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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Alternatives to candy on Halloween

I intend to spend next Tuesday evening, Halloween, sitting in a rocker on the front porch of my new house with a big bowl of candy for the trick-or-treaters. But I got to thinking: what's the point of the candy? It's getting expensive, it's bad for kids' teeth, it's bad for kids' health, and in a few days it will all be gone. Is there anything that could be passed out instead of candy?

Kmart had Hot Wheels die-cast miniature cars on sale this week, 3 for $2. On the way home from work today I picked up an even dozen. Kids in the age range of 3-to-8 years old might prefer getting a Hot Wheels car and a little candy to getting a whole lot of candy. But Hot Wheels are mainly thought of as "boy" toys. To balance things out I stopped in the party supply aisle and picked up some party favor multipacks - big Elmo superballs (about 2" across) and Hello Kitty bubble wand necklaces. While the bouncy balls are appropriate for both boys and girls, the Hello Kitty stuff is primarily for girls.

I also got some more candy to supplement the bags of candy I bought a few weeks ago. So now I have lots of candy, twelve toy cars, eight superballs, and four bubble wand necklaces. With all this stuff, I hope I get a lot of kids on Halloween night. Otherwise, whatever shall I do with all the leftover candy?

9 comments:

Super G said...

The best alternative to candy we're going to give out this year are little tatoos. Young kids probably would accept stickers as well. (Of course, we mainly give out candy).

Super G

Ashley said...

I actually give out comic books. I take some G-rated books from my own collection and went to stores and got some more. The stuff that's okay for little kids is usually really cheap.
I figure in some small way I'm promoting reading and art appreciation.
I give out candy too, the good stuff, so my house doesn't get egged.

How many kids do you usually get?

Super G said...

We got about 150 kids last year. We moved about two years ago and we had even more at our old neighborhood.

Thankfully our town isn't as rough as yours: egging for bad candy. Now, my son is close to going to high school and he can be really obnoxious when he wants to ... so I can see us getting egged as some point.

Super G said...

Ashley - I know you were asking D.B. the question.... but I'm trying to procrastinate a bit.

Ashley said...

Super g- that's okay I like to know how many kids everybody gets. The last three years I've gotten around 150 as well.
Three years ago our whole block got egged Halloween night and when the neighbors gathered on the sidewalk we joked it was probably because of our bad candy choices. Although I gave good candy (Snickers, Reeses and such) that year so I'm not sure if it actually helps. All I know is I don't want to scrape breakfast off my house again.

D.B. Echo said...

I hate not being able to comment on my own blog at work!

Tatoos and stickers are a great idea! And Ashley, comic books are just brilliant! But how can you find them at reasonable prices to give them away? When I was I kid, comic books were 15 cents - I kid you not, this was like in 1975. Then they went to 20, then 25 cents. Then they jumped to 35 and 40 cents by 1980, and just kept on rising. (I bought a whole pile of Civil War titles a few weeks ago for about $3 each - and the Fantastic Four and Spider Man ones had overlapping scenes!)

No idea how many kids I'll get. On this side of town there aren't many. Over at my new house, the place is crawling with kids! Plus I'm betting a few will just show up to see what kind of weirdo would paint his front porch sky blue.

I have a huge collection of top-shelf candy - Reese's and Hershey's, Skittles and Starbursts. I'm thinking I should go all mod and have multiple candy bowls - "Peanut Free", "No Red Dye" and so on, plus requrie kids' parents or legal guardians to sign releases to hold me blameless for any and all allergic reactions to said candy.

Ashley said...

I go to the stores that carry back issues and usually the stuff that is kid friendly is pretty cheap because there is not a huge demnad for it. The store I go to sells stuff like Archie, Disney comics, Teen Titans Go, JLA Unlimited and Krypto the Super dog. Once there a few months old they go for around .25 to $1.00(depending on how old) but I tell them what they are for and I can usually get a deal. One store gave me a stack for $.10 each if I put the store sticker inside the cover.

Michelle said...

Superballs would better be left to older kids....they are a choking hazard for smaller kids. A good rule of thumb is, if it can fit into a toilet paper cardboard tube then it is a choking hazard for children. Just something I learned in prenatal classes....

D.B. Echo said...

Yep, Michelle, I learned about the toilet paper tube test years ago, probably from one of the annual CNN reports on dangerous toys. (Which immediately calls to mind the Johnny Invisible Pedestrian and Johnny Human Torch costumes being sold by Dan Aykroyd's unethical toy manufacturer on the early seasons of Saturday Night Live. He also sold the hugely popular Bag O' Glass.) The Elmo superballs are 2" across, while the toilet paper tube is an inch and a half. Still, I was planning on restricting them to kids ages 3 - 8, same as the Hot Wheels and the Hello Kitty bubble wand necklaces. Of course, candy isn't all that great for kids under three, either. Maybe I should just give kids that age positive verbal reinforcement...