Halloween alternatives for students with special needs

Halloween alternatives for students with special needs

Looking for fun, stress-free ways to celebrate Halloween with your students? For students with special needs, Halloween celebrations and traditions can be stressful and overwhelming. From dietary needs, mobility issues or sensory sensitivities, teachers of students with special needs may need to implement student-specific accommodations or restrictions on Halloween. But modified Halloween activities doesn’t mean minimized Halloween fun!

As many Halloween traditions or customs may be difficult to understand for some students, introduce the concepts with a Vizzle lesson, like this Halloween Book.

Sensory table
Incorporate Halloween themes into a sensory table for mess-free (or mess-full) fun. Use orange, green or black sand. Incorporate plastic toys like spider rings, pumpkins or googly eyes. Add candy corn, dyed rice or black beans to add depth. Check out more Halloween sensory table ideas.

Spooktacular crafts
Turn hands into ghosts by adding googly eyes to handprints: Halloween Handprint Ghosts. Carve bats, pumpkins or spiders into potatoes and use them as stamps: Halloween potato stampers. Or venture outside to collect leaves, sticks and acorns for a fall-inspired sensory bag: Fall Sensory Bags.

Trick-or-treat practice
Depending on the needs of your students, you can practice handing out or collecting candy. Collaborate with another classroom or ask for student participation to help reinforce the concept. Use the candy collected to set up an interactive counting activity.

Paint pumpkins
In recent years, with the prominence of children with food allergies and special dietary needs, many have started using teal pumpkins to signal the availability of candy alternatives. Paint pumpkins with your students to raise awareness of food allergies and to promote inclusion for all trick-or-treaters. Learn more about the Teal Pumpkin project.

Play dress up
For many students with special needs, Halloween costumes can be stressful for a variety of reasons. Students may struggle with the feeling of costumes or restrictions in mobility or both. However, there are plenty of costumes that can be made out of “regular” clothes. Get creative with oversized or gently used clothing, accessories and shoes to create costumes of professions like teacher, lawyer, athlete or artist.

Finally, if you’re a current Vizzle user, don’t forget to switch ON the Halloween filter for your student’s celebrations, reinforcers and themes. Not currently using Vizzle? Sign up for a free trial and find more Halloween-themed lessons, games and activities for your students!

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