25 Non-Food Alternatives To Halloween Candy

It’s getting close to fright night, when all the little (and sometimes big) trick-or-treats will fill the streets. Are you tired of sugar-loaded sweets and want to pass out some non-candy yet fun goodies? Need to provide for a classroom party but there are allergens to avoid? We have compiled a fantastic list of 25 alternatives to candy bars and unwanted ingredients.

  1. Bubbles
  2. Glow sticks, necklaces, wands, glasses
  3. Stickers
  4. Pencils
  5. Pencil toppers
  6. Fake/plastic bugs
  7. Cool tattoo/character bandaids
  8. Mini crayon packs
  9. Mini Play-Doh
  10. Hair bows, barrettes, clips (obviously for girls)
  11. Erasers
  12. Mini slinkies
  13. Bouncy balls
  14. Mini nail polish (again, girls)
  15. Temporary tattoos (halloween themed or popular characters)
  16. Spider rings
  17. Mini bottles of water
  18. Mini plastic army guys
  19. Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars
  20. Plastic vampire fangs
  21. Whistles/other annoying noise makers
  22. Mini rubber stamps
  23. Mini water squirt guns
  24. Girls fake jewelry (rings, necklaces, bracelets)
  25. Mini coloring books

Can you think of anything else that we didn’t? What do you plan on giving out to trick-or-treaters?

{ 22 comments… add one }

Michele Glock October 26, 2012, 1:16 pm

Miniature packs of children’s card games – Go Fish!, Matching card game, Old Maid, etc.

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Carolye Asfahl October 26, 2012, 1:52 pm

Okay it’s food – but was thinking little cutie oranges. They’re so cute, small, kids love them, and they’re healthy.

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Angelika October 26, 2012, 3:48 pm

halloween themed bookmarks, bead necklaces (mardi gras style), mini packs of kleenex or hand sanitizers, mmm and maybe small tubs of playdo~

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Peggy Shore September 29, 2015, 7:34 pm

If children drink hand sanitizer it can cause p alcohol poisoning.

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mary October 26, 2012, 4:30 pm

Okay – Who ever is passing out glow sticks will be the coolest mom EVER!! Great idea.

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Laura October 26, 2012, 8:45 pm

Please no plastic this Halloween! Sorry but one candy might be better than this super bad material for our earth.

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Anne December 29, 2013, 10:12 am

I have to agree. I don’t see that giving out a bunch of stuff that ends up in the landfill is any better. Many dentist will pay kids for their candy by the pound. My orthodentist does some pro bono work in a couple African countries and he brings the candy with him so he can pass them out so they end up getting a couple each.

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Amanda September 24, 2013, 10:16 pm

The ADA partnered with Pop Cap games in a http://www.stopzombiemouth.com campaign in 2012. You could print out game codes for trick or treaters to download a free version of Plants vs. Zombies for the computer. I’m not sure if they will be doing another campaign this year. It was super popular. I always pick up glow bracelets at Target in the front $1 bin area (10ct. per pack) Depending on how many trick or treaters I grab $10 worth and I’m covered for the night. The kids enjoy them and it helps make them more visible while out trick or treating.

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Laycers September 24, 2013, 11:41 pm

It’s food … but mini packs of goldfish!

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Penny October 21, 2013, 9:30 am

They have those packs of Snyders prezels and playdough packs to pass out. I hate the idea of plastic too because it ends up in the land fill and putting plastic vampire teeth in childrens mouths can be toxic. Everything is toxic!!! UGH!

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HB October 21, 2013, 9:38 am

I have to say I am not sure a bunch of junk plastic toys likely made in China are a much better alternative to candy (either for the planet or the economy). I like the healthier foods/snacks idea though I don’t think a few treats are the end of the world. Other ideas: coins (quarters or dollar coins), cute/fun notepads, sugar-free natural gum, individual pretzel packs, (homemade?) granola bars.

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Shannon October 26, 2015, 9:39 pm

Plastic toys are much better for kids with food allergies or juvenile diabetes than candy which can hurt or even kill an allergic child. For the kids who are heartbroken every Halloween because they can’t have any of their treats, I am all for plastic toys if that’s all that is safe for them. I have been spreading the word about the Teal Pumpkin Project because my daughter with multiple food allergies said she hated Halloween, which absolutely broke my heart. There are several options for non-food treats that are not plastic, like the notepads you mentioned, Halloween pencils, activity pads, etc., that kids that can’t have candy would be thrilled to get. I have actually gotten a great response from local businesses so far, and my daughter is now excited to go trick-or-treating in hopes that people will be handing out stuff like this. I hope she won’t be disappointed, but I encourage everyone to think about the kids that for them, a few treats really could be the end of the world.

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carmen mackey October 22, 2013, 11:20 am

Toothbrushes!

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Cori @ Read.Write.Run.Mom. October 25, 2013, 1:28 pm

The year I handed out balloons, I got the most excited squeals from every kid. They would yell their excitement to their parents at the bottom of the stairs and immediately ask if they could have them blown up! Best. Reaction. Ever. And a 5lb bag of balloons costs next to nothing!

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Maria September 9, 2014, 1:25 pm

I’d like to get the compressed towels (face cloths) you see at the dollar store, but I am having trouble finding them in quantities that are cost effective. In the dollar store they are a buck each and you can get images suitable to most ages and both sexes. Wholesale has better prices (I can buy wholesale) but there are huge minimums either in quantity or dollar amount.

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Wrapped Chocolates September 25, 2014, 2:39 am

I seldom leave comments, but after browsing through a bunch of responses on this page 25 Non-Food Alternatives
To Halloween Candy. I do have 2 questions for
you if it’s okay. Could it be simply me or does it
appear like some of the comments look like they are coming
from brain dead individuals? 😛 And, if you are posting on other online sites,
I would like to follow you. Would you post a list of every one of your shared sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

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Miranda November 2, 2014, 5:28 pm

I like the idea of non-food items, but I was hoping for alternatives that were more earth-friendly. (Plastic-y stuff that ends up in the garbage makes me sad.) Anyone have any ideas along those lines? So far I like the suggestion of cuties! 🙂

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Miranda November 2, 2014, 5:30 pm

I just see the other comment similar to mine–good idea on coins. Curious if anyone else has ideas they have tried.

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Shannon October 26, 2015, 9:45 pm

My daughter loves school/art supplies, like mini notepads, decorative pencils or gel pens, activity pads, rubber stamps, etc. Things like hairbows and glow-in-the dark shoelaces would be fun. I prefer useful things to the trinkets, but with a child with food allergies, I am happy if she gets anything that isn’t food or candy.

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Dawn October 28, 2015, 5:48 pm

I LOVE the idea of mini water bottles – keep those kiddos hydrated while out and about. I always do the cutie oranges – added bonus, I don’t mind my kids eating any left over. This gave me some ideas to add to my list. I always hate the cheap things that just get thrown away (ie spider rings), but wanted ideas kids would enjoy and would also be appropriate for the teal pumpkin (something I just learned about this year and am happy to support). I just asked a little girl and she said make up – so the lip gloss is a hit lol My boys love bouncy balls too.

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Monta October 31, 2015, 11:24 am

Homemade play dough. Recipes available on line.

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