In 2017, I was looking for opportunities to teach my three-year-old daughter about service and empathy. Participating in The Teal Pumpkin Project was the perfect thing to do.
What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?
This project is a great chance to think about others in a fun and simple way! Many kids have food allergies, and the candy and other treats that are passed out during trick-or-treating can be harmful. The Teal Pumpkin Project encourages people to include non-food treats in their repertoire of goods to pass out to trick-or-treaters.
For those of you who haven’t heard of this project before, the FARE website describes how it came about:
“The Teal Pumpkin Project was inspired by a local awareness activity run by the Food Allergy Community of East Tennessee (FACET). FARE thanks FACET for their ongoing partnership as we work to reach families across the country and around the world with the Teal Pumpkin Project’s messages of awareness, inclusion and community.”
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How Do You Participate?
- Choose fun, non-food items to pass out to trick-or-treaters. (You can still pass out regular candy as well but keep it in separate bowls.) Here’s an infographic from the website giving ideas on non-food treats to pass out!
- Paint (and even carve!) a teal pumpkin to put outside your door. Teal is the color of food allergy awareness.
- Print off a free printable sign to put outside as well, explain the meaning of the teal pumpkin to let families know you have safe Halloween items for kids with allergies.
Tip: If you plan on trick-or-treating with your families, you can leave your treats by your teal pumpkin sign on your porch, or do the Teal Pumpkin Project at a trunk-or-treat before Halloween!
I recommend exploring the official website of the Teal Pumpkin Project! You can download free flyers, stencils, activities, and stickers. You can also read more about the project, add your house to the map of safe treats, donate to the cause, and more!
Our First Year of Participation
I had heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project in the past, but never looked into the details of it. My kids don’t have food allergies, and sometimes it’s easy to brush something off if it doesn’t directly affect our family. I’m glad I revisited the idea because it was a perfect service opportunity for our family with young kids. I talked with my three year-old about the scary experiences with candy other kids are having that she doesn’t have, and how we can help those kids to feel happy.
I decided the kids should be the ones to paint, design, and decorate our teal pumpkin (with a little assistance as needed). My girls also helped set up our bowl of glow sticks and Teal Pumpkin sign for the trick-or-treaters. They felt proud to be helping others in this simple way, and we’ve decided to continue participating in this tradition.
Have a Happy, SAFE Halloween!
We love these great bulk item picks from Amazon!
We like to pass out glowsticks, because they are awesome and can be used right away while trick-or-treating in the dark!
Finger lights 100 ct- I purchased these for another activity, and kids LOVE them!