The happy kid in the photo is D, one of the kids in my preschool class. (His mom is at right.) He was talking on New Years Eve about getting his picture taken with Viking Pro-Bowler Bryant McKinnie.
"He's this tall!" said D, stretching high, and putting the Viking's head just under my chin.
McKinnie was at the shelter for the kids' Christmas party and also volunteered at the Thanksgiving dinner.
*****Continuing to develop my Unauthorized Pre-school Curriculum™, I added the Sleepy Hollow Monster to the Gym Monster activity, which also includes Scary Monster (all time favorite, but hard on the throat), Dodgeball Monster (for the more physically adventurous student; allows them to torment the monster in return, but watch out for the basketballs) and Zombie (not too scary or fast on his feet, so a good choice for semi-anxious new kids).
Sleepy Hollow Monster requires a soft, orange, dodgeball-sized ball slightly deflated, with enough texture to make it easy to grip. We just happened to have one. Also, a long-tailed t-shirt, preferably long sleeved and black.
Place ball on top of head. Pull up neck of shirt so back edge rests on top of ball, holding it in place, and orange "face" is framed in neck opening. Extend arms straight out. Chase children, moving at Frankenstein speed, which won't be difficult, since your vision will be impaired — and after a few minutes of breathing superheated carbon dioxide, you will become winded and dizzy.
Then, rapidly lower arms and thrust head upward, causing pumpkin head to fly away, revealing Scary Monster.
Kids will scatter, then return, crying, "do it again!"