In every Mini Me Yoga session we consider the needs and individuality of each child. Kate Bartram-Brown, the founder of Mini Me Yoga, has created a programme that allows and encourages children to be creative, imaginative and adapt the session in any way to meet their individual needs. Children are encouraged to be themselves, have a go, try something new, being mindful of every child and wanting their personality to shine!
You may remember I wrote a blog last Christmas about how we do things somewhat differently in our family. I have 4 children all of which a Neuro Diverse. For us this has meant we have had to change the way we think about traditions to suit the needs of the children. I have always wanted my children to experience as much as they can possibly handle so over the years we have had to manage some difficulties and unexpected reactions.
When my eldest son was around the age of 2 he developed a real fear of anyone with a mask or painted faces, he was terrified of blood (real or otherwise) and would jump at any sudden or loud noise. My eldest daughter at a similar age developed a fear of spiders and spider webs. These fears would make there reactions so bad even mentioning the word blood or spider would cause a meltdown. For anyone who isn’t sure of the difference between a tantrum and a meltdown take a look at this:
So as you can appreciate Halloween was not a happy time for my children. Not wanting them (or me) to miss out I set out to make an experience that would not only support their learning but that they would enjoy.
We started out by dressing for Halloween in whatever they wanted even if it didn’t make sense to anyone else. The wackier the better. I allowed them to decorate the house with things that they had made such as orange and black paper chains or streamers. We painted pumpkins without faces and our lantern carvings usually spelled out our names. We prepared throughout October slowly enough for them to manage with the changes.
As a child I loved traditional Halloween games but I knew I was going to have to be gentle with the children. I have fond memories of bobbing for apples but knew that the water and the texture of the apples were going to be an issue. The only alternative I could find at the time was ducking for apples but this still involved apples. After weeks of trying out different ways to do it we came up with ducking for popcorn or doughnuts.
A firm favourite game for Halloween that we still play is What’s in the box? We decorate boxes together and I fill them with different things. This is great for exploring the senses. We smell, touch, taste, hear and finally see what is in the box. When we first started playing this game they struggled to put their hands into the unknown but now they really enjoy it and I can put more slimy and creepy things in them now.
Another thing that was difficult was Trick Or Treat. My children would not go to many houses and those that we did go to had to understand that the children were not being rude but they would not say trick or treat, make eye contact or even say thank you. We also had to make sure that we didn’t have many people knock on our door as this was too much for them to handle. We made little postcards which we posted out a week before Halloween that explained all of this and we made a notice for the door which asked people not to knock at the door but to press a button which would sound a chime I kept in my pocket so I could sneak to the door to hand our treats.
Now that my children are much older we are able to enjoy more of the traditions I grew up with. We can dress up in ghoulish costumes and some of us love to go to scare mazes. We still don’t Trick or Treat very much but we do create some fabulously frightening Halloween feasts.
How about trying out one of our favourites with your little monsters this year:
You will need:
- Water to wash them under!
You will need to wash raspberries and green grapes, take a grape and put the raspberry on top like a little hat and there you have it simple yet effective.
Why not create a Magickal garden for them? We would love to see your creations.
Melissa started her career in the BUS working with 0-19s and their families and specialised in CAMHS. She has also worked as a family support worker within her Local Authority.
Melissa has 4 children; two with an Autism Spectrum Conditions and one with additional needs. She is currently a trustee for YESS Mental Health charity for children and the Autism Spectrum Pyramid group who support families who have children with Autism Spectrum Conditions.
She is also a Reiki Master and hopes to teach and use Reiki with children alongside being a Life Activation Practitioner with the Modern Mystery School.
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