Children love Purim! Why not? They get to walk around town in the coolest costumes and come home with an incredible stash of junk.
Then come the stomach aches and the tooth aches. Not to mention Pesach, just around the corner. How do you get your children to willingly part with their candy, prevent post-purim visits to the dentists, and start transitioning to Pesach mode without starting an all-out war? Seems like a tall order.
Consider the following ideas that tackle the piles of purim junk, while keeping your kids happy and well-behaved.
1.The Nosh Exchange: Offer a (non-edible) prize in exchange for a set amount of candies. Your child can ‘buy’ the prize by parting with some or most of their candy. Were you thinking of giving your children a brand new toy to keep them occupied while you clean? Now is the perfect opportunity to have your children earn it!
2. The Carnival: Have your children host a carnival for their neighbors! This will keep them occupied as you clean, and an outlet for creative fun. Prizes will be nosh prizes, of course. (I don’t know how excited your neighbor’s mother will be when her kids come home with more nosh, though!)
3. The Do-Gooder: Let your children donate it to a tzedakkah organization. You’ll be surprised how much children are ready to share when they feel they’re doing something special. Explain to them that families that have nothing to eat will really enjoy these extra candies for Shabbos. Allow them to keep a few choice candies for themselves, then take your children down to the local Tomchei Shabbos where they can personally give it over and see it packaged for the poor.
4. The Dentist Buy-Back Program: This will take some advance planning, but speak to your local dentist about hosting a candy buy-back program. Children will bring him their candy and get something like $1 per pound. The dentist will be happy teaching children about the dangers of overloading on candy, the parents will be happy that they’re getting rid of the candy, and the kids will be happy with the cash. And the candy? Your neighborhood’s tzedakah organization will know what to do with it.
4. Plain Old Rationing: You be the keeper of the candies. Let’s face the facts. Stash of candies in kids drawer = kids eating nosh whenever they want = not being interested in supper. Make it your policy that after purim all nosh goes to mommy, who saves it for each child, and everyone can have 2 candies a day, after supper.
No more nosh! No more cavities! No unhappy children!