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Science Kids on the Loose

Science Kids on the Loose

EEK…Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Sid fans! The big day is upon us all. My kids have been busting out of their skins all weekend. They are ready for trick or treating! I did my best to fill up our weekend with Halloweeny activities: a town carnival, pumpkin carving, a Halloween birthday party, and lots of house decorating. And a candy jar continuously filled with candy corns. I am hoping that Henry and Leo will be so Halloweened-out by tonight that an early evening might be possible. Hahahahaha! A mom can dream, right?
Anyone who has been following this blog for the month of October knows that I have decided to embrace Halloween and shower my kids with science and activities related to the holiday. We made slime, created a web with Leo’s class, and crafted at home. I admit it has been lots of fun. Before having children, in my single days, Halloween was like New Years or Valentine’s Day: pressure filled with the need to be clever, charming, and alluring. I am so happy that those days are past me now and Halloween can be like I remember it as a child: magical, mysterious, and exciting.
However, even as I have tried to keep Halloween fun and festive, there are moments of fear and trepidation for my boys. Leo, in particular, has a hard time with the spooky aspects of Halloween. Our neighbors across the street started decorating their house before the end of September with bloody skeletons, ghosts, and other spectral horrors. It looks amazing, but to a four year old, it has been absolutely terrifying. Even in broad daylight. I have found myself trying to find words to explain the meaning of coffin, corpse, sarcophagus, and zombie to my little boys. It hasn’t been easy. The living dead isn’t something I focus on too often.
At school Henry and his friends have been playing zombies and vampires. They are very vocal about their appetite for brains and blood. All in jest, of course, but Leo isn’t so sure all the time. He came to our bed in the middle of the night crying because he dreamed that zombies were trying to eat his head. As a preschooler, I see Leo trying to keep up with the big kids and their games, yet his tender heart isn’t ready for the frightening concepts. What’s a mom to do? I struggle with wanting to let the boys find their own way but also wanting to protect them from concepts that are clearly too old for them.
Thankfully, I can fall back on some of my Sid strategies to allay fears. We ask questions about scary things like spooky lights or skeletons hanging from the trees. We touch objects in the daylight and make observations about why these things are scary. Leo isn’t convinced completely, but I have found that exploring, talking, and touching has helped him relax a little bit.
Thankfully, Henry and Leo love to dress up. It’s not just a Halloween activity at our house. We have lots of costumes, mostly super heroes, community helpers, and even a princess dress. And they all get worn on a regular basis. This weekend, as we had so many different events, the boys got to hop around town in various disguises. On Saturday night they went to a festival dressed like this:
On Friday, they were Darth Vader and a Jedi for a birthday party. Tonight Henry and Leo will trick or treat as Anakin Skywalker and Obi Wan Kenobi respectively. I love that their imaginations are fired up by the costumes and I get questions like, “Mom, how will I carry a light saber and all of my candy? Can you make me belt for my light saber?” (Am I the only one who grew up thinking it was a light SAVER?)
I am really looking forward to tonight. I have big pot of chili on the stove, bags of candy in bowl, spooky music downloaded, and flashlights at the ready. I know that Leo and Henry may have some moments of fright, but that’s all a part of being a kid on Halloween. I just need to stand by with open arms and a safe haven for my little trick or treaters.
Have fun tonight everyone! Share your favorite Halloween moments or delight or terror on the blog today!

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