The Best Hands On Activities for October

October is a busy month around here. With conferences, field trips, changing leaves, and slightly chillier weather, it seems like there’s never a dull moment!  Typically by now, our kindergarten students have really begun to settle into school-mode and it feels easier to get to all of the activities that are planned for each day.

Another great thing about October is that we’ve had several weeks of kindergarten morning tubs and centers down. I think that a large part of the success with independent classroom activities is having activities that are hands on. We know that developmentally appropriate work is the way to go, especially with the increasingly difficult demands on kindergarteners.

Incorporating hands-on learning is super easy. Skill practice doesn’t necessarily mean worksheet after worksheet – so many skills can be better practiced in ways that incorporate manipulatives, playdough, and other classroom tools!

Here’s a quick round-up of my favorite hands-on activities to use in the month of October!

hands on activities for october in kindergarten

Pumpkin Line Tracing Cards

Even if you don’t have a dedicated fine motor area, incorporating fine motor practice into your classroom truly is as easy as adding activities to morning tubs or centers! These line tracing cards are just one of 14 pumpkin-themed fine motor activities I’ve put together for you in my Pumpkin Fine Motor pack. There’s also tweezing, cutting practice, paper tearing, hole punching, and more.

fine motor activities

Beginning Sound File Folder Games

File folder games have been part of my teaching journey for over 15 years. I remember making my own for a college assignment with construction paper in my dorm room! 

kindergarten file folder game

I have dozens of file folder games for kindergarten math and literacy skills. This apple picking beginning sounds game is just one of several that target the skills I typically work on in October. File folder games work great in so many classroom areas, like tubs, centers, independent work, intervention time, and more.

Onset and Rime Linking Cards

Looking for a new and fun way to practice blending words? These cards are great for working on reading words by having students blend the sounds and say the word.

science of reading kindergarten

Use this in small groups by separating the onset and rime cards from one another. Then pass out an onset card to each student and provide them with a couple onset choices. You can also pull out cards from a particular word family and do similar activities.

Missing Numbers Math Center

We work with numbers quite a bit in October, and I’m always looking to mix up the ways we practice different skills. For example, we work quite a bit on missing numbers to 10. These task cards add a tactile approach to practicing this skill. It’s a really easy center activity!

kindergarten math center

Pumpkin Addition Mats

As I’ve said in the past, hands-on activities are important in first grade, too! These addition mats are from my October Morning Tubs for First Grade pack. They’re really similar to the kindergarten activity below in that you can use playdough, orange pom-pom balls, or mini erasers to make pumpkins. Instead of numbers, there are basic addition facts for sums to 20.

hands on math activities for october in first grade

Pumpkin Patch Counting Mats

If you’ve read my morning tub blog series, you probably already know that I have a morning tubs pack for each month in the school year. The activities are designed to be hands-on, including this fun pumpkin patch activity from my October tubs pack! Students will use playdough, orange pom-pom balls, or mini erasers to make pumpkins.

free activities for october

Try it for free!

It’s easy to go through LOTS of playdough throughout the school year. I usually grab some of these multi-packs each year, but I also enjoy making my own from time to time!

I have an awesome pumpkin-scented homemade playdough recipe that adds a fun multisensory experience to the counting mats activity. If you’d like to download the recipe and the counting mats for free, just fill out the form below and they’ll be sent straight to your inbox!

If you use any of these activities in your classroom, be sure to tag me on Instagram (@kroltgen) so I can see! Be sure to follow me as well to see more ideas.

free pumpkin activities

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