On on the board of my building. One of my jobs every year is to work with the kids on decorating the lobby for Halloween. Before this was my job, the decorations were all store bought.
There are large apartment buildings in Manhattan that pay a florist to decorate their lobbies . I thought that the building would be more charmingly decorated if the decorations were made by the kids.
Usually, starting in the summer I ask various kids what they think this year’s theme ought to be. One girl suggested that we make trick or treaters in costume. My job was to figure out how to do this in a way that it could be done by kids, even small ones.
In general, I like the idea of having these decorations which are thrown away made out of recycled materials. I thought that we could construct the basic figures out of cardboard and wire hangers. I had envisioned that we could hang the completed figures from stings strung between the large light fixtures in the lobby.
We cut out lots of round and oval heads out of cardboard that had been but in the buildings paper recycling bins. We had put out calls for materials from residents. Sunday morning we got to work. I realized as we worked that kids are no longer used to these sorts of open ended projects.I kept urging the participants to do a bit more..making the hair wilder…mixing media a bit more. Most of the figures were joint efforts among the participants.I loved seeing how adults and kids would make suggestions and offer improvements. Adults and kids worked together, more as colleagues and less as adults and kids.
A father strung the rope between the lights. It was soon clear that our trick or treat figures were too heavy to suspend from the strung ropes. I suggested that more ropes be strung to suggest a giant spider web. someone remembered that they had plastic spiders at home and brought them down. Cheese cloth was tied to the web for extra ickyness.
Did you notice the pirate’s hooked hand?