Since giving birth, I’ve looked for ways to introduce and include my daughter in our holidays. It was all about basic inclusion when she was an infant and one-year-old. Now that she’s two, she’s better able to interact with her environment, discuss things she enjoys, and make bigger connections.
We don’t carve Jack-o-lanterns until a week or so before Samhain, but I love to start decorating for the holiday as soon as October begins. Finally, Bee is old enough to notice that something special is happening and realize that she can help. Bee is working on her coloring skills, which will eventually help her with her writing skills. I want to encourage this as much as possible, and toddlers enjoy novelty. She’s aware of Samhain and Halloween thanks to special episodes of some of her favorite shows, and she knows what pumpkins are. I cut out some pumpkin shapes from orange construction paper and told her to draw faces on them. It was pretty amazing to see her spatially reason where eyes, noses, and mouths should appear. My husband and I took turns coloring with her. If you do this craft with your toddler, it’s a perfect time to start talking about the lore behind Jack-o-lanterns in preparation for later carving. In addition to making decoration, we also gave some to loved ones as cards. I think we may make some skulls to put around the Ancestor shrine next!