On Halloween the Marie Shaw Dunn Child Development Center at Northwestern State University hosted a party for their preschool classes. The kids, aged 3-5, dressed in Halloween costumes, decorated pumpkins, learned about farm animals, and of course got lots of candy. The Director of the Child Development Center, Faith Stanfield, dressed as the Cat in the Hat and the other teachers, Dana Chadick and Joni Prewitt, were Thing 1 and Thing 2. Most of the children were dressed up, some as princesses, some as superheroes, dinosaurs, witches, and one was an old lady!
Over the past few weeks the kids have been getting more and more excited about Halloween. They’ve been playing with costumes, playing “Trick or Treat”, and decorating pumpkins. Each child’s parents brought them a small pumpkin to decorate and throughout the week, they painted them and added glitter, stickers, and beads. When they were finished decorating them, they told their teachers all about them. They talked about the name of the pumpkin, their thoughts behind their artistic process, and what they planned to do with the pumpkin when they brought it home.
The teachers carved pumpkins so that the children could play with the seeds and practice their fine motor skills by taking the eyes, nose and mouth out and practicing putting them back in. They have also been tracing and coloring in pumpkins, playing with small Trick-or-Treat buckets, and practicing putting on costumes by themselves.
When it was finally Halloween day, On the Go Petting Zoo came to the school to teach the children about farm animals. They brought a hen, a rooster, a duck, a goat, a sheep, and a rabbit. Despite the cold, the animals were set up on the playground and the owners talked to the kids about what the animals liked to eat and what kind of things they liked to do. They had lots of questions about the animals, but mostly just wanted to know when they could pet them. After learning about them, the kids got the chance to pet and feed the animals. A few were scared of them, but most of the kids loved getting to see the animals up close and personal.
In the afternoon, after naptime, parents came in to help while the children all played games. Each game had prizes provided by the parents who were each in charge of a game. There was an obstacle course outside and golf and bowling available in the kitchen. Additionally, there were paper spider race game and a craft table where the kids made bracelets and colored in pumpkin and ghost cutouts.
When the rest of the parents came to pick up the kids, some weren’t ready to go. They wanted to stay and play at school, but at the end of the day, all of the princesses, witches, and the old lady all went home with lots of candy and fun memories.