From the Director: Halloween Thoughts
By Nicole Shadduck, Education Director
October has come and in a blink of an eye, back to school season ended and we are beginning fall. The buzz of Halloween anticipation came early this year and we are doing our best to simultaneously support children’s anticipation of the holiday and be The Children’s School where most things remain the same and you can play Halloween when you want but don’t have to be overwhelmed by Halloween ideas either.
Early childhood years are significant in so many ways. One way that comes to mind with every holiday celebration is the concept of firsts. During a child’s first years, every time an annual celebration occurs, it is the first time that child is experiencing it. Children learn by doing, exploring and repetition. Although all of our children have most likely experienced a Halloween celebrations (or part of the fall festivities), it is their first Halloween for many, many years. As children experience the fall holidays year after year, they move from not knowing what it means, to being excited (or scared) that something new is going to happen to then knowing and remembering parts of the traditions and celebrations that are significant to them (and their families).
There was a time, 20 years ago now, that I would not take my son down certain aisles of the big box store because it was too scary, too much unknown, too exciting. Sometimes there were tears, sometimes over-enthusiasm and sometimes it was just too much for me who just wanted to get the errands done and get home. It was also during these years that we would trick or treat only three or four houses on the big night, but then play trick or treating all over the house for weeks. He would carry a plastic pumpkin and knock on all the doors (closets, too) collecting random treats. This young boy is now 26 years old and enjoys the spooky side of Halloween but only after he was a pre-teen.
I share this story with you, thinking about this holiday in the time of the pandemic. Children may be experiencing a range of emotions about what this holiday means, what they remember happening last year and anticipating what may happen this year. There is so much information about what to do and what not to do in celebrating Halloween ‘in the time of the Corona’. This holiday is important and will build memories for you and your child, alongside memories of Halloweens past and those in the future. Do what feels right for your child and your family this year while taking all the steps to protect yourself and others. Attached to this month’s TCS Times is an article written by Cindy Finch, past Executive Director. It speaks to honoring your family’s traditions and supporting your child’s interest this time of year.
If you would like to talk more about holiday celebrations, please let Sarah or Nicole know. If you would like to contribute holiday ideas, snacks or holiday supplies to your child’s classroom, please speak to your teachers. Have a safe and sane holiday! We can’t wait to hear about it!