Using festivities as a learning environment in the early years can be a fun and effective way to engage young children in educational activities.
Festivals and celebrations provide a rich context for learning and can help children develop a variety of skills, including social, emotional, cognitive, and cultural understanding.
Festivals often involve counting, measuring, and understanding concepts like time (countdown to Hallowe’en.) We make decorations with the children, they dress up and engage in art and craft activities related to the festival. This develops fine motor skills and creativity Festivals offer opportunities for vocabulary expansion, teach children new words associated with the festivities and encourage them to write or draw about their experiences.
In early years we love telling stories and our favourite Hallowe’en stories are Room on a Broom, The Baddies and The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson and also the Winnie the Witch stories by Valerie Thomas. Stories can improve listening and language skills, and also introduce children to cultural narratives.
Festivals are a great context for teaching social skills like sharing, cooperation, and empathy. Engage children in group activities and discussions about the significance of the festival. This year we set up a special Hallowe’en surprise for our pupils exploiting the Glow Room to make the experience even more exciting.
These are some of the activities shown in the photos and videos: Spider webs with wool on the light table, sensory ectoplasm, glow bowls and fluorescent paint.