Celebrating Spooky Season
Are you struggling to find Halloween activities that are exciting, engaging, and appropriate for high school students? Halloween time is an opportunity for older students to let loose, get creative, and have fun. It’s a time of year when imaginations run wild, and there’s a magical energy in the air. But as my kids get older, I find it harder to create age-appropriate Halloween experiences that they actually want to do. In this blog post, I’ll share 65 fun Halloween activities for high school students that will get your older kids excited about the spooky holiday. These activities are perfect for homeschool, classroom use, or Halloween party ideas, and are even great for middle school students too!
Interactive Activities are Key
It’s easy to just break out Halloween picture books like Creepy Carrots for elementary students, but when it comes to planning Halloween activities for high school students, it’s essential to offer experiences that cater to their age group and interests. I want to provide my kids with engaging and interactive activities that encourage their creativity, keep them entertained, and create fond memories for years to come. Whether it’s organizing a haunted house experience in the backyard, hosting a Halloween-themed movie night with their friends, or challenging them to solve mysteries in an escape room, these activities allow high school students to embrace the fun and excitement of the Halloween season without feeling like a little kid.
Learn Lessons & Have Fun
While Halloween is undoubtedly a time for fun and entertainment, it’s also a great way to weave in educational aspects that can benefit high school students. As a mom and former teacher, I aim to create a well-rounded Halloween celebration that combines enjoyment with learning. From exploring the history and cultural significance of Halloween through interactive scary stories to encouraging creative writing using Halloween writing prompts, I love encouraging imagination and fostering intellectual growth in a fun and memorable way. Additionally, STEM challenges such as building spooky-themed structures or conducting simple science experiments are a fun way to engage their problem-solving skills and encourage a love for learning.[ez-toc]
Educational Halloween Lessons for ELA & Math
These Halloween lesson plans are great for keeping high schoolers and middle schoolers engaged and in the Halloween spirit!
Dive into the history of the spooky holiday with a close read of this informational text. Students will learn about the origins of Halloween in Europe and the United States as well as the traditional celebration of Day of the Dead in Mexico. This is a great time to break out some graphic organizers to compare and contrast traditions in different countries. If you’re looking for Halloween ESL lessons, celebrating Dia de los Muertos t opportunity.
2. Read & Discuss Edgar Allan Poe
If you’re an English teacher, is there a more perfect time to read Edgar Allan Poe with your English students than Halloween time? From close reading the classic text to adding a more modern twist, these Edgar Allan Poe activities from Creative Classroom Core are perfect for older students.
3. Read & Discuss Urban Legends
Looking for Halloween English lessons that will keep big kids engaged? Try a research project on spooky myths and urban legends. Students will love reading about the legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Headless Horseman and other unique myths they haven’t heard. Students can even create a media presentation on their findings. This is a great Halloween activity for homeschool too!
4. Listen to a Spooky Podcast
Podcasts are a great opportunity to practice listening skills in language arts, and the podcast Lore has some spooky episodes that are sure to have high school students on the edge of their seat. Engage students in higher level thinking by following along with these podcast graphic organizers from Faulkner’s Fast Five.
5. Have a Spooky Story Writing Contest
Encourage your students’ creativity with a spooky story writing contest! Use horror genre studies to help your students write a suspenseful Halloween story. Have students share their short stories in a dramatic, spooky way and vote on the creepiest ghost story of the year.
6. Brain Teasers
Brain teasers can be a lot of fun with both older and younger learners. Break your whole class into teams of students a Halloween theme brain teaser to solve. Such collaborative holiday fun!
7. Crossword Puzzles & Word Searches
Crossword puzzles are a great way to build Halloween vocabulary for older students. If you’re working with young children, try a Halloween word search instead. These activities are great for independent practice during extra class time!
8. Monsters and Scary Creatures around the World
Incorporate some social studies into your Halloween lesson plans by studying monsters and scary creatures from myths and legends around the world. Assign small groups of students a creature to research and create a media presentation on for a cross-curricular Halloween activity. They could even write a spooky short story with the terrifying creature!
