October 19, 2013

Unmask the Halloween Monster, Part II

Unmask the Halloween Monster, Part II

Earlier this week I wrote a post entitled Unmask the Halloween Monster, which gave step-by-step instructions on how to make the mask you see above.  It did not, however, address the issue of how to use the mask to prepare a young child for Halloween. That is what I will do here.

My grandson, little-arty-pants Calvin, had a lot of  fun making the mask.  Now it was time to play with it.  In the process I wanted to help him understand what's behind a mask he might glimpse on TV, in books, in the grocery store, on DVD covers, etc. as Halloween approaches. 


  • Calvin is spending the night tonight so after art, after dinner, after his bath, I got out the mask he made last week.  He had fun pointing to the mask's features and naming them.

  • We took the mask into a room with a full length mirror.  I held it to my face and looked at Calvin through the eye holes.  I kept talking the whole time.  I wanted him to realize that although my face looked different, it was still his Neena behind the mask.  At first there was complete silence.  I could see those wheels turning.  Then he was eager to give it a try.

  • We sat together on the floor in front of the mirror, and I encouraged Calvin to look at himself with the mask on.  I wanted him to realize that wearing a mask did not change who he was.

  • Next, we played the peek-a-boo game that little ones love so much.  He would put the mask on and I would said, "Where's Calvin?  Where's Calvin?  I know he's around here somewhere.  Has anyone seen Calvin?"

  • Then, when he could stand it no longer, Calvin would whip the mask off and burst into the most delicious, gleeful laugh.  That is when I would say, "Oh, there he is." 

  • Of course, we did it again and again.

Extending the Activity:

Will this game prevent Calvin from being frightened by a Freddy Krueger or a Scream mask? Probably not.  But it will give him something tangible to remember when I or Mommy or Daddy explain that there's a person wearing that scary mask just like when he wore his pumpkin mask.

Next week, we're going to try the same game with a Halloween mask.  It will be selected very carefully.  It won't be scary.  Just a little weird in a friendly way.  Stay tuned to find out what I end up with.

Do you have a comment or a suggestion?  I'd love to hear from you.

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