Halloween Tip – The Halloween Classroom Party

So you are the “room-mother/father” in your child’s classroom? Maybe not, perhaps you just want to participate in this year’s classroom Halloween party. Generally this is one party during the year in which a number of parents wish to participate. That’s why it is wise for the teacher to invite interested parents, grandparents, and so forth to meet together to pre-plan this special day.

If you attend such a meeting you will want to go in with some personal suggestions. You might suggest that party invitations be sent home. These invitations can be an art project, created by the student’s, during a classroom activity. Be sure to ask that the invitation be returned along with the number of people who will attend the festivities.

During your meeting you may also wish to discuss music that will be played during the Halloween party. Sounds not normally heard during the year are all perfectly welcome on this day with wild shrieks, deadly noises, and other scary noises. If your team decides on something less dreadful then other songs, such as “Monster Bash” help set the mood for the party.

Decorations are appropriate and plentiful for this special day. The teacher may wish to decorate the room – or, s/he may be delighted at the offer of some help. Most any store carries a variety of commercial decorations that can be used. These include everything from the hanging skeleton to the scary ghosts. Haunted houses, hanging spiders, scarecrows, spider webs all add to the scenery.

There are many other ideas that can be used for Halloween. The key is for your team to work together and determine what will be the best way to express this day to make everyone happy. Your team might want to visit us before your meeting at CarvingForKids for more Halloween ideas.

Halloween Tip – Tainted Halloween Candy – Fact or Fiction?

It’s unfortunate that we live in a society today where the question of tainted candy needs to be questioned. What can possibly be more heinous than someone putting something in a child’s candy that can drug, sicken, or even kill him/her?

Fortunately, although tampering of Halloween candy does happen sporadically, it is actually a myth that it is as prevalent as we may be led to believe. In the years past the majority of such stories were fueled by the media as well as hearsay opposed to factual information.

This fear dates back to the mid-1960’s when an upset New York housewife, angry so many “over-age” trick-or-treaters knocked on her door, that she created some special treats and labeled them with the word, “Poison.” The package contained steel wool, dog biscuits, and ants’ buttons. No one was hurt but this created a national panic.

The New York Times, even columnist Ann Landers in future years, continued to warn parents of tampering. The warning came that somebody’s child would become violently ill, or even die, after eating tainted candy.

Two researchers, Gerald Horiuchi and Joel Best collected data on candy tampering at Halloween. They discovered 76 reports of tampering. Their results, however, found that most of the reports were not true while others were fraudulent. Unfortunately, of these 76 cases three children died – even so, we need to look more closely. One boy died because his father gave him arsenic laced candy in order to collect a large insurance claim. In the second incident a boy found his uncle’s stash of heroin, ingested some, and then died. The third case involved a girl who had a fatal seizure. The seizure was first blamed on tainted candy but it was later discovered to be the result of a congenital heart condition.

Trick or Treat? Discuss the possibilities of tainted goodies with your child. When s/he arrives home go through the bag and remove anything that looks tampered with or anything that seems suspicious. That is the trick in earning the treat. Treat yourself right now by visiting us at CarvingForKids.

Halloween Tip – The Rude or Obnoxious Trick-or-Treater

Those of us who have years of experience understand that we will probably have at least one older trick-or-treater who we will find to be rude or obnoxious. Usually this particular visitor is a young adult male. Usually he is traveling in a pack of other “over-age” Halloweeners.

The young adult may speak rudely to you. S/he may try to grab all of your goodies from you and run. If you are dressed in a costume s/he may try to rip off your mask. If your yard is full of Halloween decorations s/he may knock over your pumpkin, tare down the fake cobwebs, or even knock over a small child leaving your front doorstep.

First, it is time to keep our estrogen in check. Getting physical or verbal will NOT solve any of the behavior problems. In fact, doing so may exasperate the issue.

If you want to stress yourself and go to the extreme of course you can try to identify the youth in order to later “teach him/her a lesson.” However, if this is your choice, don’t be surprised if you are later taught a lesson of your own when you see the front of your house has fresh graffiti sprayed all over; or your car has been keyed; or your sprinklers have been broken. Don’t forget the word “retaliation,” if this is how you choose to react.

If is a hard pill to swallow but it might be easier to make a comment such as, “Wow, I really like your costume.” Hopefully this will disarm the offender causing him/her to calm down a little and hopefully leave your property without any further problems.

Just be prepared! Every neighborhood has a young resident who will most likely fit this description. Don’t let it spoil your night!

Halloween Tip – What to do IF Your Child Throws a Tantrum

Halloween is a great night for most children. However, this can also be a traumatic evening for younger children. They may not understand the ghost or the vampire and this site can put a rush through their body that you may not understand.

