The Teal Pumpkin Project
Halloween is fast approaching, and that means costumes, parties, fun, and you guessed it – trick-or-treating! For some children, the treats that come with this activity can actually come with a price as they are dangerously allergic to some of the ingredients that are handed out on Halloween. There is a solution!
FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project is a worldwide movement to create a safer, happier Halloween for all kids. Halloween can be a tricky time for families managing food allergies. Many traditional Halloween treats aren’t safe for children with life-threatening food allergies. The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safety, inclusion and respect of individuals managing food allergies. This worldwide movement offers an alternative for kids with food allergies, as well as other children for whom candy is not an option. It keeps Halloween a fun, positive experience for all!
The teal pumpkin project helps parents of children with allergies spot homes that are safe for their children to approach during Halloween.
The Teal Pumpkin Project was inspired by a local awareness activity run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET) and launched as a national campaign by FARE in 2014. They continue to work with partners every year to reach families across the country and around the world with the Teal Pumpkin Project’s messages of awareness, inclusion and community.
You may be asking, “what kind of things can I hand out that are safe?” Here are some non-food ideas:
Glow sticks, bracelets, or necklaces
- Pencils, pens, crayons or markers
- Halloween erasers or pencil toppers
- Mini Slinkies
- Whistles, kazoos, or noisemakers
- Bouncy balls
- Finger puppets or novelty toys
- Spider rings
- Vampire fangs
- Mini notepads
- Playing cards
If you participate in the teal pumpkin project, you can still hand out candy, just do it safely! The point of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to make trick-or-treating as inclusive as possible. You can keep the experience safe by keeping your food treats and non-food treats in separate bowls. You can find out more about FARE’s Teal Pumpkin Project on their website’s FAQ page.
And to make your house distinguishable to parents and children so they know you are participating on Halloween, make sure to either pain a pumpkin teal, or to print out some free posters to post on your door or another noticeable place. You can find free resources online here.
It takes a village! Find community with local parents, support groups, Facebook communities, or other local organizations. Email us, or join us online: Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram – we’d love for you to connect with us!
Local Events & Resources
Fujitsu Planetarium – Deanza College
The Moon, Saturday October 21 (and ongoing events)
21250 Stevens Creek Boulevard, Cupertino, CA 95014
Have you ever wondered what makes the Moon so special? Apart from the Sun, the Moon is one of the brightest objects in the sky and it’s the second place, other than the Earth, that humans have set foot. Come and learn about the Moon’s phases, craters and other characteristics that make the Moon a very special place. Produced and distributed by Audio Visual Imagineering.
The Fujitsu Planetarium at De Anza College is the largest school Planetarium west of the Rocky Mountains and since our renovation, is one of the most modern in the world.
The Planetarium is shared by the College Astronomy and Community Education Departments. When used as a classroom, it serves over 2700 college students per year. The Astronomy program at De Anza is the largest in the California State Community College System.
About 35,000 community members, including students from pre-school through high school, attend these shows and events every year.
Learn more about this event online here
This month our technology spotlight will be directed toward Halloween Costumes! We will be giving some brief guidelines for children with various sensory issues and some ideas on how you can build a costume around those issues. We would love to hear your suggestions as well, so feel free to email them to us and we will share your suggestions!
MASKS/HATS: If your child is highly sensitive or doesn’t like hats or things touching their face, avoiding masks and hats altogether would be best. Masks can be restrictive, hard to breathe through, and you may be able to get your child to “try” them, or wear it for a couple of minutes, but it isn’t going to last long and the night may end in tears. If your child doesn’t like hats, they won’t suddenly love them on Halloween. Stick to costumes from the waist down.
FABRICS: Pay attention to the material of the costume. If it is going to be too scratchy, restrictive, or anything that is going to be bothersome to your child, stay away from it! Or, plan on having them wear clothing underneath to protect their highly reactive skin.
FIDGETS: Does your child need something to keep their hands busy? Try a prop! A wand, broom, or even have them carry a stuffed animal themed to their costume, or dressed the same. (I wouldn’t include weapons in fidgets, these are dangerous and could cause more potential issues than solutions)
CONCERNS: Does your child have concerns with people hugging them, or getting in their personal space? This could cause some anxiety if you go to a Halloween party or trick-or-treating. Maybe choose a “cardboard box” costume that surrounds their body like a box of crayons, or juice box, or pop corn, a deck of cards, or a race car. If you google “Cardboard Box Costume” You will get loads of results. They can wear anything they’d like underneath!
BACKUP PLAN: Always have a backup plan. If all else fails, wear pajamas! You can even find themed or costume pajamas now at some department stores. Plan on talking about your night and going you’re your evening, but things don’t always go as planned. Have a 2nd costume, another option for trick-or-treating, another party option, or even stay in for the evening.
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