For most, Halloween is a one day, or rather one night event. But for preschoolers? It's more likely a week-long affair packed with preschool and playground parties, parades, and costume-clad playdates. Phew! We parents tend to have a camera full of pictures of those precious costumes before the big night even arrives.
But it's all for the best, right? Because we're not going to keep these little ones up to all hours anyway, and night photos never come out as well.
It is also fitting because, for preschoolers, a day of dress-up and pretend is not an especially unusual day (putting aside all the candy!). As we've been exploring all month here at BeingSavvy, young children are constantly moving in and out of imaginary identities and scenarios as they engage in everyday play.
So let us remind you of all the ways we've been nurturing the little ones' imaginations this month -- in preparation for Halloween and for every other day of the year.
We contemplated the importance of pretend play for preschooler development, and the way that dolls and tea parties are the playtime work of childhood.
We gave you our SavvyPicks of best books and toys for our favorite little knights in shining armor and their princesses, train conductors, fairies and pixies, and firefighters.
We read books that celebrate a child's imagination and stories about toys that come to life.
We welcomed and savored the words of our wise experts on childhood and imagination, Jacque Grillo and Betsy Brown Braun.
We chose or made doll houses, such important shelters for children's imaginations.
We put on puppet shows and living room plays, and kept our dress-up bin well stocked.
We came up with clever activities to nurture pretend play at home.
We thought about how to calm nightmares when make-believe becomes too real for peaceful sleep.
And we gave you our best ideas for Halloween parties; for helping the kiddos to choose a costume; for keeping Halloween festivities "green"; for explaining what all the Halloween hoopla is about; for doing a little pre-Halloween reading with the children; and for making Halloween night a treat for all.
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