27 Great Halloween Treats to Give Out (Besides Candy)

27-great-treats-to-give-out-besides-candy

I’ll admit, when my kids were all really young, I just pretended Halloween didn’t exist. We didn’t do the trick or treating thing or the costume thing. In fact, we usually just turned out the lights and went to bed early on trick-or-treating night.

I just didn’t like the idea of letting already-grumpy toddlers stay up late to go to strangers houses and ask for candy packed with food dyes.

As my kids get older and want to dress up, the idea of trick-or-treating is more of a struggle. On the one hand, I completely understand them wanting to have the fun of wearing a costume and spending time with friends. On the other, I don’t love the idea of them getting bags upon bags of candy (that will make them crazy and rot their teeth out).

Reasons to Choose Non-Candy Halloween Treats

In the past, handing out a treat besides name brand candy was a sure way to get your house rolled. In recent years, the trend is shifting and there are several big reasons to considering non-candy options:

  1. Food Allergies– Food allergies are on the rise and many popular types of candy contain peanuts and other allergens. I know quite a few moms who can’t let their kids trick or treat because of potential peanut exposure.
  2. Too Much Sugar– With the rising rates of obesity and other health problems, especially among youth, I can’t in good conscience hand out sugar. The 80/20 rule is great and there is a time and a place for treats. The problem is that time seems to be all the time. And the place seems to be everywhere. Kids get candy at the bank, the doctor, school, and almost everywhere they go. Do they really need a bags of it?
  3. Dye Sensitivities– Many kids are sensitive to food dyes and it is tough to avoid them in most types of candy.
  4. Orthodontics– Candy and sugary snacks aren’t good for teeth and can stick to braces and other mouth pieces.
  5. Easier on Parents– When you give out non-candy halloween treats, you save parents the trouble of checking for anything harmful in the candy.

This year, I’m opting to hand out some healthier alternatives to sugary treats. (I’m also crossing my fingers that our house won’t get rolled if we don’t give out candy!)

Candy-Free Alternatives to Halloween Treats

Sure, handing out something besides candy may not make you the most popular house in the neighborhood. At the same time, there are some really fun alternatives to candy that are definitely kid-approved. All the other families who are tying to limit sugar or who are sensitive to food dyes will thank you!

These are the top alternative halloween treats I’ve thought of and will be stocking up on:

1. Glider Airplanes

Mini airplanes are inexpensive and a great alternative to candy. My brother loved these when we were little and would have taken one of these over candy any day!

2. Organic Juice Boxes

A consumable halloween treat that is practical. After walking around the neighborhood, kids may be thirsty. It still has sugar and isn’t an everyday thing for us, but it makes a great treat.

3. Nutiva Snacks

Another consumable treat. Nutiva snacks are about the same size as a piece of candy, slightly sweet and much healthier. They are more pricey though, so not a great option if you need a lot of treats to hand out.

4. Bouncy Balls

My kids love bouncy balls and we don’t usually have them around the house because of all. the. bouncing. Grab a pack of 100 for cheaper than a big bag of candy and call it a day!

5. Local Honey Sticks

My oldest son brought home a bunch of these from a bee keepers meeting one time and they were an instant hit with his siblings. Ideally find some from a local beekeeper, or order online. These are still a sweet treat, but the beneficial properties in honey make it a healthier alternative to candy.

6. Stamps

My littles spend hours stamping pictures on paper and they gave me the idea for this candy alternative. Stamps are also cheaper than candy when you get them in bulk.

7. Apple Cider Packets

I’m hoping it will cool down by Halloween, and if it does, kids will love something to warm them up after walking around. Apple cider packets are a great consumable alternative to candy.

8. Carabiners

A novel and practical kid favorite! Carabiners top the list of practical gifts that can be reused, and as a bonus… they are plastic free!

9. Mini-Flashlights

A practical idea for kids walking around after dark! Keychain flashlights are fun for kids and a good candy alternative if you don’t live in a busy neighborhood and order a few dozen in bulk.

10. Water Bottles

I’m not a fan of plastic by any means, but if I had to choose between water in recyclable plastic bottles and candy in plastic wrappers, the water wins. Kids get thirsty after trick or treating (and consuming sugar!) and water is a practical option.

