Celebrate fall with fun-filled Halloween STEM activities that kids love and are easy to plan!
Halloween is a great time of year to put STEM skills to work because Halloween already puts children in the mood for fun with a big "WOW!" facto. Set aside a little bit of time each week to do one of these Halloween STEM projects and watch your children's smiles grow big with joy and their eyes go wide with wonder.
A brief reminder that STEM and STEAM activities are projects that use a combination of science, technology, engineering and math skills. The added "A" in STEAM stands for "art and design."
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Learn about the scientific concept persistence of vision and challenge children to put their engineering and design skills to work by making thaumatropes. Make and design your own, or use our Halloween thaumatrope template to watch bats fly, spiders spin and pumpkins grin.
Use our instructions for the balloon experiment using an acid-base mixture and learn about the science of carbon dioxide reaction and expansion. But instead of using just any old balloon, use one or more of the following:
- a white balloon on which you have drawn a ghost face
- a green balloon on which you have drawn a Frankenstein or monster face
- an orange ballon on which you have drawn a jack-o-lantern face
Tip: use a black Sharpie to draw on the balloon before the experiment!
Tessellations are a great math art project. Your kids can get into the Halloween spirit by making black cat tessellations for very simple Halloween STEAM project, but it would be easy for students in a math or art class use our open-ended, standard tessellation instructions to create their own creatures like ghosts and monsters.
The slime-making trend may have waned in the last few years, but that doesn't mean it's not still loads of fun! Making slime allows for all kinds of scientific observation. The chemical reaction of the ingredients transforms humble household materials into something super cool! Use one of these 5 basic slime recipes and be sure to add orange or green food coloring. For extra fun, include some fake spiders. Creeeeepy!
Kirigami Spider Webs
Careful cutting is required for this paper engineering project which is an excellent and environmentally friendly alternative to those awful artificial spider web decorations you see every October (read about the dangers of those webs here). Ana also has helpful video instructions.
Glow in the Dark Terror-arium
Leave it to Ana at Babble Dabble Do to come up with the coolest Halloween STEAM activity ever. Turn the innocent terrarium into a glow-in-the-dark spooky wonder!
Obviously you'd much rather have your kids launch their candy into the air with a catapult they designed and made than eat the candy, right? Give your children or students the challenge of making a catapult. They can make a relatively simple diy catapult like the one we used for launching pompoms all over the house. Or, STEAM Powered Family blog has a good design for catapult that uses craft sticks and rubber bands.
For extra fun, launch the candy into the face or top of a jack-o-lantern!
Build a Haunted House
You may be familiar with the classic engineering activity of building with marshmallows and toothpicks or skewers. It's easy to turn this project into a Halloween-themed STEM activity. Challenge kids to build a haunted house! Use candy corn or gummy pumpkins instead of marshmallows. Or, use a food safe marker to draw ghost faces on individual marshmallows.
As a cooperative classroom assignment, students can work together to design a grand Halloween themed mansion complete with kirigami spider webs, balloon ghosts and jack-o-lantern paper chains! Perhaps there is even a way to work in our haunted house template to create a spooky village!
Left Brain Craft Brain has the cutest technology and engineering project for Halloween. Use a little motor and cell battery to make a funny little pumpkin brush bots to dance along the table. Why not make one to live in the haunted house made from candy and skewers!
Halloween STEAM Kids
We've got so much more Halloween STEAM activities and STEM projects in our Halloween STEAM Kids ebook. Some of the projects include:
- Fizzing Pumpkins
- Spider Web Science
- Magic Potions Density Tower
- Milk Jug Skeletons
The digital format makes it easy to have all the instructions at your fingertips without having to go back and search for them all over the internet! PLUS, you get 31 Days of Halloween STEAM Challenge Cards FREE!!