Halloween

Tips for a Safe and Happy Halloween

Here are some tips for a safe and happy Halloween. Besides the candy, a fun afternoon or evening with our kids is quite a treat-mostly. Enjoy!

tips for safe halloween

  • No matter how scary the costume, ghosts, goblins, witches, and other Halloween characters should only go out with parents or adults.
  • Like toffee, stick with areas that are known. Walk on the sidewalks instead of the road and go to the corners to cross the streets.
  • “Candy, stay in the bag until getting home.” It’s a sad reality that treats need to be checked first but so important to do.
  • Did you know at Halloween the main reason for injuries and visits to emergency rooms is from simple falls? Check kids won’t trip in their costumes (or adults either).
  • There’s so much to see at Halloween. You don’t want to miss any of it by not being able to see. Make sure kids can see up, down, and all around.
  • Most people turn on their outside lights if they are participating in Halloween. Lights out is the message to skip that house for tricks and treats. No matter if lights are on or off though, stay outside.
  • Halloween is a dark, scary night, but you’ll feel safer with a bright flashlight.

Not every country in the world celebrates Halloween. In the US and Canada more than a billion pounds of pumpkins are harvested each fall. More chocolate is sold at Halloween than in February for Valentines. The number of kids who will be out for Halloween night is between 40 and 50 million!! That’s a lot of little and a few big bodies who will be excited and barely slowed down at all with the layers of a costume. The night will be dark and if we’re lucky, not rainy or snowy. We all need to be extra cautious and take care.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!

tips for a safe and happy halloween

Turning Pumpkins into Jack-o-Lanterns – Quite a Transformation

Turning pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns is quite a transformation. This happens both by adding and by taking away. Learning is like this too.

turning pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns

In order for pumpkins to shine as jack-o-lanterns something needs to happen. There needs to be some action. Carving a pumpkin gives it eyes for seeing, a nose for smelling, and a mouth for talking. In a way, learning for kids also requires action. Some of this learning comes from their own play and exploration. Some of it also comes from the action of parents, families, and caregivers. That is to say, from us.

Every day we can facilitate kids’ interaction with the world. For example, in the morning when helping little ones get dressed, talk about the weather and choosing clothes for the day. Count the buttons on the shirt, name the colors, sing about getting ready, “This is the way we get dressed, we get dressed, we get dressed.” In order to connect with others, we use language. The words we use with and around a child are downloading language into that child’s brain. We add features to the jack-o-lantern and we add to a child’s day with our actions, big adventures and ordinary, everyday experiences.

Carving the pumpkin leaves some empty spaces in the shell. For kids we need to make sure we leave space in the day for them to play. Days get so busy it seems like every moment is full, but kids need time to figure out the world in their own way. We might have to get creative in order to do this, like letting them have a drawer in the kitchen with things they can touch and use when we’re busy making a meal. Bring home a big cardboard box. It isn’t empty, it’s full of possibilities.jack-o-lanterns

We also put a candle or light inside. Now, the jack-o-lantern can shine. Turning pumpkins into jack-o-lanterns might be your activity for the day. Some people use turnips and recently, there have been photos and instructions for pineapple lanterns. Whatever we use, maybe our job as parents and caregivers is to put a light inside kids so they can shine too?

Childhood Fears and Halloween – Even Dragons Get Scared

Halloween is a very special time of year, both exciting and scary, so it’s a great time to talk about childhood fears. Even dragons get scared.childhood fears

At this age, fears are common, like monsters, the dark, loud noises, and unfamiliar people. Some of these fears are real and some are imaginary. Sometimes to adults, they seem baffling. We can understand being afraid of loud noises, separated from parents, and dark rooms but kids can be afraid of ordinary things. For several months, Big Sister was afraid of the sound of toilets flushing. Once, when it was flushed, the toilet plugged up and the water overflowed. This was really scary to her and she associated that fear with the sound.