11. Toothbrushes

Perhaps the most practical idea to give out, though certainly not the most popular. Talk to local dentists, as some may be willing to donate some free toothbrushes to kids with candy teeth. (Though fair warning, kids don’t love getting toothbrushes!)

12. Pumpkin Oranges

Feeling crafty? Get some organic oranges and use a natural marker to draw some pumpkin faces on them.

13. Organic Candy

If you just can’t fathom the idea of giving out something besides candy, opt for a better kind of candy. This brand of organic lollipops is dye-free and contains Vitamin C.

14. Fake Mustaches

Kids love these hilarious fake mustaches. At a recent family event, I brought a few packs of fake mustaches for the adults who were having a costume party. The next morning, we woke up and found all of the kids in mustaches too! For a holiday that requires costume, these are fun to give out!

15. Natural Fruit Leather

An edible candy alternative. Buy a big box of organic fruit leather in bulk for the most inexpensive option.

16. Stickers

I really don’t like stickers. At least not since my two year old created the great sticker vs. bunk bed face off last year. There is still sticker residue on their bed! My kids, on the other hand, love stickers. And you can order 1000 of them really inexpensively for treats to give out.

17. Bubbles

Bubbles are a fun activity that every kid loves. My children will play with these for hours a time!

18. Mini Notebooks

My daughters keep these mini notebooks in their mini purses so they can draw and take notes.

19. Slingshot Bats

A great alternative to candy, especially if you like getting shot in the eye with small rubber slingshot bats!

20. Skeleton Bone Pens

Possibly the coolest item on this list! These bone-shaped pens are really cool and practical too!

21. WikiSticks

A great inexpensive halloween treat to give out that stimulates creativity. Wikisticks are made from yarn and natural wax and are a mess-free creative way for kids to draw and build pictures.

22. Lego People

Want to be the coolest house on the block? Give out little Lego compatible figures!

23. Glow Bracelets

I don’t usually get glow sticks because of the plastic, but I’ll pull them out as a special treat or candy alternative. Glow bracelets are a kid favorite! The most practical option because they also make kids easier to see in the dark while out trick or treating!

24. Puzzle Balls

The downside? They are plastic. The upside? Puzzle balls are a reusable treat that encourages critical thinking.

25. Fancy Crayon Pens

Practical but still cool. These crayon pens have multiple tips and encourage creativity.

26. Slap Bracelets

Slap bracelets were all the rage when I was a kid. Maybe they are outdated, or maybe, like many poor fashion trends of decades past, they are coming back!

27. Mini Play Dough

We prefer to make our own play dough, but even pre-made mini play dough containers are a good alternative to candy!

Your turn- What would you give out besides candy? Share with a friend to encourage less candy consumption this year!

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Reader Comments

  1. Thank you for saying something about the junky Halloween candy!! Not only do I struggle with what we give out, but how to deal with letting my kids tricker treat and getting all that candy! My kids are still young enough where going to ten houses is totally fine with them (But I think our time is numbered with that) and last year we bought the candy from them and they then went to the local toy store and bought a toy. I am starting to wonder how long this trade will last. Do you let your kids tricker treat? Does anyone have other ideas for how to handle all that junk they get? I don’t want to be the mom who does not let her kids tricker treat, but I don’t want them eating all that garbage either.

    • Do the Switch Witch. Leave the candy for the switch witch- she looooves candy and she’ll leave you a toy if you leave your candy for her! Last year the Switch Witch left a bubble machine for my son. I also buy some better quality candy (Unreal, Justin’s, YummiEarh oragnics, maple candy) to have on hand if my kids did ask for candy. Luckily they are too young to really get it. But if your kids do want candy, maybe they could trade a few pieces in for better quality candy with you. And either leave the rest for the switch witch, or let them donate it. Some dentist offices will pay you for your candy,

      • There is a page on Facebook called Soldiers Angels. You can donate your candy to the troops. This can be a way for your children to thank the soldiers and feel good about giving.

