Halloween is a special time of year that most children love. It can also be a good time to help our children learn about some of the hard things about life such as how to deal with fear. Recently my 6-year-old son asked about why Mommy and Daddy watch scary movies and I explained that sometimes being scared for no good reason can be fun. He doesn’t like being scared at all and says he doesn’t understand yet but that he wants to understand. So we went about playing a game that he enjoys, scare the sisters! He will hide and then jump out and say Boo behind one of them and sometimes he gets them good. He laughs so hard and after the girls jump, they tend to laugh too. I explained that his Boo game is a bit like scary movies for some of us. It is fun to be scared for no real reason, the body reacts and reminds us we are alive and the imagination gets to run wild for a bit. It can be really easy forget about worry and real life when you’re in the middle of a good scary movie!
At 6 years old though my son is too young for a real scary movie, though I was watching them when I was his age. Instead it is a perfect time for some cute Halloween type movies! Here is our top 5 movie picks!
#1 It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
One of the great things about this Classic is that it shows that not everything goes as planned. It shares the imagination of children, the conflicts they sometimes have, and it is just down right adorable! Charlie Brown is not what I grew up watching but my husband did and he still has a love for all things snoopy. This is an easy pick for us.
#2 The Nightmare Before Christmas
This is my personal pick! I love this movie and have since it first came out. I love the beauty in the crush and the childhood like confusion between the seasons and everyone’s dedication to pull off a holiday so well and yet getting things so wrong when they try to move beyond what they are without knowing the heart things. Children might not pick up on the deeper themes in the movie, but they might get a scare out of it and might find it funny like my children do too! If you have a sensitive young child you might want to hold off on this one though for a few more years.
#3 Monsters Inc
This movie is funny for all ages and not scary in the least. My children really connect with it and have a great time watching it. I think it speaks to the spirit of a child, a person even, that so many of us have this fear when we are little about what could be under the bed or in a closet. It is a brilliant movie with a lot of imagination put into it.
This is another classic that can be great for young children. It speaks to compassion we are born with and the open minds children tend to have as well. It makes me a little sad though when I think about how children used to have these big lives beyond school and home, where they could ride in the woods without an adult, where they had the space to dream of these adventures. But that is a topic for another day!
#5 Hooh’s Heffalump Halloween
This movie is all kinds of pure cute adorable fun. Older children might find they like it too as they too remember what it was like to be scared. This movie shouldn’t scare little children but should help them know they are not alone in being scared and it might even provide some comfort and should definitely provide some smiles!