Creating Your Own Version of Halloween

Perhaps more than any other holiday, Halloween is a child's dream come true. The costumes, the candy, the games -- all are childhood staples. But what happens if you live somewhere that's not conducive to trick-or-treating? Or what if you don't want your kids consuming massive amounts of candy?

In honor of having a Halloween to remember no matter what, here are some tips from iVillage mamas on ways to personalize the holiday for their families. Maybe one will work for you!

Save another soul
"When our daughter was small we lived in Montana, and it never failed to snow a foot on Halloween! So our options were to bundle up snugly and hit a few houses or go to one of the nursing homes. We opted for the latter. Seniors sat outside their doors and the nursing home provided them with candy to fill our bags. It was such a delight to see their faces, and is something they look forward to all year. If you're looking for an alternate, warm place to be with small children, call a local senior center or nursing home to see what they have planned."

Plan a neighborhood party
"Instead of everyone tricking-or-treating door-to-door (with no parents home to answer their own doorbells!) get together as a neighborhood. Pick a meeting spot for games, such as musical chairs with strollers or wagons, and group activities. When you stop the music, hand out special prizes!"

The Halloween fairy
"If you're worried about your kids eating too much candy, teach them about the magical, wonderful Halloween fairy. She visits the night of October 31st and replaces oodles of candy with fun things that maybe are not so sweet, such as Crayons and coloring books." 

Trick or toy?
"What if your child leaves all his candy out for the 'Great Pumpkin' on Halloween night and the candy is exchanged for a small toy overnight?"

Cool costumes for healthy treats
"My Mom was anti-candy, but here is a Halloween treat she made for us. She cut up carrots and skewered black olives with them, so that each carrot had a "hat" to wear. I always loved them."

"For an edible Halloween decoration/centerpiece I make a bunch of tissue paper ghosts each year. Get a bag of Tootsie Pops, and wrap each in a white tissue and tie around each a black piece of yarn. Color two black dots for eyes and one big one for a mouth. Really simple. Then poke all your pops through a Styrofoam cone (available at a craft store.) Last year, I brought it to my son's daycare group and they loved it!"

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