Are you looking for some Halloween literacy activities for preschoolers? It’s the season for lots of pumpkins, creepy crawlies, and ghosts and ghouls activities likes this one! Preschoolers love them! This is a friendly ghosts theme Old Maid card game that your preschoolers are sure to love as well.
Be sure to grab a free copy of your friendly ghosts theme Old Maid card game at the end of this post, and then stick around to find other printable Halloween activities for preschoolers.
Halloween Ghosts Theme Literacy Activities for Preschoolers
Have you ever invited your preschooler to play Old Maid? It’s a hilarious time between the both of you. You know, they hardly keep a straight face when they pull the old maid card; it shows how much fun this game can be for everyone involved!
In this ghosts version — perfect for a fun Halloween preschool theme — the “old maid” is actually the ghost heart, and you want to keep it!
Be sure to keep this printable with your other pre-k Halloween activities. You’ll use it again and again.
FAQ About Doing Halloween Activities with Preschoolers
I love a good preschool Halloween party. It’s kinda’ like a kick-off to the best time of year. Some teachers run into difficulties when looking for Halloween ideas for preschoolers. Here are some answers to your frequently asked questions.
Some might say to brush up on the facts and tell your preschoolers all about the history of All Hallows Eve. I skip this. It’s a touchy subject for a fun holiday that already gets nixed in schools.
Instead, we focus on all the fun and silly things about the holiday.
I tell my preschoolers that Halloween is a time where we celebrate creepy, crawly, and spooky things, but in a super safe and fun way! We learn about spiders, snakes, bats and worms, about black cats and witches hats, and about magical broomsticks and goblins brews. The key is to make all these terms “friendly”, as in “friendly ghosts” or “friendly goblins” of “friendly monsters“.
You can make any spooky activity and turn it into something that isn’t spooky just by changing your terminology and tone of voice. Some non-spooky Halloween activities can include: throwing rings around a witches hat, making green slime, or playing musical games like 10 Little Monsters.
If you’re really worried about the spookiness of these themes, then you can skip them all together and just do a pumpkin party or harvest preschool party.
Here are some super fun games for preschoolers to do at this year’s Halloween party.
~ Pumpkin “Cake” Walk
~ Halloween Tin Can Bowling
~ Spiderweb Halloween Corn Hole
~ Pin the Spider on the Web
~ Pop Goes the Pumpkin
There are hundreds of other Halloween games for kids. Which ones will you add to your preschool lesson plans?
Ghosts Old Maid Card Game to Teach Letter Identification
This game needs to be added to your Halloween theme for preschool. It’s a pre k learning game that teaches the alphabet in a fun and engaging way, and all with a super fun theme, too! Ghosts!
But I promise this is a non-spooky ghost activity for preschool.
- free Ghost Old Maid card game
The Set Up
Print in color on heavy card stock. You can laminate the cards, but they will be slippery and difficult for little hands to hold. But that’s when a cardholder comes in handy. This is the one I use for my preschoolers.
I also chose to print on this fun marbly scrapbook paper. This is not a necessary step, but it adds to the theme.
How to Play Ghost Old Maid
In this version of Old Maid, there is no loser. Actually, everyone ends up being a winner which encourages positive feelings and teamwork in preschoolers.
I like “winning” games in preschool because it encourages preschoolers to cheer each other on and help out rather than play for their own gain. Of course, whenever there is a game with no loser, there are also no hurt or sad feelings to navigate, either.
This is not a “cooperative” game, per se, which are fantastic, but close.
So, to play the game, deal out all the cards to the players. It doesn’t really matter if on preschooler ends up with an extra card. And yes, the smaller group you have the more cards each player will have, which is why these card holders come in handy.
Next, invite your preschoolers to make any matches they see within their hand. Lay those matches aside. Each player can keep track of their own matches.
HOW THE CARD GAME WORKS
Select a preschooler to go first. That player draws a card from the player to his left.
If the card is a match to one in his hand, he can place the match with the others he is collecting. The game continues to the next player, each player drawing from the player to the left, and continues until all the cards have been matched and one player is left with the run-away gingerbread man card (“old maid”).
What is special about this preschool card game? Well, each card not only have a cute watercolor friendly ghosts on each card also has either an uppercase or a lower case letter on it. So the preschooler’s task is to make letter matches.
Now, matching letters can be difficult, especially if using the entire alphabet at once. So be sure to select only the letters of the alphabet you feel your preschoolers would have the most success with while still getting in lots if letter identification practice.
I like to use this card game along with my Halloween preschool lesson plans as one of my circle time games. (I have a small preschool class). It then gets filed with my other printable games for preschoolers. They have their own bin along with all my free games for preschoolers.
Don’t Forget Friendly Ghost Picture Books
Ghost books for preschoolers are so funny! Here are some of our favorites that we read every single year.
ABOUT WINNING THE GAME
Here is where the game differs.
The person left with the ghost heart is not the loser! Rather, the preschoolers celebrate for making all the matches in their hand so that the ghost heart could be found!
If you want to add to the fun, you can sing something like,
“We ran, ran as fast as we could. We had fun and caught the ghost heart!”
It’s a little silly, but the preschoolers love it, and it yet another way to make ghost activities for preschoolers completely safe and non-threatening for the holiday.
OTHER WAYS TO USE THESE PRINTABLE GHOST ALPHABET CARDS
Because this is a set of ghost theme letter cards, there are a lot of fun ways to use them! Here are a few ideas.
- Use the alphabet cards to play a game of concentration.
- Distribute the cards as in the Old Maid game and then play “I have, who has?” Here’s an example, “I have big letter T. Who has little letter t?”
- Use the cards to spell out familiar words.
- Flash a card to you preschooler and have them go on an object hunt for an item beginning with that letter.
- Add some gross motor fun. Tape the uppercase letter cards to the wall and one-by-one give your preschooler a cards and have him race to the wall to make a match.
LOOKING FOR Halloween Pre K Activities?
Here are even more alphabet activities for your preschoolers who are kindergarten bound! Have fun, but don’t forget to grab your free printable at the end of this post!
GRAB YOUR FREE Preschool Halloween Literacy Activities Here
I say this is an alphabet printable because of all the fun you can have with the cards. You can make this into more than just a game of Old Maid, and it certainly pairs nicely with all your Halloween math activities for preschool, too!
But I have to admit, Old Maid is my favorite way to use the cards! Fill out the form below and the cards will be sent to your email.
Get More Halloween Themed Activities for Preschoolers
These are some fun preschool circle time games and Halloween learning activities for toddlers, too. You can never have enough, that’s for sure!
I’m Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home-mama of five! I’m the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught a range of levels, from preschool to college and a little bit of everything in between. Right now my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction.