When I was a child, I tracked time by what holiday was upcoming (still do). Which one was my favorite? was the best question and added great enthusiasm to my process. (Halloween was always a top contender.) From an unscientific survey, grown-ups seem to either love Halloween or ignore it for a variety of reasons. However, no matter how we choose to consciously enjoy or minimize Halloween, our children will most likely notice something is going on in the neighborhood–tombstones in the yards, ghosts, goblins, witches, pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns, lights, scarecrows, cobwebs, spiders, and beyond.
Child-led conversations about Halloween are helpful and nurturing, as are books and stories. Most of the songs I offer at Playgroup Los Angeles are curated for the value they bring to the “head, heart and hands.” Early childhood songs tell short and sweet stories that we bring to life. Simple seasonal songs tend to encapsulate the big picture in just a few verses! Beyond the “head and heart” of connecting through words, tactile activities offer deeper learning through the “hands.”
The family crafts we make throughout the year in Mommy and Me classes are meaningful. Little ones have an opportunity to demonstrate what they know and learn something new. Best of all, a special moment in time is captured in a craft. Pictured above is a paper-bag pumpkin, a timeless and ageless nursery craft. Such a simple activity can be extended into the sensory and social-emotional processing of Halloween. The experience is rich from the crunching newspapers to put inside, transforming a flat bag into a pumpkin, making our own spooky paint from shaving cream, glue, and food coloring. Best of all, we take home a conversation piece that helps with the transformation of the town or city. “The town is dressed up for Halloween, it is dress-up time! The gardens have decorations, some are silly some spooky. And, we made our pumpkin decoration too.”