Ghosts and Witches: What’s Real and What’s Pretend?

This week, we’ve played and talked with a Halloween focus– considering what’s real and what’s pretend– noticing ghosts, witches and pumpkins. 

For our virtual class, we invited children to turn one of their beloved stuffed animals into a ghost. Each child picked a stuffie and then put a towel, sheet or fabric over it’s head. We noticed how the real stuffed animals were obscured and only a ghost critters showed.  In doing this, we offered children gentle exposure to what is spooky and helped build some comfort so when they encounter Halloween decorations or costumes they will be less likely to feel uneasy.

During class, we invited children to share what they already know about witches. naming some things we have learned about witches are true, and some things are pretend. As we listened, we helped make the distinction between the real power of real witches and the pretend images and/or stereotypes of witches as dangerous, evil, scary, green-skinned faces. Children eagerly shared what they know: 

K: “They like to go into the woods and collect plants that heal people.”  Z: “They use wands.”  D: “They help people.” Sylas: “Fly on broomsticks.”   K: “They wear black hats.”  We talked about how fun it would be to travel by broom and shared some herbs and medicines that healers and witches still use today. 

We introduced Bonnie Lockhart’s song Who Were the Witches which illuminates the power of witches and hints at the harsh history of witches who were misunderstood, targeted and harmed. 


Who were the witches?

Where did they come from?

Maybe your great, great grandmother was one.

Witches were wise, wise women they say.

There’s a little witch in (everybody) today.


Some people thought that the witches were bad.

Some people were scared of the power they had.

The power to help and to heal and to care–

Isn’t something to fear; it’s a treasure to share.


Visit and Save RBG Street Art


A couple of week’s ago we included an invitation to go check out “All Rise”– the street art of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg with boxing gloves!  (NE 27th and NE Bryce in Portland).We encouraged families to use the visit as an opportunity to talk about RBG’s legacy, leave flowers and/or bring chalk to add your own message. A few families explored and added their own messages. 


“Together, we stood before this massive, stunning portrayal of Ruth, briefly discussed her remarkable life and talked about what various features of the painting might be conveying, including her boxing gloves and the scales of justice on her earrings. Then, my oldest turned to me and said, ‘thank you for bringing us here, Mom’ and my heart melted. After that, we added our own chalk art and messages inspired by Ruth to the others nearby. We wrote, ‘RBG taught me that I can do it!’ and ‘I Am Strong.’ It was an incredibly powerful and empowering experience.” – Meghan Goldman, current HFP parent.
There has been a call to remove this creative expression honoring RBG’s legacy. 
Call Portland City  Commissioner Chloe Eudaly to voice support of the mural and oppose the call  to having it removed.  503-823-4682

Sesame Street Special: Let’s Stand Up to Racism

“Sesame Workshop’s longstanding commitment to modeling inclusivity and addressing complex social issues continues this week with ‘The Power of We: A Sesame Street Special.’

Designed as a co-viewing experience for children and families, the special will address racism and help children learn ways to recognize and stand up to it. It will stream on HBO Max and PBS KIDS starting, Thursday, October 15, and debut on PBS stations the same day. The special will re-air throughout October and November on PBS stations and the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel (check local listings).

“The Power of We” features Elmo and Abby Cadabby, who are joined by 6-year-old Muppet Gabrielle and her cousin, 8-year-old Tamir, as they learn how to become “upstanders” to unfair treatment based on skin – or fur – color. Current and former Sesame Street cast members Alan, Charlie, Chris, and Gordon will also take part in the special alongside celebrity and musical guests Yara Shahidi, Christopher Jackson, and Andra Day.

We hope you will join us for ‘The Power of We,’ which is designed for families of all shapes, sizes, and colors. To continue meaningful conversations about racism with children in your life, check out our family viewing guide at

If you have any questions about ‘The Power of We’ or any Sesame Workshop programming, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

-Your friends at Sesame Workshop”

Children’s Picture Book “Fry Bread” Dispels Myths and Counteracts Stereotypes

In honor of Indigenous People’s Day, check out this illuminating interview with Kevin Noble Maillard, author of the wonderful picture book, Fry Bread, A Native American Family Story. 

In this interview, Mallard’s 7 year-old son reads a portion of the book his dad wrote with him in mind! 

  Listen to Maillard read Fry Bread.       Borrow Fry Bread from MCL.      Purchase Fry Bread.