Scéalta – The Early Childhood Ireland Blog

< Back to Blog

Halloween – A Trick or a Treat?

Carol Duffy

By: CAROL DUFFY

Tuesday 30 October 2018

Coming so soon after the settling in period, for many children Halloween is often a mixed bag of tricks and treats. On the one hand it can be a treat, a time of great excitement negotiating the emotions of scary and funny, the concepts of real and pretend, and the delights of being out in the dark. All of this wrapped up in the fun of dress up, and parties with fun food and games. On the other hand, it can often be a tricky time for early years settings. We all know some children (and indeed adults) who revel in this excitement and those who recoil with fright any time a mask or spider appears. Getting the balance right among the mixed ages and the mixed emotions of the children in your care takes thought and care. You may also have families who don’t celebrate Halloween at all, while others embrace it fully with dress up, fireworks, bonfires etc.

Over the years I have seen many examples of Halloween celebrations, from the simple understated Halloween party to the all-embracing decorated dress up of people and place. I am reminded of a setting a few years ago who held a night session of tales and stories. The thrill of going to playgroup in the dark of night offered an exciting experience. The fairy lights and decorations that adorned the building gave a magical air of mystery to the setting and was fondly remembered by the children and families long after the event.

Other settings have decided that their outside space offers the perfect place for a community bonfire where the families of those attending can experience a magical Halloween experience. Even the youngest of children can feel safe and secure to experience the magic of flame lit shadows and bursts of firework light while their older siblings sing their Halloween songs and share their Halloween treats.

However, many of the Halloween parties held in early years centres happen prior to Halloween night as many children are on mid-term break for Halloween itself. Do you allow time on their return to chat about Halloween and their experience of it? Do you collect their words, drawings, images?

As the children tell you what they saw, and what they did, a rich tapestry of stories and images will unfold. The diversity of experiences will create a true picture of what Halloween means for them. It can be different for every family. Collecting these stories, images, and drawings in your group journal or on a poster page can provide a real example of identity and belonging as each child’s experience, and emotions are acknowledged and validated.

The mixed bag of seasonal tricks and treats can continue as Autumn falls at our feet and offers us a harvest of vivid colours, crunching sounds, changing flora, fauna, changing weather and hibernating animals. The trick for us educators is in making such events relevant to the children and seeing it from their perspective and experience. The treat is in the funds of knowledge they will share with us. For when children are connected to nature’s bounty they see things in their own unique way. They help us to see the world through their eyes renewing us with their sense of wonder and awe.

Bio:

Carol Duffy (MA in Early Years Education) is an Early Childhood Specialist with Early Childhood Ireland. She has worked in the sector for over thirty five years, as an early year’s educator, lecturer, and mentor. She is passionate about young children’s access to nature and outdoor play. She is also an advocate for meaningful observation and documentation that motivates educators and showcases children’s lives, loves, and learning. 

0 comments Comments

Leave a Reply

Please Log In to comment:

Eritrea(1) Infectious diseases(1) Sustainable(1) risk assessment(1) blog(28) EECERA 2016(1) Document Learning(1) Employee(1) Patterns(1) Minister for Children and Youth Affairs(1) Art(6) Flowers(1) Hand Hygiene(1) dining(1) The Jelly King(1) Arithmetic(1) Magnavacchi(1) Training(2) outdoor play(6) Early Childhood Ireland National Awards(1) Light table(1) pets(1) Biting(1) Sleep(1) PIP(1) Decision Making(1) Minister Katherine Zappone(1) Childcare Barometer 2018(1) Rich Documentation(1) Early Childhood Ireland’s National Early Childhood Research Conference 2019(1) Inclusion(3) Nonverbal(1) Window(1) Motor neuron disease(1) Policy(2) Scents(1) Japan(1) Learning journals(1) Potential(1) friendships(1) Support(1) interacting(2) Care routines(1) Performing(1) Awards 2018(3) Shoes(1) Cognitive development(1) Buddies(1) science week(2) Self-Esteem(1) Participation(2) Mindfulness(2) Masterclass(2) Loss(1) supportive environments(2) LINC Award for Leadership in Inclusion(1) Through the looking glass(1) General Data Protection Regulation(1) Glitter(2) Capable(1) San Minia(1) conversations(1) E.coli(1) Environment(2) Adoption(1) Technology(3) Italy(1) respect(5) Whole Group(1) Shapes(1) IGL(1) Research and Professional Learning(1) books(4) Reggio Children Network(1) Empathy(1) Anxiety(2) learning(19) AsIAm(1) dining experiences(1) communication(4) early years research(1) Ceremony(1) Siolta blog(4) Snacks(1) Learning Stories(9) MA(1) Spiders(1) Aistear(113) Reggio(1) Irish(1) Universal Design(2) Traditions(2) Visual Impairment(1) Appreciation(1) Creativity(4) CPD(1) routine(2) Storytelling(4) Challenges(1) meals(3) Access and Inclusion Model(2) Infection Control(1) Celebrate(1) Competent(1) Academics(1) mushrooms(1) Emergent Curriculum(1) feisty(1) College(1) Oireachtas(1) Social Skills(1) Supernanny(1) Children and families(1) outdoor space(3) Norway(2) animals(2) InspireMe.ie(1) CCTV(1) Children's Research Network(1) Gardening(1) Vietnam(1) Love(2) Culture(2) Interactions(2) Elders(1) planning(1) Book Review(1) Communications(1) Ariana Pucci(1) Síolta Quality Assurance programme(1) Self Help Skills(1) Vivian Gussin Paley(1) Research Seminar(1) Wendy Lee(3) Partnership with Families Innovation Award(1) Toby Bears Camping Trip(1) Diversity(1) First 5 strategy(1) Snack Time(1) Fantasy play(1) Child mental health(1) Grief(1) Learning Story(1) Mixed age groups(2) environments(1) emotions(2) Mud kitchens(1) Identity and Belonging(4) Relaxation(1) Recycle(1) Providing Leadership to the First 5(1) refugees(1) Jenga(1) Funding(1) Smiles(1) reading(5) Mathematicians(1) Equality & Inclusion Guidelines Training(1) Workforce(1) story time(2) Academic Skills(1) Nutrition(1) risk(2) grandchild(1) SPICE Framework(1) Plastic(1) Autism(3) linc(1) Learning Story Awards(1) Together Old and Young Programme(1) dogs(1) ECCE(6) ECEC(1) journey(1) Map(1) Leadership(1) National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education(1) risky play(2) Recycling(2) HR(1) Death(2) educating(1) Traffic Lights(1) Policy and Implementation Panel(1) food(1) Drawing(2) Community involvement(1) listening(1) Engineering(3) parents(5) Mount Everest(1) memories(1) Care-giving routines(1) Pen green(1) DCYA(4) Montessori & Early Childhood Professionals Ireland(1) National Bereaved Children's Awareness Week(1) Little Buddies(1) Workplace well-being(1) Celebrations(4) Children(3) transitions(10) Aldo Fortunati(4) Favouritism(1) TRAP(1) GDPR(1) Body Language(1) Playschool(1) Our Little Seed(1) Cork Institute of Technology(1) Síolta QAP(1) Iceland(1) Interaction(1) Annual Conference 2017(2) ReCreate(2) Advocacy(1) Inter-generational learning(2) Craft(1) Party(1) Exclusion(1) under 3's(3) preschool(2) budget(1) Tuscan Approach(2) TOY Programme(1) San Miniato(4) Special Needs Assistants(1) Educator - Leader in Practice Award(1) Orla Kenny(1) Dr. Emer Ring(1) First 5(1) Fee Play(1) Margy Whalley(1) Quality(4) Educators(1) Horizon 2020(1) Settling in(4) RIE philosphy(1) Iraq(1) Leargas(1) Scéalta Blog(91) Communicating(1) Kids Own(1) Wonder(1) Irish Early Years Research & Practice Seminar 2018(1) documentation(3) ERASMUS+(3) Workplace