9. Blackout Poetry
Hone in on Edgar Allan Poe’s gothic themes and spooky tone with blackout poetry. Follow this lesson by Spark Creativity to have students display their blackout poems in a visual way. Hang these up for a spooky addition to your classroom Halloween celebration!
10. Math Activities
Practice math skills in a spooky way this Halloween season with these fun activities for middle school students and high school students. From word problems to puzzles, there’s something for every learning level with these fun math games.
Halloween Themed Art Activities
Halloween time is an excellent opportunity for teens to let their creativity soar by creating different types of art.
11. Halloween Thumbtack Art
I love putting a spooky twist on this easy project! Instead of using a canvas, use a foam pumpkin from the dollar tree. Make a typical jack-o-lantern face or try out a more whimsical or spooky design!
12. Spooky House Halloween Art
Grab some oil pastels and water color paint to make a spooky Halloween house.
13. DIY Halloween Decorations
Planning a Halloween party? Get the kids involved with making the decorations. Check out this list of 40 Dollar Store DIY Halloween decoration ideas from This Tiny Blue House that won’t break the bank!
14. Pumpkin Carving
Everyone loves this classic Halloween activity! Need some inspiration for a creative pumpkin this year? You’re sure to find something on this list of 50 creative pumpkin carving designs!
15. Pumpkin Painting
Don’t want to mess with cleaning out all the pumpkin guts? Try painting pumpkins this year if carving isn’t your thing! From marbled pumpkins to confetti designs, this post has 21 pumpkin painting ideas for kids of all ages!
16. Day of the Dead Painted Skeletons
If you’ve been learning about Day of the Dead celebrations, grab some black paper, white acrylic paint, and crayons to make painted sugar skulls. This is one of the best spooky ways to encourage creativity because each skull’s design is completely unique!
17. Day of the Dead Foil Skulls
This foil art activity is another way fun and easy way to celebrate Dia de los Muertos without painting. Check out the full tutorial from Art Teacher in LA!
18. Painted Sugar Skull Crafts
Check out this post by Ooly for more DIY sugar skull crafts. From DIY masks to painted rocks, these creative Halloween activities are a nice break from painting on plain paper. Make sure to check out my post on the best tips & tricks for painted rocks before starting your painted rock sugar skull!
19. Zentangle Pumpkin
Need an art project that’s low prep? Try this zentangle pumpkin activity! All you need is the printout and some writing utensils.
20. Spooky Cut Outs
Encourage kids and students to get creative by creating their own carnival-style spooky cut out. Have fun taking pictures as they transform each other into a vampire, bat, ghost, or other spooky monster!
21. Skull String Art
This project requires a little more prep, so it’s great for celebrating Halloween at home. Follow the tutorial from A Beautiful Mess to create your own skull string art. This can double as a Halloween decoration that you break out each year during spooky season!
22. DIY Mini Jack O Lantern Diorama
Want to put a unique twist on pumpkin crafts? Try making an eerie Jack-O’-Lantern diorama! You can make a Stranger Things pumpkin like this tutorial from Brit + Co, or depict a different scene from your favorite spooky book or movie!
Halloween Science Experiments & STEM Challenges
If you’re looking for fun Halloween science experiments and STEM challenges, you’ve come to the right place. These activities are great for both old and young learners. They can be used with a whole class, a small group of students, or at home!
Bring out your inner mad scientist with these Halloween science experiments:
23. Halloween Slime
If you’re not afraid of a little mess, try making ooey, gooey Halloween slime. You can even use this as part of your Halloween party decorations!
24. Magnetic Flying Ghosts
It’s not magic – it’s science! Use the force of magnetism to make ghosts fly in this fun and easy science experiment.
25. Erupting Pumpkin
This is a messy one – so definitely head outside for this erupting pumpkin science experiment. Kids of all ages will get a kick out of watching the pumpkin erupt as they learn about chemical reactions.