  2. Those honey sticks have artificial colour in them? I thought that was one thing to avoid?

  3. Great ideas! We’ve done the all natural candy before, but pricey as we give out close to 100 pieces a yr. As for my own children, we choose not to celebrate Halloween for religious reasons, but we aquire an enormous amount of candy from other holidays and parades and festivals. I do not let my children eat it, but we make large gingerbread houses the week before Christmas, grandparents come for the event, and each child uses their candy collection from the year to make their house. They have favorite types they like to use, trade each other and target getting those at events. It makes candy fun again, and not toxic.

  4. This is great but what do you do with the candy they cone home with?

    • We do a trade. They know we are doing this before we ever go to anything where they may be receiving a lot of candy. They’re told that they will get to choose x amount of pieces to keep for themselves, but for every other piece, they get money in return (maybe a dime for each piece of candy) that they can use to buy a parent approved item with. Another idea instead of a trade. . . I also saw a dentist office once that collected candy from kids on Halloween to be shipped off to American soldiers overseas. I know it’s not healthy for them either, but I’m sure a welcome treat given the conditions they are in.

    • When we buy our kids candy, my husband takes it to work and leaves it in the kitchen for the staff to eat.

    • Donate it. I gave mine to operation gratitude which ships goodies to soldiers. I also give them the tooth brushes and mini toothpastes the dentists gives me.

    • This might be a little cruel, but I am going to ask my daughter to donate her candies to the homeless who is always sitting at an intersection near my office. He is a sweet guy (Edward) and ALWAYS hungry. Once I got him a protein bar and he was really happy about it. SO, This year, I’ll ask my daughter to give him as much candy as she can part with! And maybe perhaps a chewing gum and mouthwash for Edward? What do you think?

  5. How would you package these individually for handing out at Halloween?

  6. A few years ago, I decided because of the name brand chocolate companies and child slave labor, that I was not going to be a part of it. Of course, there is also the issue of health. So, I started to give out organic fruit strips and Annie’s Organic cheddar bunnies. Yes, there is wheat in the bunnies but I figured it was still a step forward. I think I might stick with just the fruit strips from now on, though and use some of your ideas also, Katie, so thank you for the list! I know most of the kids don’t care or know better anyhow, but I do, so I try to be a leader, rather than a follower. Plus, the kids seemed to like what I was giving out, something different. 🙂

  7. A word of warning on the glow sticks. ..someone in our neighborhood gave those out last year, and it easily came open and the (highly toxic) stuff inside squirted into my daughter’s eye. We had a pretty traumatic 20 minutes afterwards, but after 2 of us holding a screaming child under the faucet and a call to the pediatrician we were lucky she was okay.

  8. Love this! I’m posting a blog on allergy friendly Halloween treats and will be sure to link to this!

  9. I love the environmentally friendly, low sugar choices! Last year I gave out little bags of non-gmo popcorn with a little Himalayan salt and dill. The kids loved it! I also had some Halloween pencils and erasers.

  10. Skeleton pen not a good idea a child can fall on it and impale themselves
    Kids run around a lot and can fall and jab themselves

  11. Wow, I’m going to buck the trend here. While I normally agree with feeding your family with healthy, home-prepared whole foods over processed stuff, kids should be allowed to be kids and participate in traditions. And some candy every now and again is not going to kill them or rot their teeth if they’ve been taught good dental hygiene, which I’m sure is the case in your family. I also know from my own childhood that kids whose parents were overly strict (no soda, no junk food etc.), really went crazy with all that stuff whenever their parents weren’t around – i.e. they’d be a friend’s house with less strict parents and (nearly single-handedly) devour a 2 liter bottle of soda and a giant bag of Doritos within the space of an hour or two. So personally, I think moderation and common sense is the key. Make most of your meals/treats etc. healthy and non-processed, but don’t be that mom at Halloween that passes out some homemade goody that isn’t really what the kids want. And if they get way too much, let them pick a reasonable amount of their favorite treats to keep (somewhere between 5 and 10) and portion the rest so they don’t gorge on it all at once. Or toss it, if you prefer.

