by Katie Taylor, CCLS
This blog was originally created and published for SmileMakersInc and can be viewed here. I was compensated for this post, but all ideas and opinions are my own.
Can you feel it?
Fall is here! For a lot of us this means cooler weather, pumpkin spice coffee, warm fires, and sweater season.
But for kids, fall means Halloween! It’s that time when kids spend hours upon hours looking at costumes, deciding on one, then changing their mind. Only to do this at least 10 times before October 31st. To kids, Halloween means decorations, trick or treating, costumes, and excitement.
However, what does this time mean for those children who are hospitalized?
Spending time in the hospital comes with many feelings; now add a special day into the mix (such as Halloween) and there may be even more feelings involved. Talking about and expressing all of these feelings may be difficult for children.
So this Halloween, I have included a therapeutic activity to help children identify feelings and use their creativity to express them.
All you need for this activity is orange construction paper cut out in circles/ovals, black scraps of paper, and glue. Alternatively, you can use the SmileMakers Jack-O-Lantern sticker sheet!
Before you begin on the craft, I find it helpful to start a discussion with the child about all different feelings. Help them put a name to the feeling and even encourage them to try to describe how that feeling looks to them.
From there, have the child look through the black scraps of paper in hopes to create some different feeling faces on their jack-o-lantern!
Inevitably, there will be children in the hospital for Halloween and will miss out on their traditional trick or treating. That doesn’t mean those children will miss out on treats.
For child life specialists looking to find fun, non food related treats to pass out at the hospital this Halloween, my favorite items from smilemakers.com:
What do you use to celebrate Halloween at your facility or in your home?