8 Excellent Halloween Candy Alternatives (and 25 Really Bad Ones)


Giving out something other than candy on Halloween is all the rage now. I’ve seen several articles and comments about why we should consider candy alternatives. Naturally, this got me thinking.

I started to daydream much in the same way JD does on Scrubs, and I came up with some excellent and not-so-excellent alternatives to passing out candy on Halloween.  Check it.

Excellent Alternatives to Passing Out Candy on Halloween

Stickers.  Kids be like, “Gimme more stickers!” all the time.  Can’t go wrong with stickers.

Temporary tattoos.  What 5 year old doesn’t want to get tatted up?  I know my kids do.  Best part?  They can erase their questionable decisions with a washcloth and some water.  (Unlike Mommy.)

Halloween rings.  You know, those rings with spiders and pumpkins and witches on them that come in colors like black and green and orange and purple and wind up stuck to your foot on the way to the bathroom at 3 am.  They’re a terrible idea on any day except Halloween.  On Halloween, they’re an excellent idea.

Pencils.  Kids need pencils for all those standardized tests policymakers are torturing them with.  And pencils become infinitely more exciting when there are witches and jack-o-lanterns on them.

Pencil toppers. Because helloooooo.  Awesome.

Toys.  You can find bags of cheap toys at just about any store (or online at Amazon).  Yes, they’ll wind up in the crevices of their parents’ cars and inside the dryer, but the look on their faces Halloween night will be worth it (the kids’ faces, not the parents’; definitely not the parents’).

Stamps.  Not mailing stamps, but inky stamps.  I put some in my kids’ Easter baskets once, and I only wound up with 3 permanent stamps on my couch and walls.  The hours of occupation those buggers provided made the purple bunny on my beige suede couch totally OK.  Totally.

Bookmarks.  You know, to encourage literacy and stuff.

Not-So-Excellent Alternatives to Passing Out Candy on Halloween

Pennies.  C’mon.  What are they supposed to do with those, hmmm?  Scrape gum off their shoes?  Sounds like nothing more than a government-issued choking hazard to me.

Toothbrushes and toothpaste.  Way to be a Debbie Downer on Halloween.  Might as well give them a brochure on diabetes while you’re at it.

Toothpicks.  I can see one of those going through an eyeball.  They won’t see anything again.

Vegetables.  Are you asking to get egged?

Electronic cigarette cartridges.  When the basket’s empty, just turn off the light and call it quits.

Travel liquor bottles.  You know what, this is in the wrong list.  Parents will love that you thought of them!

Expired condoms.  Just gross.  Who are you?

Meat.  Why?

Used syringes. 


Motor oil.

Nuva rings.



Soggy potatoes.

Fingernail clippings.

Dryer lint.

Pocket lint.

Bellybutton lint.

Miscellaneous lint.

Pet hair.

Used contact lenses.

Used underwear.

Used tampons.


What did I miss?