What non-candy Halloween stuff would you want your kids to get?

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Halloween Bat Crayons by CrayonsByKelly2016
Halloween is almost here, so it’s time to start stocking up on Halloween candy! (At least in my head, it is.) I’ve bought a few bags of mini candies already, and those will satisfy the vast majority of the kids who come by my house. But can I get anything for the rest of them — what do kids who don’t like (or can’t eat) candy want to find in a Halloween candy bowl?

A few of my ideas were mini bags of chips, crackers, and cookies, pouches of fruit snacks that are slightly healthier than the average “fruit” snacks, and Glow Sticks.

As parents, what non-candy would you like to see available to your kid on Halloween? — Cassie

Comments on What non-candy Halloween stuff would you want your kids to get?

  1. I was so excited to see this post! I’ve just moved back to the US and bought a house, and hadn’t even thought of the fact that we’ll (hopefully) get trick-or-treaters. After some quick Googling, I’m thinking that glow-in-the-dark bouncy ball ‘eye balls’ are just the thing! The only thing better would be to find something that is clearly marked ‘recyclable’ for when it eventually finds its way into the trash…I’ll keep looking!

  2. Pinterest idea – draw little jack-o-lantern faces on those individual cups of mandarin oranges. You can even skip the drawings if you’re pressed for time.

    • I had a friend planning to bring her daughter over last year who couldn’t have candy, so I wanted to have a fun options for her. I drew little pumpkin faces on my oranges and mixed them in with a bowl of candy…believe it or not, most of the kids picked the oranges! Granted, I live in a super health-conscious neighborhood, but I was still shocked! The kids were actually excited about them. Go figure!

  3. Oh I have tons of ideas! I usually like to grab the little bags of “100 calorie” snacks, sometimes it’s mini cookies, or pretzels ect.

    Food Wise: Mini pretzels (chocolate or yogurt coating optional), sugar free or fat free pudding or jello cups (I’ve SEEN mini cups before, but can never find them, but you can buy regular ones in bulk at stores like SAMS at a pretty decent price). I’ve seen individual fruit and veggie snack packs for $1 a piece and it holds a little bit of apples or celery. Baked chips (potato, veggie, pita). I LOVE the chocolate rice cakes. Individually wrapped string cheese or baby cheeses. little nuts, even chocolate or yogurt covered ones (I’ve seen some individually wrapped). granola bars, little apple sauce sleeves or cups, I actually got a packet (yes the ones you need to add water too and cook in the microwave) of oatmeal once. gummy fruits, drink mix packets (like the tiny crystal light individual drink mixes, my smaller brother LOVES to make his own drink in a water bottle, it’s crazy cool for him to watch it change color), mini boxes of cereal (non sugary of course), juice boxes, ect. Oranges with faces drawn on with food safe markers, Fruit cups,

    Non Food: BUBBLES! that was always my non food favorite. Tiny fingernail polishes in Halloween colors, glow sticks, little halloween figures like skeletons and pumpkins, ghosts, ect., mini hand sanitizer, for one party we made our own masks but you could easily make your own scary or silly cheap masks to hand out (mine had a mustache :D), key chains, I always hated getting pencils, but loved pens or pencil decor (like a little skeleton that wrapped around your pencil), stamps, play dough, rubber stretchy bracelets,

    I saw above someone mentioned home made snacks and it was an AWESOME idea especially when you can seal your own little baggies and stuff, but as a child my mom always threw out anything that wasn’t sealed, unless it came from an event she trusted (like our church’s halloween trick or treat). So it may not be a good idea unless you know the families around you are okay with it.

    Also Tip: I saw some one also posted their child’s reaction to raisins and I have a great aunt who did this to help avoid awkward displays at the door: She would put candy inside toilet paper rolls, and cover it with paper (decorated halloween themed) and gave those out. Kids were excited for the surprise, but they usually had to wait until they got home to see what they got. My great aunt would just buy all kinds of small hard candies and sometimes kids hate those :/ so she hid them 😛

  4. My aunt used to include monster trading cards, fortune telling fish, plastic spider rings, and little plastic/rubber creepy crawly novelties like mice, snakes, and frogs. Still very Halloween and a nice surprise instead of candy (or mixed in with the candy.) You can get a lot of it at places like Oriental Trading but I can’t for the life of me find the monster trading cards, those were so cool!

