Halloween candy kind of makes me cringe. The artificial food dyes. The terrible sweeteners. The chemical sounding words that I need Siri to help me to pronounce. Basically everything that makes up the candy makes my heart frown. There is just no goodness in it. Period.
And then there is the crazy sugar high followed by the GIANT sugar crash that comes with alllllll that candy. Just…..no. As a mother and teacher, the mere idea of it all makes me shudder.
But, I also get it. Candy has become THE thing you pass out to those adorably dressed trick-or-treaters. However, there are lots of fun candy-free treats that you can hand out to those Batmans, Elsas and Nemos that they will dazzle their Halloween hearts just as much as some candy corn would.
With food allergies on the rise and so many eating styles (paleo, vegan, gluten free, real food, and so on) being practiced out these days, many people are moving towards handing out treats that are not food at all. In fact, there is a whole movement called The Teal Pumpkin Project aimed at helping all children feel included in the trick-or-treat fun! My family has opted to give out non-food goodies for years and we always get excited squeals of glee from the ghosts and goblins that come knocking on our door. Here are a few ideas of some non-edible treats that are still fun and won’t break the bank.
- Glow sticks. These are also great for helping to ensure safety on Halloween night, making children more visible in the dark. I crack mine and turn them into bracelets and necklaces so that trick-or-treaters can grab them and throw them on right away.
- Play Dough. Just make a nice big batch, portion it out in ziplock baggies and call it a day. Or, get extra festive make some of these DIY Playdough Treat Bags! No time to make it? These mini Play Doh canisters are the perfect size for trick-or-treat bags and there is no extra work required.
- Halloween stamps or stickers. What kid doesn’t love playing with festive arts and crafts? These stamps and stickers will also promote some fun creative activities the day after trick-or-treating.
- Halloween bubbles. Bubbles are always a fun and great thing to give to a kids! Plus, I bet you will be the only house on the block that thinks to pass out this fun treat.
- Halloween Scratch Art. Scratch art is a favorite of my students and daughter! And I love that these scratch boards are in fun halloween shapes!
- Halloween Crayons. Another fun surprise for kiddos to enjoy, especially if you print out some of these free halloween coloring pages to pass out with them.
- Wikki Stix. Oh I love love love that these are sold in trick-or-treat friendly packs! Kids can use these for creative art play and for pre-writing practice! They ways that they are enjoyed is so endless!
- Halloween Rubber Duckies. The perfect size and something that will be enjoyed over and over again! Plus, they glow in the dark!
- Homemade Halloween Slime. Just make a batch and portion it out into little baggies again! This stuff (sometimes called gak) will be enjoyed for endless hours and is a great science play.
- Vampire Teeth. This is a classic non-food treat I can remember getting in my own trick-or-treat bag as a kid. Great for both genders and lots of ages (yeah, even the teenage trick-or-treaters are sure to play around with these).
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These are such great ideas! I remember when my oldest started getting to the trick or treating ages I had SUCH a hard time giving away junk when I was trying to show her good habits – I even remember her as a 2 year old asking me why I was giving those candies away to kids! What a great list for new to real food moms to follow to make that switch!