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  • Mandi of Panda Speech

Alternative Holiday Themes Part Two

Updated: Oct 16, 2022

I wrote a post about alternative themes to use around Christmas time if you have students who do not observe the holiday. Read that post by clicking --------> HERE. I wanted to share a few more ideas for Halloween. I want all of my students to feel comfortable and believe it is important to be sensitive to your students' holiday traditions, customs, beliefs, etc... I will share a few of my favorite resources, crafts, and freebies for each theme.


I love doing Spider themes in October because they are just spooky looking creatures. You can easily find little toy spiders and webbing at stores because they are popular Halloween decorations. Click on the underline text below for links. I will link to Pinterest ideas I found, TPT products, Amazon finds, and blog posts (Amazon products are linked through my associates account).

Books to try:

ARG! Spider: This book is my favorite! It is about a spider who just wants to be a pet but the family is scared of him and throws him out in the yard (spoiler alert, he eventually wins them over). I adapt the book with picture symbols (velcro them in) and make a removable spider to throw out just like the family did (in the book there is a repetitive phrase "out you go!"). Click the title to see it on Amazon.

Diary of as Spider: This book is great for cause and effect (and good for laughs). I did a craftivity I found on the Tattling to the Teacher's blog. Check it out here

Crafts to try:

Itsy Bitsy Spider hand puppet! This is so cute! The student's fingers become the Spider's leg and you can sing the song with it. Perfect for prek/k students.

Spider Thumbprints for Articulation: This is a fun articulation art project where students will make a thumbprint over the target word while practicing to make a spider on the web. There is a freebie available for this activity (find the freebie by clicking the link above).

Spooky Speech Craftivities FREEBIE: This comes with a pumpkin, ghost, and spider. The student will write their speech sounds on the spider.


Spider Toss: This is super easy and cheap to set up. Buy spider webbing (the stringy kind you use to decorate with) and small spider toys or spider rings. Put the webbing in a corner of your room or attach it to the wall. The students will try tossing the spiders in the web (for older students, I make them stand pretty far away) while practicing a speech or language objective. You can always make it a competition too (who can get the most spiders to stick in the web).

Artic Webs: This is a play dough companion product. The students will smash the flies on the spider's web with play dough (kids love squishing flies) and then the spider can gobble them up. It also has a black and white version to use with bingo dotters or to send as homework.


Bats can be tricky because they are often associated with vampires (which may be an off limits theme). If you stick strictly to the animal you should be fine using it with any student.

Books to try:

Bats by Gail Gibbons: This is a great non-fiction book that introduces children to bats in a favorable light (they often get a bad rap). It is a great way to learn about their characteristics, habitats, and life cycles. I use it for vocabulary and comprehension. It also has great illustrations.

Stellaluna: This is a story about a bat who is separated from her mother and lands in a birds nest. She learns a valuable lesson about friendship. I use the board book version of this story.


Batty about Speech: This is a quick no prep simple bat craft. The bundle has a ton of stuff in it (comprehension pages) or you can buy just what you need in the separate packs.

Bat Facts Fold and Learn: These are cute little foldables to help teach the facts.

Crafts to try:

Bat Handprint Craft: These are super cute and easy to make!


Make sure you use non jack-o-lantern themed resources to keep in non-halloween!

Books to try:

How Many Seeds in Pumpkin: This one is great for your science loves! It even works on counting by 5s and 10s!

Pumpkin Circle: The Story of a Garden: This one has really cool pictures and close ups of pumpkin parts.

Crafts to try:

Tear it! Pumpkin Craft for Speech Therapy: Paper scrap pumpkin craft with articulation and language targets built in plus a caregiver note!

Paper Strip Pumpkin: These are super cute and simple to make


Double Dotting Pumpkin for Speech and Language. This is a cute and easy one page art to keep kids engaged. Includes a wide variety of speech therapy targets.

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