Halloween enjoys an unrivaled reputation for decadence among the society of children. As such, adults often feel compelled to step in and moderate the fun by injecting a touch of healthfulness and frugality into the little ones' bags of treats.
With reports every year on the declining number of
trick-or-treaters, one of the most venerable traditions in the culture
risks extinction. This may be due, in small part, to the overzealous
application of health to the holiday -- specifically, in the form
of bad Halloween treats. Not the arsenic-laced-cookie kind of bad
treat, but the kind that bores kids into never wanting to go trick
or treating ... ever again.
Disappointing treats run the gamut from toothpaste and dental floss to nuts and raisins. With expectations running high, making your house a good stop on the trick-or-treating circuit can be a tough job -- especially if you're on a budget and committed to promoting a healthy lifestyle.
|Don't worry. Be a Halloween hero and save the waistlines of the next generation (and some money) at the same time with these fun and thrifty Halloween treats.
|10 thrifty Halloween treats
1. Temporary tattoos
Kids love tattoos like bikers love Harleys. There's an inherent
coolness that kids are quick to recognize, maybe because their parents
generally hate them, though there are millions of exceptions to
that rule these days. Plentiful supplies of safe, kid-appropriate
designs can be found on the Web, in party stores or novelty shops.
The individually wrapped ones are best, lest your offer be misconstrued
by parents to be an attempt at poisoning their offspring.
In Halloween themes or otherwise, stickers are a safe bet and available everywhere.
3. Colored chalk
Either a whole pack or individual sticks of chalk make amusing gifts. They're as fun as spray paint but without the permanence, noxious fumes or vandalism charges. You could even tell the kids to write nice things about you on the sidewalk in front of your house.
4. Individually wrapped sticks of clay
Find them at art supply stores, craft stores and, of course, the handy-dandy Web.
5. Pennies for wishing
Wrap up pennies in some tissue paper or cellophane or spring for some small organza or muslin bags from a craft store and attach a note with a short message about making wishes, lucky pennies or saving pennies.
6. Pencils, erasers and pencil toppers
Office supply stores, teacher supply stores have loads of themed
pencils. Craft stores and toy stores carry pencil toppers or, if
you're feeling crafty, pick up some supplies and devise your own.
7. Noisemakers and other party favors
Anything that amplifies kid's natural noisy tendencies is usually good for at least a few minutes of fun. Though old-fashioned Halloween-themed noisemakers are hard to find these days and the reproductions are a bit pricey; kazoos, slide flutes and maracas can all be found at party supply stores. Noisemakers were an inherent part of Halloween celebrations up through the 1960s so you could think of yourself as reviving an old tradition rather than giving out good-for-you treats.
8. Balloon animals
Making a basic balloon animal or object is fairly easy to learn,
and there are free instructions all over the Web, or if you're serious
about learning the art, there are books, videos and classes. The
balloons, called 260s, are inexpensive and readily available from
party or craft stores. Though it will take some patience and practice
to learn, it's a neat trick that will impress your friends, or at
least, your friends' kids.
9. Bubbles and wands
Bottles of bubbles can be found pretty cheaply and in bulk and are
mostly available at toy stores, discount stores and the Internet.
Come on, you know it's what they want. Plus, dark chocolate is known
to be chock full of antioxidants and keeps blood pressure down,
which actually makes eating it, in moderation, healthy.