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Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead book cover

By Mikee Mapalo

Did you ever wonder why storybooks for kids are filled with illustrations or visuals? It’s because it’s proven that using illustrations alongside text helps in increasing children’s learning retention. According to Dr. Haig Kouyoumdjian, “Words are abstract and rather difficult for the brain to retain, whereas visuals are concrete and, as such, more easily remembered.” This is the power of visual imagery in learning.

There are a lot of fun ways to encourage young kids to enjoy engaging with books and print. One way is combining words and pictures together. Just like storybooks! We know that a lot of busy parents are looking for free and easy resources online to use in teaching their kids—especially those who are just starting out in reading. That’s why we love to create printables for use at home that will help kids enjoy learning as much as we do.

As Halloween is fast approaching, we created a free Halloween printable for busy and creative parents. It’s a word spinner that consists of Halloween-related words and illustrations from A to Z. It is a very easy DIY project that your kids can help you out with. All you need is a home printer and some simple materials that you likely have at home.

Materials:

  • Printer
  • Cardstock — 5 pieces (to print free Halloween alphabet spinner template)
  • Scissors
  • Paper piercer (or any sharp object)
  • Brad pin

Cost: $3 or so for a whole pack of brad pins 

Step 1: Begin by printing out the free Halloween alphabet spinner template. This is best printed on cardstock paper instead of regular paper, so that it will not be flimsy when you spin it. 

The printable consists of five pages dividing the 26 letters of the alphabet into five sets: A–E, F–J, K–O, P–T, and U–Z. You can make all the Halloween alphabet spinners at once, or space them out as you see fit to keep the learning activity fresh and fun for your child.

Tip: If you begin with just one, choose the printable that includes the first letter of your child’s name. Teaching children letter names and sounds beginning with their own first initial is a good way to engage them and keep their attention.

Step 2: Next, you need to cut out the two circles from the printable. The top cover is not a perfect circle, but looks like a Pac-Man shape.

Step 3: When you are done cutting, it’s time to poke holes in the center part of both circles using a paper piercer or any sharp object. This will help you in inserting the brad smoothly and avoid scrunching the paper. If your child is helping you out with this project, make sure that he/she is supervised when using any sharp objects.

Step 4: Now it’s time to assemble the spinner! Place the cover on top of the bottom layer and insert the brad pin through the holes.

Step 5: Separate and bend the prongs at the back to hold both circles together. Try spinning the cover wheel to see if the brad works well and smoothly.

Step 6: Create all five templates to have a complete set of Halloween-related words from A-Z! Spin the wheel to uncover different Halloween-related words and photos.

And you’re done! I hope this free Halloween printable alphabet spinner will help you create a fun learning experience with your child this Halloween season. 

When you use it, highlight to your child the starting letter of each word, and help them match the initial sound to the letter. For slightly older kids, you can invite them to try to guess what some of the words will be in each letter group before spinning the cover to reveal the answers.

We’d love to see how your craft turned out! Feel free to connect with us on social media to share some pictures!

Mikee Mapalo is a clinical psychology graduate student who loves graphic designing and creating arts and crafts content for kids. *Photos by Mikee Mapalo