Welcome back! Today is Day 3 of Funtober: 31 Days of Fall Fun,and today we are talking about trick or treat goodies!
With Halloween just two weeks away, many of you may be thinking about what you will be passing out to the trick or treaters in your neighborhood. I don’t know about you, but for us, avoiding the giant bowl of candy sitting by the door is a HUGE problem! We seem to start picking at it the minute we buy it from the store, and don’t stop until it’s gone! Towards that end, I came up with a list of some fun alternatives to the traditional candy treats given out on Halloween. (And yes, these are all kid-approved! Because, when I was little, I got a few alternative treats that were not so tasty..or safe…I actually got a cheese single one year, and got a Ding Dong filled with powder instead of cream…Anyways, I digress…onto the list!) Each of these ideas is designed to satisfy the trick or treaters in your neighborhood, while keeping YOU away from the bowl of treats!
(I would like to add a a disclaimer that some older trick or treaters, perhaps 10 and up may not be thrilled with some of these options..However, it is in my opinion that most middle schoolers shouldn’t really be trick or treating anymore anyways, and should be grateful people still give them anything for simply putting a mask on and walking around with a pillow case.)
1. Fruit Snacks
My kids LOVE fruit snacks, and would be thrilled to get a package of them while trick or treating. You can get a box of 80 snacks at Costco, or just look for deals on the regular boxes at your favorite grocery store. Kids will love them, but you might not be so tempted to snag a handful out of the treat bowl every time you walk by!
2. Granola Bars
Most kids love granola bars. They are sweet and satisfying with just enough chocolate to satisfy a child, and enough whole grain goodness to make moms happy. Again, you can get an economy sized box for fairly cheap at a warehouse store, or simply look for deals.
3. Snack cakes
For me, I can grab 3 or 4 snack size candy bars and not really think about it…I can take a box of Nerds, a sleeve of Bottle Caps, and a jaw breaker, and not bat an eye (and now I’m craving candy..) However, I would be a lot less inclined to grab 2 or 3 packages of Ho-Ho’s out of a bowl and have at it. I passed out oatmeal cream pies one year, and every kid that came to my door said something like, “Oh cool!” If you live in a neighborhood without a ton of kids, this is a fun thing to pass out that is not as expensive as you may think. You can get a package of Little Debbies for a dollar at Winco, and each package usually contains around 10 individually wrapped snacks. You can also find Hostess outlet stores, and get packs of Twinkies, etc. for a deal!
Okay, I know..no one wants to be the house that passes out fruit..However, my own children would LOVE to get a clementine or a banana for Halloween. They adore them, and would probably be just as, if not more, excited to get a piece of fruit. (The parents would like you too!)
Buy a big booklet of stickers, and give each child a full sheet. You can get large books of stickers at the dollar tree. Even if you were to cut each full sheet in half, most children would be thrilled to receive them! (I would like to say that I do not think giving kids a single sticker is a very good idea, and your house will likely be covered with eggs..) However, a big sheet of stickers (especially “cool” ones) would put a smile on a trick or treater’s face!
Again, this is something you can find for less money than you think! You can buy an economy sized sleeve of gum at most dollar stores. If my kids got a whole pack of gum all to themselves, they would be thrilled!
7. Popcorn Balls
I have seen these become popular in recent years. (I do NOT recommend making them yourself and handing them out, as most parents will automatically throw them away. I would anyways.) However, you can now buy a large box of pre-wrapped popcorn balls at most stores. (I’ve seen them at Walmart.) This is a fun treat that not a lot of kids have seen before, and would think was neat.
8. Soda or juice boxes
Ever thought of handing out a drink? My kids would think it was so fun to get a can of soda (non-caffeinated of course) or a juice box at a door. They love to have those “special” drinks, and would really love to get one. Again, just watch for sales!
9. Crayons/Cool Pencils
It might be too late for this year, but you can start thinking about this one for next year! Stores like Target and Walmart often clearance their leftover school supplies for SUPER cheap! You can often get the small boxes of crayons for around 10 cents each! Again, older kids might not like this, but if you are worried about it, you can always have a small bowl of more traditional treats to hand out to the older kids. Kids love new crayons, and with how much candy they get, getting something that is different like crayons, would be a fun surprise!
10. Wrapped cracker snacks
Think about something like the packaged sleeves of peanut butter or cheese filled crackers, handi-snacks, snack sized bags of cheese crackers, etc. Kids will gravitate towards the things in their bucket that are different. They will be delighted to get something other than a little candy bar.
Many stores now sell trick or treat sized tubs of playdough in “spooky” colors. Each year my kids get one or two of these in their treat bag, and LOVE it.
*Check out warehouse stores like Costco and Sam’s Club for many of these ideas! You can get large boxes of fruit snacks, crackers, juice boxes etc for about the same price as traditional bags of mixed candy! (And you won’t be tempted to eat the whole bowl of trick or treat prizes!)
Okay, here is a list of things you might want to AVOID handing out…(Unless you like having your yard toilet-papered, or having the neighborhood kids call you the “lame house.”)
- Single pieces of the hard candy like peppermints, butterscotch, cinnamon discs. etc. (I call this stuff church candy or “old people” candy.) I understand why people go this route…It is cheap, and if you get a lot of kids at your door, it might make sense for you. However, if you go this route, give a small handful…one little piece is just not gonna cut it!
- Along the same lines is the single Tootsie Roll midgie. ONE tootsie roll is not worth the trip up to your door. Hand out a few at a time. =)
- Bible tracts- I love the idea of trying to reach kids for Jesus. However, understand that most people will throw these away (without looking at them). If you are going to hand them out, accompany it with a piece of candy. We have a neighbor that does a challenge each year that incorporates wanting kids to learn more about their faith, but still appreciates that kids are really just out for candy/treats on Halloween. They will hang up a verse or the 10 commandments or something by their door, and if you can come back and say it by the end of the night, you get a BIG candy treat. (They give everyone a normal candy treat.)
- Pennies – Maybe just up the ante a little…most kids over the age of 5 know that a penny isn’t worth much anymore…
Have fun and try out one of these new ideas as an alternative to candy. Keep your neighbors happy and yourself away from the candy bowl! Happy Halloween!!!
Keep coming back every day during the month of October for fun family activities, fall food, and lots of crafts and learning activities to do with your kids!
Check out the other Funtober:31 Days of Fall Fun Posts!