We've still got a couple weeks left until Halloween. 

And while the stores have been ready since approximately the Fourth of July, you might be putting off shopping for the Trick or Treaters.

Maybe you're worried about getting a good candy that most kids will like.  And then there's also trying to have something inclusive for kids with allergies, or kids that have sugar problems.   We all want the kids to have fun and feel normal and get out and have the experience of Trick or Treating.  But you don't want to be... you know, That house.  The one that the kids tell each other about, the ones the parents give a little head shake to other parents at as they move down the block.  You want to be the house where the kids ask if they can hit your house again before they move on to the next block.  So... what do you do?

Well, I think an option might be to give them something OTHER than candy, but again, you don't want the head shake.  So maybe avoid toothbrushes.  Ideally, what you want is something bright and fun that parents will be okay with their kid losing.  Something they can enjoy for a day or two, but won't get too precious about if it "goes missing" in the trash come Monday (Wink Wink) or if the kid loses it in the car or at school.

So what are some actually GOOD ideas for the kiddos out there?  I've scoured the internet, made my own judgment, and have a list here for you of things I think would work.  Of course, you can add to the list at any time in the comments!

Mini coloring books and crayons. This is a classic.  And it's something that the parents can stash in the car for later, in case of a road trip or unexpected doctor's appointments.

Slime.  I'm not sure if you can buy individual packets of slime.... a quick Google says, yes you can.  And they're not super expensive. They come in individual little plastic jars, like Play Doh.

Glow sticks, glow necklaces, glow bracelets.  Anything to make it fun to be visible on a dark night, right?

Bubbles. You probably still have some in the garage from your cousin's wedding.  Why not give em out?

Temporary Tattoos.  Another classic.  And, they're easy to apply, as well as easy to wash off.

Vampire Teeth.  You know, those plastic ones you can buy in bulk. I saw online somewhere you can get like, seventy two of them for six bucks.  And some of them glow in teh dark, which will only ramp up the fun.  And the SAFETY, which is always incredibly fun for kids.

Stickers.  Heck, even I still like stickers, and I'm practically middle aged.  My laptop at home is covered in em. You've seen a kid at the grocery store, crying her eyes out in the basket.  And then, the cashier reaches over with a sticker...and all is well.  Same deal!

Stretchy toys. Anything stretchy is always good, and again, cheap.

Lip balm. This might be a bit more pricey, depending on what brand you go for.  But I can imagine giving them out to kids and then they use it all night, keeping their little cold lips from getting chapped.  I know when I was a kid, I would pretend it was lipstick and I was a Total Adult when I was trusted with my own stick.  And this way, the parents won't lose their good flavor of Burt's Bees on a chaotic night.

Fidget spinners. A no brainer.

Magnets. People buy them all the time in gift shops.  Why not? Unless you don't know how they work or something.

Slinky (Slinkies? What's the plural?).  Again, these are things you can probably buy in a bag in the party favor section.  Simple.

Now, if you do wanna give them some food, but not sugar, why not try these:

Snack Packets - think Goldfish or Cheez-Its or pretzels. Maybe avoid peanut butter crackers, but there are a ton of different kinds out there. Kids love 'em, parents will let them snack on them, done.  And they'll keep to go in lunches, if need be.

Miniature water bottles - this one came to me like a rude awakening.  How many times have you seen a kid tug on their parent's jeans to get a sip of water from the communal travel mug on a Trick or Treat night?  If they have their own bottle, a little one that is, nobody needs to confront backwash.

Drink packets - you know, those little individual Kool Aid or Crystal Light or whatever they are.  Those can easily go in lunches back at school, too.

What are you going to give out on Halloween?  Are you going to go all candy, a mix of candy/toys, or non sugar treats?

Treatingly yours,


LOOK: How Halloween has changed in the past 100 years

Stacker compiled a list of ways that Halloween has changed over the last 100 years, from how we celebrate it on the day to the costumes we wear trick-or-treating. We’ve included events, inventions, and trends that changed the ways that Halloween was celebrated over time. Many of these traditions were phased out over time. But just like fake blood in a carpet, every bit of Halloween’s history left an impression we can see traces of today.

Gallery Credit: Brit McGinnis


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