Relations(3) Staff Motivation(1) Department of Education and Skills(1) Trade union(1) Photographs(1) Magda Gerber(1) Valentine's Day(3) baby room(1) Síolta(108) Mark Twain(1) curriculum(5) worries(1) Twitter(1) Well-Being(9) Performance Management(1) Early Years(1) Self-regulation(1) Wilenski(1) European Project(1) Games(1) Study Trip(1) Easter(1) value(1) National Pyjama Day(1) social media(1) ICBN(1) Story(1) Thinking(1) NCCA(3) Gratitude(1) Breathing(2) Home Corner(1) Stress(2) Queues(1) St. Patrick's Day(1) STEM(3) Penguins(1) Xbox(1) National Council for Curriculum and Assessment(1) maternity health(1) Montessori(3) Affordability(1) Maternity Leave(1) Mayo(1) Building Resilience(1) Malaguzzi(1) Facebook(1) Belonging(3) Vertical grouping(1) Touch(1) eating(1) Valerie Gaynor(1) Educator of the Year Award(3) Time Out(1) Weather(1) RTE Investigates(1) UD(1) Mo Scéal(1) Primary School(2) life long learning(1) Time(1) Childcare(2) Qualifications(1) Brain(1) Early Learning and Care(1) Upcycling(1) Reflective Practice(1) Research Conference 2019(1) Frustrations(1) Awards 2019(1) Music(3) Family wall(1) Thank you(1) child-centred approach(1) Magic(1) Inspired Practice Award(5) Design(1) Inspirational(2) Christmas Creativity(2) Sculptures(1) Wesco(1) Inspections(1) Treasure(1) Syria(1) Winter(1) Sport(1) Meal time(1) stories(2) Confidence(1) School Age Childcare(1) Digital Devices(1) Growing up Outdoors(1) National Awards 2018(2) play stories(1) National Awards 2019(1) Book Club(2) christmas(9) NAEYC(1) Nuturing interactions(1) Imagination(3) Giraffe(2) Seas Suas(1) Names(1) Positivity(1) trust(3) Health(2) outdoors(3) Administrative Burden(1) Intention(1) Reggio Emilia(1) Event Guide(1) Maths(5) Budget 2018(1) Painting(1) Visitors(1) Mental Health(3) Engineering Ireland(1) Maths Week(1) National Holiday(1) Change(1) Arlene Forster(1) listen(1) science(3) Children's Voice(1) Aistear Siolta Practice Guide(1) MECPI(1) Scéalta Book Review(1) Engineers Week(2) United Nations(1) Exploring and Thinking(1) Growing up in Ireland(3) community(5) role playing(1) Mantra(1) Thanks(1) Builders(1) Consent(1) Learning Journal(1) Socioemotional development(1) University(1) Trigonometry(1) Maths Week Ireland(1) experience(1) Cork(1) Department of Children and Youth Affairs(2) Decisions(1) Liz Kerrins(1) bonds(1) early childhood educator(1) Learning Stories Award(3) DES Inspection(1) Pobal(1) Meet the Members(1) Frosty the Snowman(1) Treasure Chest(1) Maynooth University(1) Early Years Educators(2) Investment(2) Deirdre Rogers(1) Certificate(1) Rituals(1) Maynooth(1) Exit interview(1) Jillian van Turnhout(1) Prexit(1) Behaviour(3) Degree(1) Annual Conference 2019(1) Feeding(1) Engagement(1) Dance(1) Budget 2020(1) research(6) Exercise(1) Online(1) Bereavement(2) Sustainability(3) toddlers(3) Santa(2) Lego(2) New Appointments(1) Professionalisation(4) Trade Unions(1) education(2) Albert Einstein(1) The Lullaby Book(1) Plants(1) Obesity(1) Maria Montessori(1) AIM(2) Laughter(1) Pobal sector profile(1) UNCRC(1) Afghanistan(1) purpose(1) Trick or treat(1) Human Resources(1) Graduate(1) Identity(5) Sequins(1) Impact(1) Awards(2) Leprechauns(1) overhear(1) babies(7) Role play(1) Snakes(1) Wrapping paper(1) Childhood(1) Inter-generational(2) Family(1) EM Standing(1) Sweets(1) Early Learning and Care Centres(1) Blocks(1) development(8) Limerick(1) Creative(1) relationships(17) INTO(1) CIT(1) Digital(1) Kilkenny(1) Running(1) Summer(1) Yoga(1) Fabric(1) emotional environment(1) Buddy Bench(1) Teamwork(1) Sociodramatic play(1) Line-ups(1) Exploring(1) Early Childhood Care and Education(1) Educator Award - Leader in Practice(1) ears(1) educarer(1) Rising to the Challenge(2) Halloween(2) Irish Childhood Bereavement Network(1) Leaders in Practice(1) UN Sustainable Development Goals(1) Mealtimes(1) Interests(1) Budget 2019(2) Graduation(1) dublin(2) Kerry(1) Independence(1) Confident(1) Dr Mary O'Kane(1) Laugh(1) Titles(1) Children's Rights(3) curiosity(3) play(32) collaboration(1) UN(1) scéalta(29) Arts(1) Playdough(1) Routines(1)

SIGN UP FOR BLOG UPDATES

SUBSCRIBE
Site maintained and developed by Cloud Nine