Halloween has been a holiday that kids crave, dressing in costumes and collecting candy from neighbors that “ooh and ahh” over little witches and scary ghosts. There are parties at homes, parties at school, and overall, it’s a time filled with many treats (and of course some tricks!).
But what about kids who maybe can’t eat some of those candy treats? Learn why you may want to consider handing out some non food Halloween treats this year (it can be in addition to candy!), and some awesome ideas for what to buy.
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Why Hand Out Something Besides Candy?
While much of Halloween is fun and exciting for kids, there can be some uncertainty and disappointment for some.
Kids with food allergies, for example, may not be able to have certain candies. Many contain allergens, or may have come in contact with allergens for cross-contamination issues. (If you have a dairy allergy, we do have a great list of dairy free Halloween candies here!)
But this shouldn’t have to be a reason to miss out on the enjoyment that Halloween brings!
In recent years, the Teal Pumpkin Project has become a great initiative in the allergy-friendly world during Halloween. Started by Becky Basalone in 2012, the Teal Pumpkin Project was born when she painted a pumpkin teal, the color of food allergy awareness, and handed out non-food items on Halloween instead of candy (source).
Since then, teal has become the official Halloween color for non-food treats, and is recognized throughout the United States and other countries, such as Britain and Canada. Now, many families and organizations opt to put a teal pumpkin on their porch symbolizing that they have options for kids with allergies.
Even if you’re not participating in the Teal Pumpkin project, it may be helpful to hand out something other than candy to the children who come to the door. Plus, their parents probably won’t mind if they have a few options besides the rest of the sugary treats.
Non Food Halloween Treats
Need some creative inspiration for what to give out? Check out these ideas! The key to handing out alternative items on Halloween is that you have an expectation of how many kids you might have, set a budget for items and decide whether those things will be the only thing you hand out, or whether it will be in conjunction with candy.
- Pencils – Who doesn’t love brand new fun pencil with a cool design on it?! These candy corn pencils are fun and festive.
- Erasers – Any fun erasers will do! For example, these poop emoji erasers and pencil sharpeners are a fun, giggle-worthy option for kids.
- Whistles – These whistles come in various colors and are one of the most cost-effective options out there, though admittedly probably a parent’s least favorite, haha. 😉
- Spider rings – The quintessential Halloween accessory, these spider rings are super cheap and fun for kids to wear. (You can even find some options that glow in the dark.)
- Temporary tattoos – You can find temporary tattoos in a variety of characters, emojis, and symbols, including Halloween themed ones.
- Stickers – Similar to the temporary tattoos, the options are endless for what type to get. Spooky stickers are always a good choice, but I’m also mildly obsessed with these adorable Siberian husky stickers! These make-a-face sticker activities are also an awesome choice.
- Vampire teeth – These plastic vampire teeth are great for letting your kids rock their spooky grin on Halloween.
- Bouncy balls – Anyone else feel like you can give a kid a few bouncy balls and they’ll find a way to entertain themselves for a bit? It’s great! You can buy a package of bulk bouncy balls so you have plenty to give out.
- Stampers – These little Halloween stampers are great for letting kids make creative artwork to commemorate the holiday.
- Bookmarks – I think these scratch-and-reveal rainbow bookmarks are such a fun idea for trick or treating! The kids get a bookmark and a little wooden pen, and when the scratch the bookmark with the wood, it reveals a fun rainbow design.
- Glow sticks – My 5 year old LOVES glow sticks. Not only are they entertaining, but they’re great for increasing visibility of kids at night while trick or treating.
A little pricier:
Do you normally only have a few kids that come to the door for Halloween? Or maybe this year, you’re planning to do a very small Halloween get together with only a couple people. Here are some ideas for non food treats that may be a little pricier, but still on the reasonable side:
- Crayons – Even as an adult, there’s something so satisfying about a brand new box of crayons! You can go with the standard larger packs, or if you have a lot of kids coming to the door, you can grab these little four packs of crayons.
- Tiny notepads – Give the kiddos a place to jot down all their secrets with some cute mini notebooks. I’m loving these llama themed ones (OK, maybe I just want a few for myself 😉 ).
- Toy cars – Whenever I bring my son to the grocery store, he can’t resist choosing a new Hot Wheels car from the bin near checkout. You can stock up on some of those to hand out, or you can grab some of these pull back cars.
- Sidewalk chalk – While sidewalk chalk becomes a bit limited in the Northern half of the US during winter (hello, snow) – there’s still bound to be some great days to use it before the storms hit. If you’re hosting a little get together, I love the idea of setting out a bulk box of sidewalk chalk with some baggies – let the kids put together their own combination of 5 chalks to take home in their favorite colors.
- Mini slinkies – Slinkies were developed way back in 1943, and their entertainment value has definitely withstood the test of time for kids. These silly face slinkies are sure to be a hit this Halloween.
- Fidget spinners – Whether kids are using these in their hand or spinning ’em around on the table to see who’s lasts the longest – fidget spinners are a fun option to give out.
- Play-Doh – If you have a lot of young kids in your neighborhood, play-doh can be a great choice.
- Key chains – While many kids aren’t carrying around a bunch of keys, these are still great to add to their backpacks or keep their house key on. These sequin key chains are awesome.
- Slap bracelets – As an 80’s child, I am so glad these made a comeback! Slap bracelets are so fun, any time of year.
- Mini doodle boards – These little doodle boards are a great mess-free option for young kids – ideal for providing hours of entertainment on car rides!
- Mini stuffed animals – Not only are mini stuffed animals cute, but they make a fun option to give out to kids as they can pick the animal they love the most for an individualized non food treat.
- Coloring books or activity books – Coloring books can be a neat option for a wide range of ages – especially festive Halloween ones! If your trick or treaters tend to all be around the same age range, you can also look for age-appropriate activity books to give out.
- Mini flashlights – Most of the items on this list have been focused on younger kids, but mini flashlights can be a great treat for older kids and even teens. This package is great becomes it comes with both the flashlights and batteries for them.
- Sunglasses – Let the kids grab a pair of shades to rock on the next sunny day – fun and functional!
- Playing cards – With tons of games that can be played using these, a deck of cards is a great trick-or-treating gift.
Whatever you decide to hand out on Halloween, think about the smiles that you’ll bring to children’s faces when you pop something a little different into their buckets and bags. Talk about a happy Halloween! 🙂
Share: Are there any non food Halloween treats that you love to share, but aren’t on this list?