I'm not a big fan of Halloween for different reasons. In France and some parts of Germany (including the region where we live now) people traditionnally celebrate the All Saints' Day on the 1st of November instead. It's a public holiday.
We went visiting my family in law in France and since it's a long drive of at least 4 hours (an 8 hours round trip) I was looking for some activities in the car. My former "globe trotter baby", now a toddler, hates being stuck in a car seat. So I try to come up with some new activities and books to make these car rides more fun for all of us.
On Mr. Printables I found these colorful paper dolls with Halloween costumes. I don't like the "scary/grim" part of the Halloween costumes but these dolls are so funny and lively that I didn't hesitate and I printed them out.
They are awesome for practicing the fine motor skills. I presented the dolls and their costumes on a small box (easy to be placed on my daughter's knees while she sitting in her car seat). She had a lot of fun with this activity. The costumes can be put on and took off and this requires precision and concentration:
I always save some new books for ours car rides because she loves books and new stories. This time I only had one left: "My Pig Amarillo" (in French: "Mon cochon Amarillo") by one of our favorites authors and illustrators Satomi Ichikawa. And it this was a very interesting coincidence: it's a book about the tradition of sending a kite in the sky on the All Saints' Day in Guatemala. It's a sad but heartwarming story, beautifully written and drawn. It introduces the feelings of loss and grief in such a simple, natural and kind way. I loved this coincidence and wanted to share some pages of the book with you:
I think it's never too soon to talk about emotions and feelings, including sadness and grief. Death is part of our lives and maybe..., maybe celebrations like All Saints' Day (or Halloween) are a favorable time to talk about these situations in life and the feelings they cause. Nevertheless I believe that it's very important how we introduce them. I think that these activities and the book provided a gentle way of talking about grief and loss with my daughter who is only 20 months old now.