No Candy Fun!

There are so many great non-food treats for Halloween.
Halloween is supposed to be fun for kids, right?  What's not to like?  You get to dress up your child in crazy costumes, go out and meet your neighbors and the kids come home with a full sack of goodies.  Except it isn't always fun for everyone and often candy is the culprit.  I haven't given out Halloween candy for quite a few years for several reasons.  I used to be a fourth grade teacher and it was fun to plan the Halloween parties with the kids and parents !!!BUT!!!!  the week after Halloween was crazy town.  The kids were working down their piles of candy and would come to school all sugared up only to crash and be grumpy a few hours later.  It was nearly impossible to get anything really accomplished.  If you've experienced one child going crazy from sugar, well, multiply it by 20.  Eeeeeek! That set me on the path to thinking about other sorts of treats.

Now, add into this mix the children that have allergies to peanuts, wheat, dairy, soy or corn, the five most common food allergens.  It is pretty hard to find a candy that doesn't include one or more of these foods so those kids probably have a pretty hard time enjoying the revelry. Another added benefit to skipping the candy is I don't eat half a bag before the big night.

So, what do I do instead?  I've never had any trouble finding Halloween pencils, erasers, bouncy balls or other little give-aways.  My parents haven't given out candy for many years and instead give nickels, that's easy and probably a lot cheaper!  This year, because I knew I was going to write about this I went to three stores, Target, Shopko and the Dollar Store to see what I could find.  I came up with all sorts of things as you can see in the photo. Everything I already mentioned as well as temporary tattoos, drinking straws, bubbles, little notepads, whistles and my favorite, glow-in-the-dark rubber duckies!  I spent about 20% more, but in my mind, well worth it.

Food Allergy Research and Education (FARE) has developed a campaign to help kids with food allergies have a safer Halloween called the Teal Pumpkin Project.  FARE is encouraging treat givers to offer non-food treats and let trick-or-treaters know by placing a pumpkin that has been painted teal and/or a sign, that is provided on their website, outside of the house.  Please go check out their site and think about having some no candy fun!

If you are worried about disappointing the kids, don't be!  They are pleasantly surprised to get something different.
Downloadable poster from FARE

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