I L♥VE Halloween!! With a capital heart!
Since I was old enough to be a greeter for all those excited trick-or-treaters, one of my absolute favorite parts of Halloween has always been giving out treats.
In my house we don't eat chemicals, pesticides, GMO's, food dyes, refined sugars, or excesses of sugars of any kind. So, why would we give that out to all the sweet witches and ghosts who visit our doorstep?
When all is said and done, kids want to have fun more than anything! I believe we put too much emphasis on sugary "treats" in our culture and not enough on the treat that is pure joy. JOY HAS LASTING POWER!!
Soooooo ... many, many years ago I decided to give out toys and useful, fun stuff instead of candy. MANY years ago. Like, long before the words "gluten intolerance" or "nut allergy" were ever uttered in common vernacular. Once they were, it was simply convenient that I was already in the flow of finding fun "treats" to share.
The first year I spent Halloween with my husband and he saw me gathering Autumn themed pencils to give out to kids, he said, "Ok. I'm gonna ask you a question. I'm only gonna ask it once and then I'll move on, but I HAVE to ask. Are you SURE -- POSITIVELY, ABSOLUTELY SURE -- that you want to be the lady who gave out pencils on Halloween???!!!" I was sure. And he stood corrected as the kids went through our stash, genuinely excited to pick out the pencil of their choice! Not 1 egg was thrown at our house. ;) Now we have our own wee kid with a hilarious pencil fetish and year after year, no matter what else we give out, there are always pencils in the mix. My husband still laughs and shakes his head, saying, "Pencils! They really like the pencils!"
BE READY FOR FUN! If you would like to give out non-junk-food items, and need ideas, some that have worked well for me in the past are:
- Bubbles (small bottles)
- Super balls
- Tiny journals
- Mini crayon boxes
- Rings (big enough to be safe for wee ones)
- Mini parachute people
- Mini toy cars/airplanes
- Finger puppets
- Temporary tattoos
- Glow Sticks
- Necklaces (especially glow ones!)
- Mini games
- Mini activity books
- And of course, PENCILS! (Fall ones, sparkly ones, lego ones, monster ones...)
You can find these at discount stores (like, $1/Reject stores), craft supply stores, Target, and online at Oriental Trading Company or Amazon. Be sure to check locally owned makers and toy shops as well!
Check for environmentally friendly options and always get nontoxic toys! They do exist, even in the $1 bins! :)
Please consider doing this. It teaches kids about being healthy, it gives kids with allergies and special needs a treat they can enjoy (and puts their parents minds at ease), and it inspires creativity and play. Plus, less chemically-laden candy sold sends a message to candy companies to clean up their acts.
Thanks! Happy Haunting!!