When my kids were tiny we successfully avoided Halloween’s trick-or-treat. We hosted costume parties with their toddler friends. We let our kids stand at the door to pass out non-candy treats on Halloween night. One year we set up a wildly inventive Halloween scavenger hunt with our other health-conscious friends, watching three and four-year-olds dash all over our shared yards to find treasures like packages of vitamin C gum, cloth bags with blocks, and carob candy spheres wrapped to look like tiny planets. These tactics all worked well until the oldest in each family went to school. Then the lure of roving house to house on a dark night, shouting “trick-or-treat,” was too great. The tradition is clearly an inescapable part of a child’s Halloween.
Still, we aren’t fond of handing out corn syrupy candies or, as suggested in so many “alternatives to Halloween candy” lists, a bunch of cheap themed plastic toys destined for the trash. Here are our suggestions, with prices.
Monster Tattoos 72 for $5.05
YumEarth Organic Lollipops 5 pound bag for $28.28
Halloween Temporary Tattoos 144 for $7.95
Book Grab Bag. Start picking up kids’ books from thrift stores, garage sales, and library sales to hand out.
Glow Stick Bracelets 100 for $10.98
Pirate’s Booty, Aged White Cheddar snacks 60/ 0.5 ounce bags for $28.94
Play-Doh 15 mini tubs for $8.99
Make Your Own Halloween Pumpkins Stickers 75 sticker sets for $6.29
Endangered Species Chimp Mints 64/ 0.35 ounce packages for $38.52
Annie’s Homegrown Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks 24 pouches for $16.88
Annie’s Homegrown Organic Vegan Fruit Snacks 36/ 0.8 ounce pouches for $27.76
Snyders of Hanover Variety Pretzel Snacks 36/ 1.5 ounce bags for $17.93
LED Finger Lights 80 for $15.99
Jack o’Lantern face oranges. Use a permanent marker to decorate Clementine or regular-sized orange.