Every Halloween we participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project to promote awareness and inclusion of all trick-or-treaters, no matter their dietary restrictions. Unfortunately a lot of kids have food allergies, ranging from mild to potentially very dangerous. These allergies can include dairy, chocolate, nuts, soy, gluten, artificial dyes, and more. These kids either can't participate in trick-or-treat or have to throw out most of what they get - and when you're a kid that's really rough.
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By having a teal pumpkin out, you're letting kids and their parents know that your house is a safe place to trick-or-treat and you have non-food items available. These can be things like novelty pencils, erasers, stickers, bubbles, crayons, small toys, etc. You can still give out the usual candy, but it's a good idea to keep the non-food items separate. This is a great project to allow all kids a chance to feel included in trick-or-treat on Halloween.
We usually paint a real pumpkin teal each year, but this year the squirrels and chipmunks have been eating all the decorations we put out on our porch (*shakes fist*). So yesterday afternoon during nap time I whipped up a Wooden Teal Pumpkin that can be used for many years to come. And the best part? It cost me NOTHING! I made it all with scraps from our wood bin and paint we already had.
1. Cut your wood scraps down to size if necessary. You need one larger piece for the face, one small piece for the stem, and a piece for the support at the back (the support piece does not have to be triangular, that’s what I happened to have though).
2. Next attach the support piece of wood to the back of the large piece with a screw or nail.
3. After that, give it at least two coats of teal paint. Paint it all over, including the sides and back.
4. Once that’s dry, use black paint to paint a jack-o-lantern face on it and paint the stem piece black as well.
5. Once everything is dry use wood glue to attach the stem to the top of the pumpkin and give a good spray of clear sealer if you’ll be putting it out not under the cover of a porch, etc.
And that’s it! Now you’re ready to put your teal pumpkin out to welcome all kids for Halloween. Happy Halloween!
FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) has some wonderful resources on their website - including crowdsourcing maps to identify participating houses, printables you can use to proudly show your support and educate others, and fundraising opportunities to help fund food allergy research and awareness.