Halloween was my children’s favorite time of the year next to Christmas. They loved to dress up and they loved to eat candy. I struggled with trying to control their candy intake and finally gave up; they all lived and have good teeth. I came to accept that Matt was hyper until the candy was gone. I have been known to sneak into candy bags and make it disappear faster than it normally would. It was the one time of the year that I, NOT a seamstress by any stretch of the imagination, would tackle a cat costume or a batman outfit and it would turn out looking enough like it was supposed to that my children would be pleased and love me! In fact, a few of these outfits are still in SYC dress-ups!
Not all preschoolers like Halloween, with its masks and witches and scariness. This is because young children have not yet learned to distinguish between reality and fantasy. These fears are normal for this age and what helps most is to talk about them. The talking helps children handle their fears and feel supported by adults when they listen. At school we talk about scary masks and costumes. Alice the puppet seems to have trouble every year with scary masks, so we use her to encourage the children to express their concerns.
For the children (and teachers!) who are ready for Halloween costumes, we enjoy dressing up. One year as I arrived at school there was a cow talking to the minister of the church!
Haunted houses are not for preschoolers. The scenes depicted are too graphic for young children. Save this experience for later years when fantasy-reality knowledge is more sophisticated.