How many parents of Maternelle-aged children live with a monster hiding under their child’s bed, a witch hiding in the closet or a ghost saying “boooo” at the window? All healthy children have fears, as this is part of their normal development.
As we all know, young children have vivid imaginations! They only feel safe and secure when their life is rhythmic with rituals and routines. Any changes in those rituals and routines, any unknown sounds or unfamiliar things, such as a flushing toilet or a strange mask can scare a 2, 3 or a 4 year old child. Even though young children are aware of their environment, they are concrete thinkers and therefore they don't yet understand everything that happens around them.
As children are growing older, their cognitive development is becoming more complex. Children are able to think about things symbolically and therefore they start to become afraid of things that tend to be more reality-based, such as a storm or a fire. However, they are usually able to adapt more quickly to a new situation and better identify what is really dangerous and what is not.
Playing, singing and reading about, imitating, acting out, drawing and painting allow children to identify, name, and clear-up false beliefs. It will also help to desensitize children towards the fearful object or situation.
With Halloween being just around the corner, it allows teachers to create projects and activities around Monsters, Witches, Ghosts, Bats, and Spiders, not only to demystify them, but also to work on multiple skills and areas of growth.
What else are children learning through these themes?
- Children work on oral language and early literacy. While exploring these themes, children are expanding their French and English vocabularies through “reading” stories, learning songs and rhymes, exploring and learning letters and sounds, even scary ones such as “boo” or a sinister laugh.
- Children work on their senses through activities engaging them to touch, smell and taste things that are different—like slimy pumpkin seeds.
- Children work on fine motor skills through drawing, cutting, gluing, and even sewing, as they make their pumpkins, ghosts or monsters.
- Children work on their gross motor skills while cooking, imitating and acting out or playing games, such as Pumpkin Games in Kindergarten.
- Children work on foundational math skills such as one-to-one correspondence, matching and sorting shapes and colors, comparing and contrasting using classification, predicting cause and effect through activities and games.
Traditionally, EB celebrates Halloween with the Kindergarten and Lower school’s parade meeting at the Middle School to watch a show. However, be prepared to not be a part of this year’s celebrations inside the Maternelle classrooms, and note that your children will not be able to witness a live parade. Nonetheless, your children will be able to safely parade, one pod at a time, and watch their friends and older students from the comfort of their classrooms while everything is live-streamed. Parents and children who are doing Home Based Instruction: please stay tuned for more information and join us for this Live Stream Celebration!Tags: halloween preschool maternelle