The Switch Witch saves Halloween!

The Switch Witch tote bag, just in time for trick-or-treating!

Last year, Halloween was easy. We took baby Henry trick-or-treating on our street in upstate New York, and my husband and I ate all the candy! Henry was only one year old, and we gave him a little dark chocolate and he was happy.

Now we’re vegan, and Henry is two. We avoid high fructose corn syrup and prefer all-natural, organic ingredients. How do we navigate the trick-or-treating side of Halloween? We don’t want to suck the fun out of EVERYTHING just because we’re trying to live healthy and cruelty-free.

I’m happy that I stumbled across this Mama Natural video about the Switch Witch.

The Switch Witch is a friendly witch who just LOVES candy. Candy is her favorite. And she loves it so much that she’ll trade you some awesome toys for it! On Halloween night, if you leave a big pile of candy for the Switch Witch, she’ll switch it for a present. Win-win!

(And then you can bring that candy to work and let someone else feel guilty about eating it all!)

I thought this was so clever that I decided to illustrate my own version of the Switch Witch.

Click here to buy a cute trick-or-treating tote bag with the Switch Witch on it!

Henry's top 10 favorite toys

Some of you out there might be headed to a baby shower or gearing up for a birthday party, and so I wanted to share with you Henry’s top 10 all time favorite toys. You’ll win some major kudos with the kid of your choice if you bring them one of these gems.

10. Cardboard Box. You guys know about this one. They’re good for peek-a-boo, and you can put things in them, too. Like the cat.

9. Ball. It could be the bright, bouncy kind you get out of a big tower at Target, the big globe at Crandall Public Library or an orange at the grocery store. If it’s round, it’s a ball.

8. Book. Sometimes when I’m doing the dishes or cooking dinner and have my back turned for a few seconds, I’ll realize that Henry’s being way too quiet, and I’ll dash from kitchen to living room imagining horrible, unspeakable tragedy — only to find him quietly flipping the pages of a book. Phew.

7. Dirt. Sandbox, playground, garden, side of the road… doesn’t matter. Dirt is dirty, which means it’s fun.

6. Measuring Cups. Especially fun in the tub. A few of ours are resigned to regular bath toy status. Henry also enjoys teapots to the point that we bought him his own one from SensibiliTeas. He’s just really into pouring.

5. Pots and Pans. Give the kid a couple of wooden spoons and he’s a regular Jon Fishman.

4. Broom. This works out for us both.

3. Toilet Paper. Run around with a long ribbon of it like a streamer, or drop individual squares and watch them float down to the ground. TP the living room! On second thought, actually, please don’t.

2. Baskets. Henry is obsessed with balloons. He’ll dump everything out of any given container and get in it while making a noise like the burner on a hot air balloon. So he is super helpful on laundry day.

1. Trash can lid. His all-time favorite. No matter what kind of discipline, psychological tricks or flat out yelling you might try to get him away from this thing, he’ll take every opportunity to open and close it at whim, and often takes it off to push it across the room. Henry loves the trash can lid like a brother.

This Family Time column originally ran in the Glens Falls Chronicle on April 24, 2014.
Click here to download “10 toys proven and tested by Henry” as it ran in The Chronicle.