    • Michelle, I understand where you’re coming from, but by that logic, if you don’t allow your kids to experiment with drugs in high school then they will go crazy and abuse all the drugs in college. Just because something is a tradition doesn’t mean it’s a good one. My job as a parent is to teach my children how to make good decisions based on logic and not simply the emotion of what everyone else around them is doing. Definitely not easy, but well worth the effort. Thanks for reading!

      • Seriously, you’re comparing allowing a bit of candy on special occasions to drug use? I suppose you could argue that sugar is addictive if people can consume it in unlimited amounts, but the honest truth is, during the 70s when I was a kid, we were allowed to eat candy and drink soda, and there were virtually no food allergies and almost no overweight kids, probably because we were outside for most of the day, rain or shine. Most moms stayed at home and cooked for their families, so most of us got one half.way healthy meal a day, but breakfast was usually some sort of sugary cereal, and the school lunches weren’t that great, although the portions were the right size for kids that age. Like I said, while I agree it’s important to teach your children healthy habits early on. but allowing a little rule-bending every now and again (barring serious food allergies) isn’t going to ruin all your good work.

        • Sugar companies want you to believe that sugar is not addictive, but science shows it is more addictive than cocaine. High fructose corn syrup was not in the candy of the past, and it stresses the whole metabolic system and the liver. Good ideas were given to help kids have some better options, not to necessarily take away all choice or fun. Consider that we can help create fun traditions without making the kids want to rebel from excessive strictness.

    • Michelle, I have to agree with you on this one. We rarely had sweets in the house growing up, so Halloween was that one time of year that we were able to indulge. Our parents didn’t put limits on our candy as long as we ate all of our meals each day. If we wanted to eat it all at once, we quickly learned that we would then suffer a stomach ache, but our parents no longer had to worry about the candy spoiling our meals. Once it was gone, it was gone. We became experts on making our candy last, which meant we only ate one or two pieces a day until it was gone. I usually agree with a lot of things on this blog, but I don’t think that drug comparison correlates. (but that’s just me.) Kids need the opportunity to learn to self discipline when mom and dad are not around. I think I will stick with traditional Halloween once a year and allow kids to experience the fun traditions I enjoyed as a kid. I love this blog and will continue reading it. We can’t all agree on everything….can we?

      • Exactly, although I do think a lot the suggestions posted above would be well-received by most kids, too. On the point of letting the kids learn self-control, i agree there, too. I made my Halloween candy last for months when I was a kid because we didn’t have non-stop sweets at our house, either. Although my sister always ate hers a lot more quickly and then raided my stash – another type of life lesson! And to some of the comments below, I get that Halloween, like many other holidays, has drifted far from its original meaning and become overly commercial, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the holidays fun for your family. Kids love dressing up and running around in groups to collect treats, so why stop them? At the same time, that doesn’t mean you need to spend megabucks on a costume from Etsy, put something fun together for the little ones, and help the older ones be creative and make costumes out of things they find around the house. And with the candy, a lot of people offered good suggestions if the kids bring home more than you’re comfortable letting them keep. As my sister-in-law routinely ignores our requests not to overdue the amount of candy they give our kids around the holidays, (she literally gives them bags with at least 5 pounds of candy), my kids voluntarily give me all but 2-3 favorites, and we donate the rest, along with hygiene articles and warm clothing, to organizations that put together packages for kids that almost never get treats,.

    • I agree with you Michelle. All of the people I have known as well that experienced strict deprivation of sugar and other foods went crazy with them as well. They would consume them in quantity at friends’ houses, buy them behind their parents’ backs, eat a ton upon becoming adults, and so on. They never really learned self-control or moderation and the temptations were so great. They always wanted them even when they weren’t allowed to have them. In some cases I have seen it cause some degree of social isolation as well. The children aren’t allowed to partake in certain social events and it leaves them out. I consider social isolation to also be unhealthy. I know I struggle as a parent to make the right choices. I try to look at different sides and get different perspectives. Talking to friends about their childhoods of deprivation and witnessing it myself has helped to shift my perspective. Halloween is one of my best memories from childhood. It wasn’t even about the candy, it was the dressing up and trick or treating that was so much fun for me. Being with my parents and siblings as we went from house to house, seeing all the decorations and different people. I want the same for my child. I don’t know what I will do about the candy things just yet. My child is too young for it to be an issue at this point.

