What Can I Give out for Halloween Instead of Candy?

Updated on August 25, 2018
Sammendoran profile image

Sam has now been through more Halloweens as a chaperone than a trick-or-treater. How does time move so fast? Spooky.

Halloween is traditionally the most candy-friendly day of the year. Trick-or-treaters flood the streets, bringing home (and eating) millions of pieces of candy each year. However, if you expect costumed visitors at your door on October, there are plenty of reasons to consider giving out something other than candy:

  • Allergies - It seems that food allergies become more common every year. Children with food allergies have a much harder time on Halloween. You can by providing allergen-free treats on Halloween. If you are interested in doing even more, check out the Teal Pumpkin Project.
  • Leftovers - There’s no way to know how many kids will come by. If you buy too many treats, you have to figure out what to do with them. Many of the items on this list are non-perishable, so you could hold them for multiple years in a row, use them for your own purposes, or give them out for other occasions, like birthday parties or holidays.
  • Health - Kids often run into a lot of candy on Halloween, and not just from trick-or-treating. Between parties, school events, Halloween night, and the aftermath of leftovers, I’ve seen plenty of kids go through more candy in one week than they should eat in a whole year! Just about everything on this list is going to be healthier for kids than candy. Also, if you happen to end up with any leftovers, your waistline will thank you.
  • Uniqueness - Your neighbors are probably going to give out extremely similar treats for Halloween. You’ve seen them in stores - massive bags of “fun sized” candy bars. You can show kids that you care by handing out something different. Variety, after all, is the spice of life. Do they really need their 14th Milky Way? They do not.

Other things to consider:

  • Are you going to get older kids or younger kids? Smaller items can be a choking risk for younger kids, and older kids might be more likely to acquire larger amounts of candy that will weigh down on and smush bananas.
  • Are you going for allergy free? If so, don’t pick any food items.
  • Are your neighbors likely to give out candy?
  • Are your trick-or-treating visitors likely to be children you see often? Or will you see their parents?

Halloween was pretty fun when I was a kid, but I’ve been an adult for so long that it’s hard to remember what exactly was so fun about it. Fortunately, I was able to ask some people a bit younger than myself to help me make this list. Almost everything here can be purchased online. Hopefully something on this list tickles your fancy.

Top 10 Non-Candy Halloween Treats

  1. Glow Sticks

  2. Folding money

  3. Half dollar or dollar coins

  4. Easter eggs

  5. Novelty Glider Planes

  6. Temporary tattoos

  7. Ramen

  8. Honey Packets

  9. Mini Water Bottles

  10. Unpopped Popcorn Packets

Things They Can Eat or Drink

  1. Apple

  2. Green Banana

  3. Raisins

  4. Dried fruit

  5. Cuties

  6. Almonds packets

  7. Popcorn bags, popped like Pirate’s Booty

  8. Mac n Cheese

  9. Mints

  10. Little Gatorade bottles

  11. String cheese

  12. Granola bar

  13. Chips

  14. Fortune cookies

  15. Hot chocolate mix packets

  16. Cider mix packets

  17. Mini marshmallow packs

  18. Pretzels

Toys to Give Out

  1. Slap bracelets

  2. Bouncy balls

  3. Plastic bugs

  4. Sticky hands

  5. Stickers

  6. Halloween rubber ducks

  7. Fake mustaches

  8. Play Dough

  9. SIlly String

  10. Silly Putty

  11. Ball and paddle set

  12. Mini slinky

  13. Wind up toys

  14. Whoopie cushions

  15. Lego

  16. Toy cars

  17. Fortune Fish

Practical Treats

  1. Change

  2. Mini flashlights

  3. Keychains

  4. Stamps

  5. Cheap sunglasses

  6. Shuttle Pens

  7. Pens

  8. Pencils

  9. Notebooks

  10. Erasers

  11. Highlighters

  12. Silly straws

  13. Socks

  14. Chopsticks

  15. Hand Sanitizer

  16. Chapstick

  17. Bumper Stickers

Activities for Kids

  1. Playing cards

  2. Seed packets

  3. Mini Frisbees

  4. Bubbles

  5. Chalk

  6. Stampers (Halloween available)

  7. Toothbrush

  8. Toothpaste

  9. Floss

  10. Bars of Soap

  11. Yu-Gi-Oh cards

  12. Pokemon cards

  13. Books

  14. Buffalo nickel

  15. Wheat penny

  16. Crayons

Bonus: The Worst Things to Give Out For Halloween

Finally, the 15 worst things to give out at Halloween. These things might not be illegal, and under many circumstances they will be fun treats for the trick or treaters, but I DO NOT recommend giving them out.

  1. Toilet paper - Your neighbors will thank you.

  2. Eggs - Your neighbors will thank you.

  3. Laser Pointer - Dangerous.

  4. Fireworks - Dangerous.

  5. Milk - You might be tempted to give out tiny cartons of milk, but between dairy allergies, lactose issues, and the possibility that spilled milk will ruin a kid’s night, better to choose something else.

  6. Soap - Dangerous. Kids will eat anything.

  7. Anything frozen - Will melt.

  8. Rocks - Sad. So sad. Also dangerous.

  9. Permanent Markers - Parents will thank you for keeping these at home.

  10. Anything you make yourself - This will get thrown away. Trust me.

  11. Mini pumpkins - By Halloween night, no one has any need for mini pumpkins. Doubly true for the full-sized variety.

  12. Candles - Some parents don’t want their kids playing with matches, or fire.

  13. Pamphlets - These will be thrown away. Trust me.

  14. Whistle - Kids with whistles will drive their chaperones crazy.

  15. Ripe bananas / fruits - Will smush all over everything in a kid’s bag.

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