Halloween will be here in no time. With three children, the amount of candy that comes into our home is ridiculous. I don't like to give me kids a lot of candy anyway. They act like different people when they're hyped up on sugar and not in a good way. I usually end up donating some of it and throwing out what remains in December since they bring home a ton of candy around Christmas, too. That seems like a huge waste of money to me.
I've noticed more and more of my neighbors handing out non-candy items for trick-or-treating, and I really appreciate it. The juice boxes, granola bars, and pretzels never go to waste in our house. One of our neighbors even does little stuffed animals or glow sticks, and my kids are always really excited to get those.
If you are seeking non-candy alternatives that won't diminish the Halloween fun, here are some ideas:
Kids love stuff that glows in the dark, and it adds to the Halloween night fun. One of our neighbors handed out glow sticks last year, but instead of putting it in the kids' treat bags, they gave them directly to the kids so they could put them on. It was fun because it lit up all the kids on the street, but our street is also pretty dark, so it made it a lot safer, too.
My kids love bouncy balls and can't seem to get enough of them. I have no idea where they all end up. I think they're hiding somewhere with my single socks and plasticware lids. At any rate, these are a great inexpensive alternative to Halloween candy.
Yo-yos are always a hit in birthday party treat bags, and they will be no different if you hand them out as a non-candy Halloween treat. Extra points if you learn some tricks and teach them to your neighbors.
This is one of the healthiest food options, and Cuties are relatively inexpensive this time of year. Simply draw on a little face, and you'll have mini jack-o-lanterns.
I always pack these for my kids during the month of October. They love mandarin oranges all year long, but taking a black sharpie and drawing a little face makes it extra fun.
Two of my kids love stickers, but the oldest could do without them. Still, they are a very easy non-candy Halloween option.
My kids and I enjoy scrapbooking together, and we love using stamps. These are a fun, creative alternative to candy.
They make Halloween bubble packs, but you could get regular ones, too.
There are lots of Halloween-themed tattoos out there, but you could do other types of temporary tattoos, also. Tattoos are one of the cheapest options available and are actually much less expensive than handing out candy.
Play-doh tends to work better for younger children, so this might not work for all neighborhoods, or you might want to have it as an option. For younger children, play-doh can inspire creativity for hours.
It's usually cold Halloween night, and I often come home and make the kids hot apple cider when they get back from trick-or-treating.
Kids love playing dress-up all year long. This is a great way to extend their collection of dress-up items.
Juice boxes have become a popular choice in my neighborhood. My kids love them, and they get to try new types we don't usually buy.
Granola bars have also been popular in our neighborhood for a while, and unlike candy, they never go to waste. I would recommend going with a peanut-free selection so more children can enjoy them.
If you end up with extra, you could always save them for next year. It's not like activity books can go bad.
I'm for anything that encourages kids to read more. They love bringing home bookmarks from the school book fairs, and they are one of the most cost-effective options.
Raisins were even given out as a non-candy Halloween treat when I was a kid. They make a great snack to pack in the kids' lunches the next day.
It doesn't matter how many slinkies my kids bring home from birthday parties. They always enjoy them.
For areas of the country where there is a ban on disposable straws, silly straws will be an especially big hit.
My kids love stress balls so much that I bring them home for them from various conferences and meetings I attend. They know I was thinking about them, and I don't have to spend any extra money.
Some of these alternatives are better for younger children, and some are better for older children. If you get a wide variety of ages at your house, you could always get an assortment and allow the kids to pick an item.
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