Halloween is only two days away and all the local stores are jam packed with bags of chocolate bars, M & M’s, gummies, and sour suckers to eat away at young children’s teeth. As convenient as it is to buy bags of candy, this year try changing up your trick-or-treat bowl and offer some fun, non-candy alternatives to all the ghosts, pirates, Princess Elsa’s, and Ninja Turtles heading toward your front door.
There are many non-candy Halloween treats that are inexpensive and will bring just as much joy and excitement to trick-or-treaters as store-bought sugar coated candies. By offering something different than traditional sweets, you’re making a smart, health conscience choice to gift children with items that won’t increase cavities but instead provide them with an inspiration for fun.
Ideas for non-candy Halloween treats include:
- Make a quick stop at your local Dollar Tree Store. There are many Halloween themed party favors that come in packs of 12 for the low cost of $1. Some things to shop for there are: glow sticks, pencils, straws, fake fangs, stickers, erasers, plastic spider rings, bubbles, and temporary tattoos.
- Cuties or Mandarin Oranges. Get a black sharpie and draw jack-o-lantern faces on the Cuties like a small “pumpkin”
- It might be too late for this year but check out an online discount supply store like Oriental Trading Company to buy Halloween themed party favors in large bulk.
- Crayons. Buy packs of crayons and tie 3 or 4 together with orange and black ribbon. This can be done with markers and even pieces of colored sidewalk chalk. Got packs of those restaurant crayons that your kids never used? Or what about left over birthday goodie bag items that your kid brought home? Throw them in your Halloween bowl this year!
- Buy prepackaged healthier options like Goldfish, pretzels, raisins, or Craisins. Try shopping for sensible Halloween treats in your grocery store’s snack aisle instead of the regular seasonal displays. You can even offer little bottles of water or juice boxes of 100% juice. Trick-or-treaters get thirsty, right?
- Make teeny bags of loose change. A lot of people have large coffee cans of pennies or nickels. Bag up a handful and tie it with sparkly ribbon. Kids are excited to pick out a bag of money and can practice math skills by counting how much there is when they get home.
With a little creativity and a smidge of prep time, you can offer fun alternatives for children to choose from when they reach into your Halloween bowl.
The Parenting Hub would love to hear about your ideas for offering alternative items or snacks for Halloween trick-or-treaters. Please send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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