You've tricked. You've treated. Now, what to do with all that Halloween Candy?! We have a long tradition of trading in Halloween candy which helps control how much candy the kids eat over the next few weeks. Halloween night, after I have checked through the loot (for razors, opened packages, "God Loves You" pamphlets*) we let the kids eat two of whatever they like. The next day...we start the trading.
Make Piles For Sharing. My kids love to sort their Halloween loot into organized piles. Smarties with Smarties. Chips with Chips. They voluntarily make piles for sharing with others. For example, Grandma LOVES Reese's Pieces so any and all Reese's go directly to the "Grandma pile." Then, there is candy the kids just don't like (for example, anything with nuts—they just don't like nuts). So there is a "Don't Like" pile (which either goes to the office or the garbage).
Trade Up. Offer your kids a trade up for their Halloween candy. "Trade in 1/4 of your candy for a movie afternoon." (You could also offer hosting a play date with a friend, date day with a parent, extra toy time). This gives them control over what candy they choose to trade and gives you control over how much candy is out in the open. You don't have to throw it all out—just put it away—and distribute slowly over the next few months.
Trade With A Sibling. My oldest daughter dislikes chocolate (crazy huh?!) but loves chips and popcorn. My youngest daughter is the opposite (they complement each other that way). So they are open to sister-to-sister trades to get what they prefer. Works for them and for us parents.
*And yes, the kids did get "God Loves You" pamphlets last Halloween. I guess someone was eager for All Soul's Day.
Hobo bags are a tween trend these days. From a school bag to activity bag to purse the hobo is a hit. Also, it's a great birthday party activity—as it is hands-on, practical and makes a great loot bag. In under 20 minutes, you too (or your tween) can DIY a hobo bag.
Get a clean t-shirt (here we are re-using one of Dad's basic white ts)
Start by cutting bottom of t-shirt one inch in. Keep the end because it will become the strap to the bag.
Cut slits in the bottom of the t-shirt (about an inch apart). Do same with each arm so that there are slits on the bottom of t-shirt, the left arm, and the right arm)
Knot the slits together. (bottom of t-shirt, left arm, and right arm)
Cut the neck as large as you wish the opening of your bag to be.
Cut a V-slit in each of the shoulders of the t-shirt and knot the strap through the slits; creating a shoulder strap fixed to the bag (remember: the strap is the bottom of the shirt you set aside earlier).
Decorate with fabric markers, Sharpie permanent markers, stickers, glitter glue...
Tthis hobo bag was used all summer for swimsuits and towels on trips to the pool.)
Cyberbullying is a hot topic this week—as it should. A 2011 KidsHelpPhone survey on cyberbullying reported that 65% of the child respondents said YES to having been cyberbullied. Cyberbullying is a real and present danger for our children. How do we, as parents, prevent our kids from being cyberbullied? How to we protect them from the dangers of virtual frenemies and outright enemies?
What is Cyberbullying?
According to Wikipedia, "Cyberbullying is the use of the Internet and related technologies to harm other people, in a deliberate, repeated, and hostile manner."
This includes: embarrassing, threatening, hate messages, posting humiliating pictures, stalking, revealing confidential information, intimidation, and harassment.
"Related technologies" include tools, such as:
These corners of the web are our kids hangouts; however, some kids (or groups of kids) turn these hangouts into rooms of horror.
What do we, as parents, do?
Cyberbullying goes beyond mean, into a world of instant, long-term hurt. Do what you can to prevent and protect your kids.
65% of kids being cyberbullied is 65% too much.
For more on cyberbullying and what you can do to prevent it, click here.