Non-Candy Trick-or-Treat Goodies for Halloween

Updated on May 6, 2020
J Schatzel profile image

J. Schatzel works in healthcare administration in rural upstate NY and has a master's degree in history.

One year, we grew gourds to give out instead of candy on Halloween.
One year, we grew gourds to give out instead of candy on Halloween.

Whether your child has a food allergy, a dietary sensitivity, or picky taste, Halloween can be tricky. If you live in an urban area and many children trick-or-treat at your home, it is likely that some might have dietary restrictions. While I didn’t have any particular food restrictions as a child, the Halloween "treats" I was always the most excited to receive were the non-candy goodies.

A dentist around the block gave out pennies. A teacher up the street gave out coloring/activity pages rolled up and tied with ribbons. A lady on the corner who decorated her porch like a haunted house gave out spider rings. The following is a list of miscellaneous items I have made, grown in the garden, or accumulated over time at various sales throughout the year that can be given out to trick-or-treaters in lieu of candy and sweets.

Non-Food Trick or Treat Goodies

  • Pencils: Fun printed pencils can be found during the back-to-school shopping season. I found a 50-pack of superhero-printed pencils for under two dollars! After Halloween, there are usually large packs of pumpkin/bat/ghost-themed pencils on sale at party supply stores.
  • Erasers: These are also great finds that can be had for cheap during back-to-school sales or after Halloween. They won’t go bad like candy, so stock up for next year while they’re on sale. There are often bulk packs in Halloween shapes or with character prints available at party supply stores.
  • Stickers: Craft and party-supply stores often have large packs of Halloween-themed stickers on sale after Halloween. Office-supply stores often have bulk quantities of stickers with various characters on sale during the back-to-school shopping season as well.
  • Temporary Tattoos: Party-supply stores often have a variety of these available with different characters or Halloween themes.
  • Crayons: Large packs of crayons can be obtained for cheap during the back-to-school shopping season. In the spirit of one of my childhood neighbors, I have started bundling three crayons together with ribbon for a neat surprise. The glittery metallic crayons were a big hit!
  • Bookmarks: There are many websites on which you can download coloring or activity pages. Using thick paper or cardstock and print your own bookmarks that children can color. You'll be giving them a lasting reminder of their fun evening of trick-or-treating every time they read a book, and the coloring makes for a fun activity in the meantime! I did this when I lived in an apartment in my early 20s before I had kids and was caught off-guard when I realized I would have trick or treaters coming in a couple of hours. They had a picture to color on one side and an area to personalize with their name and favorite book on the reverse. They were a big hit with elementary school-aged kids.
  • Friendship Bracelets: If you have a child in elementary or middle school, this could be a fun activity for them. Craft stores often have inexpensive bulk-packs of various colors of embroidery thread. If you have a child who likes making friendship bracelets, this could be a fun activity for them during a long road trip or a rainy day.
  • Cookie Cutters: After Christmas, many stores have sales on bulk containers of assorted cookie cutters. Shapes like flowers, letters, animals, dinosaurs, and more are frequently available. I found a 50-pack of assorted animal and dinosaur cookie cutters on sale after Christmas one year, they were a huge hit the following Halloween! We usually don't get that many trick or treaters, so we set aside our favorite cookie cutters to keep before dumping the rest into the cauldron for Halloween.
  • Gourds: If you live in a rural area and have space to grow gourds, they are a fun, easy, and cheap way to totally delight your trick-or-treaters. Gourds grow well in upstate NY where I live and require no care once planted. Because it rained often enough (about once a week at the least), I never had to water them. They grew prolifically, and my toddler had a blast when it was time to go pick them! We ended up with a few bushels of assorted gourds from just one packet of seeds, and the trick-or-treaters seemed to really like them.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Fourwaystoyummy profile image


      3 months ago from Coupeville WA

      I remember coming home from the first Halloween with my Little One. As I looked into his bag I freaked thinking, "how can I let him eat all this poison?" That night I went through his bag and unwrapped the candy and repackaged a nut or piece of dried fruit in the bag. The funny thing is even though he saw his "refurbished candy" bag every day (sitting on the table) he never asked for some. Sometimes we overthink things. I've come to the place where I am comfortable with fewer good treats than omitting everything but that choice is individual. I do think to focus on the "event" and experience is better. We always had some kids over and did some fun games or walked outside in the dark with flashlights and howled like monsters. Simple fun.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)