Although the Halloween season is short, it is packed full with events. When I was little (you know, with walking to school in snow, uphill both ways), we wore our costumes one day: to school Halloween day and trick-or-treating Halloween night. There was a huge buildup to one day and then disappointment when it was over because it went by so fast. Thankfully our kids are growing up in a world full of trunk 0r treat, harvest festivals, fun fright nights, and trick or treating. The upside is getting our money’s worth out of those costumes and the joyous memories we create with these little people we love so much.
The downside is that after our most spooktacular night of the year, we’re often left with so much stuff. Candy, pencils, vampire fangs, ghost bubbles, candy corn…the list goes on and on.
So what do we do with all these newly acquired items beginning November 1st, when we’re taking down the fake spider webs and pumpkin goblins?
Candy Corn Popcorn
I love candy corn…for a few minutes. But you can’t buy five pieces of candy corn, so what do you do when our striped Halloween treat has lost its luster? Toss it with some popcorn! The combination of salty and sweet is the perfect compliment to your favorite fall themed movies.
My kiddos love getting candy in their Christmas stockings and they won’t care if the tiny Reese’s cups are wrapped in fall or winter colors. It’s what’s inside that counts, right? You can also re-purpose it in your advent calendar or on your next gingerbread house!
The Teal Pumpkin Project 2018
With all of the fun harvest and fall festivals, all these small toys get brought home. Much as I love kazoos (no, thank you; they clearly belong in Dante’s inferno), my boys just aren’t into them. Maybe at two and four they’re simply too young for the vampire fangs, but once they go through their loot, I ask them what they really want to keep. Anything that doesn’t hold their interest I put into bag and load it up with the Halloween decorations. The following year when I decorate again, I set this bag aside for Halloween. I put these unused toys out, along with others I’ve saved or picked up, for the Teal Pumpkin Project. You can learn more about this allergy-friendly project here.
Potty Training/Incentive Prizes
Whether you’re in the throes of potty training, know you will be soon, or are using sticker charts and prizes as inventive for another learned behavior, having little treats on hand can be helpful. Maybe when your munchkin completes a sticker chart, they can choose a prize from a bucket. Or maybe when they finally have that breakthrough of going #2 on the big potty, they get a special candy. Whatever your reason, having a secret stash of prizes can come in really handy!
Sometimes, we crave an epic milkshake but are already in our pjs and unwilling to leave the house. In cases like that, it can be convenient to have some goodies tucked away. Combine your favorite ice cream, candy, and milk in a blender and voilà — a delicious milkshake without busting out your wallet.
Pencils are needed in classrooms regardless of season and kids will likely be glad to have a pretty #2 pencil than a plain yellow one. Or check out this awesome list of places that will gladly accept your unopened Halloween treats.