At this time of the year, children all around the world are getting ready to celebrate Halloween. The most exciting part of Halloween for children is dressing up in costume and going trick or treating.
Halloween celebrations have only recently begun to gain acceptance in Australia, with the number of children and families involved increasing each year. There was no trick or treating when I was a child, and there was to be no mention of it in the school curriculum when I was a young teacher. I guess the portrayal of the family-friendly fun in television shows that we now watch has led to its growing popularity. That, along with the merchandise that now fills our (mainly discount) stores; and the promise of a guilt-free treat or two.
In acknowledgment of the diversity of traditions and celebrations around the world, including those of the children in our own classrooms, I have prepared a Trick or Treat board game that can be played by groups of children in maths or literacy groups, with buddies or by family groups.
Playing games strengthens the classroom community by providing children with opportunities to:
- participate in social situations
- get along and take turns
- understand and follow game rules
- accept game decisions
- respond in positive ways to their own participation and the participation of others
- have fun.
The Trick or Treat board game has characteristics which set it apart from others and provide additional opportunities for learning social skills; for example:
- Players collect treats as they move along the board. Players will collect different numbers of treats. Some may collect a lot, some may collect none, and some may collect any number in between. Sometimes players are required to return treats to the pot, or to give some of their treats to others players. This may only be an issue if real treats are used (see below).
- In most games, the first to the finish is the winner. This may not be so in the Trick or Treat board game. In fact, a discussion about the winner, if there is a winner, could raise some interesting points; for example: is the winner the first to finish, the one who collects most treats, or everyone who enjoys the game?
- In this game, it may be an advantage to go back spaces, or even back to the start. It would give players more opportunities to collect more treats!
A decision about treats to be used, and how they are to be distributed, must be made and shared with players before the game commences; for example, will you use:
- real treats, or
- “pretend” treats, such as counters or printed tokens?
While playing for real treats is fun, children will find the game just as enjoyable playing for tokens. Use of tokens not only avoids the health issue related to sugary foods but, as children may find it easier to accept the inequalities in numbers of treats collected, other potential difficulties and disagreements are also avoided.
In the game, players take turns to roll a dice and move their tokens around the board, playing tricks and collecting treats as they go. The game requires them to read instructions, calculate the number of treats collected, and perform silly actions.
There are several ways the game can finish; for example, when:
- allocated time is up
- a player reaches the finish, or
- all the trick or treat action cards are used.
and the Trick or Treat action cards
and player tokens.
Subscribe now to download and use this fun educational game!
There are several other readilearn resources that are optional but support playing the game, including:
There are other resources to use after playing to extend the learning, including:
Trick or Treat – Treat graph Children record, compare and discuss treats collected during the game.
Playing Trick or Treat Children write a report of their experiences playing the game.
Trick or Treat – a Halloween Story Children use characters and events in the game as a stimulus to writing their own Halloween story.
If you are celebrating Halloween this year, I wish you loads of fun and a basket full of treats!
I hope you are enticed to play this Trick or Treat Halloween game. The Trick or Treat – a game for Halloween – Instructions is free to download for any registered users (register now for free) or subscribe for access to all resources.
I’ll see you again next week (remember posts are published each Friday) with a spotlight on the lovely author Lauri Fortino who blogs about picture books at Frog on a (B)log. In the meantime, enjoy the weekend.
Thank you for reading. I appreciate your feedback. Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.
Happy teaching and learning,
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