In the article, Monsters Under the Bed: Understanding Kid Fears at Parents.com, the writer explains that kids are most fearful about 4 to 5 years old. Dreams can be particularly scary. Little Sister explained to me that if I came into her room at night and couldn’t find her, that was because she was in her dream. I would have to call really loud for her to hear me. Dreams and nightmares happen in the dark and it’s so easy to feel disoriented and confused.

monster spray childhood fears

While fears are a normal part of childhood, there are things we can do to help kids handle fears. For instance, a spray bottle with some water and food coloring makes monster spray. When kids are scared of monsters, all they have to do is give them a squirt and they melt or disappear. We can show kids how taking a few deep, slow breaths can help.

Sharing books and stories can help too. Dragons are pretty scary creatures, so can a dragon get scared? In the story Dragon’s Halloween by Dav Pilkey, Dragon has a problem. There are only 6 small pumpkins left and none of the other animals find his jack-o-lanterns scary. Instead, they laugh. Dragon piles the carved pumpkins one on top of each other sort of like a jack-o-lantern snowman. With big scary eyes and mouth, and crooked arms made of sticks, it’s so scary Dragon looks and scares himself. Silly Dragon.

childhood fears

Being a little scared is okay but imaginations may be working overtime with ghosts, witches, goblins, and monsters at Halloween. We might need to reassure kids that it’s okay to be afraid. Dragons breathe fire but we show kids how to take a few deep, slow breaths so bodies feel better. How do you deal with childhood fears?

Pumpcano: Pumpkin Baking Soda Vinegar Volcano

Not only does this pumpkin baking soda vinegar volcano create a gas (carbon dioxide), it is a gas, as in lots of fun. It’s a great science experiment too. Although baking soda and vinegar are inexpensive, the bigger the pumpkin the more of it you will need. Smaller pumpkins are easier for the bubbles to … Continue reading Pumpcano: Pumpkin Baking Soda Vinegar Volcano

Geo Pumpkin Craft Fun with Pins, Elastics, Yarn, and Buttons

Today’s geo pumpkin craft fun was inspired by the photos on several sites for Halloween activities.  This gives us another day for pumpkin play and learning. What is a geo pumpkin? The name geo pumpkin comes from the math resource known as a geo board. This is a square board with pins or nails placed … Continue reading Geo Pumpkin Craft Fun with Pins, Elastics, Yarn, and Buttons

Veggies or Fruit Pumpkin Dip Snack – Halloween or Thanksgiving

After finding a nice, small pumpkin with a flat bottom we were able to make this fun pumpkin dip snack. It’s great for dipping either veggies or fruit, making it nutritious too. **Unless this is for the family and half the neighborhood, use a small pumpkin.** Start by cutting off a small slice on the … Continue reading Veggies or Fruit Pumpkin Dip Snack – Halloween or Thanksgiving

Visiting the Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze Adventure

In between rainy days, we’ve squeezed in visiting the pumpkin patch and corn maze. What a special place for kids and grownups with lots to enjoy. The pumpkin patch engages our senses. Visually, it’s bright with color. The autumn leaves dance with orange, gold, and sometimes red. The pumpkins glow against the backdrop of the … Continue reading Visiting the Pumpkin Patch and Corn Maze Adventure

What’s Inside Your Pumpkin? A Show and Tell Activity

After scooping out a pumpkin, here is a way your child can show and tell about it with this What’s Inside Your Pumpkin activity. More fun but less gooey. It also makes a book your child can read, even if there aren’t any words. Before starting this activity, you and your child need to explore … Continue reading What’s Inside Your Pumpkin? A Show and Tell Activity

Halloween Water Sensory Play and Magic Potion

Halloween water sensory play and magic potions isn’t just child’s play, it’s a child’s suggestion for a play-of-the-day. It’s simple and proven to be fun. After scooping out a pumpkin, we had to clean up the kitchen. There were a few seeds on the counter and even the floor. There were spoons and other tools … Continue reading Halloween Water Sensory Play and Magic Potion