This Halloween math activity is a fun and easy way for kids to practice adding combinations of 5 and 10. If your child enjoys pumpkins and ghosts for Halloween, this Halloween math activity might be a perfect way to encourage them to work on some basic math skills this October.
We did this activity using 10 dry beans that were painted orange on one side and white on the other side. A permanent marker was used to draw pumpkin faces on the orange side and ghost eyes on the white side. I recommend making these manipulatives using a large, flat bean such as a white kidney bean, white lima bean, or white butter bean.
I wish I could take credit for creating these adorable pumpkin/ghost beans, but alas I cannot. These beans were a party favor given out at the homeschool Halloween party we attended last year (thank you Ms. Cathy!). And we put them to good use!
QBoy used these beans to work on combinations of 10, and XGirl used them to work on combinations of 5.
For XGirl, I put five of the pumpkin/ghost beans on a tray and then provided her with a simple worksheet I created with repeating lines of _ + _ = 5. At the top of the worksheet I drew a pumpkin and a ghost over each column.
XGirl would pick up the beans, toss them onto her tray, and then write the numbers on the appropriate line.
This was a great way for her to see that there are many different ways to make 5. It was also a good introduction to the commutative property of addition, which is the idea that 1+4 = 4+1, and 2+3 = 3+2. (Although at her age I didn’t actually use the term “commutative property” with her. I simply encouraged her to notice how it didn’t matter if she had 1 pumpkin and 4 ghosts or 4 pumpkins and 1 ghost, she always still had 5 beans.)
Looking for more Halloween projects that incorporate Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM)? Then you’ll love STEAM Kids Halloween.
This e-book includes 50+ pages of spooky fun STEAM activities that will wow the boredom right out of kids!
More Halloween resources
More Halloween posts from Gift of Curiosity:
- Books about Halloween
- Mason jar jack-o-lantern
- Candy experiments
- Halloween Montessori activities
- Pumpkin decomposition experiment
- Describe a pumpkin using all five senses
- Drip painted pumpkins
- Halloween Printables Pack
- Jack-o-lantern Printables Pack
- Halloween Bingo
- Halloween do-a-dot printables
- Halloween Sudoku
- Pumpkin outlines