by Kathryn Streeter
With the approach of Halloween each year, smart merchandisers are working their magic to lure us into stores not just for trendy, pricey Halloween costumes but the complete get-up which naturally includes trinkets and props, such as wands, lanterns, swords, crowns or lightning bolts. Does this sound familiar? The pressure from companies and the kids to buy new Halloween apparel and accessories year after year can be emotionally exhausting, making us feel like we are bad parents if we don’t spring for the newest released shiny objects.
Additionally, the kids will also covet a new, cool bag/bucket/basket to accommodate the stash of candy they will be collecting. In order to get around some of the pull for the current year’s latest and greatest, I put my kids to work on designing their own trick-or treat bags.
1. Small paper shopping bags. Ours happened to be from Starbucks. The important thing is that each of your young designers has the same size of bag to work with to eliminate any arguing about who has more candy at the end of your trick-or-treating night.
2. Crayons, markers, colored pencils, pens, pencils, highlighters (Pull out everything you’ve got!).
3. Scissors (Decorative scissors are a nice addition, too, if you have them.)
6. Any and all types of construction/craft paper, scraps of wrapping paper, tissue.
1. Completely cover the outside of the paper bag with your thickest paper. For starters, this will block out the logo of the store your bags came from. It will also provide a stronger base for the weight of all that candy. Tip: Don’t forget to cover the bottom because this will further strengthen the bag.
2. This is where you sit back and sip your coffee as you let the kids come up with their personal design. Pumpkins? Ghosts? Candy? Text with cheery Halloween sayings? A little comic strip? These were some of the ideas my kids came up with using lots of cutting and pasting to layer paper objects into place, a bit more interesting than simply drawing on the design.
3. When your trick-or-treat bags are complete, they should feel sturdy. This is because your kids likely went through a bottle of glue and thus, the result could feel closer to a hardy paper mache project. Put these original works of art somewhere safe, up high, where they can dry completely before they are put to use.
Kathryn Streeter’s writing has appeared in publications including The Washington Post, The Week, Scary Mommy and ParentMap. Find her at www.kathrynstreeter.com
and Twitter, @streeterkathryn.