Episode 87: October 23, 2009
Hey there! You’re listening to the Mighty Mommy with some quick and dirty tips for practical parenting.
It was just over one year ago when I first talked about how to keep your children safe during their Halloween celebrations. Actually, my husband was kind enough to record that episode for me while I was literally at a loss for words. This year I’m going to review some important safety tips and share a couple of new ideas for fun that I’ve recently come across.
In my previous Halloween safety episode I covered some safety tips. I’m going to quickly review them here and then we’ll move on to the fun stuff:
- Avoid dark-colored costumes when trick-or-treating and carry or wear a flashlight or light-reflective device or clothing.
- Keep costumes safe by making sure eyesight is not obstructed and the area around your child’s feet is clear.
- Label the inside of your child’s costume with emergency contact information.
- All children should be accompanied by an adult while trick-or-treating.
- Go over safety rules with your child before you head out for the evening.
If you have any great safety tips to share, please visit the Mighty Mommy website and leave them in the comments.
I think Halloween may be my favorite time of year when it comes to magazines. I don’t consider myself creative or crafty, but I love looking at the homemade costumes and crafts that creative people come up with, and sometimes I’ll go out and buy the supplies and try to do it myself. Thankfully, my kids are still little and they don’t laugh at what I actually come up with. They enjoy my works of art just as if they are exactly as I intended them to be. Hey, if they don’t know the difference, I’m not going to tell them!
One of the crafts I saw this year involved pumpkins. It was absolutely the perfect craft for a non-artist such as me. Instead of carving a face into your pumpkin, you have your child cut out facial features from magazines, newspapers, or anything that has facial features really. Then, glue the features onto your pumpkins. You could even put faces on all four sides or the top and bottom of the pumpkin. I love this idea because it allows your child to get more involved in the process, it doesn’t involve a really sharp knife, and your pumpkin will last all the way until Halloween. I don’t like to scoop out my pumpkins until Halloween night because that’s when we like to roast our pumpkin seeds. If I have warm, salted pumpkin seeds available for snacking, I’m much less likely to eat candy. Family Fun Magazine had a craft that involved decorating your pumpkin with other fruits and vegetables. They even turned a spaghetti squash into Frankenstein. I’ll include a link in the transcript.
Now, the next suggestion I have may not be a favorite with the kids, but many moms have suggested it to me, so I feel the need to share. Halloween means candy to a lot of people, mostly kids. We dress our kids up as cute or scary as can be and send them out on the town to collect the candy. The kids bring the candy home and then we inspect it to make sure it’s safe for consumption. Then we wonder who is really going to consume all of this candy. It’s not good for the kids and it’s certainly not good for us. You can call local charities, especially charities that work with children, and ask them if they will take donations. Now you just have to take the candy away from your child. What do you mean they don’t want to give it to you? OK, I get it. Kids like their candy. You have a couple of options, but the one that I’ve heard is the favorite involves your local Great Pumpkin, or whatever you want to call the exchanger-of-goods. You have your child pick out a limited number of their favorite candy pieces and put the rest back in another container. Your child then leaves the full container out for the Great Pumpkin who will come retrieve the candy and leave a really cool gift in its place. You can even let your child know that the candy will be going to less fortunate children who don’t get to participate in trick-or-treating. You could probably just let your kid know that you are giving the candy to charity and have them pick a gift, but I think it’s more fun to be surprised. The important thing to remember is that it is the Great Pumpkin’s responsibility to eliminate the candy threat in the house by a means other than eating it himself.
Finally, you may consider skipping the trick-or-treating festivities completely or just hit a few houses and then try something different. Many organizations, churches, and shopping malls now have what are commonly called “harvest festivals.” These are often like small fairs or block parties where people gather, eat, and play. Some offer fair-style games, bounce houses, or spooky haunted houses. You can take your children to these parties, have a great time enjoying the holiday festivities and avoid the candy-collection almost completely. Sure, there is bound to be some candy at the party, but you can be pretty sure it won’t be an entire pillowcase full and the kids will still have a blast!
That’s it for now. Thank you for listening.
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This is your friend the Mighty Mommy wishing you happy and fun parenting!