Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Mother of All Halloween Sites:

copyright Carrie Boyko

Here I go again. I dredged this site up from the archives, dusted it off and am offering it one last time to all you procrastinators. I know I got a little ahead of you; my bad. I tend to think I'm behind whenever I'm only a week ahead. Anal, I suppose, but at least it keeps me current. You have four days left, so get going.
Green Halloween is by far the most comprehensive site on making this a safe and healthy holiday. You will undoubtedly find a ton of ideas and strategies for making Halloween your own favorite holiday.

So Halloween week is here and like many moms, youre destined to take your child trick or treating around the neighborhood on Friday night. The alternatives aside, discarded after your child’s complaints made you give in, you now have to come up with a plan to get some, if not all of the candy away from your child after the big ‘take” is over.

When my children were of Trick or Treating age, we used a couple of the following ideas. I have to say they worked well. However, the ideas I found on Green Halloween were much more varied, and could potentially be cheaper. When my kids were young, exchanging their traditional candies for healthier options wasn’t as hard, but as they got older, the challenges became greater. I don't honestly know if it was simply the desire to show off their take to their friends or some other reason, however we eventually found that the only idea that worked with our preteens and middle-schoolers was green, but not in the sense that we would have wished. They wanted cash--cold, hard, cash-- and no small amount, either. After all, we were asking them not to eat this wonderful tasting stuff, and to them, there was no motivation to give that up other than cash.

I’d like to think that I could do a better job of negotiating this exchange, now armed with the ideas from the Green Halloween site. Below I will pass along a few of my personal favorites from their ideas for swapping the traditional candy in your child’s candy bag. If you’d like more ideas, you can check in here on Friday for a list of non-candy ideas. Check out Green Halloween if you need even more options.

Before I share my list of preferences, here are a couple of Green Halloween’s suggestion for making the swap happen with younger children:

Invite the Halloween Fairy (or Great Pumpkin—be creative) to come to your home Halloween night. Tell your child a story, weaving a tale about what the fairy will do with the candy to make magical fairy dust. You may choose to allow your child to select a few pieces of candy to keep and then leave the remainder on the front porch. Be sure to make a big deal of the substitutions that the Fairy leaves in this spot, when found by your child the next morning. Tell your child what a good helper he/she is for the Halloween Fairy.

One last idea: You could give your child points for each piece of candy and let him/her purchase a toy or activity to do with you (movies, etc.) in exchange for the candy given in exchange.

Enough ideas; here is my shortened version of the Green Halloween list:

Small bags of Terra Chips or Pita Chips
Honey sticks
Organic juice boxes
Glee gum minis
Spooky S’mores Clif Kid 2Bars
Lesser Evil popcorn
Crunchy Munchies pumpkin seeds
Inidividual jr. packs of organic nut butters, such as Justin’s Nut Butter or Barney Butter
Tundra Trading licorice or gum
Organic Agave sticks

Also, see my earlier ideas at Happy Green Halloween.

Whether you use my costume idea from yesterday's post or another of your own, I'd love to get pictures. If you'd like your child's picture on my site (no last names, please) you can e-mail it to me at carrieleajohnson@gmail.com. I'd love to share your cutie pies on my site. Happy Green Halloween!

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