I don’t do Halloween like most people do Halloween.
Instead of giving the traditional Halloween candy items, I like to find really fun and unique things to give the trick-or-treaters who stop by our house each year — inexpensive Halloween gifts!
Following is my list of inexpensive non-food Halloween gifts for kids.
To come up with my list of unique (and inexpensive!) things to hand out to trick-or-treaters, I did this:
- I asked my nieces and nephews what they liked receiving the most in their trick-or-treat bags each Halloween.
- Then, I asked them what other things they thought would be fun to get.
- Finally, I started brainstorming (using the tips below) and came up with my own list of super unique items that kids will really appreciate on Halloween – the best Halloween candy alternatives!
How To Come Up With Cheap Halloween Gifts
Before I get to my list of non-food things to hand out for Halloween, here are some fun ways to come up with your own list of kid-friendly Halloween gift ideas:
- Brainstorm some cheap stocking stuffer ideas — items that you can gather throughout the year at various sales (especially Day-After sales at party stores on the day after a major holiday has passed) and at dollar stores.
- Better yet, gather up all of all of the freebies you’ve acquired throughout the year (by couponing, or at meetings, conferences & other events). Any that are kid-friendly would make great Halloween gifts!
- What are some small & inexpensive toys that you can buy in bulk on Amazon or Oriental Trading? Buy lots of them at one time, but only give away 1 to 3 per child — depending on the child’s age and the size/price/perceived value of the item.
- Think of some simple kids birthday & Halloween party favors that you can buy in bulk or make ahead of time to hand out to the trick-or-treaters who stop by your house. (Some of my favorite bulk party favor ideas come from Amazon.)
- If you’re crafty and frugal, research some cheap & easy DIY stocking stuffer ideas that you could make to hand out to kids, along with some candy. Or, you may not want to give any candy at all — just make something uniquely fun that kids would appreciate instead.
What You Give Depends On How Many Trick Or Treaters You Get
The Halloween treats you choose to hand out will largely depend on the number of trick-or-treaters you typically see on Halloween night — unless cost is not an issue.
Me? I’m frugal, so I like to find low-budget ways to give fun gifts as Halloween treats.
We live on a main street in a popular neighborhood, but we don’t get nearly as many trick-or-treaters as everyone else does — because there’s no sidewalk on our side of the street. And with all the cars on our busy road, few attempt to cross the street to knock on the doors of the houses on our side of the street.
So, with relatively few trick-or-treaters visiting us, it’s easy for me to have “special” Halloween treats for kids on hand for those who do venture our way. And since it’s mostly our own friends and family members who make a point to stop by, I really enjoy finding inexpensive Halloween gifts for them.
Each year, I like to pick 2 or 3 items from the list below, put them in a bowl or basket by the door, and then whenever a kiddo stops by and rings the bell, I personally select what they’ll receive from my bowl of Halloween goodies.
Not that it matters, but no one receives the exact same thing (or combination of things) as another person — boys get these things, girls get those things, and older kids get things that are different than the younger kids.
This way, Halloween is fun for me too!
Giving Kids Halloween Gifts Instead Of Candy
In my opinion, the most cost-effective way to give non-food Halloween gifts to trick-or-treaters is to:
- Buy things that your own children or grandchildren would enjoy;
- Buy items in bulk rather than in single-packs (you often get a price break if you buy 6 or 12 of something);
- Give each trick-or-treater just 1 or 2 of each item — not the whole package; and
- Anything that’s leftover goes to your own kids to enjoy -OR- into storage for next year (so you’ll have to buy even fewer items next Halloween).
My List Of Unique Halloween Treat Ideas For Kids
What follows is my own list of Halloween gifts for kids that I’ve compiled over time and I consult (and add to) year after year.
Each Halloween, I come up with some unique combination of these inexpensive Halloween gifts to give the trick-or-treaters who stop by our house.
These are my top picks for non-edibile Halloween candy alternatives that kids love to receive:
- Glow sticks / Glow bracelets
- Homemade craft packs (TIP: Fill little baggies with glitter or other kids craft supplies that are cheap.)
- Googly eyes
- Playdough (TIP: Here’s how to make playdough yourself and package it for Halloween. They even make special cans of Play doh around Halloween time!)
- Halloween spiders
- Sidewalk chalk (TIP: Give 1-2 pieces per child.)
- Tiny toys
- Halloween ink stamps
- Dollar store coloring books
- Glow in the dark slime (TIP: Here’s how to make slime yourself and package it for Halloween.)
- Monster finger puppets
- Glitter glue
- Bouncy balls
- Refrigerator magnets (TIP: Many office magnets would be practical for kids too.)
- Lip gloss for kids
- LED flashing rings
- Halloween crayons / Sticker sets (TIP: You can even make crayons yourself from small, broken crayon pieces.)
- Plastic teeth / Vampire fangs
- Novelty pens
- Halloween slinkies
- Keychains (TIP: Kids often use these as zipper pulls on their backpacks & jackets.)
- Jointed snakes
- Fun pencils
- Mini notepads (TIP: They even make Halloween notepads.)
- Stretchable flying frogs
- Kids adhesive bandages (TIP: Give 1-3 per child.)
- Lip or mustache shaped whistles
- Drink straws
- Temporary tattoos (TIP: They even make Halloween tattoos that wash off nicely.)
- Noise makers
- LED finger lights
- Koosh balls
- Bubbles (TIP: Buy these in bulk or party favor sizes. They even make Halloween bubbles!)
- Novelty pins
- Whoopie cushions
- Finger paint
- Lip balm (TIP: It’s only inexpensive when you buy it in bulk.)
- Glow necklaces
- Mustache glasses
- Silly straws
- Mini action figures (TIP: Think beyond the old-school plastic army men.)
- Barrettes for little girls
- Toy cars
- Glow in the dark tumbling skeletons
- Bookmarks for kids (TIP: You can also buy these in bulk.)
- Ponytail holders
- Silly putty / Noise putty
- Emjoi stamps
- Stickers (TIP: Halloween stickers are timely. Autumn or winter stickers also make sense. But you wouldn’t be out of line if you gave away stickers from other holidays. If you plan ahead, you can buy them at 75% off sale prices following each major holiday! Bonus tip: Don’t give an entire package of stickers to the same child – cut the sticker sheets so each trick-or-treater gets only a few of the stickers.)
If you still prefer to give candy, maybe you’ll want to do what I do — combine 1 edible items with 1 non-food Halloween gift to create the ultimate Halloween treats for kids!
Here’s my list of The Best Halloween Candy & Sweet Treats To Hand Out.
I like to help people find unique ways to do things in order to save time & money — so I write about “outside the box” ideas that most wouldn’t think of. As a lifelong dog owner, I often share my best tips for living with and training dogs. I worked in Higher Ed over 10 years before switching gears to pursue activities that I’m truly passionate about. I’ve worked at a vet, in a photo lab, and at a zoo — to name a few. I enjoy the outdoors via bicycle, motorcycle, Jeep, or RV. You can always find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).