‘Tis the season to get spooky! Decorating for Halloween can be a ton of fun, especially in the classroom, but it can also put some strain on your wallet. We’ve got some tips to help you save a bit of time and money without compromising a fun Halloween themed classroom!
As always, when trying to save money in the classroom, thinking ahead helps! In the summer, you may want to make a note in your phone to remind you to begin considering fall classroom décor and decorating for Halloween. Not that you want to take away from your summer holidays, but it will allow you to save time later on and keep an eye out for the materials you may need. Creating a master spreadsheet with supplies in one column and potential sources in another column could help you stay organized. This chart should include any items left over from last year that you can repurpose.
Shop for Deals
When you have your supply list for potential decor items, think about what you are already purchasing for your home that you could also use for a Halloween DIY. For example, we have listed some craft ideas below that involve milk jugs and toilet paper.
To get the best price on these items, you might want to buy in bulk or consider shopping with coupons (especially for things that are available at a drugstore, like toilet paper). Stores like CVS offer very generous store rewards programs that can often amount to getting tens or even hundreds of dollars’ worth of free product over the course of a year. You could also team up with a group of teachers decorating for Halloween and split the cost of these items in bulk for their classrooms too!
If you really want to get collaborative, why not set up a bulletin board or dry erase board in the teachers’ lounge where teachers can alert each other of deals they find online or in the local area? Or, if going digital is more your style, setup a Facebook group or message thread where teachers can share information and ideas.
Sites like DonorsChoose are fantastic portals for seeking out donations from generous supporters. Or, if you are able, consider including a few things on the beginning-of-the-year school supply list. Are you a ClassTag user? Take advantage of the apps Activities Tab to send home item requests so families have the chance to donate to your classroom to assist with decorating for Halloween.
Shop After Halloween for the Next Year
Halloween decor generally goes on sale right after the holiday passes, as stores need to clear their shelves for Christmas decor. If you wait until then, you can stock up for next year, sometimes at up to 90% off! As above, see if any other teachers want to join you in some post-Halloween shopping!
Plan a Lesson Around Decorating for Halloween
If you’ve got your supplies for decorating for Halloween but don’t know when you’ll be able to find the time to put it all together, consider planning a lesson that incorporates some DIY with your students. Depending on the subject area you teach, your lesson will likely differ. Here are a few quick ideas:
- Reading lesson: Write instructions for each Halloween décor project on strips of paper (step 1 on one strip, step 2 on another, etc). Then, divide students into groups and have them put the strips in order and work together to create the decoration.
- Math lesson: If you need, say, 20 of something for a Halloween DIY, ask students to create “4×5” of them, or “16+4,” – you get the idea!
- Music lesson: Consider pre-teaching songs about the decorations you’ll create with your classes. Then, tell them that they only get to sing the songs when they’re done with their decorations! This will help keep the lesson/creation on track time-wise.
Try Some New Halloween DIY
Here are some inexpensive and classroom-friendly DIY crafts to get you going:
- Candy Corn Traffic Cones: These fall-festive cones will not only spice up your room with Halloween flare, but they can also aid you in reminding students about classroom rules.
- Milk Jug Ghosts: Each time you finish that jug of milk, hold onto it! When it comes time for Halloween, all you’ll need to create these spooky decorations is the jugs and a Sharpie. This could also be something you ask students to bring in to the classroom as well.
- Door Mummy: Greet students at the door with a fun new Halloween friend! The only supplies you’ll need are a few rolls of toilet paper and some construction paper.