  12. When my kids turned 10 and 12, we moved out of state. Having no idea what the local Halloween scene looked like and being a protective parent anyway, we decided to offer the kids a Halloween alternative idea. We let them invite friends over and staged what was a lot like a huge easter egg hunt, but with halloween candy (you could use the options from Katie’s article) and after dark. We used sandwich bags and glow bracelets to mark each spot where something was hidden. Even hung them from the trees by punching the bracelet through the bag and closing it around a limb. After they do the hunt, they play outside with the nighttime toys that they’ve accumulated as the grand prizes over the years. The kids LOVED it and I got to control what they received. Now, it’s a Halloween tradition that they ask for every year.

  13. I gave out decorated pencils last year and they were a BIG hit for all ages. I was pleasantly surprized?

  14. You can remove the sticky residue off the bunk beds with a q-tip and regular lighter fluid, like Zippo, not charcoal lighter fluid. I know it’s a chemical, but it works and doesn’t harm most surfaces. I use it in my scrapbook projects when something super sticky gets put in the wrong place or is placed wonky. It deactivated the adhesive long enough to rub it away. Or you can allow it to evaporate and the sticky returns. It will even remove duck tape residue if it hasn’t etched into the surface!

  15. Sometimes for Halloween we book a local hotel with water slides , bring our own food and call it a day. The kids are so excited every year they don’t care what others are doing!
    This year an overnight event didn’t work so we’re going to ‘movie night’ at the grandparents who don’t live in the city like we do. The kids are still super excited!
    Parents need to lead the way. You explain to your kids from when they are 1 and you see an item you don’t want them to have, ” let’s choose something else, I don’t want this to make you sick’. Then they get older and ask you WHY it could make them sick. And you tell them. If it’s normal for you and they see you living a healthy lifestyle, they should learn quick.

  16. I am giving candy, but I do like your sweet alternatives for it. (Though expensive for the amount of kids that comes to our neighborhood….Would be fine for a party but being as I’ve never seen a halloween package of fruit leathers not happening.Plus we usually buy what we will eat if we get stuck with it… )

    THough this year I am giving one to 2 pieces of candy (yeah let’s see how well that works) and a non-candy item like a toy, or mini coloring pad.

  17. Last year we gave out mini bananas and mandarin oranges we also had honey patties covered in dark chocolate( no sugar added)
    Please remember small chirldren can Not have honey. Also a ton of people are allergic to honey so let kids know it’s a honey pattie in case they reach in there bag at night to sneak a pice.
    All of this was a hit!

    When trick or treating we just go to all our friends houses first that know and eat like we do.The kids get a ton of homemade treats this way that we can trust or special things from them and my friends love having trick or treaters before they go out to party and they can see my dressed up kids!

    We do normal trick or treating however my kids know candy is poison and don’t want it so we donate it to the homeless shelter. They are more into the experience than eating bad food and are happy to give.
    They also have there treats from my community of friends so it’s a win win

    • Wow, so you think candy is poison, but think it’s kind to give it homeless people? Not sure I understand the logic there, but at lease you’re giving them the healthy stuff, too.

  18. An additional idea, and one that has been fairly warmly received in our neighborhood is handing out little boxes of raisins.

  19. On Halloween I give out money – quarters to be exact – one to little kids and a couple to bigger kids. And most of the kids love it! They run to their parents saying, “I got money!” This seems really safe to me. No need for the parents to worry over whether the treat is safe or healthy or not!

    • My grandma always gave out pennies! Kids love it.

    • I always trick or treated at my grandparents’ house (2 hour drive after school and then a 2 hour drive home that same night). It was the BEST part of Halloween. One of their neighbors always gave out change and it was the BEST house. The older gentleman always said to take a handful and if you didn’t take enough (to his standards) he would tell you to take more. Haha. It was mostly pennies with the silvers mixed in, but we felt rich as 7 and 8 year olds.

