Irish Jack-O-Lanterns and Switch Witches ~ Entangled Harmony

pumpkin picking

Halloween is only a few days away and the excitement in our house is rising with each and every day.

Over the weekend, my daughter and I crafted a broom out of birch branches for her witch costume. As I was cleaning up, I watched her hop on and gather all her magic to make her broom fly. She kept saying “I know I can. I know I can.” And she tried over and over again to jump and get some lift.

While she fully knew that she wouldn’t be able to actually fly, she found an incredible satisfaction in immersing herself into an imaginary world. Later on, she told me that she asked her fairies how to fly and they advised her to talk to the witch. The problem? She didn’t know where the witch lived.

Are your kids bringing their Halloween characters to life this week?

In my classes, we have been talking quite a bit about what everyone is going to dress up as and I always find it to be a wonderful opportunity to lead children (and ourselves) down the path to an imaginary land. The perfect starting point for storytelling and adventures.

The Great Pumpkin Carve

Did you know that Jack-O-Lanterns originated in Ireland where scary faces were carved into turnips and large potatoes to frighten away evil spirits?

I always find it fascinating to read about the origin of traditions and how they have morphed into how we celebrate them today.
halloween pumpkin
This year was the first year that our 6-year old picked out her pumpkin, designed the carving on a piece of paper, scooped out the seeds, and then traced the pattern onto her pumpkin. My husband and I did the final carving for her. I love watching her become more and more independent.

Have your carved your pumpkin, yet? Worried about it turning to mush before Halloween is here?

Here is an easy solution…

  1. Mix up a bleach solution in a bucket. 1 tablespoon of bleach to 1 gallon of water.
  2. Immerse the entire carved pumpkin and let it sit for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Take it out and rest it in a surface that doesn’t mind bleach. We place ours on an old towel.
  4. Allow to air dry.
  5. Fill a spray bottle with a light bleach solution, about the same ratio as above. No need to be super accurate.
  6. Spray the inside of the pumpkins and any carved areas every 2 days.
  7. If you find some mold, carefully scrape it out and spray the area with the bleach solution.

We have had pumpkins last for over 2 weeks with this method. And this way, the kids get to enjoy their pumpkins for quite a while. Also, it seems to keep the squirrels away who are otherwise rather quick to stop by for a snack.

The Great Candy Exchange

My least favorite(and most anticipated) part of Halloween is the candy. We love the fun of going trick-or-treating but could do without the candy (well, maybe a few KitKat bars and some M&M’s). Our kids have always been good about not devouring their stash. They eat a piece a day for the first couple of days and then forget about it. But as they are getting older, that is changing and I think this year is going to be the first year we have to get a bit creative.

A friend of mine introduced me to the idea of the switch witch a couple of years ago. Have you heard of her before?

Children leave some of their candy outside the front door and the switch witch comes at night to gather the candy and leaves a small toy in exchange.

If you are thinking about trying it out this year, listen to this free audio story from Sparkle Stories called “Sam Sugarpop and the Switch Witch Surprise” with your child to introduce the idea of the switch witch.


Do you secretly await the onslaught of candy? Do you loathe it? Or are you torn like me? (Don’t worry, you’re kids won’t be reading this.)

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