4 Cognitive Benefits For Kids on Halloween
Halloween: the best day of play each year for kids all across the country. How could kids not love it with dressing up, running around with friends, and candy all involved? With the excitement and stimulation of the holiday, kids’ brains are developing widely from the event. Free candy and fun are not the only benefits kids receive on October 31st each year. There are many simple ways to create cognitive stimulation on Halloween for kids. Here are five ways Halloween can cognitively stimulate kids.
An essential skill in life that needs to be used in everyday life to help one succeed. Although communication is necessary in life, it is often a skill found lacking in most people. Most have not learned proper communication skills as a kid, so they have a hard time learning it later in life. Communication skills become reinforced on Halloween in easy ways. On Halloween, kids talk with one another, go door to door, have to speak politely with adults, and use their manners. Most kids go beyond the average please and thank you and engage in further conversation. Maybe asking how one’s day is, or what costume they are wearing. Practicing communication builds confidence in kids, which makes a big difference between success and failure in the future.
Perspective comes in multiple forms on Halloween. First, observing costumes of other kids and interpreting. During school or out trick-or-treating at night, kids get the chance to see other costumes and decide what they might be dressed as. This type of observation reinforces imagination and perspective. Second, kids learn interpersonal perspectives by paying attention to things like their neighbors non-verbal cues. Why is an interpersonal perspective so important for kids to learn? It creates a sense of security, sense of self, and motivates behavior. One example of how kids learn interpersonal perspectives on Halloween is by seeing a house with the lights off and recognizing that a specific house does not want any trick-or-treaters. Even lessons such as kids trading candy because they were given pieces of candy that the other one wanted, is a huge lesson of perspective. This creates what we know as empathy, the ability to understand and share feelings of others. Learning empathy as a kid means independence and kids taking care of not only themselves, but one another.
Brain-Building and Organization
Halloween is a great time of the year to secretly teach your kids brain building skills. The holidays are always perfect for new lessons that can be turned into fun. Since most brain development happens before a kid turns eight years old, Halloween is a great time to teach your young ones. Gathering candy is the perfect example of how brain development gets built on Halloween. After the fun of trick-or-treating is over, it gives kids a chance to learn in multiple ways. They first get to observe what they earned, and decide what has the most value to them. This could look anything like hoarding their candy in a big pile, organizing their candy, or even trading with other kids. Parents should encourage their kids to look over their candy, letting them make connections with things like shapes, size, and color. While sorting candy might just seem like a cute way to look over things, it lets kids learn how to make connections. It might be a simple life skill to have, but it certainly is essential.
Focus and Self-Control
Self control is a huge part of Halloween each year in multiple ways. Kids get to learn the lesson of listening and self control on this fun holiday. Every so often there might be a house with the lights off and a bowl of candy placed outside that says “just take one”. Since there is no one to hand them just one piece of candy, a lot of kids might be tempted to take a big handful, or even dump the whole bowl into their bag. It is important for kids to learn the lesson to respect other people’s rules as well as leaving enough candy for other kids. More often than not, kids already have enough candy in their bag, and being able to stop and recognize that is a huge positive.
These skills that kids learn during Halloween may seem small, but they are essential in life. Being able to learn on a holiday is a great way for kids to develop skills more organically and be prepared for real life situations. Building “street smarts” and other skills gives kids a chance to use them every day of the year for the rest of their lives. Learning these skills at a young age is the perfect way to set your kids up for success.