It’s almost spooky season! And with that comes the much anticipated Halloween night. I loved Halloween as a kid. Getting dressed up, heading out for trick or treating, it was so exciting and nothing really brings that feeling back that I had back then. And as a teacher, I get to have fun every year with my students as we all dress up, watch some Halloween movies and do crafts and what not around the season. Teaching kindergarten can be fun! But this year, there will be minimal Halloween fun for me as I’m on mat leave with my baby. And, since I live in a condo, I won’t even get the fun of handing out candy to kids as our building has a “save the hallways” rule and children have to go down to the lobby to get candy. What fun is that?
But it does bring me to the topic of today’s post which is candy. And more specifically, alternatives to candy for Halloween. I can’t tell you how much junk is handed out at Halloween. Hard candy no kid wants, a ludicrous amount of lollipops (yes, parents send this stuff in the lunch bags) and sticky candy that no four year old’s teeth should have to contend with. Nor should mine for that matter. Other teachers in my school dump a bag full of said candy on the lunch room table because they don’t want their own children consuming it. And in recent years, I have noticed a trend of less children going trick or treating, which to me seems sad. I mean, there is nothing like being out on Halloween night, the fall leaves crunching under your feet, the moonlight casting eerie shadows, dashing up “haunted” houses with the other ghouls and goblins. Or, you know, superheroes.
I’m wondering if parents would resume the tradition of trick or treating if other items were handed out instead of just candy, especially cheap candy. So today’s post is all about what we can replace candy with for the trick or treaters who visit our homes on Halloween night. And, I promise you, it’ll be stuff kids will love.
Get a good package of Halloween stickers and hand them out! I cannot tell you how much kids love stickers. You can get really nice ones online from stores like Scholar’s Choice though I’m sure Amazon has some as well. Instead of handing out a whole sheet, cut them down into sections of two so each child gets two stickers each. Stickers are great alternatives to candy for Halloween.
The dollar store has Halloween erasers–which I would recommend over pencils as the holiday pencils are usually wrapped in plastic and are impossible to sharpen. Trust a teacher on this. The erasers, on the other hand, are a good size and kids are totally into them as they are interesting shapes and colours. I mean, wouldn’t you have been stoked as a kid to have an eraser that looked like a jack-o-lantern? I would have.
If you’re a crafter, or just especially love Halloween, then consider making a craft to hand out on Halloween night. These Coffee Filter Ghosts by Lynn over at Lynn Mumbling Mejia are super easy, low cost and will delight little trick or treaters. I would totally make these with my kindergarten students if I was teaching this year. They are just super cute!
Want more Halloween content? Check out my Haunted Houses post.
Bookmarks are another idea you might consider instead of candy. If you can find some Edgar Allan Poe bookmarks, great, but any bookmarks will do. Superheros and unicorns will be big hits, trust me. Kids amore into books than we might think as there are wider reading options than we were exposed to in school. Today, kids get crack open graphic novels and the middle grade genre is far more interesting than I remember it being as a child. And I liked reading.
Bouncy Boo Balls
So there is no reason why I have the word “boo” in the subheading other than it works for my Halloween words theme for my subheading, but whatever. It’s supposed to be a fun post, all right? Bouncy balls!! I did not have enough of these as a kid–they are super easy to lose–and their appeal to kids is timeless. You might be able to get some Halloween themed ones too, and kids will LOVE this in a big way. These are my favourite alternatives to candy.
Playdough can be used to create all sorts of scary things! From witches hats to monsters, play dough will be the biggest hit with trick or treaters. You can get the “fun size” (425g) and delight the trick or treaters who arrive at your door. As a kid, I was never allowed to have playdough (because, you know, mess) so this would have tickled me pink.
All kids love new packages of colouring materials, and crayons are sure to be appreciated by your trick or treaters. There is just something about having a brand new, pristine pack of crayons that is so exciting. An eight pack of Crayola crayons can be found at dollar stores, and will be used by kids of all ages as well. I still use crayons to colour in my adult colouring book.
Super cool, tattoos are alternatives to candy kids will be delighted by. You can get temporary tattoos at the dollar store (though of course, Amazon would have these as well, and many of the other items I’ve suggested) and Halloween themed tattoos would be especially fun for kids as they can show them to all their friends the next day. I’ve worn these as an adult, and if I have fun with these, you can bet your bottom dollar kids will too.
Hauntingly Healthy Treats
And finally, you can always give out a healthy treat! You can find lots of healthy of mini packages from Made Good, which is free of most allergens as well, which is super important these days as so many kids are allergic to nuts, eggs, diary, soy and more. And, I can tell you from personal experience Made Good tastes good. Kids will love these health treats as alternatives to candy.
It’s easy to get around handing out junk and cheap candy at Halloween! Kids will love the alternatives, and parents will thank you too. So will staff rooms across the city. I would personally prefer to hand out some of these items than lollipops as so much of those are going to end up in the garbage anyway. And if you really want to hand out candy, because hey, candy is fun too, stick to the chocolates like Aero and bags of chips instead of hard candy and toffee. They are much preferred by kids and won’t end up in the garbage either! Happy Halloween my friends!
What do you think of these alternatives to candy for Halloween? Share your thoughts in the comments below.