26. Spooky Science Spiderwebs
Get in the Halloween spirit by making a mysterious, slimy spider web to add to a dark and spooky room. Another great way to combine science with Halloween party decorations!
27. Pumpkin Power
In this experiment, students will literally harness the power of pumpkins to create a functioning battery. Make this a fun challenge by seeing which group of students can generate the most volts!
28. Spooky Ghost Bubbles
These spooky ghost bubbles would make a great addition to any Halloween party or haunted house. Check out the full tutorial here!
29. Dancing Ghost
Similar to the magnetic flying ghosts experiment, use the power of a static charge to make a dancing ghost with this activity from Stem Spark. What a fun activity for a Halloween party in class or at home!
30. Halloween Bath Bombs
Bath bombs are super popular these days and such a fun way to learn about chemistry. Put a creepy spin on this classic project by making a Glow in the Dark Bath Bomb, Pumpkin Bath Bomb, or Monster Eye Bath Bomb.
Just like bath bombs, crystals are all the rage right now. Your teens and tweens will love making their own scented Halloween crystals and can even give them as gifts to their friends.
32. Glow in the Dark Milk Plastic Skeleton
Did you know you can make plastic out of milk with just a few ingredients? Use the science behind chemical reactions to make some of your own glow in the dark Halloween figures!
33. Glow Salt Circuit
Give an eerie feel to a salt circuit by making this glow in the dark circuit. Use the salt to make a pumpkin, skeleton, or other Halloween creature for an extra spooky twist.
Add the challenging element of engineering and design with these Halloween STEM challenges for the classroom or at home:
34. Halloween Gingerbread House
Get some STEM practice in by building a haunted gingerbread house! Put some of that Halloween candy to good use by using it to decorate.
35. Halloween Rube Goldberg Machine for Passing Out Candy
Rube Goldberg machines are such a fun and creative engineering activity. Challenge your students or kids to make a chain reaction machine that could pass out Halloween candy!
36. Halloween STEM Challenge Bundle
Want some more Halloween STEM challenge ideas? Check out this bundle from Feel-Good Teaching.
37. Spooky Dry Ice STEM Challenge
There’s just something about dry ice that makes everything more spooky. Explore the phenomenon of dry ice with this engaging STEM challenge from Teaching with Potential.
38. Candy Corn Catapult
It doesn’t matter the age, kids all seem to love launching items across the room. Channel that energy with the candy corn catapult challenge. Who can design and build a catapult with popsicle sticks and rubber bands that will launch the candy corn the farthest? This is a great activity for school because it could totally be completed in one class period.
39. More Halloween Science & STEM Activities
Try out these 22 Halloween Science & STEM activities for endless Halloween fun!
40. Build a Skeleton Hand
Combine some biology with STEM by creating an articulating skeleton hand. Older kids could use this as part of an interactive piece in a haunted house!
41. Pumpkin Elevators
Design a working elevator by creating a cranking device. Give this activity a Halloween theme by lifting small pumpkins, black kettle’s full of candy corn, or other spooky items.
42. Flying Bat Challenge
Again, kids just love to throw things – even teenagers! Another way to channel that energy is with this flying bat paper airplane challenge. Use this as a fun party game with a content to see who’s bat flies the farthest!
43. Can You Touch with No Hands?
Students can design their own Frankenstein monster by acting as a biomedical engineer. Get the full lesson plan by Career in Stem here. You definitely need internet access for this one!
44. Haunted House Paper Circuit Design Challenge
This is another fun circuit activity with the added challenge of building the structure of a haunted house. Students can use their circuits to give the house a spooky glow!
45. Build a Crime Scene
Middle school age students and above will love learning about forensic science and crime scene investigation with this CSI STEM activity.
Interactive Halloween Activities Just for Fun
Try out these fun games to make this Halloween better than last year!
