12 Fun Halloween Candy Alternatives
For many families, trick-or-treating is an exciting Halloween activity that’s hardly given a second thought – it’s a given. But for kids with food allergies, health concerns can unfortunately take the fun out of the age-old tradition. Treats don’t have to be limited to candy or food-related items. There are many other things than can be given to trick-or-treaters and can help all children feel included – and most importantly, keep them safe. That’s where the Teal Pumpkin Project® comes in.
What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?
You might have heard of the Teal Pumpkin Project. It’s an initiative that helps families identify homes that are handing out non-food treats on Halloween night. You can find a map of participants around the world here. And if you’re thinking about adding your own house to the map, participating is easy: paint a pumpkin teal, place it in front of your house, and offer safe treats for all children.
So, in the spirit of inclusiveness, we’ve got 12 candy alternatives that can help make Halloween and trick-or-treating fun for everyone:
12 Non-Candy Halloween Treats You Can Buy or DIY
- DIY Jewelry – This unique idea is great for school-age kids. Just fill a Ziploc snack bag or a plastic tube with orange and black beads and a string long enough to make a necklace or bracelet. Children will be able to choose which they’d like to make…and the finished product will last a whole lot longer than a bite-sized Milky Way!
- Art supplies – The month of October brings Halloween – and fall-printed pencils galore. Not to mention crayon packs, markers, and erasers, all of which can be used for days (and likely, weeks!) to come.
- Ghost pencil toppers – With just a thick piece of white paper, a hole punch, a black marker, and a knack for ghost-drawing, you can make a plain old pencil fit for the season.
- Coloring books – In addition to art supplies, Halloween- and fall-themed coloring books are easy to find this time of year, and will provide pages upon pages of entertainment.
- Stickers – They’re fun and multi-purpose! Children can stick them to their clothing, put them in sticker books, or use them as part of an art project.
- Glow bracelets – These fashionable accessories will help children light their way as it gets dark on Halloween night. They also come in different colors and can be a great addition to many costumes.
- Journals – Don’t underestimate a simple orange journal…not only can children do whatever they want on the inside, they can also decorate the outside!
- Green monster slime kit – If you’re feeling crafty, package up the necessary supplies in a clear cellophane bag, along with instructions on how to make the magical, slimy substance. And don’t forget to tie it off with a festive Halloween ribbon!
- Silly straws – Kids love the way colored straws seemingly make their milk (or water or juice!) a different color. Orange silly straws can help make a fall meal or snack more exciting.
- Monster bubbles – Think giving away containers of bubbles sounds uninteresting? Think again! With googly eyes and a black marker, you can add funny monster faces to the outside of each container.
- Lego pumpkin treat bags – Did you know you can buy Legos in bulk in the same color? Put a small handful of orange Legos into a clear cellophane bag, tie it with a green ribbon, and voila: a Lego pumpkin! Take it up a notch by drawing a face on the outside of the bag with a black marker.
- Playdough treat bags – Along the same lines of making a pumpkin treat bag out of Legos, you can also make treat bags with colored playdough, clear cellophane bags, ribbon, and a black marker. Make pumpkins with orange playdough, ghosts with white or light grey, and monsters or Frankenstein characters with green. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can make the playdough from scratch, too.
This Halloween, talk with your child about other children you know who have food allergies and think about what the holiday is like for them. If you’re making non-food treats and/or participating in the Teal Pumpkin Project, encourage your child to help!
How is your family celebrating Halloween this year? What are your kids planning on dressing up as? Feel free to share in a comment below!
I’m a former Bright Horizons pre-kindergarten teacher living out my passion for writing and kids in the BH home office. I love all things crafty and am a self-proclaimed good cook, always looking for a new recipe to try. On any given weekend, you’ll find me and my husband trying a new brunch spot or hiking with our fur child, Jordy, a Mini Australian Shepherd.
Editor’s Note: This post was first published in 2016.