Halloween

What does Halloween look like for you this year? Are you in lockdown or free to go trick or treating?

This holiday has come a far way from its roots of celebrating autumn harvest. Did you know that Autumn harvests are also celebrated in Chinese and Korean cultures? Traditionally, this holiday celebrated the gifts and abundance offered by nature in the form of apple and pumpkin harvests.

Of course, these days, Halloween is all about costumes and candy.

Over the years, thanks to the proliferation of American culture, the idea of a commercial Halloween has spread throughout the world. Today, even France sells tacky, cheap plastic costumes and decorations.

Is it possible to have a FUN and SUSTAINABLE Halloween? OF COURSE IT IS!

Here are some ideas:

Clothes

  1. Make your own costumes.
  2. Use what you have.
  3. Buy a secondhand costume.
  4. Do a costume swap with your friends or family beforehand!

Decorations

  1. Buy secondhand decorations.
  2. Use what you have,
  3. If you’re bored with what you have, swap with a friend or neighbour. Remember to leave the decorations aside for 3 days prior to ensure that Covid-19 isn’t transmitted.
  4. Use the insides of your carved pumpkin to make soup, pie or muffins. Even the seeds can be roasted in the oven for a healthy snack. Remember to compost the pumpkin afterwards.

Treats

  1. Buy candy from bulk stores where you can take your own container.
  2. Buy unwrapped sweets.
  3. Reuse bags that you already have if the kids are going trick or treating.
  4. Hide clues around the house that leads to tricks or treats.
  5. If you`re only having a small Halloween party for your own kids, you can have a creepy blindfold taste-testing party.

Peeled grapes in a bowl feels icky and gross. Perfect for blindfolded kids. You can call them eyeballs.

Wet candy worms and tells the kids that they are real worms. Alternatively, make spaghetti and mix with oil.

Make French-style pancakes and serve them as bat wings.

Mash bananas for monster snot.

Jelly (agar-agar for vegetarians) mummy brains.

Baked beans make zombie poop.

Mashed avocado makes wonderful witch vomit.

Many of the above ideas have been tried and tested by me in English class and it’s always gone down a treat with kids, big and small. The key is to invoke the children’s imaginations with the names and letting them try familiar foods in a different way.

Storytime

In the absence of trick or treat, this is a great opportunity for crafting and telling scary stories. Create a spooky atmosphere with candles and soft, creepy music and read ghost stories together. Depending on the age of the kids, of course… no on wants to deal with the nightmares afterwards! Writing ghost stories beforehand is also a great way to bond as well as improve literacy.

Take the opportunity to learn about the scary stories of cultures around the world!

Once, I even made a Ouija Spelling board to use with some older students in Indonesia. This was a scary but fun way to test their knowledge.

Check out my other blog posts, lesson plan resources and useful links to other pages.