Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Just Isn't As Much Fun Anymore

My twin sister and I were about four years old when we wore these costumes made by our mother.


Some Schools Now Enforce a Ban on Halloween Activities

An elementary school teacher was lamenting to me about her school's policy of not letting kids wear costumes at school on Halloween.  As a child, I looked forward to our school Halloween party and parade every year. My children did as well. It seems a shame that schools are taking a stance to eliminate these traditions.

School Halloween Party crafts are part of the fun of Halloween.

There are a variety of reasons why schools may chose to ban costumes or parties on Halloween.

Here are a few possible reasons:

  • Costumes could be too scary or inappropriate.
  • Skimpy costumes and hats may not adhere to the school dress code.
  • Some costume props (i.e. fake guns, swords, etc) would violate the school's no-tolerance policy.
  • Costumes and props may be a distraction to learning throughout the day.
  • Too much of the teacher's time would be taken up with helping kids put on makeup and costumes.
  • Not all families celebrate Halloween. 
  • Not all kids will be able to bring costumes from home.
  • Costumes can be uncomfortable, or kids may experience anxiety about wearing them.
  • Students may lose or ruin parts of their costume during the school day.
I understand the theory behind these concerns.  With a little effort though, there are ways to be sensitive to everyone's different traditions, and minimize the negative impact of costumes. Then we could still allow elementary school kids to wear there costumes at school on Halloween.  

Halloween party activities can be fun and educational.

Some suggestions to fix these concerns:

  • School can sets clear guidelines as to what types of costumes and props are permissible; any child who does not adhere to the rules would not be allowed to wear their costume.  
  • Costumes could be stored in a corner of the classroom or a locker, and only brought out at the specified party time, so they are not a distraction while learning is occurring. 
  • The teacher perhaps with the help of parent volunteers or the PTO) could have a few simple costume items available for those children unable to bring a costume.  
  • Parent volunteers or a class of older students could be recruited to assist a teacher if he /she anticipates being overwhelmed by the task of helping kids put on their costumes.
  • Provide an alternate activity for any child who is not comfortable wearing a costume or participating in Halloween activities. 
It would be disappointing to see these fun school traditions disappear. I applaud the teacher I was speaking with, for her desire to have her students still experience them.


I Miss the Way Things Were

I loved Halloween as a child.  I loved it even more as a mother of young children.  I loved creating their costumes, and watching them enjoy the parties and trick-or-treating.  The first year my kids told me they didn't need my help to make their costumes, I felt sad.  

I sewed my son's dinosaur costume, but my daughter is wearing a skating outfit my mother made for me, many Halloweens ago!
This year I have no young children to dress-up.  Because of the rural nature of our neighborhood, it is unlikely we will have any trick-or-treaters come visit. (I bought candy, however, just-in-case!) My daughter is away at college and my son has other plans, so he won't be hosting a party at our house. Halloween just doesn't feel very "halloweeny" this year.

Happily though, I have been invited to a “girl's night out” party with friends this evening.  Maybe Halloween will be fun for me this year, just in a different way!

Happy Halloween!! 

What are your thoughts about schools should allowing kids to dress-up and have a party on Halloween?

This post may be linked to one of the great link-up parties I follow and list on my blog. Check them out!

14 comments :

  1. We used to have a Halloween parade at school when I was little. I can really see both sides now. We have harvest parties a couple weeks before Halloween at our school now. A girls' night sounds like a fun! Hope you have a great time!

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    1. Harvest parties sound fun, also! And a girls night out is always a good thing to do!

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  2. I miss Halloween when my boys were little too. For years I did an elaborate Halloween party, and then we went trick or treating. This year it will just by me and my husband. Oh well - have a fun girls night out!

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  3. Happy Halloween, Susan! Feeling the same way, for sure.

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    1. Hope you had a good Halloween, Marca!

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  4. We had a Fall Festival yesterday and it was a lot of fun! We did crafts and painted pumpkins and made trick or treat bags, my older kids made caramel apples! We used to go to a school where the k-3 graders would do a Halloween parade. I miss it, but I understand why they don't do it anymore at our new school.

    Hope you have a lovely Fall weekend!

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    1. THe Fall Festival sounds wonderful! Homemade caramel apples - YUM! I hope your weekend has been wonderful also Jennifer.

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  5. Halloween simply wasn't celebrated here when I was a child. The stores have been pushing it for a number of years - but it is yet to take off. A few years ago we had a small handful of children going door to door - but they didn't dress up for it.
    This year? None. And I even had treats for them...

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    1. Leftover candy should be a treat ... but it tests my willpower far too much. Halloween was certainly not the major holiday it has become, when I was growing up!

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  6. I couldn't agree more. It makes me sad that kids can't wear their costume to school on halloween because people have grown so hyper-sensitive over recent years. That was always one of my favorite days when I was a kid!

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    1. It seems sometimes like we need to find a happy medium in some circumstances.

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  7. I wonder what traditions will be left by the time my grandchildren get to go to school. It's sad to think about. I am way behind but trying to get caught up the next couple of days. I am back to work now at least. Babies are doing better, Caleb much better than Izzy but she will get there. My daughter is home so things are starting to get better now just to get the babies home.

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    1. Best wishes to all of you Rena!! I am sure you are counting the days till the babies can come home!

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