Let us make Halloween more meaningful

Let us make Halloween more meaningful

Written by Cristina Pereira

Halloween is just around the corner.

While most children may spend their time trying to find the spookiest costume or dressing up as the latest superhero, let us take the time to think about how we can make this Halloween stand out from the rest. What are the ways that we can celebrate Halloween meanwhile taking advantage of this fun and memorable learning opportunity?

Let’s take a look at some important core values and find ways to apply them this Halloween.

Respect for self and others. One small act of kindness can change the world. Above and beyond anything else, our children need to know how to be kind to themselves as well as being kind to others. This quality needs practice and nurture. Let’s ask our children ways that we can be kinder this Halloween and invite them to commit one act of kindness for themselves as well as to another. Ex. No tricks if there are no treats, how about offering some of their treats instead, or making sure that our house has treats available for those children with allergies who cannot eat the usual treats. You could suggest to your child hosting their own Halloween for younger generations, at hospitals, nursing homes or other areas where Joy and light are needed.  

Social responsibility. Halloween is most importantly about a community coming together and having fun, safely. Let us invite our children to look out for one another this Halloween and ponder the importance of community as well as community building. Ask how we can all help build one another up no matter the age and the ways that we can individually make our community stronger. Our children need to know that we have the moral obligation to make sure one another is safe and especially to look out for those younger than us. Let’s take advantage of this conversation to go over important and necessary safety precautions and make sure our kids know what to do if they find themselves in an awkward situation.

Intellectual curiosity. Invite your children to study the history of Halloween. Why is this day celebrated and special? How has Halloween evolved throughout the centuries? Who were the first people to celebrate Halloween? What is the history of trick or treating and how did trick or treating become part of the Halloween custom? How about tracing Halloween through different countries and customs?
 
Innovation and creativity. How about a consumption free Halloween? Instead of purchasing a costume and creating unnecessary waste, how about a competition on costume building with materials available at home or in the classroom, including recyclable materials. You could also have students to do theme costume building as well as a costume drive to incentivize community building in the classroom or at home. The same goes for Halloween decorations and treats. You could ask children to go through their toys and books and have a surprise treat bag at their door with these goodies. What other treats could we give rather than or along with candy? Have the classroom brainstorm and see what fun ideas they can come up with. 
 
Environmental stewardship. Let’s envision a Halloween with as little waste as possible. Let’s ask children to follow the trail and see where those candy wrappers, cheap paper, and plastic products will eventually end up. Have your children do a math exercise and calculate how many candy wrappers per child ends up being discarded, per household, per classroom, per city, in the country. What ideas can your children/ students come up with to have a waste-free or plastic-free Halloween?
 
Global awareness. Let’s have our children investigate how and if Halloween is celebrated across the globe. Examining different countries and customs, what other festivities are celebrated in a Halloween like fashion? Ex. Purisima in Nicaragua, Día de los Muertos in Mexico, Pangangaluluwa in the Philippines, The Hungry Ghost festival Hong Kong, Pitru Paksha in India, and Pchum Ben in Cambodia just to name a few.

Share your thoughts, experiences and meaningful Halloween themed classroom activities.

Did you enjoy these suggestions? What other fun and responsible ways can we celebrate Halloween this year? Share your thoughts, experiences and meaningful Halloween themed classroom activities. We’d love to hear about them.

Ideas for non food treats.
https://www.foodallergy.org/education-awareness/teal-pumpkin-project/ideas-for-non-food-treats

Ideas for a waste free Halloween
https://www.ecospark.ca/blog/pub:28/10-Ways-to-have-a-Waste-Free-Halloween

Innovation in recycling candy wrappers

Waste free Halloween

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