Halloween night — I still remember my fingers trembling as I reached up to ring the doorbell at my neighbors’ house. For an extremely shy, only child, approaching a stranger with the simple phrase, “Trick-or-treat” felt like a monumental obstacle! But there was a great reward on the other end. I took pride in my bunny costume and the candy was extra sweet knowing the leap it took to introduce myself to neighbors in the long row of houses on our street.
As the years progressed, Halloween, above all other times of the year, gave me a chance to be someone new, put on a brave face (or mask) going out and having fun with my friends, just being a kid! Eventually, my shyness disappeared all together (which I credit to an early introduction of theatre), but I still cling to my love of costumes and this holiday!
I’ve summed up my five top reasons to love this season:
(1) Making Memories: Warm apple cider, the smell of nutmeg, crunch of fall leaves, and chill of the October air — so many opportunities for sense memories to whisk us back to favorite moments in time, while creating special new traditions!
(2) Creativity Flourishes: The whimsical nature of Halloween fun makes it a perfect time to showcase and stretch your inner artist. Whether it’s coming up with a creative or funny costume or decking your home in magically spooky décor, our artistic muscles get a stretch this time of year.
(3) Spooky Crafts: Knobby trees, leaves, spider webs, pumpkins, candy, bewitching magic and more can provide endless inspiration for creative kiddos! To the right are just a few of our favorite simple and fun-to-make Halloween art projects.
(4) Costumes Galore: What’s cuter than kids in costume? Not much! However, in addition to being adorable, as children age, those costumes can serve another purpose. Costumes and masks give us the opportunity to experience the world as someone (or something) else.
We get to walk in another’s shoes and also experience the freedom of expressing ourselves more physically when our face is hidden or changed. Costumes and role-playing “as if” can also aid in helping your child develop empathy.
(5) Community Connection: Trick-or-treating is at the heart of it all! When else can you go house-to-house (or door to door in your apartment building), meeting neighbors and collecting buckets and bags full of treats? Halloween is a special time for sweet celebration and connecting with friends and neighbors.
One of my favorite aspects of working for Bubbles Academy, is the opportunity to connect with our community. It was a joy to celebrate with families at our Bubbleween Extravaganza (guests were not shy about showing off their big smiles and sensational costumes)! A very happy Halloween to all — whether it’s your first holiday as a parent or the very first time your child can proudly shout, “Trick-or-treat!”
Share your favorite things about Halloween with Natalie @MonterastEllis
Natalie Monterastelli is the Executive Director of Bubbles Academy and founder of Class Act, interactive education and events. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Theatre from NYU and first experienced the positive effects of improv in the classroom while working with Freestyle Repertory Theatre in New York City.