My kids absolutely love Halloween in America. They started talking about plans for costumes during the Summer and the middle two have been literally counting down the days for months. Although this is now our third American Halloween, the novelty of the experience has not worn off on my kids.
Festivities began on Friday with parties and a parade at school. The school has rules about gory costumes, face paint and hair spray so there was much angst over needing different costumes for school than for actual Halloween. Happily, since my younger kids love dressing up, we have two sacks full of dressing up gibbles for them to dip into and everyone got something together. I went in to help with the First Grade party and was assigned to a room full of fairground type activities on a Halloween theme. By far the most popular activity with the kids was one involving hitting a wooden frame with a mallet and thwacking frogs in the air. The objective was to get the rubber frogs into buckets in order to score points but the kids much preferred seeing how high and how far they could propel the frogs across the room. Ceiling tiles were battered, I had to drag frogs down from overhead projectors, and crawl behind bookcases to retrieve them. Some groups invented twists to the game such as goal keeping and using the sticks from a hockey type game to bat the frogs as they flew through the air. It was exhausting and I had the sound of the mallet hitting the wood ringing in my ears for hours afterwards. Good fun though.
Then – after a very quick dash home to get some laundry in the dryer – I was back to the school to watch the parade of kids and staff all dressed up in their costumes. It was great fun seeing them all, especially the kids who had made their own costumes. The parade was immediately followed by more parties, this time for my Third and Fourth Graders. Last year, I was a Room Parent so all my party time was spent in one classroom with one of my kids and I rarely saw the other two participating in festivities. I was very glad of the opportunity this year to spend time with all of my kids during their parties even if it meant speeding up and down a corridor to pivot between classrooms.
I didn’t get much chance to sit down or stand still in one place during Halloween itself either. It was another hectic day. We also reached a bittersweet milestone as my oldest son went out Trick or Treating with friends. It was the first time we had not had all four of our kids with us to go guising but we are very happy indeed that our oldest son has made such good friends here that we wanted to spend the evening with them. My oldest was dressed as a plague doctor. Apparently only one adult on his whole trick or treating tour had a clue what his costume was but, even though we had assumed everyone would get it, he rather liked being a tad obscure. My other three went trick or treating around our neighbourhood with our next door neighbour kids and the children of our friends. My 10 year old was the Joker, my 8 year old was Robin and my 6 year old was Frankenstein’s Monster. The kids walked and walked until their pails were so full of candy and other treats that their arms were getting a bit orangutan like and their feet were sore. We visited haunted houses, met Chewbacca on his porch, and my little Frankenstein’s Monster even got to meet his biological parents. Then it was everyone back to my house – where we had left the dads on the porch to hand out treats to visitors – for steaming hot bowls of soup and hot dogs. It was a long and busy two days but filled with so much fun and laughter – and sugar.
PS If you would like to read a comparison between Scottish and American Halloweens, I covered that in my first Halloween post.
PPS If you like all things monstrous, then you might be interested to check out my altered book project over on my art blog, Pict Ink.
Halloween is such an interesting tradition. I’m not sure if you have such a thing in your home country, but you seem to have embraced it totally.
We are beginning to adopt the more American form of Halloween across Britain. However, back when I was growing up in Fife and where I was raising my kids in Argyll, it was still traditional Scottish Halloween. Lanterns were carved from turnips, not pumpkins; we went guising rather than trick or treating; and candy was earned by doing some sort of doorstep performance – my kids told jokes. It was all great fun but my kids much prefer the scale of American Halloween.
Wow! Your kids look really good in their costumes and it sounded like they had fun. I’m happy that you got to experience Halloween again with your kids at the school, engaging in different activities and then the fun part, trick or treating. It’s most interesting to see others dressed up as well.
I think one of the things I like about Halloween is that it’s a community event whether that community is the school or the neighborhood. I’ve really missed that sense of community since moving from a tiny town to the suburbs so Halloween is a wee taster of that.
That frog game sounds like a blast!
It was definitely the winning entertainment. Even I enjoyed it, despite the noise.
Love the kids’ costumes! You all had a fun and great time plus sugar high!
Amazing costumes, love that they’re all so different. I love Hallowe’en in America too, we all do!! I don’t think the novelty would ever wear off on me, it is just so much fun and the way everyone throws themselves into it is fantastic. Unfortunately we missed it this year, flying back home on Hallowe’en night was not the best choice….
Oh dear. You definitely can’t trick or treat on a plane. In fact, you are lucky to get fed.
My kids’ costumes are a mixture of brand new purchases and thrift store finds cobbled together. They love dressing up so I always pick things up when I see them. The Frankenstein’s Monster head piece cost me a dollar. The jacket was $3.
Even more impressive – those mixed together costumes are always the best, so much better than something just bought from a shop I think!!
Excellent Halloween costumes Laura 🙂 We will have to come to you for our costumes if ever we make it back into Edinburgh for Halloween! LOL!
Thanks. The secret is to let the kids put together their own outfits from random bits and bobs collected from thrift stores and flea markets. They are much more imaginative with costumes than I am.
That’s an excellent idea Laura, and so much more effective than the ready made commercial ‘crap’ you get in the supermarkets!