A few years ago I pretty much ignored Halloween as I considered it to be too negative and frightening for children. Wrong!
Children LOVE scary things and celebrations like Halloween help them to get their fears into the open! I am amazed by the shared conversations I have had with children about death and fears. Children making skeleton drawings with cotton buds have opened up with so many, ‘I remember when…….” conversations and I realise it is the seasonal focus that is allowing this to happen!
Today, in the middle of a re-assessment, one of my students told me all about the death of her beloved cat and how she held it all night although she realised it had passed. She remembers it in detail although it was 4 years ago. (She is 10)
She still talks to it and has the most amazing, balanced and beautiful way of looking at life and death. I was humbled that she chose to tell me all about this and for once I was completely quiet!
Tonight I walked into a learning session where most of the children were reading a book called BLOOD by the Literacy Tower- they were SO into the book! Absolute, total concentration! They are fascinated by the human body- especially the interesting bits we don’t mention so much!
This is why horror tales such as Goosebumps have remained so popular. Children can play with these ideas from the relative safety of a cosy classroom setting!
The season also has Celtic origins and honours those who have left this world, something that children are greatly interested in. Death, fear, spooky things cannot be avoided. Halloween is a fun and safe way to explore some of these darker, troubling thoughts.
I have written a learning package about HALLOWEEN for teachers and parents- you can see it here: 50 pages of learning ideas and activities!