Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I would begin planning my costume for the next year on Nov. 1st. It's a bit different being on the adult end; dealing with the kids on a sugar high (or subsequent low), managing costumes that include weapons, calming children who are scared or over stimulated, and worrying about the neighborhood kids vandalizing your property. Despite all that, it hasn't lost any of the magic for me.

Today, I wanted to share some great Halloween ideas as well as some fun Halloween songs. These have all been passed down to me from my earliest memories of Halloweens past to my years in the classroom:

The Halloween Store:
There was a really great family I met my first year teaching. They had three girls between 2-6 years old, and the couple were both friendly and skilled parents. To combat the problem of bags full of candy rotting their kids' teeth and filling them with junk, they opened the Halloween Store. An exchange rate was worked out so that the girls could trade in pieces of candy for prizes like books, pencils, erasers, small toys and costume jewelry. (The parents admitted that at the end of the night, they wind up eating all the candy themselves).

The Ooky Spooky:
I have a vague memory of hearing someone sing this variation on the Hokey Pokey, but I can't remember who. Regardless, if you change the words "Hokey Pokey" to "Ooky Spooky," and pause after "that's what it's all about," for the kids to shout "BOO!" you've got the Ooky Spooky.

The Grand Old Spook of York:
The original, Grand Old Duke of York is one of my favorite action songs to sing with children. For this Halloween variation, I just substituted some of the words and imagine that the "Spook" is chasing us up and down the hill as you slowly speed up the tempo upon repeating.

The Grand Old Spook of York,
He had 10,000 men,
He scared them up to the top of the hill,
And scared them down again,
Oh when you're up you're up,
And when you're down you're down,
And when you're only halfway up, you're neither up nor down.
(They can also shout "BOO!" here too)

Witches' Brew
I remember my sister learning this song right at the age when I was getting too old for silly songs, so I couldn't remember the melody when I planned to add this song to my repertoire. Fortunately, my wife Tracey had sung it in church choir growing up, and helped me figure it out. Here's a link to Hap Palmer's own introduction, explanation and lyrics.

I've been having a great time singing this one with the kids, and hearing what they come up with to add to the brew.

Kid Quote of the day: "I'm going to be a white fairy-princess, but I'm keeping it a surprise." Amelie (age 3)

1 comment:

Anne Deysher said...

Thanks for all the great ideas. I've heard a version of the store, called Witch Switch like the tooth fairy where the candy is left under the bed or pillow, and the "witch" switches the candy for toys, or other favors.
We do the Ooky Spooky and call it the Hooky Spooky.
I appreciate the link to Hap Palmer's action songs. I hope upon investigation I can get ahold of the tunes to the songs. They sound like fun!
BTY - I wore your spooky cape for Halloween today with Seth's graduation robe so that I could be the "Old Witch in the crooked hat"!