Counting With Halloween Board Books At Story Time
Halloween decor has been in stores around us since late August. My kiddos are distinctly split on their reactions. #thebigone complains that it’s too early, and Halloween is (still) ages away. #thelittleone begs to be taken to ‘see Halloween’ in any store we visit. He announces every time he sees a pumpkin, and declares all the ghost decorations ‘very spooky!’ To engage him in learning surrounding this interest, #thelittleone and I have been counting Halloween items in stores. I also picked up some fun Halloween board books for him to read. Today I’m sharing how we use those books for counting fun at home. (Plus, stick around to the end of the post where I’m sharing a link to lots of Halloween ideas for kids!)
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READING HALLOWEEN BOARD BOOKS
Five Little Pumpkins
Natalie Marshall’s sweet little board book is described as ‘a finger & toes nursery rhyme book’. The classic Five Little Pumpkins singsong rhyme is presented with adorable, lively illustrations. The faces on all the characters are so quirky and fun! I particularly love this version because it includes instructions for using sign language with the book. Double the learning options is always good! The tabbed pages make it easy for small hands to turn on their own.
Five Spooky Ghosts
Salina Yoon’s Five Spooky Ghosts also includes chunky tabbed pages for young fingers. The shiny holographic ghosts add a fun sensory experience to reading it. This book counts down from 5, giving an opportunity to introduce another basic math skill. Although the word ‘spooky’ is in the title, it’s too cute of a book to scary anyone!
Five Black Cats
Five Black Cats from Julia Woolf has quickly become #thelittleone’s FAVORITE book. (As I write this, I’m waiting for him to fall asleep so I can take some pictures of it. He refuses to part with it while he’s awake). Five Black Cats tells the tale of some black kitties out on a Halloween adventure. It does not count up to 5 or down to 5 specifically, but we practice counting the black cats on each page. We also count other objects through out the book while we read, like bats or mice, so it’s a perfect Halloween board book for very early math.
HALLOWEEN BOARD BOOK MAGNET PLAY
I created a simple and fun magnet play opportunity that accompanies these Halloween board books well. The activity is very flexible. It can be easily adapted to any Halloween books. Using it to bring holiday finger plays, rhymes, or songs you may already know is also a great idea. Additionally, your child may enjoy engaging in imaginative Halloween play without the stories at all. That’s always a fun option.
Halloween Magnet Play Supplies
- Stickers to match your Halloween board books.
- Don’t go too small- you want little hands to be able to grab them.
- Good alternatives to plain stickers are felt, wood, or foam craft shapes.
- Magnetic sheets.
- Double stick tape or glue, if your shapes do not have adhesive on them already.
- Halloween magnet play printable. (Scroll to the end of the post to get yours).
How To Create Halloween Magnet Play
- Attach Halloween shapes to magnetic sheets.
- Cut magnetic sheets down to size of shapes using scissors.
- Hang the Halloween magnet play printable on a magnetic surface like a refrigerator or door.
- Cookie sheets are a great option for kids to hold on their lap. They’re also perfect for low-mess, portable play time.
- Add the shape magnets to the play printable.
- For some books, you may start with all your shapes on the printable, and remove them one by one.
- Others, you may add shapes one at a time as you count up.
Alternatives to Magnet Play
If you’re feeling adventurous and open to some sensory play, the printable can also be used as a play dough mat. I advise making it more sturdy (and reusable) by laminating it first. Sandwiching the mat between contact paper, or sliding it into a plastic page protector sheet are alternatives to laminating that work well. Your child can sculpt the Halloween shapes from play dough and add them to the mat as you read and count.
Another great alternative with laminated pages is drawing with dry erase on top of them. You may need to stick with a black dry erase marker for this particular mat, as the colors are deep. Drawing pumpkins, ghosts, cats, etc, allows children to work on fine motor and math skills while being creative.
Does your family have any favorite Halloween board books? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!
Some essentials you may need…
Monster Brownies / The Moments At Home
Haunted House Printable / Mama Smiles
Neon Splatter Paint Banner / Projects With Kids
Sponge Print Ghosts / Preschool Toolkit
Jack-O-Lantern Maze & Coloring / Mosswood Connections
Tea Cake Spiders / The Gingerbread House
X-Ray Exercises / Growing Play
Frightfully Fun Photo Shoot & Sensory Play / Swami Mommi
Cardboard Tube Monsters / The Joy of Sharing