Children’s Museum stresses health at ‘Spooktacular’ event | Local News

All manner of ghouls and goblins visited the Terre Haute Children’s Museum on Thursday evening for the Rural Health Innovation Collaborative’s annual Healthy Halloween Spooktacular.

And when the children weren’t showcasing their moves at a “Thriller” dance-off station, watching a K-9 demonstration by the Terre Haute Police Department or getting their faces painted, they were learning what it means to lead active, healthy lives.


Children's Museum stresses health at 'Spooktacular' event

Tribune-Star/Austen LeakeGood decisions: Indiana State University dietetics graduate students Amanda Propes (left) and Megan Moriarty (middle) talk to kids about healthy-eating habits during Thursday’s Healthy Halloween Spooktacular at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum.

Renee Henry, museum director of education, said Halloween is the perfect time to broach the topic, as children are often overloaded with buckets of sweets.

“Halloween is the candy month, it seems, with everything so focused on getting candy into the kids,” Henry said. “And while we have some of that here, parents have responded well to a wellness event where candy isn’t the main focus.

“And so far as the educational part of it,” Henry said, “that’s what we do here everyday. This partnership with the RHIC adds another element to that. It really makes your day to see the little kids, like one here with one of our staff members, all dressed up and smile and say, ‘Hey.’”

RHIS Simulation Center Director Jack Jaeger echoed Henry’s sentiment, saying the Spooktacular is one of the best ways to reach out and teach kids in a fun, interactive setting.

“We’ve found in the four years of hosting this that it’s a great and fun way for kids to get information,” Jaeger said. “What’s better than getting dressed up in costumes while you learn some stuff and maybe even win a prize for their costume?”

Dozens of community partners set up displays across the museum’s three levels, each sharing with children a different aspect of wellness.

A trio of Indiana State University dietetics students set up shop on the second floor and engaged the kids with a healthy craft.


Children's Museum stresses health at 'Spooktacular' event

Tribune-Star/Austen LeakeGive it a squeeze: Noah Jackson tries out his new stress ball that he made at Thursday’s Healthy Halloween Spooktacular at the Terre Haute Children’s Museum.

Visitors could stop by the table and make a “healthy bat,” adorning them with marker scribbles and googly eyes. Attached to the back of each bat was a small bag of carrots and grapes, an alternative to Halloween candy that grad student Amanda Propes said could encourage a lifetime of conscious eating habits.

“We just wanted to show the kids that this is a healthy, alternative snack,” Propes said. “And especially for kids that are growing, they need the nutrients because most don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables as part of their regular diet.”

Reporter Alex Modesitt can be reached at 812-231-4232 or at Follow him on Twitter @TribStarAlex.