27 Oct A Montessori Approach to Halloween
Can you feel the excitement in the air? All Hallows’ Eve is nearly here! At Sugar Mill Montessori, we believe the Halloween holiday offers a wonderful opportunity to emphasize Montessori educational principles while also allowing children to explore the fun, festive fall world around them.
However, as the CDC has labeled trick-or-treating a high risk activity, October 31st will definitely look different this year. But that’s okay; there’s still tons of fun to be had and lots of lessons to learn! Below are steps we can take to ensure kids have a safe, stimulating, Montessori-friendly Halloween.
Caution, Courtesy, & Celebration
Often, a child’s favorite part of the Halloween season is its climax — dressing up in a costume, going to door-to-door and collecting as much candy as possible. Montessori parents also value the experience as it presents the chance to stress the importance of being kind and considerate to one another.
The CDC and Austin Public Health have strongly discouraged the activity — this may understandably upset your child. It is important to articulate that you are avoiding trick-or-treating for everyone’s safety, and that you have plans in place to still have a fun and fulfilling holiday.
Suggested Activities That Are a Ghoulish Good Time
Virtual Costume Party
Kids love to get creative and express themselves by playing dress-up. A virtual costume party allows children to get into character and show their friends while keeping a safe distance. When children are picking out their costumes, it may be good to keep in mind that Maria Montessori has said that young children need to be grounded in reality at early stages of development.
At Sugar Mill Montessori, we celebrate Halloween with a Book Character Day where children choose a book and dress up as their favorite character.
Carve & Cook Pumpkins
Take some time to get crafty and creative with your family! Nothing quite represents the Halloween season like pumpkins — plus, there’s so much to do with them! Here are two activities for the price of one:
Paint or carve pumpkins using a kid’s set of carving tools and set aside the seeds. Have your child come up with an idea of how they want to decorate their pumpkin. Then, work with them to help bring their vision to life.
Cook the seeds, combining them with ginger, cinnamon, and salt, to make a yummy fall-themed treat. An activity like this lays great groundwork for future lessons about food preparation.
Alternatively, children can paint pumpkins and get creative with colors and characters!
Children will see the value in using their own hands to create something they’re proud to see and taste.
Spooky Science Lessons
Conduct an examination of scary things that represent the season, like skeletons and frightening creatures. Display a fun, festive graphic of the human skeleton and have your child name each bone they see and point to where it is on their own body. Alternatively, or, in addition, you could turn your attention to creepy-crawlies by studying spiders.
Okay, but what about candy? Everyone (especially kids) associate Halloween with indulging their sweet-tooth. The CDC has suggested household scavenger hunts as the safe alternative to traditional trick-or-treating.
The good news is: a scavenger hunt is a great activity to approach within a Montessori framework. Have your kids use their brains to problem solve, explore, discover, and be rewarded. Here are some classic Montessori-style scavenger hunts that can easily be given a twist with Halloween treats — you can leave candy to be found with the items they must locate or gift them a bag of their favorites when they’re all done.
Have a Happy & Safe Halloween!
While it may not be the Halloween we’re used to, activities like these could potentially jumpstart a new tradition you’ll look forward to next year! Sugar Mill Montessori in Sugar Land, TX, wishes you and your family a fun, fulfilling Halloween! If you’d like to learn more about how we celebrate Halloween and all other holidays in the Montessori classroom, contact us today!