You know I love throwing a good party. Add in a good cause and I’m all over it. My neighbor and I co-hosted a “Trick or Cans” party on Monday night to collect food for our local food shelf. We had such a fun night with more than 50 of our neighbors (kids and adults) and although rain threatened to change up our plans, it all turned out fine once we were set to go “trick or canning.”
Our night included a fun dinner with the four kiddos who were our “hosts,” an active game we call “pumpkin run”, Trick or Canning with friends and a little Halloween party to end our night.
We kept the party fairly simple with a snack station, apple cider, a few kid activities and lots of play time.
I often put together dessert buffets for parties and I loved the challenge of creating a healthier snack station but still keeping it fun and festive.
Coming up with fun snacks was my favorite part of this challenge. These Clif Kid Z Bar mummies were a favorite!
We also put together small favor bags. Kids always love going home with something special and we liked the idea of rewarding them for their kindness. Each favor bag included a CLIF Kid Zbar and Zfruit, a few Halloween pencils, fun little rings and trinkets. Nothing fancy, but kids liked it!
We had high hopes of some outdoor play time, but with rain coming and going, we only got in one game. We chose the pumpkin run which is simply kids running around witch hat cones with a pumpkin while being timed.
The bigger kids loved doing it over and over again and beating their last time.
The little kids were just excited to throw pumpkins. :)
The majority of our night included running around to collect canned goods for our local food shelf. This was the main point of our event and was so much fun. Our entire neighborhood participated by going with us to collect, having their lights on to welcome the kids and donate food and other sent us well wishes for a successful event. And a successful event it was!
Healthy Snack Station food ideas
- Cheese stick “ghosts” with permanent marker eyes
- A pumpkin patch featuring clementines stacked nice and tall
- Clif Kid ZBar Mummies. These are easy and SO fun! Simply wrap the bars with gauze. Add candy eyes using icing. I added bows to a few as well. I love that Clif Kid ZBars are made with organic ingredients too.
- Spiders on a log. Celery plus sunflower seed butter plus plastic spiders.
- Apple cider
- Festive popcorn featuring popcorn filled with Halloween sprinkles and candy corn
- Apple monsters. I added plastic vampire teeth to apples plus attached eyes using frosting.
The possibilities are endless. You can dress up almost any fruit or vegetable as a mummy or monster. :)
- Pick a date and time and notify neighbors and friends to leave their porch light on if interested in donating.
- We decided to do an hour of door-to-door then a party afterward. We told friends and neighbors to gather at our home to start so it was fun for the kids to be in costumes with a large group going door-to-door.
- Split the group up if needed in order to get to all of the homes with porch lights on. Bring a wagon! Super helpful.
- Have everyone bring their nonperishable foods to a bin on your porch or in your driveway. You can call your local food shelf and they may even bring one out for you. That’s what ours did.
- Host a snack on the porch or a little after-party. We told everyone that if they were unable to make it to the door-to-door portion of the evening they were still welcome to come to the party (admission fee- canned food)! We had hoped for some outdoor time at this point, but it was getting dark so we took it inside.
- The party could be as simple as giving each kid a little treat or as elaborate as a full blown Halloween party. We kept it somewhere in between.
All of the kids helped us to unload our goods and place them in our food shelf bin. By the time we were done we had the bin overflowing with food and bags and boxes filled to the brim surrounding our bin.
How to keep kids active at a party
- Offer a few active fun games or group activities. In this case, the walk and run to get food for the food shelf was our main event. Kids also LOVE a good obstacle course or playing “Fetch the pumpkin.” You simply toss a plastic pumpkin far away and have kids run to get it and race back. Great exercise!
- Allow for playtime and skip technology. Don’t turn on the TV. Kids always find a way to play. They LOVE it!
- Host a party or play date outside! We’ve noticed that our kids just make things up outside and are active as long as we let them be.
We offered tons of healthy snacks for the kids at the party including our favorite CLIF Kid Zbars! Whether on the run from soccer practice, or in between homework sessions, CLIF Kid Zbars are perfect for growing kids (and busy parents!)
These are such a hit with the kids.
By the time the kids were having snacks, it was getting dark and photos were tough, but I grabbed this one of our friend about to enjoy a mummy Clif Kid ZBar!
With a focus on kindness, our party was a combination of straight fun and a focus on others. It was a great opportunity to remind children that helping others is one of the most important acts we can do in life.
CLIF Kid is dedicated to reclaiming play all year long. I love partnering with CLIF Kid to encourage boys and girls everywhere to get back outside, push their boundaries and feed their adventures. Just because school is back in session, doesn’t mean kids should lose out on creative playtime. Take time out of each busy school week to get creative with your kids, allow them the time to have free-play, and watch their healthy habits grow.
CLIF Kid makes nutritious snacks from organic ingredients that are specially-crafted for kids’ developing taste buds and active lives and have important nutrients for active kids.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.