Answer: we do. Is this something you've tried in your house? Maybe you're thinking "What on earth is the Switch Witch"? Well, let me introduce you to her (or him, Switch Wizard too perhaps)? The Switch Witch saves you from that Halloween candy hell, the one you find yourself in after your child comes home with a bucket heaving with candy. I remember the first year both of the older kids went out trick or treating, they emptied their buckets out on the floor and I couldn't believe how much candy they had gotten in such a short amount of time. I knew that it was way too much for them to eat on their own, and once I heard about the Switch Witch I jumped right on that bandwagon. Here's how to do it:
- Start early, like today. Introduce the concept of the Switch Witch now so your kids can get used to the idea that they will be making the candy switch at some point after Halloween.
- Decide on what to swap the candy for. It doesn't have to be some big huge toy, it can be little things, or maybe a special activity they have been wanting to do. The point of the whole thing is to get kids on board with the idea that not ALL of the fun from Halloween has to do with the candy part.
- Consider letting your child keep some of the candy. We do this for our kids, and they can choose some of their favorites that will then be doled out as treats, rather than have one big candy binge. Assigning a certain number of pieces and letting them pick out what they want to keep will make it a little bit easier to give up the big haul.
- Make sure it stays fun. Don't have the kids switch their candy for floss and toothpaste because that will make both the giving up the candy and the idea of healthy dental habits more of a chore and a punishment.
- Do the switch Tooth Fairy style, under cover of darkness. Have the kids place their buckets in plain sight downstairs and then leave the switch "prizes" in their place.
- If the Switch Witch steals a few pieces of candy, no one will be the wiser. BUT, if you're worried you might put a dent in your healthy eating plan, consider finding a spot for that candy ahead of switch time. Bring it in to share at work, or consider donating it to somewhere like the Operation Gratitude Candy Buy Back Program which sends care packages to our troops overseas. You just pay to ship to California, but an extra $11 donation covers overseas postage. You can also donate candy or to our local Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Like I said, the point of the Switch Witch isn't to be a Debbie Downer by "stealing" the candy, it's more of a way to make the focus of Halloween less on the candy and more on the fun of the entire tradition. This is especially good for kids that are just old enough to start Trick or Treating but aren't really ready for most candy. They can still have the fun like the big kids and get a special "treat" that doesn't also have to be a sugary choking hazard. My kids are already looking forward to choosing their favorite pieces and then getting that fun Switch Witch prize.
Click here to find the adorable Switch Witch book and doll too, the perfect thing to "switch" for all that candy! xoxo