Before becoming a Mom, Halloween has been an all or none holiday for me. If it happened to land on a weekend, and some friends initiated plans, I did my best to come up with a creative costume and joined the party. I just have to brag for a quick second… one year I was a Box of Wine. Still my hall-of-fame costume, to date.
Once you’re a Mom, you’ve got to do Halloween! Even if it's a Wednesday, it’s kind of your parenthood obligation to post either a pumpkin patch picture and/or ridiculously adorable costume picture of your kiddo on Facebook.
Besides pumpkins and costumes, I’ve gotten in the spirit over here in San Francisco. We’ve got some of my favorite Halloween stories, including Skeleton Hiccups (a quick read that my little guy thinks is hilarious!), Ten Timid Ghosts (a fantastic counting and rhyming story, and for $3 it's a must-have) and The Ugly Pumpkin (a lovable pumpkin who doesn’t get picked but finds his place at the end of fall).
Now let’s talk Trick-or-Treating. My little guy is almost a year and a half. So, he hasn’t really had candy and I’m certainly not trying to get any into his Halloween bag, because then I have to fight my own willpower to stop myself from eating it.
I’m actually loving all the buzz about the Teal Pumpkin Project. A movement that is raising awareness for food allergies and promotes giving away non-food items too!
Since healthy eating is important in our house, I love the idea of giving away really cool, non-food items as TREATS. However, candy is hard to compete with. So without further ado:
8 Ridiculously Awesome Non-Food Treats for Halloween
An obvious choice. Check out these mini ones, great for the toddlers and preschoolers. Bubbles might not be as fascinating after that 😉
Get festive with Halloween stickers of all sorts, this bulk buy allows you to just cut strips and give a few away at a time.
I love Play-Doh. I use it just about every day at work (if you call playing with kids work!). Its great for building sensory and motor skills, but I specifically use it to reinforce verbs during play. Open, shake, push, pull, press, squeeze, etc.
4. Wikki Sticks
What are these, you ask? Oh my goodness. I discovered Wikki Stix when a waitress brought them over for our little guy (instead of your usual crayons and paper) at a burger joint here in San Francisco. They’re great for keeping fingers busy, include instructional booklet if you want to use the stix to trace a design, or you can encourage your little one to create something new. And… best yet, if you have some left overs, in our adult world they work like charms for keeping wires together or marking wine glasses. Seriously! Buy these!
5. Glider Planes
I remember having these so vividly as a kid. My cousins and I would race them to see whose went the furtherest. We’d work on our negotiation skills and trade parts in hopes of creating the perfect airplane. They’re awesome for following simple directions when building, and great for using imagination during play.
6. Crayons, Chalk, etc.
There's no other childhood joy quite like using a new crayon or a new piece of chalk. They just don’t get old. Back to the basics is sometimes best.
I’m torn on this recommendation. They give children so much amusement, but parents so much agony. Do what you will with this one. Or just be sure to give them all away.
8. Glow sticks
If these aren’t immediately put to use on Halloween night, then kids are stashing them away for their next sleepover or hiding in the dark just to see the amazement of neon lights. Be the cool Mom. Get the glow sticks.
Now I want to hear from you! Do you have any other non-candy Halloween ideas? Or maybe you’ve trumped my pre-Mootherhood Box of Wine Halloween costume from 2007? Leave a comment and share below!