Tag Archives: Halloween

KIWI magazine October-November 2011 cover detail

How to Get Rid of Your Kids’ Halloween Candy

KIWI magazine October-November 2011 issue

KIWI magazine, October/November 2011

It taunts me most at night. The candy from my kids’ plastic orange pumpkins calls to me. “They’ll never miss just one piece,” or “A little fun size Kit-Kat bar won’t hurt your post-baby diet too much.” The sugar obsession is addictive, and apparently contagious because my kids worry all day long about when they’ll be allowed to chose another piece. Dumping it in the trash would be the best thing for us all, but I can’t bring myself to do it.

If you’re like me and need the candy gone now, try some of these great ideas from the October/November 2011 issue of KIWI magazine:

  1. Candy Fairy: Your kids already believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Why not add another imaginary character to the list? Let your child select a few favorite pieces of candy and then leave the rest in a bag next to his or her pillow for the Candy Fairy. The magazine suggested that this fairy could be introduced as the Tooth Fairy’s cousin. In the candy’s place, leave a small toy, new book or even a batch of your kid’s favorite homemade cookies.
  2. Haunted House: You could wait until December to make a gingerbread house, but why? Start unwrapping pieces and built the biggest haunted Halloween house ever. You can slather an old milk carton with frosting as the base so the decorations will stick.
  3. Candy Toys: Use pieces to play tic-tac-toe or checkers. Or if you need to be on your feet to work off all the candy you’ve already consumed, then try the magazine’s idea of a candy toss. Have family members toss pieces into your kids’ candy pails. Smaller pieces get more points. Winner gets to pick a piece of candy to keep.

What about you? Do you have tips or tricks for getting the candy out of the house before you eat it all?

Candy corn in a bowl

Cooking Light Points Trick-or-Treaters (and Parents) to Healthier Halloween Candy

Cooking Light magazine October 2011

The October issue of Cooking Light magazine features the best candy choices for kids.

Fellow sweet tooth-ers, it’s that time of the year (OK, so another one) when we’re tempted by the fruits–er, sweets–of another sugar-laden season. Yes, for those of us with a weakness for chocolates and other candies, Halloween begins the slippery slope down which we tumble all the way to the Christmas holidays. Or is that just me speaking for myself?

Based on some numbers shared in Everyday Food’s October 2011 issue, I don’t think so. According to the digest-sized magazine, we collectively spent $2 billion (yes, billion) on Halloween candy last year. And 70 percent of parents admitted skimming chocolates from their kids’ trick-or-treating loot. (No word on the percentage of older sisters who ‘fessed up to doing the same to their younger brothers, but certainly they–or at least I–did.)

So far this season, I’ve given in to candy corn, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, York Peppermint Patties and a mixed bag of assorted “fun size” candies (ahem, mostly chocolates). Some of them–actually most, thank you very much–were purchased to be used in some Halloween treat recipes. (Speaking of which, I should probably get going on those before I eat all the ingredients.)

That much sugar can’t be good, I’m sure, but by paying attention to the nutritional information–or better yet, Cooking Light’s “Halloween Treat Picker” in its October 2011 issue, can help you make smart choices for yourself or the little ghosts and goblins who knock on your door on Halloween.

The nutritional magazine’s grid plots candies according to saturated fat, sugar content and calories. My treats were all over the place, though most were heavier on the sugar and about even on the more vs. less saturated fat scale. Guess I’ll just have to make some better candy choices next time I’m at the supermarket. For the trick-or-treaters, of course.

Halloween trick or treat at a doorstep

4 Non-Food Treat Ideas for Halloween

Halloween trick or treat at a doorstepOur neighborhood is a popular one on Halloween each year. There is only one entrance and exit to our little neighborhood, and there is a playground in the middle. Parents from nearby neighborhoods often drop their children to trick-or-treat and then meet them in the playground to head home with their haul.

