Halloween is, undisputedly, one of the best holidays to share with your host kids or nanny kids. It's spooky fun, but also a great way to reinforce the target language with the kids.
We've been thinking about Halloween since early September, of course, but it would have been embarrasing to bring it up then. Now that it's finally mid-October, we feel perfectly justified in talking about it... at length.
Now, Halloween, and trick-or-treating (a phrase that defies coherent translation into Spanish, truco o trato doesn't really work for us, unfortunately), is not traditionally "done" in Spain, but the celebration has been creeping in over the last twenty years, and a lot of schools, families and even neighborhoods now celebrate some version of Halloween.
Most children are therefore familiar with the concept and, more importantly, feel a certain level of curiosity, and want to know more about how the holiday is celebrated elsewhere.
So, without further ado, here are some tips for celebrating Halloween with your nanny kids or host kids:
1. Practice Halloween vocabulary. When did Halloween start? Where did it originate? Why are owls associated with Halloween? How does one carve a pumpkin? What do witches eat? What's candy corn? Come up with your own Halloween trivia questions, depending on the kids' interests.
2. Tell your host kids or nanny kids how you used to celebrate Halloween when you were little. Did you get dressed up? (show them some pictures!) Where did you go trick-or-treating? Did your family go wild for Halloween, or was it a low-key celebration? You'll be surprised at how much Spanish kids have picked up about Halloween from TV, and how curious they are about it.
3. Bake something together! Baking is a great way to bond with kids and teach them about everyday things, and Halloween provides the perfect excuse to make something sweet and fun. If you're looking for inspiration, check out these scary cupcakes we baked last year, and which were a huge hit at our Halloween party! Thanks, Erin Bakes, for the great tutorial which even we had no trouble following: http://erinbakes.com/chocolate-eyeball-cupcake-tutorial/
4. Create scary arts & crafts. IG and Pinterest are full of ideas. Hope you've been saving them! A few of our favorites:
* Lollipop spiders. In Spain you must use Chupa-Chups when making these, of course! We still have a few lying in the house from last year.
* Toilet paper roll mummies. Self-explanatory, and a very good pun.
Thanks, Papelisimo for the idea.
5. Throw a party. Ask the host parents or nanny parents if you can throw a small Halloween party, invite some friends of the host or nanny kids, decorate the house with the scary crafts you prepared, get dressed up... and have fun!
So, the secret is out, now. We love Halloween. How about you? How do you celebrate it (or not)?