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Due to food allergies and other health concerns, some schools are moving away from giving students edible treats as rewards or for holiday parties. If you are a new parent at a school with a policy like this, you may be trying to think of some fun treats to send into school with your child for their classmates. Or you might be looking for something fun to spice up your child’s gift giving this Halloween at school. Either way, I’ve listed below several inexpensive STEAM-based classroom gifts that you can give the kids this Halloween.
Here’s some of my favorite non-edible classroom Halloween ‘treats’ for kids that also provide fun, STEAM-based learning in the process:
Halloween Slime: This fun kit not only includes the slime, but also Halloween add ins to make it even more spooky. What does slime teach kids? Slime is a non-Newtonian fluid. This means it does not follow Newton’s law of viscosity. Slimes viscosity can be changed under force and act as either a liquid or a solid. When kids play with slime, they receive a hands-on science lesson! Adding these spooky objects to it, adds even more experimentation, fun, and spooky-ness!
Halloween Wind Up Toys: Wind up toys are a great example of a simple machine. These toys work by winding up a torsion spring inside. When the child turns the knob, the torsion spring builds up tension, the accumulated energy sets the inner gear(s) in motion to move the toy. For a more detailed look at the inside of a wind up toy, check out this video link.
Halloween Punch Balloons: These punch balloons are always a ‘hit’! (Pun intended!) Kids love them because they are fun and repetitive. They also are a great tool for teaching Newton’s Laws of Motion, in particular, the third law – for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
Halloween Slap Bracelets: If you grew up in the 90s like me, you know that slap bracelets have never gone out of style! Slap bracelets are the perfect lesson in materials science. Underneath the fun Halloween fabric outside, is a flexible stainless steel bistable spring band (just like what a tape measure is made out of), which allows the bracelet to bend and snap! Stainless steel is incredibly strong, but also very flexible.
Halloween Glow Stick Hanging Wands: Glow sticks are always fun for kids, but they also help parents find their kids on those dark Halloween nights trick or treating! Haha! Not only are they fun and practical, they also are a great example of a chemical reaction taking place. One chemical, a hydrogen peroxide solution, is inside the glass casing. The other chemical, a fluorescent dye solution, is in the plastic casing. When the glass casing is broken, the chemicals mix which creates a glow stick.
Halloween Jumping Poppers: These popper toys definitely engage curiosity through the anticipation and surprise of what might happen! This is another great example of a simple machine. When you push down on the toy, the spring is loaded with tension which is released and causes the popper to shoot upwards.
Hope you have a very Happy Halloween!