On Halloween, or trick-or-treat night, costumes and candy reign supreme. Everyone seems to grow a sweet tooth at this time of year.
Practically speaking, Halloween trick-or-treat participants may wonder exactly how they will haul home their sweet loot. Here are ten tips for terrific trick-or-treat totes, super sacks for collecting Halloween goodies.
This content is copyrighted. Please feel free to share the http/link, but no cut-and-paste copying or republishing without permission of the Madison Budget Living Examiner.
10 tips for terrific trick-or-treat totes
1. Pitch those paper and plastic grocery bags.
Ask any child. In fact, ask anyone who has ever been a child. Nothing can spoil a successful night of trick-or-treating like a torn tote or a ripped bag. What child hasn’t fallen behind his or her pack of friends on the trick-or-treat prowl, just to pick up spilled Halloween bounty?
Although supermarkets perennially pass out brown paper grocery bags, emblazoned with trick-or-treat and Halloween graphics throughout the months of September and October, these trick-or-treat sacks are really quite ineffective for the big candy haul. Little hands simply cannot grasp those open sacks while running along sidewalks for trick-or-treating.
On the other hand, plastic grocery and shopping bags may have handles, but these tend to break, and they are extremely uncomfortable to carry when weighted down with sweet trick-or-treat abundance.
2: Ban the pumpkin buckets.
Although in-store Halloween displays proudly feature molded plastic jack-o-lantern buckets for trick-or-treaters, these are also quite useless for serious holiday candy beggars. Certainly, the handled pumpkin buckets are suitable for extremely young children, who do not possess the trick-or-treating staying power of their older counterparts.
Still, these little round totes simply cannot accommodate a serious Halloween haul. Besides, the plastic jack-o-lantern pails are open at the top. A wholehearted trick-or-treater can hardly pick up speed while sporting an open-topped tote for the goodies.
3: Pick a pillowcase to collect Halloween treats.
Experienced trick-or-treaters everywhere agree on this age-old solution. The ideal trick-or-treat sack is a basic cloth pillowcase.
Savvy parents will not allow kids to raid the family linen closet, however, choosing fancy pillow coverings to use as Halloween sacks. The best trick-or-treat tote is not sparkling clean and starched. A garage sale or thrift store pillowcase is the optimum choice.
A skilled trick-or-treater can easily grab the top of a pillowcase, perhaps even slinging it over one shoulder for easy transit on Halloween.
4: Decorate the trick-or-treat sack to deter danger.
Safety is key, particularly for trick-or-treaters on Halloween. Many communities have begun holding trick-or-treating on a weekend afternoon preceding October 31. Others, however, continue the tradition on Halloween night. Either way, trick-or-treaters should be wary of danger, particularly traffic hazards.
Decorating a cloth pillowcase with glow-in-the-dark tapes, trims, or paints can make a trick-or-treater considerably more visible to motorists on Halloween.
5: Coordinate candy collecting bags with Halloween costumes.
Accessorizing a Halloween holiday costume is fun. Why not decorate a trick-or-treat sack to coordinate with a child’s costume? Use your imagination for innumerable possibilities.
Here are a few creative trick-or-treat costume and Halloween holiday sack ideas we have tried or seen:
- One child dressed as the Ace of Hearts, sporting heart-patterned tights, a red turtleneck and two poster-board placards, attached at the shoulders and under each arm. The placards were colored to look like playing cards. On her white pillowcase trick-or-treat sack, several playing cards were stapled.
- A striped prison escapee snuck out with a white pillowcase, striped with black electrical tape.
- A fairy princess, topped with a jeweled tiara, carried a pink striped pillowcase, trimmed in sewn-on sequins.
- A Wild West cowboy, dressed in a flannel shirt, denim vest, blue jeans and boots, slung a brown pillowcase across his back. On the pillowcase, a lariat was drawn in black Sharpie permanent marker.
- A young bearded Noah, complete with bathrobe and grey wig, toted an animal-print pillowcase. (Of course, a similar design could also be created with rubber stamps, stickers, cut-outs or other materials.)
- A Dalmatian prowled around in spotted pajamas, carrying a white pillowcase with black spots, colored in with black Sharpie permanent markers.
- A white-sheeted ghost carried a plain white pillowcase as a trick-or-treat sack
Often, a bit of ingenuity can lead to a well-matched trick-or-treat costume and Halloween holiday sack.
6: Leave it lightweight.
Even if trick-or-treat sacks are decorated, they ought to remain light and easy to hoist. Sure, trick-or-treaters plan to carry heavy loads on Halloween, as signs of their scavenging success, but they ought not to start out that way.
7: Stay super-simple with the Halloween treat sack.
Trick-or-treat sack ornamentations need not be elaborate to be creative. A few simple sewn-on appliqués or trims, or a simple drawn-on design can be more than enough. Sometimes, just a thematic suggestion, such as a sketch or a few written words, will suffice for Halloween fun.
8: Unload Halloween candy bounty often.
Certainly, the simplest way to keep a trick-or-treat sack lightweight and easy to carry is to empty it occasionally. If trick-or-treaters are encouraged to return home or to another prearranged checkpoint (such as the family vehicle, if parked in the trick-or-treat zone), they can unload their Halloween holiday candy haul into sacks or bins there.
By checking in for periodic sack unloads, trick-or-treaters can travel much lighter, while parents can keep track of kids’ whereabouts more frequently on Halloween as well.
9: Sort and store sweets after trick or treating.
Once trick-or-treating is finished, children should be encouraged to sort through the trick-or-treat candy they have amassed. Parents will want to help youngsters examine their Halloween bounty for any suspicious looking items, unwrapped goods or other tossables.
After inspection, trick-or-treat candy may be placed in a bin, bucket or bowl for future enjoyment.
10: Reuse and recycle resources for next Halloween.
Many families (such as ours) keep costume trunks or closets, so that trick-or-treat garb may be reused for year-round playtime, costume parties or future trick-or-treating. Why not save the trick-or-treat sacks as well?
To simplify storage, some families store Halloween trick-or-treating costumes inside their matching trick-or-treat sacks, along with all accompanying accessories.
By following these 10 tips for trick-or-treat sacks, families can simplify Halloween costuming and candy-gathering, making it easier for trick-or-treaters to bring it all back, with creativity and style, without harming their backs.
On Halloween, when it comes to costumed trick-or-treaters, it’s in the bag.