  20. An idea that we got from a friend that I think is great is to cut up all the chocolate candy the kids get, and use it to make a big batch of cookies to share with family and friends, or at the church potluck.We do this with all the candy the kids recieve from their great grandparents throughout the year too. They know sugar tastes good, but makes you sick and makes holes in your teeth. We do allow them to enjoy treats, but keep them in their place as occasional treats, and not something to eat every day.

  21. We handed out glow bracelets last year and they were a huge hit with everyone!! Kids of all ages and their parents were ooohing and ahhhing over them. You listed some great alternatives!

  22. An aside: if you still have sticker residue, perhaps try one of those orange oil cleaners ( Citrasolv?) it’s worked on EVERYTHING I’ve used it on!

  23. Many people DO NOT allow their children to consume “home made” treats they receive while trick or treating. As that is the case, I don’t waste my time or money on these. However, love the numerous alternative ideas presented in this conversation.

  24. Is it only middle class people who read this blog? Those are almost all high priced items, and most slave labor manufactured by children in foreign countries who don’t even get to celebrate their own birthdays, let alone other holidays.
    On another note, I find it incredibly sad that people are talking about children being excluded from societal celebrations that have strayed so far from their original purpose and meaning. All over the world some form of Halloween is celebrated, to honor our dead ancestors and those we have lost in our lives. Now it has been reduced to meaningless drivel and collecting candy. It is just a purely consumerist celebration to get you to buy one time wear costumes, and temporary highs in the form of sweets or disposable things. The values our culture is rooted in are truly endemic of the current crisis this country is in.

    • Thank you for your valuable perspective. Remembering where the items we purchase are from is very important. Holidays were such a great memory for me growing up but I want to break the commercialism and consumerism with my own child. On Halloween we try for mostly homemade costumes, using various items we already have, that we make, or that we find at thrift stores. I like the dressing up part but not the overpriced, poor quality, synthetic material, store-bought costumes (also made by who knows who). We also live in a small town where us parents work together to put something on for the children. My child is still quite young but as he gets older I would like to teach him more about what they holidays are actually about and celebrate them in a more traditional way.

  25. I love these ideas!! Thank you so much! Though I do not send my kids out on Halloween they do like to give things out and I am so anti-candy that I always feel horrible. These are great alternatives!

  26. Our son was a micro preemie (23 weeks weighing 13 ounces), sugar water is given to preemies in the NICU before any shots, lines, surgeries, etc. So for him, he associates sugar with pain. He does go trick or treating, he just throws out any candy / junk food & keeps any non food items which if he’s lucky might be 1 or 2 items. For him it’s all about dressing up & being with friends.

  27. Can you update the nail polish article? Scotch Naturals no longer exists. Sure their website is still around, but everything is indefinitely sold out.

  28. How about let’s not ‘celebrate’ the Devils high day at all and teach our family, friends and children what ‘Halloween’ is really all about. Do your own research on the truth about this ‘holiday’ and make an informed decision! Please, for the sake of our children, please please inform yourselves as to the satanic arena we as a society are partaking in…

  29. We don’t do Halloween for religious reasons but I just thought of an idea. When I read that one person only gives out candy that they themselves would eat in case there’s leftovers, I thought why not do the opposite. Buy candy that you wouldn’t eat NOR anyone else, for that matter. You’ll still be the house that gives out candy but it will be candy they will likely throw away and probably won’t remember where it came from. Like that gross Christmas candy, black licorice or Dots. Ok, maybe that’s a totally wasteful idea and pencils may be more practical but it’s an idea LOL!

    • Oh! And junky gross candy is cheaper. You’re getting it off the shelves and into the trash where it belongs so maybe it isn’t so wasteful after all. It’s practically a service to the community and definitely better than donating it to soldiers and the homeless. Just my two cents worth which isn’t much coming from someone who doesn’t even celebrate Halloween. But even us heathens have a good idea once in awhile ?.

  30. I live in a tiny town and I know all the children here and their parents and they know me so homemade treats are an option. I am thinking about making some sort of popcorn treat, maybe popcorn balls like these http://www.mommypotamus.com/marshmallow-popcorn-balls/ or caramel corn (I have a recipe and I use maple syrup and coconut sugar). I might also try homemade candy or some other treat.