Candy is and always will be the most popular treat among kids, but many parents are appreciative to find sugar-free goodies of the non-edible kind in their kids’ sacks too. And with food allergies in children seemingly on the rise, you just never know which ghost or goblin at your door might not be allowed to eat the tasty treats you’re giving out.

If you’d like to spare your favorite neighborhood kids the extra sugar, calories and allergic reactions this year, here are four, fun, non-food treat alternatives:

  1. Puzzles/games. Playing cards. Bouncing balls. Jigsaw puzzles. All can add to the evening of fun after the candy has been eaten.
  2. Movie tickets. They could get pricey to buy for everyone, but my two favorite neighbor kids are going to get them. I hope they’ll see something silly and fun!
  3. School supplies. Pencils with bats on them and erasers shaped like pumpkins. Such school supplies–which can easily be bought in bulk–will last much longer than Halloween itself.
  4. Stickers or temporary tattoos. When kids get home and go through their goodie bags, they’ll have fun putting the stickers on their bags, in sticker books and on their notebooks for school.

Last year I handed out playing cards and old-fashioned candy, but I haven’t decided what to hand out this year. What will you be giving to your neighborhood trick-or-treaters?

Halloween Jack-o-Lantern pumpkins

Green Halloween: How to Host a Costume Swap

National Costume Swap Day logo

KIWI magazine is among a collective that has organized a National Costume Swap Day to keep used costumes out of landfills.

My 4-year-old has been debating his options for Halloween costumes since the end of August. As soon as the candy and decorations hit the shelves at stores, he began discussing his options. He waffled between a construction worker, a pilot and a giant Lego. Even though I’ve never been a big fan of costumes myself, I love dressing up my kids for Halloween. We usually opt for the do-it-yourself costumes rather than the off-the-rack versions, because they’re more fun to create and much less expensive.

But I’ve read several times this season about an idea that’s even easier and cheaper than DIY: costume swaps. A recent issue of KIWI magazine gave some good tips on putting one together among your friends. The magazine said that swapping half the costumes kids wear at Halloween would reduce annual landfill waste by 6,250 tons–about the weight of 2,500 midsize cars! In fact, KIWI designated Saturday, Oct. 8, as National Costume Swap Day. Unless you live in a neighborhood of procrastinators, it’s likely a bit late to organize one for this season. If you’re considering a swap in your community for next year, though, here are some tips to keep it from getting scary.

  • Keep it organized. Group costumes together by sizes, and if it’s possible, keep them hanging, so that everyone isn’t rummaging through costumes strewn on a table.
  • Designate a changing area. Have a space where parents can take children to try on costumes. Another great idea I read was to remind kids to dress in pajamas or swimsuits to reduce the need for a private space for changing clothes.
  • Plan activities. If you make it more like a party, your chances for better attendance are boosted. Have simple appetizers and drinks and plan a few games or crafts for the kids.
  • Have a costume parade. After it’s all over, let the kids model their new costumes by putting on a parade.
craft stick mummy

FamilyFun Magazine’s Halloween Craft Stick Mummy: How to Make It

It’s that time of year when we get into holiday mode and I’m excited to be sharing a few seasonal craft tutorials with you on the Magazines.com blog over the next few months! The holidays are a busy time, but there’s something about pausing and taking the time to create something that makes the holiday season a little bit extra special.

I love that the first holiday that we come to is low stress: Halloween is one of those holidays that is all about having fun. No big meal involved, no gifts to buy, just dressing up, visiting neighbors, and eating candy. And let’s not forget about the crafts!

Have you seen all of the Halloween crafts out there this month? I had to try out a few myself. One of them was this adorable craft stick mummy from Disney’s FamilyFun magazine special Halloween issue.

FamilyFun magazine craft stick mummy

These were a ton of fun to make and so easy that even first-time crafters could feel good about themselves! Here’s how you can make a mummy of your own.


