Saturday, October 26, 2013

Happy Un-Halloween!

I might not let my kids know it, but I'm a big believer in the idea that rules are made to be bent. In NC, teachers are encouraged to build on children's interests. Naturally, the children's thoughts are turning towards Halloween. There's just one problem: my center doesn't like Halloween.  Or any holidays, for that matter. I've had to get a little...creative this week, putting in Halloween-type activities and pouting a little. But then I saw this: (profanity warning) Here's a summary in case you don't like profanity: we watched scary stuff when we were little and instead of scarring us for life, it actually helped prepare us for the evil that's present in the real world.  And that got me thinking about the actual spirit of Halloween. It's easy to pull out pumpkins and ghosts and tell the preschoolers, "This is Halloween. It's cookie cutter art, projects from last year, and sterile." Boring.
Where did Halloween come from? Imagination. Storytelling. Empathizing with heroes defeating the bad guys as we listen to our favorite stories again and again.  Realizing that yes, evil does exist and yes, we are powerful to defeat it.
So I have a challenge for you: Even if you work in a center where you can celebrate Halloween, go beyond the normal.  Challenge yourself and your children to use imagination. Don't just read books, tell stories. I think you'll be surprised at what you find.

By the way, here's our pumpkin this year. I let the kids vote on which shapes they wanted for the face. Then I told this story: with the lights off and putting in an electric tealight at the appropriate time.

What's your favorite scary story from when you were little? Do you tell stories to your class?


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