The next two weeks can be rough even for the best teacher. Halloween is coming up and nothing like the idea of running around gathering free candy in a costume to get students buzzed! Well, if you can’t beat them, join them! Here are some Halloween math ideas for your little ghouls:

1 – Set up a guess the weight pumpkin contest

Buy a pumpkin. Set it up on a table/desk/counter. Without any standard measuring tools, have your students guess different aspects of the pumpkin: weight, height, diameter/circumference, stem length/diameter/circumference, or volume (more advanced skills required). You can buy several pumpkins and have different categories or a pumpkin for each group. Whoever is closest wins the pumpkin!

2 – Set up a candy jar volume contest

Buy a container, fill it up with candy (or whatever your school allows- I use pretzels). Have students guess how much is in the container. Whoever is closest wins. And you can have them distribute the candy at your Halloween party and they keep the container.

3 – Graph class costumes and candy preferences

There are a lot of ideas for classroom graphs during the Halloween season. Here are some ideas for Venn diagrams: scary/funny/fantasy/store-bought/homemade costumes, favorite candy flavors (chocolate, sweet, sour), favorite types (candy bars, chewy, hard, non-candy). Here are some bar chart ideas: favorite candy kinds (m&ms, snickers, skittles, reese’s, etc.), how much candy they collected (number of pieces or weight), how late did they stay up, how many houses did they go to, how many people did they walk around with, and (my favorite) how much sugar is in each. You can also do some probability activities too, like “What is the probability of picking a brown m&m?”

4 – Design the best candy collection route

Have each student make a map of their candy collecting route. Have them estimate how much candy they want to collect and given the route and the time, how much time can they spend at each house. For example if they want to get 75 pieces of candy and they have two hours, how much time can they spend at each house? Can they do that in their neighborhood? Can they come up with an efficient plan that maximizes the amount of candy they can get within the time they have? Have them guess how much candy they will get before they go and compare with the final tally.

5 – Plan a class halloween party

Have your students plan your class Halloween party, either for real or for pretend. How many snacks do they need to buy? What decorations and games should they get? What is the budget? Sounds like too many supplies for you to gather up, no worries I created a Halloween Party Planner math resource that includes a catalog for snacks, decorations, games, and party tokens all ready for you to print for a fun math center.

I hope you have enough ideas to help you tame the wild Halloween ghouls!

Here is a set of a coordinate drawing that would make an instant math center as well as a fun party favor.

Thanks for reading! – Evil Math Wizard