10 Alternatives to Halloween Candy That Your Trick-or-Treaters Will Love
However, not all trick-or-treaters come for the candy. For parents whose kids suffer from an allergy or food intolerance, the prospect of going door to door for potentially dangerous treats is not quite as sweet. Thanks to campaigns such as the Teal Pumpkin Project, which promotes the idea of offering non-food treats to trick-or-treating children who suffer from food allergies, it's more popular than ever to pass out alternatives. True, candy corn and lollipops reign as the traditional holiday treats, but there are plenty of prizes to be had that are just as exciting.
Think arts and crafts supplies, trinkets and toys, and wearable accessories as general goodies that can be made in batches for a great takeaway gift. Spark their creativity with crayons, stickers, non-toxic paints, and colored pencils. You can even get creative yourself by making a batch of your own glittery star-shaped crayons in all colors of the rainbow. Get them excited for hands-on play with toys including bouncy balls, noisemakers, and paper dolls like jack-o'-lanterns, skeletons, and winged bats. And on Halloween night, what could be a more fitting trick-or-treat takeaway than ghoulishly green slime in a jar? (You can print our clip-art labels that warn of "slimy spiders" encased inside.) Each of these ideas are perfect to treat anyone in costume who arrives at your doorstep this year.
Ghoulish Green Slime-In-a-Jar
What child doesn't love ooey-gooey slime? This year, all of the trick-or-treaters will be gathering at your front door for their share of this hands-on fun. Start by stirring together two teaspoons of guar gum, four cups of hot water, and food coloring. Push the mixture through a strainer with spatula to remove any lumps. Mix two teaspoons of borax with 1 1/2 cups of hot water until dissolved; stir slowly into the guar-gum mixture. Let it cool (the slime will thicken) and decant into lidded containers, adding a few plastic spiders. Print our labels for "slime spiders," and adhere to the lid with double-sided tape.
Halloween Skull Jewelry
They love to make and swap friendship bracelets with their classmates at school, so why not introduce them to this spooky twist? Plus, molding miniature skull-inspired jewelry from affordable oven-bake clay will be double the fun—for you and your kid tricksters at home.
These creepy-crawly accessories are easy to make by the dozen—a pair for everyone in the neighborhood! Adhere plastic bugs and snakes to black frames with durable glue such as E6000 permanent craft adhesive. In their goody bag, include extra bugs for them to stick extras onto their cheeks with body glue.
This Halloween, lure trick-or-treaters to your haunted house with a bone-rattling skeleton. These paper dolls have movable body parts, attached with miniature brads at the joints, which make them compact for packaging and especially spooktacular to receive.
Similar to our skeleton are these jaunty jack-o'-lanterns and foreboding bats—kids will love unfolding these Halloween versions of the classic paper-doll chain. Start by selecting one of our templates, and printing onto colored paper. Fold your choice of colored paper as indicated on the template; align the edges of the template with folds, and trace with a pencil. Be sure to leave part of the folded sides intact. To finish, cut out the tracings and unfold into a chain.
Candy corn may be sweet, but this party-to-go idea is sweeter in sentiment. Use a pair of fringe scissors to cut a full layer of fringe along the length of a piece of paper, then cut the fringed part of the paper in the opposite direction to create mini squares for easy-to-make confetti. Fill your test tubes with confetti in white, orange, and yellow to mimic candy corn before replacing the cork cap.
Feathered Parrot Mask
Kids themselves are already wild in nature, and a grab-and-go pair of these spectacles offer a costume that's fast, fun, and great as a trick-or-treating favor. Attach a yellow beak to green eyeglasses, then glue green and blue feathers near the hinges of the frames.
Akin to wind-catchers or kites, a horde of paper ghosts can be unleashed to greet your trick-or-treaters. Start by using a fringe cutter on the entire length of a sheet of paper. Fold the sheet over itself, join the two ends with double-sided tape, and round corners of unfringed edge with scissors to create the top of a ghost. Draw a face with black marker. Open the ghost up to a cylinder with one end fringed. Cut a 2-by-1/2-inch strip from a new sheet of paper; secure strip across top of ghost head with double-sided tape to create a loop. Thread string through loop—and it's ready to fly.
Whistlers, kazoos, and other noisemakers make a supernatural sound. To make these noisemakers, download and print the witch and bat clip-art. Glue black paper to the back for sturdiness, and cut out the rounds. On each one, cut the mouth slit with a utility knife. Snip stem off an orange balloon, and stick the cut end through the slit from the back. Attach each decorative round to a wooden craft stick with craft glue.