If you need some ideas for non-food Halloween treats, check out these ideas. Your dentist will thank you and allergies will stay away!
I have to admit that I had never given food allergies a second thought when it came to Halloween and trick-or-treating. That is until my oldest daughter was diagnosed with a gluten sensitivity.
Even then, we still didn’t really put much thought into what we gave out to neighborhood kids. We checked through our daughter’s candy, but that was about as far as we got.
A few of years ago, we started paying more attention to Halloween treats, and we also heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project, an initiative to offer non-food treats during trick-or-treating.
Not only were we concerned with the food allergens, but we were also concerned with the amount of sugar that our kids were consuming. We typically follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to stuff like this: eat healthy 80% (or more) of the time and allow unhealthy treats on occasion.
Halloween falls into that category, but as we discovered non-food treats to hand out, it became even easier.
There are so many reasons that non-food treats are better for kids. With non-food treats, you can avoid:
- too much sugar
- food allergies
- artificial dyes
- trips to the dentist
- determining what to do with all that candy
So for the last few years, we have handed out non-food items in our neighborhood, and it has been met with nothing but acceptance. We do still offer some candy options as well, but many kids choose the non-food items.
The purpose of the Teal Pumpkin Project is to offer non-food times, but if you just can’t give up handing out a sweet treat as well (which is totally fine), then I would suggest trying to find things that have as few allergens as possible. Be sure to read all labels carefully, but a couple of options are:
- YumEarth Organic Lollipops (citric acid could be from corn)
- Black Forest Organic Fruit Snacks (citric acid could be from corn)
- Honey Sticks (prefer local but these would be good in a pinch)
As for non-food treats, here are a few options that will work.
- Bouncy balls – Seriously, What kid doesn’t love a good bouncy ball. I’m pretty sure that my kids like to collect them. Or check out these Puzzle Balls.
- Glow sticks, bracelets, or swords – There are so many options here from necklaces to bracelets to swords. Just be careful because these can break, and the liquid inside can spill out.
- Fun erasers – You can’t go wrong with a good fun eraser.
- Spider rings – For some reason, these little things still seem to be so popular. Kids love them.
- Stacking Pencils. You know the ones where you pull out the little white cartridge and put it back in the top to push down a new lead. Or just try regular Pencils. This is usually one of our go-to treats. Kids always need pencils, and you can find some fun ones.
- Stacking crayon pens – Remember these? You can change the color of the crayon. So much fun.
- Bubbles – The party size bubbles like you find at weddings or other events would work great.
- Mini Slinkies – Just a fun little item that I like playing with these myself.
- Kazoos – Parents will love you for this one!
- Toy Medals – Best Costume of the Evening goes to…every kid that gets a medal.
- Finger puppets – Support imaginative play with some finger puppets.
- Rings – Add some bling to their evening with a gemstone or flashing ring.
- Coins – Argh! What kid doesn’t love some pirate booty.
- Mini notepads – My girls love using little notepads to write or draw in.
- Stickers – These are the kind that kids usually get at the doctor’s office with all the fun characters that some in packs of 100.
- Stencils – I remember having one of these stencil rulers as a kid and used it frequently when drawing.
- Rainbow scratch paper – You can get a bundle of these papers where the kids scratch their designs.
- Mini figurines – There are a ton of options for mini figures ranging from Pokemon to dinosaurs to generic building brick figures.
- Slap bracelets – Remember these? My girls absolutely love these! Long live the 80s!
- Sticky Mustaches – Get a pack of the and cut them into individual mustaches. Sure to be a hit!
- Spinning Tops – Sometimes the most basic things can be so much fun.
- Glider Planes – These are so much fun to toss and make them do tricks.
- Punch Balloons – Blow them up and punch until they hearts are content. All you hear is Boom. Boom. Boom.
- Sticky hands – Kids love to see who far they can stretch these and what they can grab.
- Felt Superhero Masks – This 20 pack of felt masks would be a super hit for all the kids.
These are just a few ideas that you could use to provide non-food items for Halloween trick-or-treating. The possibilities are endless, and the prices are often comparable to what we would spend on candy.
What other things would you give out instead of candy?
You can also check out how Christians can redeem Halloween here: