By Barbara Pronin
Armies of Moms have puzzled over the years about non-candy Halloween giveaways that will bring a smile to the most discerning little ghosts and goblins.
The fact is, for most young children, the fun of trick-or-treating door-to-door in costume is more exciting than the treats they happen to collect – and many parents confiscate most of the sweet stuff anyway once it reaches home.
A panel of parents brainstorming at a PTA meeting in California came up with a formidable list of stuff that makes a great alternative to candy treats.
More good ideas can likely be found at your nearby dollar store.
Juice boxes – Little trick or treaters can work up a thirst. Be sure to choose no-sugar added juices.
Fruit cups – Tie a black or orange ribbon around individual cups of applesauce or other cut-up fruit.
Granola bars – Kids never get tired of these chewy little treats. Seasonal pumpkin-flavored varieties are available.
Raisins – Those tiny little boxes of raisins seem to appeal to kids of all ages.
Baked chips – They may be fairly empty calories, but they‘re a sugarless, kid-friendly treat.
Slime – little plastic containers of slime are a natural pick for the icky Halloween season.
Plastic body parts – Little kids are sure to get a kick out of plastic lips, noses, or fingernails.
Action figures – These or other small toys, such as Hot Wheels cars, are favored by kids and great for trading.
Instant tattoos – Wash-off Halloween tattoos are widely available at this time of the year.
Play-doh – Individual containers of colorful Play-doh are a hit no matter the time of year.
Bubbles – Another perennial favorite, plastic bottles of magic bubbles are a treat for most younger kids.
Stickers – You’ll find vast arrays of popular Halloween-themed stickers at almost any toy, drug or big-box store.