There are several ways you can make Halloween more environmentally friendly and healthier. Instead of giving plastic covered sweets, how about something a little different…
Teach children about how things grow by letting them plant jack-o-lantern eggs (pumpkin seeds). Place three or four seeds in a fold of paper with instructions for planting.
Use acrylic paint or a fine point felt tip marker to draw a jack-o-lantern face on a 25mm jingle bell. Tie a length of yarn, ribbon or twine through the top.
Do-it-yourself Jack-o-lantern Kit
A package of small scorekeeping pencils and some orange construction paper provide do-it-yourself jack-o-lantern kits. Give a cutout of a pumpkin and a pencil with which to decorate it. Use white paper for ghost for do-it-yourself ghosts. You can get at least four shapes from a single sheet of paper, even more if you plan carefully.
Word search, dot to dot and maze type puzzles offer stimulating fun. Create your own or use websites which create custom puzzles for you. Copy four to a page to give to your guests. For younger children, a picture of a smiling pumpkin to colour will work as well.
Have your children outgrown some of their books and you’d like to free some room? Pass the books along to other children of the appropriate age when they come to Trick-or-Treat.
Check your local pound store or party outlet for packets of mini-gifts. Items intended as party favours work nicely as trick-or-treat gifts. Be aware of age recommendations.
A sack of apples, oranges or tangerines may be less expensive than sweets in a good year. You’ll be giving healthier treats and reducing non-biodegradable waste. Cores and peels can go into the compost heap.
Small origami projects make interesting gifts and may spark a child’s interest in the ancient art. Provide the web address of the site where you found the pattern to enable parents to help the children learn more about the skill.
Cut bookmarks from heavy paper stock or use leftover scraps of colorful wrapping paper. Plain paper can be decorated with small stickers or stamped on designs. Strips of felt or ribbon also work well.
Clean out your catch-all drawer. Leftover toys from kid’s meals make great treats for the right age group.