We must remember that Halloween is not for everyone – it is not for all children. You need to be fully aware of how your child is reacting and you need to react accordingly.

There are two basic behaviors we need to be aware of: one, if your child fights putting on his/her costume; secondly, if the child begins screaming, crying, and showing fear once s/he is outside beginning the evening ritual.

The first, the outfit – depending on your child’s age and what s/he can tell you: it may be causing discomfort due to the texture, the material, something poking (commercial costumes aren’t made of high-fashion constructed) your child’s stomach. Or, the costume may frighten the child as s/he doesn’t understand the concept of wearing it. If your child fights putting this on or wearing it then stop! There is no reason to scare your child or force him/her to wear it.

If your child begins throwing a tantrum once out for the evening then try to understand why. Your child may have eaten something that caused him/her stomach discomfort. Or, your child may be scared to death. Just stop for a few minutes and let your child decide if he wants to go home to his/her safe environment or continue on with the adventure.

Don’t force your child to participate if s/he does not want to.

Halloween Tip – Considering Your Pet at Halloween

We need to remember and understand that just because we want to dress up our dog for Halloween our friendly little pet may not be so keen on this idea. The same goes for the noises, the goodies, and everything else concerned with the special day. We need to respect and consider our pals at Halloween.

If your pet stays outside most of the time then s/he may know where to go to “hide” for the evening or at least where to go to feel safe. If your pet is a little nervous or becomes easily upset then putting him/her in the garage for part of the night would help comfort your dog or cat.

If your animal is an inside family member you might consider getting the pets’ water, some food, and put him/her in a guest bedroom or another room where the pet will feel comfortable. If the pet is out amongst the crowd be careful s/he doesn’t run out the front door when the next group of trick-or-treaters arrive.

So you want to put that cute little mask on your pit bull. Hmmm, does your pit bull really want to wear it? Remember, if you must put it on that your dog needs peripherally vision. Make certain the eye holes are large enough to allow for this. It’s better to put on a costume before Halloween to see how your pet will react. Don’t be surprised if your animal is opposed to wearing the outfit you have selected. Forcing your pet to wear a costume can cause discomfort as well as stress while others may wear it and seem to enjoy having it on.

Be careful with tin foil, candy wrappers, and so forth. If your pet decides to inhale the chocolate stuck to the wrapper it can cause digestive tract problems that can even lead to death.

It’s not wise to share your Halloween candy with your pets. Chocolate, for example, can actually be deadly to your pet. Why not pick up a box of dog or cat treats to give to your pet on this special night?

Just remember – we are celebrating Halloween. Your pet does not understand this special day; therefore, your pet does not understand all of the different activities s/he sees and hears.

Halloweeen Tip – Make Sure Your Child is Safe on Halloween

We must remember that a child is more prone to accidents and injuries on this special day. The thought of what awaits her/him at the next house sometimes makes them forget to be careful. It is important to keep your child safe!

Before your child leaves the house to go trick-or-treating, make certain s/he has a good meal. This may be the night you want to have pizza or fast food, whatever, make certain your child eats a wholesome amount. This will also help to later cut back on the amount of “junk” food your child will want to consume during the evening.

Make certain your child’s costume is “safe.” It should definitely be fire retardant. The eyes should be large enough to allow for good vision. You should avoid shoes or dragging clothing that your child might fall over. If your child is dressed with a prop, such as a sword, make certain there are not any sharp edges.

While out on the street your child should remember the lessons you have previously taught: never get in the car with a stranger; cross the street with the green light; look both ways before crossing the streets.

The time has arrived – your heart will beat a little faster as you open the door and send your child out into this night of Halloween. Have faith and confidence in your former teachings as you will know you have been successful when s/he returns, with that huge bag of candy you will want to snoop through, and returns to your safe environment.
See you tomorrow at Carving For Kids.

Halloween Tip – Are You Giving a Great Treat or a Worthless Trick?

What adult doesn’t remember those great nights of trick-or-treating? Selecting any old costume, just to be wearing one, in order to go out and see how many doors we could knock on. There was so much excitement going to the neighbor who we knew, year after year, would give us that full-sized chocolate candy bar. Down the street we could always depend on receiving a treat of M & M’s while next door we would collect a small bag of popcorn.

Those were the days! Today it seems like everyone has re-evaluated their “treat.” We may be more health conscious. Some parents refuse to hand out sugar-laden snacks. The question you may want to consider asking is this: “If you are going to give any kind of a treat make it something children will like. Otherwise, why bother?”

What makes a great treat? That depends on each individual child. However, if you don’t want to give sweets of any kind you may look back to a recent Tip to see there are “candy” alternatives (such as sugarless gum, chips, pencils, and so forth). Now, what makes a worthless trick? Well, just think back to when you were a child. We all received “treats” that we didn’t really like.

