Friday, October 30, 2009

Some Last-Minute Halloween Suggestions - for Next Year, Perhaps?

I haven't bought my Halloween candy yet; I was planning on doing that today. But having just read about Books for Treats, I'm having second thoughts. I've been meaning to thin my collection of children's books; rather than selling or Freecycling the ones I no longer want, maybe I'll give them away at Halloween instead!

I grinned when I read how well this has worked for some who've done it in the past:
What will the kids think about getting books instead of candy?

Our experience is that kids, as well as their parents, are thrilled by receiving books for treats. They are much more enthusiastic than we have ever seen them when we gave candy.

We have witnessed many children running to the sidewalk waiving a new treasure yelling "Mom, look! I got a book!" We also saw a group of kids standing on the sidewalk showing each other their books. And we heard one girl greet a friend coming from the other direction "Hey, this house gives books! Cool!"
If you'd prefer not to give candy - not even tasty fair trade chocolates like this or this - and the book idea just isn't your thing, you can see a list of other options from Green Halloween and The Lemonade Stand. If you're going this route, pick carefully so you don't create clutter in someone else's home! I especially like the Lemonade Stand list because it focuses on craft supplies - a consumable, and something that most families I work with would certainly appreciate.


Claire Josefine said...

I love this idea! I don't get any kids out in the country where I live, otherwise I'd try it. As a former elementary school teacher, I had lots and lots of kids books at one point. When it came time to declutter, I bagged up all but the most precious (to me) and shipped them -- literally, slow boat -- to my nieces in Scotland. Boy was their mother (my kid sister) surprised. (BTW, as an organizer, I don't recommend making large donations to individuals without asking them first if they want the stuff.)

On a related note, may I encourage your readers to patronize independent booksellers if they are planning to buy new books as Halloween treats?

Jessica R. said...

Thanks for linking to my post at The Lemonade Stand! I love the book idea, just saw it mentioned in the paper this morning. It's very cool!

Happy Halloween!

Rebecca Morgan said...

Thanks for your enthusiastic endorsement of Books For Treats! We love to encourage people to give something that feeds kids' minds not their cavities.

We've got a free downloadable guide that tells you how to gather books, sort them so kids can pick by their grade levels, and how to pull it off easily, plus FAQs.

Rebecca Morgan
Books For Treats

Anonymous said...

My mother did this and even though I am an avid reader I had large doubts that this would work. She made a bookmark for each book of a ribbon with a lollipop attached . I was blown away by the reaction and the happiness I saw. It really works well.

Jeri Dansky said...

Claire, I'm always up for promoting independent bookstores!

Jessica and Rebecca, thank you for giving us all new ideas on how to give Halloween treats.

Anonymous, I actually DID give away books tonight. The reaction: Surprise and confusion, and then "Awesome!" Now my shelves are thinned, and some kids have some neat books. I'd definitely do it again.

Melody said...

I love the idea... I was a bit skeptical until I read some of the comments. Thinking I'll have to try this for next year even if only for the preschool crowd (we have quite a collection of preschool books at home for my 3 year old who is as much of a bookwork as I am).

Jeri Dansky said...

Melody, I had some backup candy in case I needed it, but I didn't. (But I don't get many kids; maybe if there were more, I'd have had some who just weren't into getting a book.)

Courtney said...

I definitely doubted this idea at first, but I think that have something small like a piece of candy for a bookmark, or even having candy as a back-up is great idea. Thanks!

Jeri Dansky said...

You're very welcome, Courtney!