android)- Kids create ecards with various choices in backgrounds, characters, and their own images and text. Have the students e-mail the e-cards to friends of family members.
- Halloween Origami (iOS/Android)- With this great app, kids learn to create various spooky creatures in origami. Kids can watch videos after seeing the step-by-step instructions.
- Carve A Pumpkin (iOS/Android)- With this great app from Parents magazine, kids create a jack-o-lantern that lights up after it is carved. Kids can even add spooky stickers to their pumpkin. There are various pumpkins to choose from and backgrounds. Have the students e-mail the e-cards to friends of family members. A follow-up task includes having students get into pairs. Student A describes the pumpkin created. Student B must try to recreate the pumpkin by the verbal description. Make sure the students save the pumpkin to their photo library to compare. You can also have students try to carve their pumpkins in real life after the drawing.
- Talking Skeleton (iOS/Android)- Like the famous Talking Tom app, kids speak and an animated skeleton repeats their words in a funny voice. Their messages can be recorded through video and sent to parents in an email. Have the students send Halloween greetings to their families or friends or create a video of them doing a Halloween rap.
- WordSearch Halloween (iOS/Android)- This app provides several word searches. These are divided in levels from easy to difficult. Listen to scary music or your own while you play. There are over 200 puzzles under 3 categories- Halloween, costumes, and treats. This app would be great to encourage students to learn vocabulary then use in a story or poem.
- Haunted Hangman (iOS/Android)- Guess the Halloween word and get a pumpkin with treats. If you lose the pumpkin is carved then becomes sad.
- Mash-o-Ween (iOS/Android)- This app is for teens. It is based on a famous game that I played in my teens before mobile devices were mainstream. Teens type in various options for categories and at the end this app tells their future. Have the students work in pairs then after read the fortune to each other. Some of these deal with romance, costumes, and more.
- Landon’s Pumpkins (iOS)- This book has several features to help kids follow along the story and learn vocabulary. At the end a recipe is given for Roasted Pumpkin seeds, which would be a great reward for a teacher to make with a class after reading a story. Find more free Read Smart stories to support literacy here!
- MouthOff Lite (iOS/Android)- Kids choose between various silly mouths and hold the device to their mouth while they talk. Students can create vocabulary raps or tell spooky stories.
- ScrapPad Halloween (iOS)- Kids create a scrapbook with various creatures, words, and their own images. Have the students write stories to accompany their books. They can even work in pairs. They can email the scrapbooks to their parents or friends or post on Facebook.
- Halloween Voice Transformer (iOS/Android)- Only the reaper voice is free, but kids speak into the mic and record their message which then is played back in a spooky voice. Thanks to Tara Benwell for recommending this app and sending me a spooky message in my email!
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