So you think it’s too early for Halloween decorations? Tell that to your local retailers, some of whom started to peddle sacks of Candy Corn late this summer.
But my experience suggests that Monsters are a 365-days-a-year thing.
When I was a kid, I had a glow-in-the-dark Monster Convention poster tacked to the back of my door. It was a gathering of Dracula, Frankenstein, a witch, a skeleton and a mummy (the latter three of which were generic fill-ins compared to the celeb monsters). Their eyeballs, fangs and fingernails all glowed, as did the words “SWEET DREAMS!”
These monsters were meant to be scary and represented almost a rite-of-passage for me. If I was deliberately going to sleep under the gaze of these vile beasts than nothing could ever scare me.
WallCandy’s full roster of removable peel-and-stick wallpaper monsters are far more cute and cuddly, making them ideal for the preschool age. Check out a close-up of the gremlin-like creatures below. They are also far more fashionable than the beasts of yore as you can see from the official WallCandy Monster Palette. Did Dracula ever dare wear fuchsia or lavender?
Monsters typically get a bad rap for “causing” nightmares at bedtime, but there is convincing research that pretending to overcome these fictitious cretins is a healthy part of childhood development. Researcher Gerard Jones, author of “Killing Monsters: Why Children Need Fantasy, Super Heroes and Make Believe Violence,” suggests this kind of imaginative play gives kids a sense of control.
In full disclosure, there is occasionally a news report of an adult monster fan going off the deep end — as in this tragic demise of a Bigfoot impersonator getting crushed on a highway — but most monster play is fun spirited.
Responding to “Killing Monsters,” PopMatters blogger Jon Nettles shared this observation of his own son’s play:
“Despite the fact that he spends a good portion of his day causing imaginary mayhem as the Red Ranger, Spider-Man, or a particularly bloodthirsty velociraptor, he’s also perhaps the most empathic child I’ve ever met, distressed when he sees a felled tree and passionate in his defense of any insect that makes its way into the house,” Nettles writes.
Yes, there’s little fear that encouraging your kids to embrace their inner monsters will turn them into real ones.
I can’t wait for Halloween!
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