  31. I do up our carport and front garden with decorations. Then I mount black lights I have purchased over the years after Hallowe’en, when decorations are cheaper, in the carport by the walls and families love to come and see if their costumes glow. I have also given out glow stick necklaces and bracelets for years since I love that it lights them up. The toddlers get a mini play-dough and I love helping them pick out their favourite colour! One little boy wanted a glow bracelet one year and the parents were worried but I assured them that I get the *non-toxic* glow sticks and showed them the container they come in. He chewed through it by the time he got to the end of the driveway. We all laughed. His costume glowed green the rest of the night.

    Before that I bought the old-school paper goodie bags and put in items that were age appropriate, with raisins always for the little ones and candy made with real fruit for the middle aged kids. The older ones (12 and up) got junk because if they didn’t know to brush their teeth by then I didn’t think of it as being my fault if they got cavities. haha I got different bags for each age group and filled them while watching tv the week prior. Nobody sells the small raisin boxes for Hallowe’en anymore so I stopped giving them the year after after I broke down and bought the ones in the fruit snacks section of a grocery store since they were at least on sale then. Now they are just too expensive to buy! Play-dough is actually cheaper and one 8/9 year old asks for it over the glow stick still!

    This year I am giving out finger laser lights. All plastics are recyclable in our area now, as are batteries, so there is less waste and the kids get to have super powers, so to speak. I also hang a black curtain inside the door and have enough space for myself and a tv tray covered in black cloth. It ads to the glow effect when I open the door.

    Regarding the debate about letting children give and get candy, while I can see both sides, I personally choose to not give out candy because I know they will get tonnes elsewhere. I don’t view Mama here as militant (at least not from having read this one article.. haha) and I don’t consider myself to be, either. We aren’t trying to make everyone stop giving out candy but are choosing to do what we feel is a good thing. I work in the public school system and the amount of insanity that occurs immediately before, and for weeks after Hallowe’en is enough to scare anyone into not giving out junk candy. There are more fights and inattentiveness than any other time of year. At least during Winter Break the kids are at home and able to settle down after all the yummy goodies without being so affected by all the sugary energy everyone else around them is exuding. Again, not telling anyone else what to do. Just sharing my point of view.

    Oh.. we get between 150 and 200 treaters each year. We’ve never had our house egged and many families thank me for the effort we put in. The kids look forward to our house. I’ve never heard one complaint.

    Happy Hallowe’en to all!!

  32. We are starting young with our kiddos– we buy back all candy. We don’t do trick or treat, but we will do harvest festivals and parties. Our 22 month and 3 year old love winning/gathering the candy, then we go to the store, buy them an inexpensive craft, and throw the candy away. We just make our offer more enticing than the candy. Not sure how long this deal will work, but if we start young it might never be an issue.

  33. We are giving out fake tattoos, bubbles, and annies organic bunny grahams this year. I saw veggie straws shaped like bats in the candy section too this year. When i was a kid, there was a guy that worked for a milk/juice company and gave out little cartons of milk or orange juice like you would get at school. We saved him for midway through the night when we were thirsty.We LOVED the milk guy!

  34. I made bead kits with Halloween colored pony beads in plastic test tubes with snap on lids. I tied black cord around container so kids can make a bracelet or necklace. We also give out glow sticks. Halloween night we participate in the switch witch and my kids are more than willing to give up the candy for a toy. My hubby usually takes the candy to work.

  35. As a teenager I love these ideas. I always loved getting things other than candy like key chains little figures those army dudes with parachutes stickers temporary tattoos and whatever else especially popcorn balls and anything drinkable. I know it’s past Halloween but whatever. I think kids won’t be disappointed by things other than candy. Although with stickers go for the bigger ones rather than a ton of small ones they’re better for putting on journals and waterbottles.

  36. We have given out pencils for quite a few years, kids love them. And some brand of cereal used to have books on their boxes, they were small books by great authors. I would save them up during the year and give them out in the candy bowl. You might be surprised how many kids prefer the book or pencils.

  37. This is AMAZING. I’m going to use this next year, I have severe food allergies and really feel for kids who can’t have candy-treats, and I’m not a huge sugar fan, so this will be really good.

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