Let’s Help Kids is always brainstorming ways that as a small, growing organization we can impact the greatest number of kids in our community.
One of our supporters came up with the idea of collecting gently used Halloween costumes and distributing them to families who couldn’t afford them for their would-be superheroes and monsters. The first collection drive and distribution was an overwhelming success. It was such a success we are collecting costumes again this year.
But what is it about costumes and kids that go together like milk and cookies? Turns out that costumes and role-playing are key components in developing empathy in young children.
In the book, Creative Role in the Early Years, author Alistair Bryce-Clegg discusses how children learn to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes by actually wearing a pair of someone else’s shoes or costume, feather boa, hat, sunglasses, or cape. Any article of clothing or item that can be transformed into an accessory works.
Dressing up as an Avenger doesn’t mean your son or daughter wants to grow up and be a superhero. However, dress up provides children the chance to explore the idea of super-powers and becoming more than a mere mortal.
Halloween is a special holiday in that we encourage children to live outside of their world and dream a little. After the trick or treating is over, the costume lives on and often becomes a favorite article of play.
Children who develop empathy grow up to be empathetic adults. Let’s Help Kids hopes to inspire the children we help to pass on the good feelings and sense of community to others.
Now that’s a treat worth collecting in your plastic pumpkin.