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Halloween is right around the corner and I can’t wait! Have you started thinking about costumes yet? Shockingly, I have but only because my kids have been begging me to dress up as the Incredibles family after seeing Incredibles 2 at the beginning of the summer. Their Grandma put the idea in their head when she noted that we have the perfect number and combination of people to pull it off.
Not sure if I am going to be able to talk my husband into it, but I do think that would be super fun. We have never been a “themed and coordinated Halloween costumes” kind of family but I feel I should jump on this while my kids are so enthusiastic about the idea. They are getting older and I gather I only have a few, very short years left before they realize it is not cool to dress up together as a family. Great… now I am panicking. Better get to Walmart in search of black leggings and red T-shirts before they change their minds.
Halloween might be my favorite celebration of the year. It kicks off the beginning of the Holiday season with Thanksgiving and Christmas following close behind and I love the cool, crisp weather that Fall brings. There is also not nearly as much hype and buildup in the weeks preceding Halloween compared to Christmas which I appreciate. What’s more, the adorable kids running around all excited in their costumes and the precious Halloween parties, parades and festivals that go on in schools and around town puts this Holiday at the top of my celebratory list.
With all that being said, there is one thing that takes me by surprise each year beginning at Halloween and continuing on until after Christmas… it’s the enormous amount of candies and treats that are handed out to kids.
I mean, it is just so much… too much, really. Don’t worry, I am not the wet blanket mom who dumps the pillow case of Halloween candy in the trash after one day. I let them have their fun and eat their fill but it is not a free-for-all. I tend to put a limit on it like, pick 2 or 3 pieces to eat a day and after a week or two we are tossing the rest. If I am being honest, that even seems like a lot to me. If eating 3 mini snickers makes me feel lethargic and twitchy, then I can’t imagine what it must feel like to a kid who is 1/4 of my size.
And might I add that Halloween candy is EXPENSIVE!! For goodness sake, when did we decided it was acceptable to charge $12.99 for a bag of assorted chocolates and sour candies?! Depending on your neighborhood, you may need 5 or 6 of those bags in order to have enough for the kids knocking at your door.
In light of all this, I thought I’d offer some fun “treat” ideas that kids are sure to love if you are looking to offer trick-or-treaters something other than candy.
Kids of all ages (adults too!) love glow sticks. They are fun to wear and also fun to crack and shake in order to activate that gooey glow stuff inside. You can find them for really cheap, too, online and at most big box stores. They even sell them by the handfuls at the Dollar Tree. Worth mentioning, too, is the safety factor that a glow stick offers. Kids wearing them are much more visible to parents and passing cars while running up and down the streets on Halloween night.
This may be just as expensive as a bag of assorted candy but I think the idea is adorable. Every kid adores a flashlight. Santa has been putting them in my kids’ stockings for the past several years and they are always excited about it. “Look Mommy… a new flashlight!” That Santa… he’s so awesome. Also, like the glow stick, the flashlight offers increased safety on a dark, Halloween night. Unlike the glow stick, however, the fun of a flashlight lasts longer than 24 hours. No doubt Oriental Trading has a few options but here are a few links to mini flashlights in bulk on Amazon if you are interested:
Snacks are a great alternative to a handful of candy! First of all, your kids might get hungry while trick-or-treating and a bag of Pirate’s Booty seems like a more substantial snack for on-the-go fuel than a bag of Skittles. Or at least there would be something in their belly to buffer the sugar overload. Second, if you overbuy and have a ton of leftovers, they won’t go to waste because you can easily throw them in your kid’s lunch box for weeks to come. You can buy bagged snacks in bulk at Costco or usually get them on a buy-one-get-one-free sale at your local supermarket.
Some examples of individual snack bags to pass out:
- Pirate’s Booty
Yes! Drinks! Fill a cooler up with ice, mini water bottles and Capri-Suns (or juice box/bag of choice) and pass those out instead of candy. My kids are always complaining about being hot and thirsty running up and down the street during trick or treating and would probably be thrilled to encounter a nice, cool bottle of water or box of juice. Sure, the juice may be arguably just as sugary as the candy but it is definitely something different and refreshing for them to enjoy while sweating it out in their costumes.
And just like the snack idea, if you accidentally overbuy you can throw the drinks in lunch boxes for weeks to come or save them for a class party, birthday party or youth sporting event that you most likely have on your list of upcoming activities.
Gracious sakes alive, I know that parents might curl up into a ball and cry if their kid brings home one more plastic piece of junk buy OH MY STARS DO THEY LOVE TINY PLASTIC PIECES OF JUNK! It’s fascinating, really, how excited they get over the cheapest, littlest trinket. Between birthday party goodie bags and prizes they win at school, church and arcade-like places, I find them all over my house.
Oriental Trading Company, Amazon and the Dollar Tree are your best friends if you are wanting to pass out trinkets. I was at the Dollar Tree just the other day and they have some pretty adorable and awesome Halloween trinkets to choose from. It almost motivated me to fill up goodie bags and throw my own Halloween party… almost. Here are some pictures I took:
I mean… Halloween notepads, pencils, erasers, stickers, tattoos, stamps, slime, putty, sticky spider webs, zombie eyes, skeleton heads, kaleidoscopes, bubbles, airplanes, whistles, spider rings. You name it… they have it! Definitely a fun alternative to candy for trick-or-treaters.
I feel punch balloons are in a separate category from plastic trinkets and man are they fun! I actually gave punch balloons out as a party favor at one of my son’s birthday parties and they were a big hit! And the best part, they are pretty inexpensive! (Can you tell I am excited? I am a chronic overuser and abuser of exclamation points!!!)
Host a Hallo-wiener
What is a Hallo-wiener, you ask? Basically it is a hot dog party thrown on Halloween. Get it? Wiener? Clever, right?
This is definitely the most unconventional of the ideas but a friend of mine hosted a Hallow-wiener a few years ago and I thought it was just precious.
They grilled hot dogs (get it… wieners), threw them on some buns, provided the obligatory hot-dog condiments and had a table out front where they passed them out to trick-or-treaters and their parents. This would also be a fun pre-trick-or-treating event where you invited neighbors and friends over to eat on the front lawn before they set out on their costume-clad trek.
Regardless of what you decide to pass out, I hope you have a tone of fun this year! Wishing you tons of luck and energy as you chase after kids, tend to candy induced meltdowns and do your best to peel back their sugar encrusted eyelids to rouse them for school the next morning. God bless all of the teachers in this world! Hardest job EVER! Happy Halloween everyone!