On Sunday when the doorbell rings incessantly what will you give out? Instead of empty calories, why not try something different? I remember getting some pretty cool stuff as a kid and I’m not talking about pop rocks or full-size snickers. Every now and then there would be a Halloween where things other than candy were given! One year I received pencils, not your standard yellow pencils, but the cool decorated ones! Then there was another year I found a box of color crayons and a coloring book in my bag!
WHAT? Give something other than candy out for Halloween? Yes! A 2003 study published in the Journal of Nutrition Education & Behavior suggests that children will not be disappointed if given toys as opposed to candy. 283 children aged 3 to 14 were given two options: a piece of candy or a toy. 48% chose the toy! The study also found that age and gender did not make a difference.
I am not saying that the toys have to be expensive. In fact, the toys provided in the above study were simple like sticky men, stickers, and bubbles.
We purchased the following treat alternatives at our local dollar store:
1. Themed Pencils
2. Glow bracelets
3. 3-pack Crayons
4. Box of stickers (9 sheets)
5. 3-pack Card games
6. Play Dough
7. Fake teeth and sugar free gum
We calculate that we have enough for about 60 children and it only cost $14! That is lower than what is traditionally spent on candy. Plus, these treats offer the benefit of FUN!