46. Halloween Escape Room
Escape rooms are actually a mix between educational and fun, depending on how you set them up. Kids can work together in teams to solve spooky clues to break out of the escape room! You can make this easier or more difficult depending on their skill level. Check out these fun escape room ideas from Home School For 1.
47. Halloween Scavenger Hunt
This free printable scavenger hunt is a fun and engaging activity for any Halloween party! Raise the stakes by rewarding the winner with a super creepy prize!
48. Group text scavenger hunt
Perfect for teens, this group text scavenger hunt puts a virtual twist on a traditional scavenger hunt. Download a list of scavenger hunt items from Play Party Plan, or make your own!
49. Build & Run a Haunted House
If theater or acting is your kid’s jam, challenge them to build and run their own haunted house. This is a great creative outlet for teens and can be a fun addition to a Halloween party or trick-or-treating on your street. Check out this guide on making your own haunted house by Love to Know for tips and tricks on location, design, props, and more!
If you don’t want to wait for tick-or-treaters or party guests to experience a haunted house, try making your own horror film with a smart phone! While it’s technically just for fun, this can double as a writing activity as kids write an original plot for their scary movie.
51. Murder Mystery Party Game
Murder mystery party games are great for a more structured holiday celebration. The best part? You can buy them on Amazon!
52. Halloween Costume Contest
Encourage students, party guests, or family and friends to dress up in their most creative Halloween costumes with a costume contest! Check out the different types of contests you can run from Party Game Ideas to add an element of fun for all ages!
53. Make Halloween Treats & Halloween Party Foods
If there’s one way to get high school students engaged and interested, it’s with food. Make some special Halloween rice krispie treats and party foods at home or have a creepy crawly classroom potluck! This Tiny Blue House has some great options for finger foods and desserts perfect for a Halloween celebration!
54. Halloween Movie Marathon
Check out this guide to the best Halloween movies for teens and tweens in 2023 for a spooky movie marathon on Halloween night!
Enjoy a fun karaoke session with this list of the top 10 Halloween karaoke songs!
56. Touch & Feel Mystery Bags
This is the perfect activity for some spooky Halloween fun that’s not too scary. You can set this up and play in 5 minutes with this guide!
57. Halloween Movie Trivia
Break out some Halloween trivia during your spooky movie marathon for some added fun with this printable from Girl with a Glue Gun!
Halloween Party Games
58. Halloween Would You Rather
Would You Rather is a pretty popular game for high school age students. Add a creepy twist with these printable Halloween Would You Rather questions from Play Party Plan!
59. Truth or Scare
Give this popular classic game a spooky makeover with 100+ Truth or Dare questions just for Halloween!
60. Halloween Forehead Detective
A spooky twist on the popular game “Apples to Apples”, this Halloween forehead detective game will have everyone engaged! Cards can range from easy words like “black cat” to harder terms like “All Hallows Eve”
61. Halloween Quick Draw/Pictionary
Got some future artists on your hands or planning a virtual Halloween celebration? This quick draw game can be played in person or over Zoom!
62. Ghost Cup Stack
Remember the speed stack game from school? Teens love to compete to see who can stack the fastest. Easily transform some regular cups into ghosts for a fun and competitive ghost cup stack party game!
63. Halloween Charades
Need some ideas for Halloween charades? Check out these 50 printable Halloween charade ideas from Play Party Plan!
64. Mummy Wrap
This activity is always a hit with elementary students, but I think older kids will get a kick out of it as well. Party Game Ideas has 4 different ways to play the mummy wrap game – all you need is plenty of rolls of toilet paper!
65. Deadly Wink
This is a great game for high school kids that enjoy acting. One person is designated the “killer” and discreetly winks at other guests. If you’re winked at, you must “die” dramatically. The game continues until someone can guess who the “killer” is. What a hilarious way to get everyone involved, even introverted friends!
Whether you’re planning a Halloween party for teens and tweens at home or in the classroom, I hope you found some easy and entertaining options on this list of 65 spooky Halloween activities for high school students. Happy Halloween!
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