Halloween is one of the most popular holidays among kids because it means getting to dress up, run around the neighborhood after bedtime, and eat candy. But when you’re a kid with a serious medical condition or a life-threatening food allergy, all that free candy isn’t fun – it’s scary. Enter, the Teal Pumpkin Project.
The Teal Pumpkin Project is a grassroots nationwide campaign to make Halloween more inclusive for kids for whom candy poses serious harm. Those who participate paint a pumpkin the colour teal and then set it out on their porch as a signal that their house is giving out non-food items, thus making Halloween safe and fun for our most vulnerable little ghosts and goblins.
“The reason that the Teal Pumpkin Project is so important to me and so many other parents is because it is a way to ensure that our children are being included,” Amanda Pacovsky, a Harrisburg, PA mum tells Mumtastic. Her daughter, 4-year-old Mia has a nut allergy, so knowing that her Halloween loots is safe from potential harm is critical.
“No one wants to see their child feeling left out, especially when it’s because of something that they have no control over,” Pacovsky says. “It isn’t just for kids with food allergies, it is also for kids with Diabetes, kids that have feeding tubes, or kids with autoimmune disorders.”
If you want to participate in the Team Pumpkin Patch, you can have your address added to a digital map so that families who look for teal pumpkin knows to stop by your house. But what to give out?
From vampire’s teeth to spider rings, whistles, kazoos, noisemakers (sorry, mums) to mini slinkies and more, there are tons of fun and inexpensive toys that you can buy in bulk at party supply stores or online.
Get into the spooky spirit with Halloween themed pencils, erasers, bookmarks, goofy paper clips, rulers, and even mini pads of paper. These items can also be found in bulk online.
Hand out clay (just be careful not to give out wheat-based clay) or markers, colour pencils, crayons, and other fun art-making novelties. Try to avoid latex if you can.
Glow in The Dark
There are tons of super fun glow in the dark toys available in bulk from party supply stores that would be a hoot to give out. From glow sticks to glowing plastic cups, glowing stickers, and bookmarks, to toys that glow. The options are endless and perfect for Halloween.
Everyone has their own ideas of what makes for the best – and spookiest – items to hand out. “Our favourite thing to hand out are vampire’s teeth,” Pacovsky tells Mumtastic. “They’re super inexpensive and super fun.” Her, daughter Mia loves to get glow sticks when visiting a Teal Pumpkin Project participating home.
For more fun ideas, check out the Teal Pumpkin Project website or head over to Pinterest where there are thousands of amazing images to help you find the best ideas for your Halloween experience.