How to Trick Your Kids Out of Their Treats This Halloween & Kids Halloween Party at Belly Bliss
With Halloween on its way, along with the ever-changing costume requests, many of us parents today find ourselves pulled between wanting our kids to partake in the trick-or-treating we so enjoyed as children and loathing the Halloween aftermath of whining, begging and constant candy on the brain. All of the latest research about how sugar and dyes wreak havoc on our health might be the scariest part of this spooky holiday. As thoughtful parents, our question is: how do we let the kiddos enjoy the pure ecstasy that is knocking on doors for contraband (aka candy) and then also respectfully and magically diminish their sugary bounty? Here are a couple fixes that limit the tears, negotiations and blood sugar crashes.
1.) The Switch Witch. The idea here is that you convince your kids that if they leave their leftover candy for the “Switch Witch” (usually either outside their door or at the foot of their bed), she will come while they sleep and leave them a toy or prize in exchange. It’s like bribery. And it works. The beauty here is that since the Switch Witch is not a part of traditional Halloween mythology, you can pretty much tailor the details of this to fit your goals. That means you can say things like, “The more candy you leave her, the bigger the present the Switch Witch leaves for you!” or, “The exchange rate for cavity-inducing Milk Duds is higher!” After the treats are handed over, what you decide to do with the haul is on you – eat it, trash it, ship it overseas to the troops or sell it to your dentist (some have buyback programs). And no surprise here, but there is even a Switch Witch doll and book, a la Elf on the Shelf, if you wanted to make your life miserable for the entire month of October.
2.) Science experiments with candy. This option is a triple threat: it painlessly rids children of their candy, you don’t have to buy them a present and it’s actually educational – not to mention a load of fun! Inspired by a past blog post from Mothering.com, the way this works in my house is that we get out lots of clear cups and fill them with water. Then we add candies to each cup and stir. Apparently children love to stir anything. Our kitchen table turns into a mini chemistry lab where we watch and see what happens next. Then we up the ante and add vinegar and/or baking soda to some of the cups. We take note of which candies fizz and which don’t. We find out what happens when yellow and green Skittles soak together. We finally answer the age-old question of do Starburst candies float and does their buoyancy change when we mold them into a shape with more surface area? The kids have a blast with all the mixing, stirring and conjecturing while you stand there smiling at the fact that they’ve just donated their sacred stash of sugar to science.
Before you choose either of these methods, don’t forget to pillage the stack for your favorites. And to save everyone some time and annoyance, go ahead and throw all the Whoppers away.