Monday, 22 October 2018  • Holidays,

If you think about it, Halloween is a strange holiday. How many other days of the year are you able to dress up in costume, visit several strangers’ homes, and walk away with a sack full of candy? 

Do you want to teach your child better eating habits, preserve their smile, or skip trick-or-treating this year altogether, but don’t want to ignore the holiday completely? Many parents are opting to break with tradition for Halloween by offering their children alternatives to the traditional sweets. Rest assured, there are plenty of fun ways to get into the spooky spirit – and even start a new tradition of your own! 

From scary movie marathons to monster-making competitions, we’ve listed out some creative gift ideas and activities for parents to try with their little ghouls this Halloween. 

1. Scary Stories 

What better way to spend Halloween night than curled up by the fire with a spooky tale? Find a collection of short ghost stories, or wrap up a stack of free kid-friendly titles that’ll make your young ones jump. This can easily become an annual tradition that expands their vocabulary and improves their storytelling skills. Some great titles to try out include: Big Pumpkin, The Halloween Tree, Goodnight Little Monster, and any of the Goosebumps books. Older children might also be brave enough to read Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. 

2. Creepy Cookie Gift Basket 

Do you want to satisfy your child’s sweet tooth, but without the sticky sweets that tend to be given out on Halloween? A Fresh Baked Cookie and Brownie Basket can easily be given a ghoulish makeover! This basket is packed with freshly baked cookies and brownies, with soft and chewy options from Acorn Baking Company like fudge nut, double chocolate, peanut butter and more. Give this favorite a “creepy cookie” vibe by decorating with small plastic spiders, fake webs, plastic vampire fangs, and other age- appropriate collectable Halloween trinkets. 

3. Art Supplies 

Who can come up with the scariest monster? If your child loves to spend their days drawing, then fresh art supplies are the perfect candy alternative! Challenge them to invent a garish ghoul, complete with a short story about the creature and a drawing. Then take turns reading your tales to each other and see which creation is the creepiest. 

4. Gravestone Rubbing Kit 

Do you have a forever learner on your hands? Turn Halloween into a fun history lesson by teaching your child how to make a gravestone rubbing! Surprise them with a DIY rubbing kit, which will consist of large sheets of paper, rubbing wax or a sturdy dark-colored crayon, a spray bottle filled with distilled water, and a clean rag. 

Find a historical or family gravestone to take a rubbing of, following these instructions. Make sure to get the cemetery’s permission, and handle each tombstone with care. Then take your rubbing home and find a spot on the wall to proudly display their hard work. 

5. Spooky Spider Collection 

Of all things creepy and crawly, spiders are stereotypically the spookiest. This giant stuffed spider is sure to get a delightful scream out of your little one, and the high-quality Ghirardelli chocolates and Popcornopolis popcorn mixes up the variety of your typical sweets. This Halloween Friendly Spider Collection gift basket is perfect for your little ghoul! 

6. Mask-Making Kit 

Help your kids put their creepiest face forward on Halloween by gifting them with a mask making kit! They’ll love flexing their creative muscle while they work to create a creepy disguise that will keep them safe from goblins and ghouls. You can find pre-made foam masks at any craft store, or follow these instructions for creating a paper-mâché mask from scratch. Be sure to include fun decorative items like glitter, bright paints, feathers, and scales. 

7. Movie Marathon 

Spend Halloween night curled up with a few holiday classics! There are several age-appropriate films, like Hocus Pocus and Nightmare Before Christmas, that aren’t too scary but will get them into the Halloween spirit. Of course, no movie marathon is complete without snacks. Surprise them with the Family Movie Night Popcorn and Sweets Gift Basket, our nostalgic popcorn tub filled with delicious treats like caramel and kettle corn. Add in their favorite drink, build a blanket fort, or snuggle up on the couch with a warm blanket and enjoy! 

8. Coupon Gift 

What’s the best way to make the rest of the year a little sweeter? Skipping the candy and gifting your child with a handmade coupon book instead! Include one-time vouchers that let them choose what time to go to bed, which park to visit on the weekend, or even take the night off from doing the dishes after dinner. 

9. Chocolatey Tower of Terror 

It’s no secret that most candy has junky fillers in the ingredients list. If you’re a health-conscious parent, you’ll appreciate the high quality found in Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory chocolates included in the Halloween Tower! Stacks of boxes containing boo-worthy sweets, all without the guilt factor of colors and dyes. 

10. Treat Yo’Self 

Don’t forget about you! With all the work you’ve put in on creating costumes, planning your trick-or- treating outings, and baking up a ghoulish storm, you deserve to unwind with some red wine and “grown-up” treats. A little cabernet sauvignon and a few Butter Cookies with Sea Salt are just a start! 

There are so many fun bonding activities you can do with your littles this Halloween, and they don’t need to include candy. Do you have any fun annual traditions you share with your kids? Share with us on social media! 

alternative halloween gifts