You take risks any time you deviate from the standard Halloween fare on October 31. We know what the standard Halloween fare is: candy. Kids, and parents who sneak candy from their child’s pillowcase, can judge your offerings harshly. I know as a parent I still have many of the same favourites as when I was a kid.
And as an adult, I’ve tried to meet the same standards I held houses to when I was trick or treating. I want to be thought of positively. I want kids to leave our driveway gape-mouthed at what they found in their bag. But I know the way to do that isn’t only through by giving out the best chocolate bar.
There are other options. Options that taste great or that offer other kinds of enjoyment. Many of these gifts are also wonderful options if you’re a Teal Pumpkin house providing treats to those with food allergies or if you’re trying to stimulate creativity instead of sugar highs.
Here then are some ideas to make your house the one who gives out stuff kids are still using at Christmas:
If you’re going to go with a cracker at Halloween, it had better be a delicious one. The cheddar has to be strong tasting and the crackers really fresh. The good news for these when you’re a kid is that your parents are far more likely to let you eat them any time of day.
Popcorn in a pack
Look, I am not a popcorn eater, but my partner is, and my kids are. And popcorn is the number one snack to eat while watching a movie. And did you know that once Halloween is over Christmas is soon and there are 1,000,000 Christmas movies your family can watch? Popcorn makes those movies even more enjoyable.
This one comes from a personal bias. My grandfather loved fig bars and I became one of the only grandchildren to develop a taste for them. So we ate bags of them together. If you haven’t had them, don’t knock them. They are absolutely delicious and they are another treat parents are more likely to green light for eating at any time of day.
Animal crackers (or cookies, which elicits more Halloween treat joy) are wonderfully delicious. They remind me of my own childhood when animal cookies were my snack of choice on every family road trip we had.
Ice cream coupon
Okay, candy is great — but so is ice cream. Giving out a coupon will make this treat last longer than the peanut butter cup a kid is going to eat the second they walk in their door.
This flies in the face of “won’t be used immediately” but it will still be a hit because glow sticks are always a hit. And, it’s pretty kind to make sure that kids are well-lit Halloween night.
In all fairness, I think every occasion is a good occasion to give out nail polish. Maybe leave a note that says, “wait until you’re home to use this but go wild with it when you do,” so that you don’t have parents coming and knocking on your door asking if you’re going to clean their child’s nail polish covered arms.
Mittens and fuzzy socks
It’s the end of October and I live in Canada. There’s no further explanation as to why a pair of either mittens or socks would be a massive hit.
Pro tip: If your child has an allergy but you want them to enjoy Halloween, check out Well.ca’s specialty diet section for nut free, gluten free, dairy free foods and more!
What are your favourite Halloween treats? Are you a Teal Pumpkin house, and will you try giving out treats this year other than candy?
Mike is an Ottawa born-and-raised husband to one and father to two girls who are changing the world as you read this. He’s mildly obsessed with making sure his daughters never learn to colour inside the lines and with making sure they know they’re both one-of-a-kind. His mission is to show the world that dads and daughters don’t need to have a protector/protected relationship and that both dad and daughter are stronger when they learn from one another.