I try to buy my Halloween candy relatively early. And then…it gets eaten. So I buy some more shortly before the 31st (or on the day…ahem). Then, we get leftover candy for a while. Our taste buds love it, but our bodies don’t.
Last year was a little different. We still did the candy cycle, but in addition to the sweets, we also
|Bouncy balls galore! When the kids get tired of them,
cats will love chasing them.
by Fiver Locker, [CC BY-SA 2.0] via Flickr
gave out smiley face mazes that we had lying around. I was a little surprised, and very pleased, at how much more enthusiastic the kids were about snapping up the toy than the candy.
So, I figure this year, I’ll try something else out for a change, and turned to the interwebs for ideas.
There are a ton of different types of rubber balls out there, and they’re fun to play with. For toddlers and babies, handing out balls that are 4″ or bigger in diameter are a great idea, since they can’t be swallowed.
Mini Watercolor Kits or Notepads
Kids by their very nature are very creative. Why not encourage that creativity? You can find inexpensive notepads in bulk on pages like Oriental Trading company. You may be surprised at what you can find at your local thrift stores and Dollar Stores.
This is another thing you can find at most thrift stores that sell toys. Usually, they’re priced at a dollar or under. If you have kids and frequent places that give out toys with kids’ meals, gather up the toys from those meals that your kids no longer play with and hand them out.
Stickers and Temporary Tattoos
Stickers are always a lot of fun, and they’re easy to come by. You can find sheets of evenly spaced stickers at almost any drug store, office supply store or department store with an office supply section. All you’d need to do is cut the sheets up into squares and hand them out.
The same goes for temporary tattoos. You can usually find them in toy sections or by the register. There are also quite a few available online.
If you have the time, and a good resource for simple craft supplies, many kids would love little goodie bags full of fun things to create stuff out of. You may even be able to find a place to find these satchels available in bulk.
Of course, you could always hand out travel sized toothpaste or toothbrushes, but I tend to doubt those would go over very well. The parents might appreciate them, though.
Something to stay away from is homemade treats or unpackaged food. Although your intentions may be pure, there have been enough incidences of poisonings or things like pins or razor blades in food items to make smart parents wary of accepting such treats.
Fortunately, there are the alternatives I’ve mentioned above, and many more to check out.
Have fun planning for the spooky day!