What's your favorite type of candy? That's probably what you started thinking about just now. I'll just throw it out there - mine is milk chocolate and caramel Ghirardelli squares :) Everyone is in Halloween mode! The stores have bags and bags of candy, costumes, decor, and my Pinterest feed is blowing up with yummy Halloween treats to make at home. But
where's all the coastal inspired Halloween candy treats at??
I've seen candy named as goblin boogers, skeleton bones, pumpkin teeth, spider legs, rat eyeballs...those really don't appeal to me.
I don't live on the coast (yet) haha, but if I did, I'd certainly make a point to stray away from traditional Halloween and do something out of the norm. You all might remember when I did my Ice Bucket Challenge a few months ago I donated to ReefCheck.org and purchased a t-shirt to show my support of their mission to educate the public about conserving, protecting, and rehabilitating tropical coral reefs and the California rocky reefs. Well, I thought Halloween would be the PERFECT inspirational opportunity to showcase their goals to eliminate and bring awareness to the nightmare that's happening under our seas.
Reef Check, based in Los Angeles, was the first international non-profit organization to ever conduct and report findings from their global survey of coral reef health in 1997. Their report summarized that
there was no reef in the world that remained untouched by human impacts
, and that coral reefs all over the world are declining due to over-fishing, illegal fishing, pollution, and other human impacts. Reef Check has stepped up to the plate with help from volunteers in over 90 countries, to monitor, manage, and protect coral reefs so they can successfully recover back into a sustained reef ecosystem. Their monitoring program is the official United Nations community-based reef monitoring program, how awesome is that?
So how does Reef Check's mission involve candy to me? Instead of goblin boogers, skeleton bones, pumpkin teeth, spider legs, rat eyeballs...how about driftwood, dead coral, fish, worms, shark teeth, sea foam, red algae blooms, and jellyfish stingers under a coat of plastic in waves of the sea? How about use the hype of Halloween candy to turn treats into tasty bits of environmental awareness?
Host a late night movie watching party with these treat bags as snacks, have a Halloween treat swap with neighbors the week of Halloween, pass out these treat bags Halloween night, or have a fall themed dinner with these as the dessert. Kids will stop and look at what they are getting, and parents will be able to get involved in explaining to younger children how the ingredients relate to the basics of why we need to protect our oceans... and why there's a bunch of fish and octopus in their food ;) I believe environmental awareness should start in the home, and this is one way to start that conversation.
To make your Nightmare Under the Sea Halloween treat mix bags, you'll need these materials below.
Note: Pictures show a typo on the printable, but I have corrected that in the downloadable file.
- Plastic sandwich bags
- FREE Nightmare Under The Sea printable tag (download here)
- Lots of yummy sweets and treats
First download, print, and cut out all your printable tags. For this coastal themed Halloween mix, as stated on the tags, I used the below from my local HEB grocery store and mixed everything together in a bowl.
- Blue sour patch straws = jelly fish stingers
- Raisins = fish poop
- Pretzels = driftwood
- Twizzlers = lobster legs
- Marshmallows = sea foam
- Goldfish = golden fish
- Candy corn = sharks teeth
- Gummy worms = worms
- Mini Oreos = car tires
- Lifesavers = life rings
- Jolly Ranchers = sea glass
- Red Hots = red algae blooms
- Popcorn = dead coral
- Gummy octopus = octopus
- Chex Mix = seashells
Gather all your sweets and treats to fill up your sandwich bags half way. You want to have the bag opening facing down for easy opening and closing of the bag without having to tear your tags apart and create a mess. Your sweets and treats should stay at the lower half of the bag, while the upper half remains empty.
Fold your tags in half to create a crease in the middle. Put the tag over the plastic bag and staple the ends together to securely attach the tag to the plastic bag.
**Mr. ArtSea Chic pointed out the spelling mistakes...don't worry, they've been corrected in the downloadable file.
Now I realize that some parents prefer their children not to receive or eat candy that isn't already wrapped, so I used some of the same treats and sweets in full wrapper form as another option to making your bags.
An easy, tasty, unique Halloween treat, and an important environmental awareness message all in one.
Give these treat bags a try and let me know what you think!
If you'd like to support Reef Check like I have, browse their store and art gallery for t-shirts like mine, caps, beach towels, books, paintings, and more. Or you can make a quick donation of any amount you'd like.
Unless otherwise stated, all content and photographs are ©ArtSea Chic. Please do not copy or distribute photographs without first asking for permission. Please know that I only recommend and endorse products and services that I personally approve, appreciate, and feel would be helpful for readers. All ideas and opinions expressed are completely my own. Thank you for supporting ArtSea Chic!