Are you planning your Halloween activities for preschoolers right now? Be sure to add these free printable jack-o-lantern shape mats to your plans!
The printable jack-o-lantern shapes can be used with a wide variety of materials. AND they’re super easy to prep! On top of that, the play dough shape mats let kids practice fine motor skills alongside early math skills. That’s a win-win-win in my book!
You can use the jack-o-lantern shapes with children just beginning to explore shapes, as well as with kids who have shape identification down. I love when a printable allows for so much differentiation!
Related: Free Preschool Printables
Be sure to get your own copy of the shape mats at the very bottom of the post. Take a few minutes to read how we’ve used them, as well as tips for prepping the jack-o-lantern shapes below.
Jack-O-Lantern Shape Mats
I get a kick out of using shape mats with kids, what about you? I love to see the different ways children explore the shapes. Changing up the theme of the shape printables adds a bit of novelty to the learning and playing.
How to Prep the Jack-O-Lantern Play Dough Shape Mats
Start off by gathering the materials you’ll need to prep the shape mats. Here are the items I suggest the following items (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
And that’s about it! And, really, you don’t need BOTH dry erase pockets and a laminator. Pick the one you prefer and use that. Then grab any supplemental materials you’d like to use with the jack-o-lantern shape mats, such as:
- Acrylic pumpkins
- Orange pompoms
- Jack-o-lantern mini erasers
- Dry erase markers
- Play dough
- Other math manipulatives
Once you have the materials ready, it’s a breeze to prep the shape mats. First, open the document in the most up-to-date version of Adobe Reader. Then print the shape mats you’d like to use. Next, protect them with lamination or dry erase pockets. Finally, set the mats out for the children to explore!
Using the Jack-O-Lantern Shape Mats with Kids
As I mentioned earlier, there are many different ways to use the printable jack-o-lantern shapes with your students.
Related: Monster Shape Mats
Here are some of our favorite ways to use the mats:
- Have the kids use acrylic pumpkins to outline the jack-o-lantern shapes. Or try a different manipulative like jack-o-lantern mini erasers or orange pompoms. You can even use math manipulatives like Unifix Cubes or counting bears.
- Pair the shape mats with play dough. Your students can strengthen their hands and fingers as they create jack-o-lantern shapes with play dough. You can even let them add facial features once the shapes are outlined!
- Have the kids trace over the shapes with dry erase markers. Be sure to discuss how many sides each shape has! You can even encourage the children to draw the shapes themselves on a nearby white board.
- Set up a shallow sensory writing tray with orange sand. Let your children trace shapes in the sand, using the jack-o-lantern shape mats as visual guides.
- Lead the children on a shape hunt around the classroom or outside. Take the smaller “I can find shapes!” pages with you. The kids can mark off the shapes they find along the way.
Please remember that you don’t have to stick with the ideas above. You and your students can come up with even more ways to use the jack-o-lantern shape printables! Oh, and don’t forget to grab your copy at the bottom of this post.
What Jack-O-Lantern Shapes are Included in the Free Printable?
The jack-o-lantern shape mats freebie comes with a variety of full-page shapes. Each of the shapes is labeled for you and the kids. The shapes included are:
In addition to the full-page shapes, there are also two “I can find shapes!” pages. On these pages, you’ll see the shape jack-o-lanterns are smaller and fit six to a page. These sheets are great for shape drawing practice and shape hunts.
More Jack-O-Lantern Activities
If your students really enjoy the jack-o-lantern shape mats, check out these ideas:
- Halloween Sensory Bottle
- Leafy Jack-O-Lantern
- Frankenstein Monster Pumpkin
- Jack-O-Lantern I Spy Game
- Coffee Filter Jack-O-Lanterns
- Magnetic Tile Pumpkin Faces
What are some of your favorite jack-o-lantern ideas to use with your students?
Halloween Lesson Plans
Let Preschool Teacher 101 make your life so much easier with done-for-you early childhood resources. We have hundreds of lesson plans and supplemental resources just right for preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten classrooms. Be sure to check out The Pack from Preschool Teacher 101, a membership for early childhood educators. Members get access to our materials (and some member exclusives) at a steep discount.
Our Halloween lesson plans have a weekly overview, detailed daily plans, whole group lessons, small group activities, center ideas, book suggestions, and related printables. Click on the image below to get your own set of the lesson plans:
Here are a few more fully-developed resources to help simplify your planning time:
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Get the Free Printable Jack-O-Lantern Shape Mats
The shape mats are available for members of Fun-A-Day’s (free!) email community. If you’re a member, enter your email in the form below to have the download link sent to your inbox. If you’re not a member, you can join us by adding your information to the form below. You’ll receive the jack-o-lantern shapes as a welcome gift.
Open the form in a new tab if you can’t see it above.
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