Candy, candy, and more candy is about all you get at Halloween these days. Most of it is not really the “good” candy either but the cheap stuff folks can give out in bulk. Not only does this disappoint kids who can eat the candy but kids with food allergies often wind up with a bag full of goodies that would kill them. So this year consider being part of the Teal Pumpkin Project for Halloween. The Teal Pumpkin Project is simple. Place a teal pumpkin on your porch to let parents of kids with food allergies know you have non-food treats available. Then give out awesome non-food treats. You don’t have to have no candy, just have a smaller stash of neat things for the kids who need a non-food treat. Here is my list of favorite non-food treats to give out.
1. Glow Bracelets
You are never too old for a glow bracelet. I’ve handed these out in the past and they were a big hit with the kids. I activate them a few at a time and hand them out already glowing so not only are the kids having fun right away, they are lit up for safety as well when trick or treating at night.
2. Water Guns
Ok, so the parents will hate you forever but water guns make kids smile. And the simple squirt guns won’t break the bank either.
3. Rubber Ducks
I don’t know why but everybody seems to love the novelty rubber duckies. These Halloween themed ones are extra cute for the occasion. Tape a quarter to the bottom of each duck for an extra surprise for the kids.
4. Playing Cards
These are great for the slightly older kids who still want to trick or treat but are beginning to wince at some of the toys for little kids.
5. Flying Frogs
These little guys never go out of style. Even teenagers can be kept busy for hours flinging these little green guys around.
6. Train Whistles
This is another treat where the parents may hate you forever but most kids adore noisemakers. For the kids who have sensory issues, they are controlling the noise and can choose if it is loud or not (unlike some of the gadgets that make noise as soon as you touch them).
7. Stuffed Animals
Small stuffed animals can be cheaper than candy and certainly light up the eyes of the kids you give them to on Halloween. Go for a gender-neutral animal like a teddy bear or puppy dog so you don’t have to get separate animals for the girls and boys.
8. Foam Airplanes
It flies, doesn’t break things when it lands, and doesn’t need batteries. What more could you want?
9. Grab Bags
Fill small bags (like goodie bags from a birthday party) with small novelty toys and stickers). Companies like Oriental Trading make creating these goodie bags cheap and easy.
10. Money, money, money
Skip the buying a treat completely and hand out coins. Even if it is a quarter or two, money is completely unexpected and sure to delight the kids.