Thursday, October 7, 2010

Trick or Treat?

We're getting into Halloween 1st gear around here in my house. My daughter is pondering her 4th year as a monkey versus 'something else, but I don't know what' and my son has been adamant that he will be whatever his sister decides to be. After a hiatus last year from manning the door to join my family door to door we've decided to do the door thing again this year.

There are no arguments over what we give out.
The kids can't wait to go shopping.
I will have no leftovers and if I do they keep perfectly well on a shelf in a box.
There are NO CALORIES - NO Sugar
and most of all the kids love them!

We give out school and craft supplies and we have kids literally squealing with delight at our door!

We've been at it since before we had kids. Refining as we go. We estimate what we would normally spend in candy per kid and put it towards bulk packs of things we can break down into individual gifts - toss them in a spooky decorated box and often let them pick one or two things if they are old enough or zero in on something in particular (like the girls and the coloured pencils). Like I said the kids seem to love it - even more than we thought they might - and our treats are useful, different and fun.

Here's my shopping list and tips for this Halloween at the dollar store, discount stores and my other haunts about town.
By carol , from Wikimedia Commons
  • Look for multipacks and items that can be grouped together by tying them together or put in tiny paper surprise loot bags.
  • Multipacks of notepads are a hit with the bigger kids
  • Funky pencil and pens which are always a hit. Get the different styles, not just Halloween but the sports, animal, colourful and patterned, flocked and metallic.
  • Markers, highlighters, coloured pencils bought by the dozen or more and split up.
  • Glitter glue - a huge hit with the girls.
  • Mini erasers come in large quantities and fun styles and are great to dole out multiple items.
  • Finger Traps are a classic
  • Watch out for costume jewelry from the dollar store, while the sets are great for breaking up and the Mardi Gras necklaces seem  great their finish may be dodgy and unsafe.
  • Loot bag packs of cards, bubbles, crackers are all great.
  • Keep an eye out for the large packs of mini playdough in a variety of colours. On sale these can make awesome treat for the wee ones.
  • Stickers, all kinds of sticker sets. Kids love the stickers.
  • Removable tattoos
  • Dollar Store craft kits. Our local store has colour your own spooky themed wooden craft kits (yes, I know its not the best sourced wood but we do what we can) usually 4 or 5 printed wood cutouts and some markers to colour them up.
  • New this year I'm adding Silly Bands. Lots of those little things in a pack and the kids seem to be right into them this year so I expect they will go over well.
Yes, this means more organizing than dumping a pile of candy in a bowl and No, there is no leftover candy for my darling hubby and I to 'force' ourselves to eat before our kids do... but it is worth it to us. A little less processed candy shared around the neighborhood and a bit more fun to be had by all.

What do you do for Halloween? do you give out candy or have something different you do you would like to share? I'd love top hear from you.

Oh. And if you want to steal our idea of crafts and toys, please do and let me know what it was like at yours when you did!

Thanks for stopping by
Have fun and BHappy,


martha brown said...

Great ideas, Barb. I always give out candy(although I do still have some left over from last year). I'd like to try no candy this year. and the silly band idea is great! I think that I'll give these out to the class.(I'll be in for a visit on Halloween)(maybe I'll make the trek down to EH -- I'll email you)

BFine said...

Glad you like the ideas Martha! I'd love to hear how it goes over at your place. And yes, if your up for it we'd love to see you after your visit to EB!