Tapestry of Faith: Chalice Children: A Program about Our Unitarian Universalist Community for Preschoolers

Taking It Home: Halloween

You got to do when the spirit says do! — "When the Spirit Says Do," Hymn 1024 in Singing the Journey

IN TODAY'S SESSION... We celebrated the gentler aspects of Halloween and helped the preschoolers enjoy and understand the traditions while they explore their fears.

EXPLORE THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Read one or more of the books suggested for this session::

  • Little Boo by Stephen Wunderli, 2014. The leaves fall, the wind blows, and one little pumpkin seed tries and tries to be scary. But he doesn't scare anyone... not the snowflakes in winter, not the bees in spring, not even the watering can!
  • The Halloween Kid by Rhode Motyo, 2010. A story about a masked hero and his trusty steed. Halloween won't be canceled anytime soon, not while the Halloween Kid's around.
  • Ten Timid Ghosts by Jennifer O'Connell, 2000. Ten ghosts, a witch, and a haunted house make this Halloween countdown a spooky treat!
  • Teeny, Tiny Ghost and the Monster by Kay Winters and Lyn Munsinger, 2011. All of the ghosts in the teeny tiny school are excited about the upcoming Make a Monster contest—except the timid teeny tiny ghost, who finds the very idea frightening. At the end of the school day, he has not come up with any inspiration for his picture.

EXTEND THE TOPIC TOGETHER. Try... a Pumpkin Glow Party. Carve your pumpkin with families from your congregation, then light them together and turn out the lights for the "Glow." It's a good time to sing "This Little Light of Mine!"

A Family Adventure. Host a Halloween "burn" by lighting a commercial fire pit in your driveway. Invite trick-or-treaters to enjoy candy and cider while they warm up by the fire.

A Family Discovery. View this video of popcorn popping in slow motion. Visit the website for "October is National Popcorn Popcorn Popping Month."

A Family Game. Play the Hookey Spookey Game, sung to the tune of "The Hokey Pokey;" from Channels to Children: Early Childhood Activity Guide for Holidays and Seasons, 1982. Gather in a circle. Everyone does the motions for the first two lines:

Put your right hand in, take your right hand out.

Put your right hand in, and you shake it all about.

As the third line is sung, each person turns around. As the fourth line is sung, each person slaps their thighs twice, claps their hands twice, and raises their hands above their head:

Do the hookey, spookey and everybody shout,

"That's what it's all about. Boo!"

Repeat, substituting other parts of the body for "right hand."

Variation: "Put your ghost in, take your ghost out... "

A Family Ritual. As you light your pumpkin, sing "This Little Light of Mine" from # 118 in Singing the Living Tradition or sing along with Odetta, featured in this YouTube video.