"Twick or tweet!"
I spent the morning teaching KG1 at SOS Kindergarten about Halloween. It isn't celebrated in Kenya and most people I've asked about it have never heard of it. I really can't imagine my childhood without Halloween so I hoped the kids would enjoy learning about it.
Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to take photos at the kindergarten. Instead, I took pictures of the activities I planned. Below is my recipe for an awesome Halloween celebration:
"That's good! I come from the United States, all the way across the ocean. Where I'm from we celebrate a holiday called Halloween. Can you say Halloween?"
"Great! And it is my favorite holiday. All of the kids dress up in costumes and go to their neighbors houses to do something called trick-or-treating. Can you say trick-or-treat?"
"Twick or tweet."
"Right. The kids knock on their neighbors doors, say 'trick-or-treat', and the neighbor gives them a sweet. Can you practice with me? Knock on the door" I said making a knocking motion in the air. "Now say 'trick-or-treat'" they all repeated after me. "And then you get a sweet" I said, holding out my hand; they did the same.
I went on to explain that one Halloween tradition is to carve pumpkins with "silly faces". I told them the pumpkin I had made them was special and just for them because the back said 'SOS' on it. Then I explained that when I was in Kindergarten we would wear our costumes to school and have a big parade. I showed them photos of my friends and family dressed up for Halloween. "Look! That's Teacher Gwen" the teachers said, pointing to the witch second from the right.
I gave each of the kids a blank paper plate to color. They didn't really understand the concept of making it look like an animal or a face, so they all ended up with abstract masks.
"OK, now we're going to play a fun game called pin the tail on the black cat. What you do is you close your eyes" I closed my eyes, "spin around three times", I slowly turned around, "and put the tail on the cat". I staggered to the board with my arms outstretched and missed the cat by a few inches. When I opened my eyes they already had their hands up, wanting to play.
The teachers found a piece of cloth to use as a blindfold and the first girl walked up to the board to try the game. She spun around, almost into a chair, until I nudged her in the right direction. A few more kids went and then a boy walked up and began to spin. He stopped spinning and started walking right towards me, arms outstretched, like a little zombie. He was about an inch from sticking the tail on my shirt before I spun him to his right, in the direction of the board.
"When I was in kindergarten my school would always play the same song which meant the Halloween parade was starting. It is called the 'Monster Mash'. I am going to play the song and when you hear it, line up by the door outside like you're getting ready for PE. Then you will come to the door one at a time and say 'trick-or-treat' and get your lollipop."
We tied the masks on all of the kids and I started the song. They got us and danced their way outside and then back in again, getting their candy on the way. Their teacher led them in a loop around the classroom and they followed her, dancing all the way back to their seats.
Later that night...
I thought Alexia was already in bed, but she wandered back into the dining room wearing Stephen's sweater as a dress over her pajamas. I was on my computer doing work and she told me, "When you are done with your homework, you go to sleep. You can't be late for KG2 tomorrow!"
"Oh yeah, I completely forgot I'm in KG2 tomorrow. You remembered!"
"Mmhmm. We will do projects?"
"Goodnight Mister Gwen." I've started calling her "Alex" and in return she has taken to calling me "Mister Gwen".