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Halloween is just around the corner.
It’s not my favorite holiday. However, I developed a new appreciation for Halloween when we bought our first home and lived in a neighborhood for the first time. It was so much fun watching all of the children and their families out trick-or-treating together.
Then, I became a mom, and Halloween grew even more exciting.
Our daughter was only six months old on her first Halloween, and she had a blowout in her strawberry costume before trick-or-treating even began.
When she was one year old, she was Pebbles from The Flintstones. If I remember correctly, that Halloween was bitterly cold, so we decided to stay home and just enjoy the trick-or-treaters coming to our house.
The first time we took our daughter trick-or-treating she was two years old. I remember it vividly. She was Ariel from The Little Mermaid (my absolute, all-time favorite Disney movie). Even though we only made it to a few houses on our street, watching her experience this night for the first time was a special moment for me.
The one thing about Halloween I’m not a huge fan of is the excessive sugar and sweets filling the children’s buckets and bags.
When a child sees a big bucket full of candy bars and sugary treats, they will want to eat it. And even if you limit them to one or two pieces at a time, it’s still a lot.
Plus, let’s be honest, it’s very tempting not to grab a piece (or five) ourselves. I’ll be the first to admit that I have difficulty resisting.
So why does Halloween have to be all about candy?
Well, it doesn’t!
Maybe we could give our trick-or-treaters other special goodies instead.
Here are some ideas for Halloween alternatives to candy:
- crazy straws
- playful jewelry (i.e. spider rings, bead necklaces, crowns)
- temporary tattoos
- animal crackers
- Goldfish crackers
- trail mix
- fun pencils
- bouncy balls
- finger puppets
- mini boxes of raisins or craisins
- mini notebooks
- cereal bars/granola bars
- puff corn (Pirate’s Booty)
- glow sticks
- mini Play-doh
- mini bottles of water
- slap bracelets
- dress up masks
So many of these items are appropriate and fun for kids of all ages, and you can purchase many items in bulk packages. You could add some of these items in a Ziploc bag and make them look like ghosts or pumpkins by drawing a face. Or you could put them in special Halloween baggies.
Of course, having some of those candy treats is part of the fun and excitement of Halloween, but it’d be nice to see more things my kids could enjoy without me having to limit them or constantly tell them, “No, you can’t have anymore.”
And I truly believe they would have fun finding other items, too!
How do you all feel about this topic? Do you have other ideas for alternatives to candy for Halloween night?
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A version of this story was published on October 24, 2019, by author Ashley Bass; it has since been updated.