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Rethinking Halloween

by Cathy Abraham

Twenty years ago when I was a preschool teacher, there were several things I could count on the day of our Halloween Party: No one would nap; a child would cry because his/her costume would get ripped, broken or a piece would be lost; a parent would want me to paint some elaborate facial make-up on a child that I couldn't do; I would have a headache at the end of the day; and none of the children would trade me their Snickers candy bars.

I've come to believe in many instances in working with young children, less is more. Is Halloween a horrible and damaging thing for children- no. It's not about that. It's about making the most of the opportunities we have for learning, still having fun, and doing better, more appropriate things for children. I'd like to explore ways in which we can make this holiday and time of year more appropriate and meaningful for young children - and less stressful for everyone involved.

Some ideas and things to think about:

If you still choose to celebrate Halloween: