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Do your children know about the Switch Witch? They should

Kristen Hewitt is a mom, television host & reporter, writer, and amateur cupcake baker! Follow her at mommyinsports.com for stories about parenting, sports, and everything in between.

Clever toy called the Switch Witch could end your Halloween candy woes

Have you heard the folklore of the Switch Witch? It's been around parenting websites for years, and we found it to be the perfect solution for us to rid our home of the gluttonous amounts of candy our daughter amassed during trick-or-treating each year.

On Halloween night, we allow her to keep just five pieces of candy, and then we leave the rest for the Switch Witch outside her door. Then, the wonderful witch swaps it for a toy! We don't pack on the pounds around Halloween by sneaking pieces of her candy when she isn't looking, and she doesn't rack up 10 cavities by the end of November.

Last year, one savvy working mom decided to take the story one step further. Audrey Kinsman knew the legend of the Switch Witch as well, and found the Witch helpful when her son's severe allergies prevented him from eating his Halloween candy.

She told me, "He was just a little guy at 5 years old, and when he dumped all his candy out after trick-or-treating, his eyes welled up with tears. He realized he couldn’t eat any of it. So the idea of the Switch Witch came to us that day! It solved this wonderful problem in my family, which is keeping the magic of the holiday without compromising health and happiness."

When her boys asked many probing questions about the Switch Witch that Kinsman couldn't answer, she did what most of us do — searched Google looking for a book to explain the Switch Witch. When she realized a Switch Witch book didn't exist, that's when her story, The Switch Witch and the Magic of Switchcrafting was born!

Not only did she write a creative story about the Switch Witch needing candy to heat her house and fuel her broom, she also created a plush toy to accompany it. And before you roll your eyes instantly imagining the blasted The Elf on the Shelf, the Switch Witch doesn't lose her magic.

"I'm a mom too, I hate moving the Elf!" Kinsman said. "We did create the Switch Witch using the playbook of the Elf, but parents don't have the burden of moving her and she doesn't lose her magic. She can be played with and is a reinforcing mechanism for good behavior." Isn't that music to your ears?

Now, in October, parents have yet another good behavior extortionist all month long. And it works!

Every publisher Kinsman sent her book to rejected it, but the resourceful mother of two wasn't spooked. She joined up with other moms in Denver to start their own publishing company and printed the book themselves. The Switch Witch and the Magic of Switchcraft is available at Target stores nationwide and online at Target.com and PartyCity.com. They have also partnered with Operation Shoebox to donate the candy the Switch Witch collects to troops overseas. The Switch Witches are also teaming up with the Teal Pumpkin Project in order to support their Food Allergy Walks nationwide.

Ironically, one of the publishers to whom Kinsman sent her book now wants to buy it. It goes to show you that persistence, belief and the magic of switchcraft really do pay off. If you need help with the candy conundrum or would like to donate as well, check out Switchwitches.com!

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