For children, Halloween can just be a time that they dress up and get free sweets, but there is also a rich history that can be taught about the Halloween holiday. These traditions surrounding Halloween can be taught in the lead up to the day itself and as it is a creative time for most children with outfit designing and pumpkin carving, it can actually be very interesting to teach about too.
First of all, it’s good for you to brush up on the facts about Halloween and why it exists, find out about how Halloween began as a Celtic holiday (known as Samhain) where ghosts would return to the earth and how it involved All Hallow’s Eve.
Whilst Halloween is a time for all ages to celebrate, sometimes we have to remind ourselves that really young children can become frightened by the goings-on. So it’s good to keep the celebrations age appropriate, keeping some of the more gruesome and scary details for the older children and keeping it light for the younger learners.
Harvest traditions that surround Halloween are also a great tool to get parents involved and make it a family affair for the children, try to get families to organise a trip to a pumpkin patch or get involved in the more traditional family trick or treat trip! Advise the parents to do some pumpkin carving or jack-o-lantern craft at home as well as in the classroom.
Old photographs and videos of Halloween celebrations across the country can be a great starting point to begin discussion on the holiday, making it more personal can help children to learn about what their parents and grandparents have done to celebrate and engage them in learning and wanting to know more about even more distant relatives!
As with most holidays, it’s a great time to try some cooking to have fun with Halloween shapes and treats. Some of the favourites involved scary cookies shapes like ghosts, witches and pumpkins and even making edible slime can be a fun and messy task for children!
Of course, it is one of the best times of the year to do some arts and crafts! Get the children to create all sorts of ghouls and scary characters using an array of materials, it’s a fantastic to time to let imaginations run wild and encourage creativity. Everything from making decorations to costume design can be a fun task, so get them involved as much as possible!
Finally, always remember that Halloween is a good time to make children realise that monsters are a work of fiction and that they should have fun talking about it, get them in their best outfits ready for trick or treating mayhem!
What will be your main activities for Halloween? Share your comments below.