When you and your kid walk in the door after a magically, and hopefully not too frigid, evening of Halloween trick-or-treating, the sorting and counting will commence. Between picking out all of their favorites and going to bed, the average American child consumes between 3,500 and 7,000 calories just on Halloween night.
Last Halloween, Audrey Kinsman and her four- and five-year-old boys wrapped up their door-to-door journey in Englewood with giant bags loaded down with pounds of candy. While her younger son has to be careful due to a milk allergy, she watched as her other son inhaled the sugary treats. A little alarmed by her kids’ candy gorging, she quickly cooked up a story: If they agreed to pick a few pieces but leave the majority of the candy for the Switch Witch, she’d fly by and leave a toy in its place. They were in.
Soon after, Kinsman was on a flight traveling for her finance job when she penned the first draft of her book, Switchcrafted: The Story of the Switch Witches of Halloween. “I knew this could help other moms,” Kinsman says. “But I needed a reason for the witch to need the candy.” Her conclusion? The Switch Witch makes deals with well-behaved children to trade their candy on Halloween to power her broom, and her appeal to kids is that the toys she trades will last longer than any piece of candy.
The 20-page book, which was co-written by Pam Hatcher and illustrated by Milena Kirkova, comes in a box set: Switchcrafted is meant to be read aloud to children as young as three years old and is accompanied by a small Switch Witch doll. In the same vein as the Elf on the Shelf, the Switch Witch camps out around the house for the entire month of October, watching over the kids. “I wanted to use the impact on tradition as it related to Halloween,” Kinsman says. “We are trying to help parents to enable decisions in their own houses. Parents can exert control over the candy situation without taking away the fun.”
Head to switchcrafted.com not just for the book, but for activities, a teacher resource center, and learning games throughout the entire Halloween season.
Follow assistant editor Lindsey R. McKissick on Twitter at @LindseyRMcK.