Halloween Update: Helping Kids Understand Real vs. Fiction
More than tricks and treats, this season offers life lessons along the way.
In this Halloween update, a spooky charm has fallen over 5 of our toys. While you normally won’t see fantastical content within Pok Pok, we like to make an exception for this season and honor the power of imagination and pretend-play!
We’re offering kids a break from reality where they’re free to daydream about which potions they can mix with the cauldron in Shops, or what the real story is behind the creepy mansion in Town. For moments where they’re in the mood for more of an “eye-spy” exploration, there is an array of treats, jack-o-lanterns, decorations and costumes to discover.
Here’s where you’ll find the updates:
Town: A Halloween fair has visited Town, including a Hot Air Balloon Festival, haunted mansion, creepy decorations, hidden candy baskets to find, and a parade of costumed characters.
House: Step into Pok Pok’s version of a Haunted House with dusty furniture, cobwebs, black cats, a wardrobe full of costumes and more.
Shops: Shops gets in the spirit with new toys, freaky food items, a functional cauldron, and creepy decorations. Play dress-up and go trick-or-treating!
Silly Blocks: These blocks are now both silly and spooky. Kids can scroll through a collection of Halloween characters and costumes, stacking them to create their own versions of Frankenstein.
Radio: The new tunes in Radio might inspire choreography that could even give Thriller a run for its money!
Real vs. fiction and the gift of being scared.
The month of October can be such an exciting transition in the year. There’s a chill to the air and change in color of the leaves that lets us know how fleeting this period of time will be. With all things new and changing in life, this can also bring about anxieties for the unknown.
When you’re a young child, how do you learn to get through the anxiety of the unknown? Activities like role-play and safe experiences outside their comfort zone help develop tolerance for discomfort and the confidence to get through it. What better time to practice all of this than Halloween!?
Role-play and Using Imagination
Dressing up offers an opportunity for kids to role-play and exercise important skills for their development. When they step into a character, they’re not only practicing empathy and flexing their imagination/storytelling muscles, they’re learning a lot about themselves and their preferences.
They may be drawn to a particular storyline or character, come up with new problems to solve, or find that there’s an element of self-expression they want to carry beyond Halloween.
Real vs. Fiction
This season introduces the concept of fantasy, fiction and even fiction for the sake of purposely being scared! Researchers have found that around the age of 3 or 4, kids are better able to grasp the distinction and develop critical thinking around this.
While it’s up to each family to ease-in the way they feel is most appropriate, there are likely films, costumes, and child-friendly haunted houses that kids will encounter during this time. Letting kids know ahead of time that what they’re seeing is just people pretending will set expectations and help them distinguish between the “good kind of scary” or something that makes them feel unsafe.
Setting Boundaries and Being Brave
There will be moments during this time when kids are afraid, but feel safe enough to brave the experience for the reward on the other side. However, even if we know the situation is safe as parents, there may also be times when kids are too scared to participate. It is then our responsibility to help them process it or honor their boundaries, allowing them to choose an alternative that they’re more comfortable with.
While our child may not be in danger, it’s important to take them seriously so that they are able to express their boundaries in the future and don’t feel that they’re expected to override their instincts to appease others. It may seem insignificant now, but this is a major life lesson that carries more weight as they enter their impressionable, adolescent years!
We’re wishing all of you an exciting and safe spooky season full of tasty treats and cozy family time.
Open Pok Pok now to explore our new Halloween update!
We’ve been so inspired by the unique approach of each child who plays with our toys and can’t wait to hear what families like yours think of this one. Receiving your feedback, videos and ideas for new updates is so important for the growth of Pok Pok so please say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org or on social media @playpokpok.