Building a giant Halloween word search is a perfect “big kid” activity. Using just a few supplies, making a DIY word search is surprisingly easy to day. It’s a great Halloween activity for older kids.Making a GIANT Halloween Word Search – trust me on this.
A giant word search is perfection.
Making a giant Halloween word search for my six year old was such a clutch October decision.
It’s fun for him. It’s fun for me. There’s spelling. There’s problem solving. There’s Halloween. This literally has everything.
RELATED: Looking for more Halloween Activities? Check out my 40+ Super Easy Halloween Activities.
Why it’s an important activity
Ok, other than that it’s awesome – a Halloween word search is a great activity for our big kids.
SOAP BOX: This nasty rumor started floating around that big kids can only learn from worksheets and that is ridiculous.
Big kids need just as many hands-on activities and this is the perfect example of how whole body learning can be integrated into time without big kids.
Activities aren’t just meant for the early years.
Big kids need just as many hands on activities and this is the perfect example of how whole body learning can be integrated into time with out big kids.
Activities aren’t just meant for the early years. And that goes for Halloween activities too.
RELATED: Looking for more activities for “big kids?” I have a whole page of them!
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- Kraft paper
- Sharpie marker
- Construction paper (for the answer key)
- Painter’s tape (my favorite tape that’s wall safe)
Step by step directions for a Halloween word search
This does take a little pre-planning and a touch of “know how.” Here’s my best tips and step by step:
- Think of your word list first. Do not attempt to “wing it.”
- Identify the four corners of your word search. Place a single letter in each corner.
- Add letters along the top row then mirror that spacing on the bottom row.
- Do the left side letter and mirror the right side.
- Add in the Halloween words throughout the word search.
- Last step: add all the letters that don’t go with a word.
I promise it’s not super complicated once you know the order of operation to make this work.
Does reading impact word searches?
Not really. Word searches may look like a reading activity but they’re more about decoding a pattern of letters amidst other letters.
For my son, most of these words are above his reading level and that’s great!
It means we get to talk about the words he’s finding and he gets to interact with words important to the season.
You don’t need to be able to read a word to find it in a word search.
RELATED: Need help setting up a Halloween class party for big kids? Check out these Halloween party tips.
What kids learn in a Halloween word search
He’s learning tons – thanks for asking!
- Letter and word recognition
- Literacy skills
- Visual discrimination
- Hand-eye coordination
- Spatial awareness
- Arm strength (anytime a child is writing on a vertical surface is a seriously good thing)
Above all else, he’s having fun. That’s arguably the most important part here. He’s tickled to be doing this activity and having a ball. What more could a parent ask for?
RELATED: Need more Halloween books? My all ages list goes from toddler to age 10.
- Your big kid is NOT too big for activities – and this one is perfect for Halloween.
- Try create a “cross word” puzzle looking word design on paper first so you can see how they’ll all overlap and intersect. I often do that.
- Leave this activity up and use it as a letter recognition game for young learners (“color all the letter O’s red!”)
- Not able to make it giant? Just make a small version. There’s nothing wrong with a small, more “normal” sized word search.
Frequently Asked Questions
Think stages not ages, always. We can’t judge a child’s interests or abilities by their age. There is too much variation. Instead, you have to make the choice. Is this something your child would like? Are they interested in word searches, letters, and finding things?
Honestly: about 5 solid minutes. Once you learn how to create these, it’s actually a really simple process that has a big “wow” factor. It’s no harder to make it giant than it is to make a smaller version.
Always check the label rather than trust the lady on the Internet. But from where I sit, painter’s tape is created for walls so I’m happy using it on our services.
Susie Allison, M. Ed
Susie Allison is the creator of Busy Toddler and has more than 2 million followers on Instagram. A former teacher and early childhood education advocate, Susie’s parenting book “Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting” is available on Amazon.
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