Teal Pumpkins and Losing the Candy

With just over a week left before Halloween, I’m scurrying around trying to get ready. Our pumpkins aren’t carved/painted, Hadley’s costume needs assembling (and altering!), and we haven’t bought our treats to dole out yet. Considering he’s only two and this isn’t the big day that it is for the older kids, I have to laugh at myself a bit. Okay, a lot.

So, if you’re a buddy on Facebook, you’ll remember that I shared a post about the Teal Pumpkin Project. That link will give you the low-down, but in essence it’s an idea for folks to hand out either allergen-free treats (um, near impossible to find, honestly) or non-food goodies and display a teal pumpkin. This way, kids with severe allergies (or diabetes, for that matter) will know that it’s a safe house to trick-or-treat at. (The backlash to this, IMO, is I-N-S-A-N-I-T-Y!) Plus, who doesn’t love teal?

Originally, I thought that it was an awesome idea, but that we’d buy crappy candy just like usual. Heck, that might still happen, but the more I thought…and thought…and thought…the more I loved the idea. So, it’s late in the game, and I find myself scouring the internet for goodies that will a) not break the bank, b) get here by Halloween, and c) not get our house egged.

‘Cause we all know that’s what we’re worried about with this thing. Not the raised eyebrows from parents. Nope. TP and soap and eggs EVERYWHERE. (We’re also concerned with cat-related crimes, but that’s a whole other topic for a whole other day.)

So, today I give you…

Yup! Now, I’m on the “I hate extra crap around our house” bandwagon as much as the next SIMPLIFY-SIMPLIFY-SIMPLIFY mama, but if we want to take part in the fun of Halloween (without turning off the lights and hunkering down like criminals on the lam; been there, done that, and it sucks), I’d like to do so with stuff that hopefully won’t end up in a trash bin at the end of the night.

So, through years of watching kids either turn their noses up at or turn into immediate Jell-o mounds shouting, “That is soooo cooooool!!!” over the cheap birthday stuff I keep in a bin at school, I provide a list of what works. Seriously. This. Stuff. Works.

The stuff I’m sharing today can be found at Oriental Trading, but you can also try Amazon, Party Zone, or even your local dollar store (although it’s cheaper to buy stuff in bulk).

Fake Lizards/Snakes – They may not wear white lab coats everyday, but kids are nothing if not scientists. Inquisitive, interested, and not easily grossed out, girls and boys alike can get behind finding a fake snake in their bags. Oh, and scaring their siblings with it, of course.


This assorted bag will last forever.
You may be able to hand them out next year, too!

Snakes for scaring little sisters (and maybe a mom or two).
Or combine some of these ideas for a winning combo:

Sticky Lizards?



Glow-in-the-Dark Anything – Not only is this idea an automatic “aw, cool!” for the kids, but it adds an extra element of protection and safety to the night. Who can’t get behind that?


Fake Tattoos – As the unproud owner of not one but two tattoos, these drive me nuts. But, me knows what the kids likey, and temp tats are it. (Sigh.)
  Seriously. Any of these assortments will do.


No Stickers – Unless they’re a mustache. (Note: Same rule applies to pencils.) Make it a glow-in-the-dark one and rule the night.



Spider Rings
– Okay, okay. This is actually one I remember quite well from my youth. Can’t you still feel how cheap and scratchy those little spider legs felt on your fingers? Every kid needs that in his/her life.

Sticky Stuff – Remember the sticky stuff you could get for 25 cents that would climb the wall or that you could whack your annoying sibling with? Yeah. It’s still tops, and with good reason.



Not Your Mama’s Rubber Duckies – Duckies can definitely be on the lame side (don’t tell Ernie, that’s usually Bert’s schtick), but toss on some zombie makeup or a mummy wrap and they’re downright cool.


Witches and Vampires and Ducks, Oh My!
(These are cute enough to hand out to the really little trick-or-treaters.)




A New “Disguise” – It’s weird because they’re already dressed in Halloween costumes, but kids are not averse to adding on to the affect. Those parents who put good time (and money) into creating the perfect Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle might be dismayed, but kids are totally fine sticking on glasses with a funny nose.

Anything with Bugged-Out Eyes – At our annual book fair, the crap wonderful merchandise often includes stuff you can squeeze or bend or sniff or…whatever. It never fails, though. Anything that’s squeezable with pop-out eyes is a popular go-to. So, I suggest these zombies. 

Comics – I don’t have a link for this one, just a husband. Dave stocks up on the super cheap comics over the year, usually in two stacks by age appropriateness (younger and older). I think he usually offers candy or the comic, but I don’t believe he’s super strict about it. It’s to the point where we have kids who see him and say, “Oh! I remember this house! Comics!” He’s even had parents say, “Hey, can I get one of those?” (My favorite, LOL.)

Which goes to show you right there – is the choice not to hand out candy so sacrilegious? The point of the night is fun, no matter what form it takes.  

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