  5. i picked up an 80pack of mini playdough at cosco recently for less than $15 (canadian) and will now probably pick up stickers or temporary tattoos at the dollar store!
    it’s also better for me not to give out chocolates or even chips because then we end up eating the leftovers-especially is it’s a cold year and we don’t get many kids!

  6. My son has a food allergy that makes him unable to eat 99.99% of chocolate on the market, and we generally limit artificial colors too because of his sensory issues, so I really appreciate that someone in thinking about this. Stickers, temporary tattoos, little toys, all of those things would be loved by my son. We give most of his candy to the Switch Witch, who brings him a toy in exchange for it, and I make him allergen free treats to eat instead. Cookies, rice crispy treats, homemade carmel, and hot chocolate!

  7. Although it’s tempting, I would avoid anything overly “Halloween themed” because (at least where I’m from ) Halloween time is OVER immediately after October 31st. We always got spider rings and skull necklaces while trick-or-treating….and then would never wear them because Halloween time was done. So, non-edible items like toys and pens can be in the general Halloween mood (glow in the dark, glittery, etc) but personally I’d stay away from things that kids wouldn’t want to use year round.

    I have to add that I am also very excited about this thread. My husband and I FINALLY bought a house, and for the first time in about five years I’ll be living somewhere near a roadway on Halloween so we MIGHT get trick-or-treaters. It’s a rural, busy (but not fast) road….bordering some suburb areas, so I’m hoping to get at least a few kids. One thing’s for sure…any kids that do stop at our house are going to get some sweet swag. No “one piece only please” here!

    • We’re kinda opposite – we love Halloween all year long, so the little pumpkin notepads, spider and bats rings, glowsticks, spooky pencils and plastic skeletons are around pretty much around our house all the time… as is the candy, ha ha… we’re just silly like that 🙂

  8. I like to go for a mix of things. I do chocolate candy, fruity candy, and non-candy. Most stores that sell Halloween candy also sell non-food Halloween themed treats for relatively cheap, so it should be easy to find. I did bubbles and spider rings I think, but there are tons of options. Go shopping!

    Also collect spare change in your house/get a roll or two of quarters if kids in your town come around with Unicef boxes.

    Actually, that gives me an idea. If you have access to small foreign coins, you could put them in a treasure chest of sorts, and give them out. For some reason kids think foreign coins are awesome.

    All that said, I imagine a giant bowl full of bouncy balls must be fun – just make sure the kids and parents know they’re not gumballs!

    If you (as a parent) end up with tons of extra pencils/erasers that the kids don’t want, consider passing them along to your kid’s teacher(s). They’re always looking for extra supplies!

  9. I get that some kids have allergies. If that is your concern, please make sure that you place the items for those kids IN A SEPARATE BOWL! Kids with peanut allergies can have problems with things that have even come in contact with peanuts. So it’s useless if you don’t take proper precautions.
    As a kid though, my parents never bought candy. We did not keep it in the house. Halloween was THE ONLY TIME we got it. And we had to dump all of what we got in a big bowl and share (all five kids). We then got to eat once piece of candy (one little fun-size piece) after dinner once or twice a week. It sounds gross, but that halloween candy, combined with Christmas candy, had to last the rest of the year. People who gave us non-candy were the worst in our eyes because that was all we got!

  10. Something else I’ve thought to pick up! Dog treats.

    No, not for the candy bowl.

    I’m sure some people trick-or-treat with their pups, so why not have “candy” for the dogs?

  11. Personally I prefer the candy. My kids have fun collecting and sorting it, but ultimately don’t each very much of it and I end up giving it away. The last thing I want around my house are dozens of cheap little toys – or pencils (no more pencils!). “Healthier” options – raisins, fruit snacks, chips, juice, really aren’t much (or any) healthier, but because they are not “candy” my kids think they can eat them at will, so we end up worse off than the 5 pieces of Halloween candy they would have eaten. I do however set clear expectations with my kids on how much of their candy they get to eat/keep and we donate the rest of it.

  12. Don’t get me wrong, as a kid I loved the candy, but I loved the non-candy stuff even more… stickers, glowsticks, little puzzles and those plastic spider rings were my faves. I do hand out candy, but I also stock up on tons of the spider rings and colorful bat rings… I also got a ton of tiny Halloween themed note pads one year in the clearance bin at Big Lots, so I still have some of those to hand out this year as well. My 7 year old says she likes all of it, as long as no one gives her celery or rocks (not sure where that came from, but okay)… 🙂

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