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Hailey started going to a mom’s morning out program twice a week when she was two years old. It was a great little 9-12 program, that just served a mid-morning snack; no lunch. I thought this was great until Hailey began telling me about some of the snacks that were served. Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, OREOS. Huh, say what? For snack?
On top of that, it seemed like every week was someone’s birthday, which meant cupcakes, cookies and extra candy to take home.
Plus, teachers used M&Ms to reward good behavior.
See the pattern?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a little candy fun on Halloween, but when it extends all month long, it’s a little too much in my book. With Halloween around the corner, I’m hoping to pull back a bit on the ALL THE SUGAR theme that is so often associated with the month of October. To do this, I’m partnering up with the wonderful folks over at Bitsy’s Brainfood to share adorable ways to keep all the fun and magic of Halloween parties while leaving the junk-filled faux-food behind!
Step 1: Focus on the Fun Factor! Kids, especially preschoolers, are at incredible ages to take advantage of magic of the holidays. Hailey, age 4, is all about Halloween and the spooky fun that comes with it.
A great ways to engage little minds with cost-effective fun is to create a sensory mystery box station.
Older kids will squeal with delight when they stick their hands in mystery boxes to squeeze monster brains. Younger children may do better getting to see what they are touching first.
Either way, it provides a really fun activity that will leave all ages, adults included, squealing and giggling as they guess what each monster mystery is made of.
For the preschool crowd, crafts are still a big hit. I know this because I have multiple large containers filled with art projects from Hailey’s first 4 years of life (how I am trying to organize my storage space is an entirely different post). But take advantage of this by helping kids get crafty.
Decorating masks, either store-bought or cut from paper plates, can provide an opportunity for coloring and pretend play afterwards.
Looking for more creative craft ideas?
Or rock their world with simple nail art. Seriously, rock. Their. World. Trust me.
Step 2: Choose Good Grub.
I’m not one of those moms that can create adorable, elaborate lunch scenes with butterflies and cut out shapes on the regular. However, for holidays I’m a bit more willing to put in some extra effort, especially if they aren’t too complex. Hailey loves these simple mini-pumpkins.
And these witches brooms, made from a pretzel stick and string cheese, are easy and delightful.
Looking for more healthy and festive food?
Step 3: Choose Smarter Tricks and Treats. It’s easy to default to candy at Halloween time. I get it. The aisles at Target are overflowing with it, but if you look closer you will also see some new, healthier (and still delicious!) choices emerging.
Bitsy’s Brainfood, the awesome company behind these whole grain cookies made proudly with organic fruits and vegetables, just launched a spooky-snacks multi-pack of some of their most tasty varieties, orange chocolate beet and sweet potato oatmeal raisin.
They are perfect for handing out to trick-or-treaters or for school parties because they are made is a super-safe NUT-FREE facility, which is so important in today’s world.
Brightly-colored packages and the signature letter-shaped cookies make Bitsy’s Brainfood Cookies a huge hit, proven by the way my girls gobble them down, even Kaitlyn (16 months) who is my more particular eater. We eat these on the regular and love them even more with their Halloween-themed packages! You can learn more about the two mom’s that created Bitsy’s here or find them on instagram, facebook or twitter.
Along with the treats, kids love tricks too, and are quite easy to please with simple and affordable Halloween fun, like squishy, sticky eyeballs!
Another great hand out are glow sticks. Not only to kids get the biggest kick out of them, they are great for them to wear of Halloween night to make them easier to track!
Even simple touches like orange and black straws can make a party come alive with magic for kids.
By combining the themed crafts, snacks and spooky tricks and treats, you can make your child’s Halloween celebration explode with delight!
Bitsy’s Brainfood Cookies are available at Wegman’s and Target.