Stop by Carving For Kids for more Halloween safety tips and fun ideas.

Halloween Tip – Selecting Hand-outs for Trick-or-Treaters

In this day and age we must be aware of cholesterol, fat content, sugars, and so many other things that many people now select their give-away with great care. The question still remains: should I or shouldn’t I give out those delicious chocolate bars?

The bottom line is – you are the one spending the money on the treats and you are the one who needs to make that decision. If you choose to hand out candy you can consider giving the hard, sugar-free kind – or, to delight the children while putting the frown on some of their parents face, you can give those little Hershey bars.

If you are absolutely against giving candy here are some ideas for other hand-outs. The problem with these is that they are not all age-appropriate. For example, a silicone bracelet may be great for a six-year old while a twelve-year-old might find it a bit disappointing. So, you will either need to have a variety of items and make decisions when each group visits your door, give everyone the same thing, or, revert to candy. Other items you might consider are bubbles, pencils, pens, erasers, bagged pumpkin seeds (from you carved pumpkin), glow sticks, bagged crackers or chips, crayons. Then we enter the questionable areas – why not give a ball to everyone? The answer is because a small child may choke on this object. Well, small bags of peanuts would be great for everyone. Hold on – what if the child is allergic to peanuts? Wow, who knew Halloween could become so difficult? Let us help alleviate some of your Halloween problems. Visit us at CarvingForKids for some great ideas.

Halloween Tip – Tips for “Makeup”

Some cosmetics or other items applied to the face or body can cause allergic reactions. There are some precautions that can be taken to prevent this. Also, there are some “secrets” that can easily be prepared to make your child’s Halloween make up look more original.

Always read the instructions on any makeup or hairspray to see if the person may be allergic to any of the ingredients and also learn before applying, how to remove it. Do a dry run by applying the makeup on the inside of your child’s forearm. Use face cream under makeup. This allows for easier removal. Apply the makeup after your child puts on the costume. Try to keep the makeup away from your child’s eyes so, if they rub them, they won’t get the ingredients inside to cause irritation.

Basic face makeup can be made by using one teaspoon of cornstarch, one-half teaspoon of water, one-half teaspoon of cold cream, and the food coloring of your choice. The cornstarch and cold cream is mixed together. Then the water is stirred in followed by the food coloring. The final product can then be applied by using the fingertips or a paintbrush. The makeup can then be removed with soap and water.

Making “real” looking bruises can be made by using a deep blue eye shadow powder, charcoal gray eye shadow powder, green eye shadow powder and a makeup brush. When applying simply blot some of the blue with a wet brush. Use fingertips to add blots of charcoal gray and blue shadows. To complete the bruise, touch the edges with green and smudges it.

Children love the look of blood. Authentic looking blood can be prepared by using a half bottle of light corn syrup, hot water, a squirt of liquid soap, and red food coloring. First, pour syrup in a bowl and then sparingly add the hot water (just enough in order to get the consistency you want). Add a small amount of liquid soap. This makes it easier to remove later. Tint with red food coloring (to make it look darker you can add some blue or green). If this is made up hours before be sure to refrigerate it and then smear it when ready. If you are getting ready for Halloween, please visit our site at CarvingForKids. We have some great ideas to help make Halloween the special event it is.

Halloween Tip – Illuminating your Jack-o’-Lantern

Once Mr. Pumpkin has been carved it’s exciting to see his face light up with some bright light. In the recent years lighting, like costumes and bags for candy, has become another commercialized area. You can purchase so many different items. The thing about this, though, is that they are safe. Safety is always an issue. So, before we begin, let’s remember that any AC powered device should never be used to light your pumpkin. It is too dangerous. Never leave a lit candle in a pumpkin when someone is not around. Never leave young children with a lit candle. Always have a fire extinguisher available and make certain everyone in the family knows how to use is.

One of the oldest and cheapest ways of lighting your pumpkin is by using a regular Votive candle. The candle should be in a glass holder. These Votive candles are ideal for illuminating a medium to large pumpkin. As safe as these may be it’s important to remember that a lit candle should never be left unattended. Also never place a lit candle in an artificial pumpkin.

There are a number of “artificial” ways to light your pumpkin. There are several sites you can visit to purchase different items. One of these is www.PumpkinLights.com  Here you can order the “Artificial Candle Pumpkin Light.” Using one of these will avoid the risk of using a lit candle. Still, the candle flickers from the three yellow LED light bulbs.

Other fun times include the “Pumpkin Pal Stake,” glow sticks, the Self Pumpkin Light to name but just a few.

To avoid the possibility of a fire we suggest using one of the artificial lights. You will still have the flickering of a fire but you won’t be taking the risk. We want to get you fired up – we invite you to visit our site at CarvingForKids, where you will find some great ideas for Halloween.