Ever since our kids had their first Halloween, it had never been about the treats as much as it had been about the costumes. As they get a little older, now preschoolers, that balance is shifting a little. But thankfully they still love being dressed up as much or more than they love the prospects of a bag full of sugar.
Still, even taking preschoolers for a walk around our neighborhood for 20-30 minutes yields way more candy and sweets than we could ever be considered appropriate for kids of their age. So we have come up with a system by which they can save a couple of treats for themselves, give the rest away, and not feel cheated: the Halloween Fairy.
Who is this mysterious creature? The Halloween Fairy is a friendly spirit who comes in the middle of the night and takes away a bag of treats from outside the bedroom door of a small child and leaves them something special in return. For our kids, they usually end up with something crafty like a coloring book and a collection of stickers or — again, as they get older — a small Lego kit to build. Something that they will be excited about in the morning and that gives us the piece of mind that they aren’t going to be riding a sugar high into December.
Using this approach has been a great way to keep our kids excited about trick-or-treating, let our kids keep a few choice sweets to enjoy, while also giving them something apart from candy to look forward to when the night is through.
If your kids are a little too old for the Halloween Fairy myth, you could consider a variation that we’ll probably use in later years: offering them a special item or two they can “buy” with a candy price tag: 25 pcs for Item A, 50 pcs for Item B. Again, getting some of the sugar out of their hands in exchange for something equally valuable to them.
Regardless of what type of candy exchange you put in place, it can definitely be a good strategy to keep your kids from sugar overload. And if you’re like me, your office mates will thank you.