Honoring Everyday Heroes This Halloween

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The word “hero” looks a lot different during the pandemic. Heroes take on the form of people we see and interact with every day—people who put their lives at risk or work harder than expected to make sure that others are taken care of. We see true heroes perform their duties even though we’re still in unprecedented times.

Heroes are more than characters from movies or TV shows. Instead of Luke Skywalker, Wonder Woman and Spider-Man, we have Julia the doctor, Richard the nurse and Carol the grocery clerk. That’s why this Halloween season, I encourage you to celebrate and elevate these everyday superheroes who have kept our communities running throughout the pandemic.

As October 31 draws closer and closer, it’s important to start the conversation of the true meaning of “heroes” and help inspire children to choose great role models within their communities. While there are thousands upon thousands of heroes in our daily lives, here are some local heroes children can dress up as and ways to honor them this Halloween!

1. Medical staff

Nurses, doctors, and medical staff have been working long, hard hours to take care of the sick at the frontlines. A great way to honor them and all they have done this year are to create cards and deliver them personally to healthcare providers and the staff that help to keep the offices in business. Seeing how their work directly impacts the lives of your family and others is a great way to show your appreciation! This also helps stimulate creativity within your child.

2. Firefighters

Firefighters are there during the most intense and dangerous emergencies. They’re always ready to spring into action and save the lives and homes of others. Your local fire department is there to help out your community in times of trouble. A great idea for an activity to honor your local firemen this Halloween is to bake a cake and deliver it to your neighborhood fire station! Try making it in the shape of a related item, like a fire truck or fire hydrant. Baking is a fun activity that you and your child can do together to show appreciation, and the result is a sweet treat that anyone could enjoy.

3. Postal workers and delivery people

Our postal workers are unsung heroes, working early mornings, late nights and long days so that communication around the country never stops. Family and friends are able to receive postcards and birthday presents right on their own doorstep thanks to our postal workers. As we head into the holiday season with lots of gifts and cards being sent across the nation, work together with your child to create a sign to display in your front yard or a poster for your window to thank your local delivery person or postal worker.

4. Teachers

Teachers work every single day to empower our children and future generations. They help shape children’s futures and grow the heroes that we see included on this list. A great way to honor teachers and school faculty is to give the gift of flowers to help brighten their classroom or even gift school supplies; oftentimes, teachers have to pay for extra supplies in their own classrooms out of their own pockets. A basket of school supplies is something you and your child could put together to show how much your local teachers mean to you.

5. Family

Family is one of the most important aspects of all of our lives. Our family members do things every day and make huge sacrifices to help us become the people that we are supposed to become. This holiday season, make sure to appreciate your family, spend quality time with them, and let them know how much they mean to you. Play a board game;  go out to eat; go to the park, or just stay in and watch a movie! It doesn’t matter what you do as long as you do it together. Family time is both wholesome and important to people of all ages.

All in all, there are so many local heroes that deserve to be honored this Halloween. Some are easier to recognize than others, but all play an essential part in helping our lives continue with ease. Without the bravery that is exemplified in roles like this, the world would have shut down from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. While these gestures may seem small in comparison, they will help brighten the day of your Halloween heroes. It’s a great opportunity to teach children about the importance of ordinary people doing extraordinary work, day in and day out.

Joy has over 20 years of experience in early childhood education. As Vice President of Education at Kiddie Academy Educational Child Care, she oversees all things curriculum, assessment, training and more. Joy earned a B.S. in Education from Salisbury University.