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Who says candy is the only treat we can give out on Halloween? Here are few clever ideas for non-candy Halloween treats to get you started.
Today is Halloween.
Some embrace it wholeheartedly, celebrating the childhood glee of getting to dress up, over-binge on candy, and maybe even make a little mischief.
Others eschew the day entirely and joyfully revisit the reasons Martin Luther chose this day nearly 500 years ago to pound the 95 Theses on the church door at Wittenberg.
Whatever camp you're in, however, the truth is – you very likely still have to deal with trick-or-treaters, bring treats to a party, or deal with all the candy your kids bring home from school / trunk-or-treat / your local fall festival.
As usual, our mission here at Nourishing Joy is to inspire and equip you to make thoughtful, intentional decisions, and Halloween is no different.
I myself have written at length about chocolate and the need for GOOD, ethical chocolate alternatives, like where to find ethical chocolate at Halloween and how to make your own fair trade chocolate bars and how to avoid the hidden toxins lurking in your chocolate.
But what if you could get rid of the candy and still give kids something they thought was cool? After all, if you're giving out treats, the point isn't to be a party pooper, but to still give a treat.
Just one that doesn't rot their teeth or mess with their immune system or enable child labor just so they can have a night of gluttony.
Now don't get me wrong – I don't mind my kids having candy tonight. In fact, that's part of the fun. It's the ONSLAUGHT of candy everywhere – and not just tonight – that, quite frankly, gravely concerns me.
Non-Candy Halloween Treats for Trick-or-Treaters
So, here are just a few ideas for non-candy items to share with trick-or-treaters (and obviously, choose what fits your budget, especially if you'll have hundreds of kids at your door like in our old neighborhood):
1. Super-cool pencils
2. Glow bracelets or glow sticks
Who doesn't love to light up, particularly with crazy Halloween colors like green and purple? My kids never cease to adore these glow sticks or glow bracelets as goody bag treats!
Why not make it fun to scrub off all the sugar from all the other candy they'll get?
4. Small games
Who says small games, such as jacks or other party favor games, are just for stocking stuffers at Christmas? These make fantastic trick-or-treat treats as well!
5. Halloween-themed costume glasses
Any small costume pieces could definitely work, but in particular these silly glasses will make anyone giggle!
These clever Halloween bookmarks are sure to bring a smile, even if kids aren't terribly excited that there's no candy…
7. Books (My FAVORITE Halloween candy alternative!)
These can be small activity books or candy-themed, budget mass market paperback editions, like The Chocolate Touch (SO delightful!) or Chocolate Fever, of course, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Early readers can be fun too and can be found very inexpensively at Costco and other mass merchandisers.
Just like with candy, though, don't give out junk books. Opt for books that are captivating and that don't feature the latest movie villians or popular cartoon characters. 🙂
But what do we do with all the candy?
And what to do with the candy stash that your kids DO acquire?
There are a ton of great ideas out there, but here's what we do in our house:
Any candy that comes in the house gets put in a jar and that's the “Sunday candy” jar. Each Sunday when we get home from church, each child gets to choose one piece. It helps make the Sabbath sweet and there's a treat to look forward to each week – a practice in patience. We've done it this way for years and it works well for us.
If you need a different inspiration, my colleague Stephanie shared another way for how to take Halloween candy away without a fight.
Please share what works for you as non-candy Halloween treats in the comments!