Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Making Halloween fun instead of scary for children -Guest Post

Halloween is a fun holiday that’s all about make believe. Unfortunately, for some younger kids, the costumes, decorations and movies are overwhelming. Most kids don’t really start to enjoy Halloween until they are well into elementary school. By that age, they have learned better how to distinguish between the real and the pretend. For preschoolers and even some young school- age children, the story is quite different. They may feel anxious or frightened as the holiday approaches. There are plenty of things parents can do to help calm their child’s fears at Halloween.

Listen to Your Child’s Fears

When your child exhibits signs of anxiety or fear, take a moment to ask what is troubling them. Listen carefully to their answer and try to redirect their thoughts. Sometimes, being listened to is what really matters. When a parent can also provide reassurance that they will protect the child no matter what, this can go a long way toward alleviating fears.

Keep Decorations Minimal and Non-Threatening

While older kids and many adults love gory decorations, these kinds of things can be misunderstood by young children. That severed hand sitting on your coffee table looks like a prop to you, but a small child may not be able to distinguish this fact. If your household is one that enjoys putting the “scary” into your Halloween decorations, tone them down for a few years until your child is older and will be better able to enter into the spirit of the holiday.

As an alternative to scary decorations, use cute, seasonal alternatives. Concentrate on color combinations like black and orange or green and purple. Strings of lights and colored paper lanterns look fun and festive rather than scary. Decorate with black cats, owls and pumpkins and leave the witches and goblins for another year. Also, avoid decorations that are sound and motion activated as these can startle young children. Consider giving your child a Halloween good luck talisman like a cute, stuffed black kitty that will provide comfort when she starts feeling apprehensive.

Make Halloween Crafts

It’s no secret that kids love to cut, paste and color. Indulge their love of creativity by having them prepare some homemade Halloween decorations. The crafts can be as simple or elaborate as your child’s age and temperament allow for. Thousands of ideas can be found online, in seasonal magazines and in books. Helping to create some of the Halloween decorations your family uses can help take the scary out of other decorations. It might help your little one understand that those other decorations were created by other people just like them.

Choose a Fun Costume

Most kids have powerful imaginations, and Halloween is a great time to build on that strength. Halloween costumes don’t have to be scary; they can be fun and imaginative instead. Dress your little one up as a ladybug or a cowboy. Perhaps they want to be a fairy princess or a firefighter. Try to help them choose a costume that is benign and magical, and preferably one that doesn’t require a mask. Smaller children often find masks threatening, even when they are wearing them.

Fun Halloween Night Activities

Most communities hold some kind of Halloween festival or party. You can find them at community centers, schools and churches. These gatherings focus on the fun rather than the scary, and they are a great alternative to traditional trick or treating. At these parties, kids have a chance to play Halloween themed games like bobbing for apples and bean bag toss. They can eat fun, seasonal treats and maybe even make a craft or two. These parties keep kids off of dark streets that can seem scary and also lets them avoid knocking on the doors of strangers. If your kids are going to do some traditional trick or treating, make sure to take them to the homes of friends and family so they can be sure of a fun, non-scary welcome. Finish up the festivities by baking cookies or watching a beloved seasonal cartoon that’s appropriate for your child’s age. Enjoy these fun and innocent memories for as long as they last.

Author Bio
Becky Harris writes for Upack abf portable storage containers for customers with businesses on the go!

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