Halloween is such a popular time of year in the UK now and the pre school children I work with love it. It can be great to share stories with your little ones at this time of year, especially as the nights draw in. Here are some of my favourite Halloween stories for pre school children with some great extension activities too.
1) Meg & Mog by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski
I love the simple line drawn and brightly coloured illustrations in the Meg & Mog books and there is so much potential for interaction with the story for your child here. There are spell ingredients to count and name, animal sounds to make and lots of counting opportunities too.
Extension activities – The children could pretend to be the different animals that Meg puts in the cauldron – frogs jumping, beetles scurrying, worms wriggling, bats flying and spiders crawling or spinning a web.
Make a pencil wand – Grab a pencil, cut out a star from some card or foam and then stick to the non sharpened end of the pencil. The children can then decorate the star with stickers, sequins, buttons – whatever you have. The wand can then be used to encourage mark making and early writing skills. Start by getting the children waving their wands in the air, making circles, figure of eights etc which will warm their shoulders up nicely. Then ask them to pretend they are mixing a spell in a big cauldron, then make it smaller and smaller. You can then transfer these movements on to a large piece of paper. Even the most reluctant mark maker will have fun mixing a spell on a piece of paper.
Make up your own magic word – Meg says Abracadabra to make her spell, but what would you say. Encourage your child to shout it out loud or whisper it quietly and you can make up some too.
2) Wickle Woo has a Halloween Party by Jannie Ho
This is a lovely story for really small children. It has tabs to pull to reveal the animals going to the party and the costumes they are wearing. As you reveal the costumes ask your child which ones they would wear or would they wear something different? There are again plenty of counting opportunities in the book too.
Extension activity – Plan a Halloween party with your little one and either some friends or with their favourite toys. You could make some decorations – how about some monster bunting? All you need is triangles of different coloured card stuck onto string and then lots of googly eyes to stick on the flags for some spooky monsters.
3) The Princess & the Wizard by Julia Donaldson
This is a slightly longer picture book story very much in the Sleeping Beauty story mould. To escape the Wizard the Princess has to change colours and change shape into things like fish, grasshoppers, chicks, butterflies etc. When I used this story I encouraged the children to make noise like the animals in the story and make an evil laugh like the Wizard.
Extension activity – As the story features so much about colours how about setting a colour treasure hunt for the children – eg get them to go round the house and find anything red. Or shout out a colour and get them to tell you as many things they can think of that are that colour.
4) George Flies South by Simon James
Not strictly a Halloween story but it tells the tale of George a bird who is reluctant to leave his nest to fly south for winter. But soon he ends up on a marvellous adventure to help him on his way. The story features lots of different locations and it is fun to get the children to make a soundscape of where they are eg making siren noises and car noises when the story is in the street, water and boat noises at the river, construction noises at the building site.
Extension activities – Why not go for an Autumn walk and get your children to look for signs that the seasons are changing. Can they spot leaves on the ground, different coloured leaves, conkers or pinecones. You could then get the children to think about the birds that don’t fly south for winter and how we can help them by making bird feeders. You just need a pipe cleaner and some round cereal like Cheerios. the children can then thread the hoops on the pipe cleaner and then hang it in the garden for the birds.
I hope you and your little ones enjoy the above stories and trying some of the activities. Do comment below if you try any or if you have any other favourite Halloween or Autumn activities.