  • Wire snips (I used regular old scissors. A little bit more work, but just as effective)
  • Wooden craft sticks and wooden craft spoons (both found at any crafts store)
  • Glue dots or a hot glue gun
  • The magazine calls for 1 square yard of muslin, torn into 1-inch strips, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. I like to repurpose things that I already have around the house, and I had a couple of white kitchen towels left over from a gift that I made for my sister. I just used those and they were perfect!
  • Small googly eyes


Step One: Take your material (kitchen towel in my case) and cut it into 1-inch strips.

FamilyFun magazine craft stick mummy supplies--towel

The towel

FamilyFun magazine craft stick mummy--cutting towel

I cut off the hemmed edges.

FamilyFun magazine craft stick mummy--tearing towel

Make a small cut at the bottom of the material and pull both sides to tear the material. This will give the strips a worn out and frayed look, which suits a mummy.

FamilyFun magazine craft stick mummy supplies--fabric strips

Step two: The craft spoons will make the body of the mummy. The craft sticks will create the arms and legs. Take half of the craft sticks and cut off about half an inch to make the arms of the mummy a little bit shorter than the legs. (If you want to save a little bit of time, don’t bother with this extra step for the arms. It doesn’t make a big difference in the final product.)

FamilyFun magazine craft stick mummy supplies--craft sticks and spoons

Step three: Use your glue dots or a hot glue gun to attach the arms and legs to the body. If you will be doing this craft with your children, the glue dots are safer since the glue gun gets extremely hot. I found that the glue dots did not hold the appendages as well as the hot glue did. We lost a couple of legs. (Oops!) I opted for the glue gun and let the kids help with the rest when the glue was dry.

FamilyFun magazine craft stick mummy--body

Step four: Using a glue dot or a dab of hot glue, attach one end of one strip of fabric to the head of the mummy and start wrapping it around the head and body until you run out of fabric. Use another glue dot or dab of hot glue to keep the end in place. Repeat until you have covered the entire mummy.

FamilyFun magazine craft stick mummy glue

FamilyFun magazine craft stick mummy fabric wrapping

Step five: Use glue dots or hot glue to attach the mummy’s eyes.

FamilyFun magazine craft stick mummy eyes

My son loved this mummy so much that I couldn’t keep him still enough to get a good photo! He played with two of them for about 40 minutes while his little brother was napping.

FamilyFun magazine craft stick mummy toy

Have fun with this craft! It’s a simple little decoration (though my son sure treats it like a toy) that’s fun to make with your kids. It takes so little time and materials that you can whip up several in no time. Have a happy and safe Halloween and I’ll see you next month!

Martha Stewart Halloween 2011 special issue

How to Have the Ultimate Halloween? Martha Knows

Martha Stewart Halloween 2011 special issueThere are people who celebrate Halloween, then there are people who love to celebrate Halloween. By that, I mean there are people who put up a few holiday knick-knacks and fill a jack-o-lantern with candy. And then there are people who do everything short of turning their house into a crypt.

They string cobwebs across rooms, put coffins on porches and create elaborate candy displays that may include bubbling cauldrons and frightening music. And maybe they’ll be decked out as ghoulish creatures themselves to greet trick-or-treaters.

Yep, these folks really get into Halloween. If you’re one of them, Martha Stewart Living’s got just the guide for the super crafty with more than 125 ideas for everything from costumes to pumpkins and tricks to treats in a special holiday issue only available on newsstands.

Martha Stewart Halloween even features a familiar face on the cover. Channeling some of her modeling days, Martha gets made over for the “B-Movie Blowout” spread, which details how to dress like characters from classic horror films.

Martha is transformed into “Motha, the winged wonder” with eye-catching feathered eyelashes and butterfly wings. Don’t worry, there’s a template for those included–along with just about every other idea in the magazine. This is Martha Stewart, after all.

And, of course, because it’s Martha, there’s much more here than costume ideas. From indoor centerpieces to outdoor decorations, like pumpkins and scarecrows, and eerie-inspired entrees to homemade treats–and their all-important presentations–this issue is packed with everything you could think of to celebrate Halloween. And much more.