Make your classroom activities even more spooky and silly this year with these Halloween glow games ideas.
There is no better time than Halloween to bust out your glow sticks and invisible ink and do Halloween glow games with your upper elementary classes.
Glow sticks, necklaces, and bracelets never seem to go out of style. I remember getting them at parades in elementary school, buying them for sleepovers in middle school, and even getting them for parties at college. No matter your age, glow sticks can make any activity better.
That is why they are the perfect addition to your upper elementary classes this Halloween season.
The idea of glow games was first brought to my attention by another teacher who used the glow games and our Halloween Math Centers to make a silly and spooky day of fun for her students. Here are some pictures from her class!
She set up the different centers and then added the glowing elements to add to the fun.
If this looks like something you’d like to add to your classroom adventures this year, follow these steps to set up centers of your own.
Step #1: Purchasing Glow-in-the-dark Items
The teacher who did the glow games in the pictures above purchased the majority of her items from Amazon, but these types of items are often readily available at dollar stores as well, so choose your store of choice and start looking around at your options.
Here are some items you may want to consider purchasing for your glow games.
- Glow sticks
- Glow bracelets
- Glow necklaces
- Black light flashlights
- Black light bulbs
- Invisible Ink Pens
- Clothing with white decorations or designs
- Regular flashlights
Options for manipulatives:
- Cotton Balls/Q-Tips
- Neon Balloons
- Black light reactive table-wear
- White cloth strips
Step #2: Decide on the amount of glow
Creating a glowing space can be done in a few different ways.
First, you can keep the lights on, but use the blacklight flashlights to add some glowing elements to your games.
Second, you can use blacklight bulbs in lamps to make your whole room glow.
Third, you can combine the two by using closets or hallways to do activities with the lights on and let your classroom be a black light-only room.
Creating spaces using different kinds of lights may allow you to create a variety of different types of stations and centers.
Step #3: Determine what pre-made centers you want to start with
When setting up glow games, consider what centers or activities you want your students to work on?
Use a set of centers like the Halloween Math Centers or any other task card sets or centers you want to use for these activities. Then consider ways to add glow elements to these centers.
For example, the Halloween Math Centers have a set of task cards that look like jars of brains. Using invisible ink that can only be detected with black light, write the answers to each task card on the card, and then when students are done writing down their answers, they can use the black light to check their answers.
If you are going to use black lights to make your whole class glow, consider outlining the cards with highlighters to make them glow or print them off on neon-colored paper.
Task cards are also great to use with games. If you decide to use one of the task cards with a board game like checkers or Candyland, consider using highlighters on the gameboard to make the spaces glow or write out the instructions in invisible ink. You can use UV paint on game pieces like checkers or Connect 4 discs as well.
Or use highlighters instead of normal markers to do a Close read with Mystery Pictures, like this one. Then, when the students are done, use a black light to watch them glow. Better yet, do this activity earlier in the week and then decorate the room with the pictures on the day you do your glow activities to add to the ambiance.
Step #4: Create some games of your own.
Consider some of the skills you want to assess your students on. How can you use other glowing elements to practice or review those skills?
For example, let’s pretend you want to work on place value. Blow up a bunch of neon balloons and put a number on each one. Underline one of the numbers to represent the place value. Then when the students are asked to find a place value, they can run about and look for balloons that are examples of the place value you asked for.
Another example for reading might be to use glow necklaces and bottles to create a bottle toss activity. Each bottle may have a subject or verb on it or an example of a particular type of figurative language. Students then draw a card from a deck that asks them to find a specific example, and they have to toss the glow-in-the-dark rings until they get the right one.
If you aren’t sure yet what direction you want to go, but you are intrigued with the whole idea, start by getting the supplies and then do some brainstorming with other teachers in your cohort or pod. Playing with and manipulating the different party supplies under the glow of the black light is sure to get your mind racing with ideas.
For more ideas of ways to celebrate Halloween with your classes this year, check out this post which talks all about celebrating Halloween without a party.