A Magic Trick for Kids: Making Monsters DisappearPosted: October 29, 2012
Our son is a pretty brave kid when it comes to things like going to the doctor, starting a new school, or running around and being a daring and active little youngster. But he has a bit of a fear of the dark. And people in costumes. And talking to people he doesn’t know. (Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, by the way. He won’t even talk to strangers when Mom and Dad are with him!) With Halloween approaching, he has mixed feelings. He gets excited about dressing up in his own costume and getting candy, of course, but he isn’t crazy about walking around in the dark, amongst other strange and scary people in costumes, and having to talk to strangers at their door in order to get the candy. It does sound a bit creepy from his point of view!
Today, we did a little “magic trick” that you may have seen or done with your children before, but we put a little Halloween monster twist on it. And we used the opportunity to talk about how monsters are imaginary, that they are just creatures that people have created in their minds, and that he will be perfectly safe going Trick-or-Treating on Wednesday with Mom and Dad and baby brother. Sometimes a light-hearted activity mixed with a more serious talk can help to let your child relax. And hopefully, they will open up and learn in the process of both.
Here is our MONSTER, GO AWAY! magic trick for kids:
What you need:
- coffee filters
- washable markers
- a bowl of warm water
- newspaper (for easy cleanup!)
How to make the magic happen:
- Lay out newspaper, and put out all of the materials on top. Give your child a coffee filter (and one for yourself, if you like! Who says these ideas are only fun for kids?!) and ask them to draw a MONSTER on their coffee filter, and tell them that you’re going to help them make that monster disappear! My son was skeptical. But he started to draw anyway.
- While your child is drawing, it may be a good time to bring up any fears that they have about monsters, or costumes, or bedtime, etc. I opened our conversation with, “So what do you think about monsters? Are they silly? Funny? Scary?” And let your child be the guide of the conversation. Try to keep it as light-hearted as possible. This is supposed to be a fun activity, but also a chance to reiterate that monsters are only something we create in our minds.
- When your child is finished making their monster, ask them to soak, swirl, and dunk him in the bowl of water. Encourage them to be silly with it, swirling and swishing for thirty seconds or so, and let them shout at him. “Go away, MONSTER!” “Goodbye, Monster!” or as my son said, “This is for your OWN GOOD, MONSTER!!”
- After thirty seconds or so, tell your child to take the monster out of the water and give him a big, strong squeeze!
- Ask your child to open up their coffee filter, and watch him gasp! “He’s gone!” 😉
I hope you and your children have a happy, safe, (even if a little scary) Halloween!!