The night of Halloween can be so much more fun for children if parents can think of an activity for them to do in the safety of the home. This safe but engaging activity can be provided by parents for a sleep over on the night of Halloween. Teachers could use the idea as a Friday afternoon activity during the lead up the spooky celebration.
Definition of a Scrim
The definition of a scrim for theater is a piece of fabric used as a drop, border, or the like, for creating the illusion of a solid wall or backdrop under certain lighting conditions or creating a semitransparent curtain when lit from behind.
Materials for Creating Halloween Scrim
- a light projector. This could be an overhead projector or a light box. The light source can be torches or lights attached to leads. The most important aspect of the apparatus is that an adult checks that the equipment will be safe. Young people need to be able to manipulate cellophane and black ghost’s shapes on top of a clear glass or Perspex surface.
- cellophane, paper, cardboard
- a sheet or similar surface such as a thin curtain to project through. A rod could be used to suspend a sheet, dividing the room in half
- a room where there can be a backstage and space in front for an audience
- musical equipment such as a microphone, megaphone and CD player or musical instruments. Children can write a script and speak, sing, make scary noises or play scary music
- chop sticks or slight rods to manipulate the shapes and cellophane pieces
Technique for Manipulating a Halloween Scrim
Cellophane sheets, either straight or crumpled, mark out a light stage on the projection curtain when they are placed on the light projector. By moving and changing these cellophane sheets, the colour of the light show can be changed and cellophane sheets placed over each other will merge to create new subtle colour blends.
Paper cut out in the shape of a ghost or other Halloween shapes can be moved with the rods, or thrown so that they float on to the stage. In this way intriguing scenes can be enacted.
Children will want to play with the techniques at first just to see what effects they can create. Once they are familiar with how the techniques work, they will be inspired to write a script for their “production.” The story line itself will inspire the children to create more scary black cats and other illusions to project. As their ideas develop they will begin to desire for more noises, and music. They may want to scour the internet for free downloadable sounds.
Creating a Halloween Tradition
Children are sure to enjoy this activity. Help them value their efforts by taking a movie of the play they create. Or; take many shots of the play as it unfolds and scrap book the effects later as a follow up activity with the children. This is an effective way to provide entertainment for children at Halloween as an alternative to trick or treating. Provide lots of refreshments and treats and you are sure to create treasured memories and a lingering Halloween tradition