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Friday, 28-Apr-2017 02:10:13 EDT
a halloween treat

Chatter, chatter. It's already begun on Facebook and Twitter! The question flickering the greatest interest and response, "What are some creative and affordable alternatives to shelling out candy to those ghoulish trick-or-treaters on Halloween night?" We thought we'd take a crack...

Creative and affordable alternatives to shelling out candy on Halloween night

Halloween is a highly anticipated evening extravaganza enjoyed by many of all ages on the 31st of October each year in North America. As the years go by, we have noted that costumes become more and more elaborate – as do the decorations on property lawns, in schools, at daycares, and even at work! It's probably the most 'creative' time of year as everyone is seemingly trying to 'outspook' the rest! Total innocent fun!

Yet what the heck happened to the 'tricks' for the treat anyway? Where did that fun go? Is it just about an expensive costume these days? Whenever I've asked the trick-or-treaters at my door for a 'trick' in exchange for the treat, I've been met with dumbfounded expressions (noted even through masks and make-up)... How disappointing! More to that, parents are becoming more and more conscious about the loot of sugary candy that their trick-or-treaters bring home... What can they do – their kids simply love it?! Their hands are bound...

But, seriously, what happened to trick-OR-treat? Shouldn't these supposed 'concerned' parents be more dilligent – and fun – about asking for the tricks to curbe the massive loots of treats they're so concerned about? Wouldn't that inspire neigbourhoods one by one? You know, something about competitiveness that can be very healthy?

And then I am teased by family and neighbours about how cruel I am... Really??

Well, SayItCanada got creative (again) to address these two concerns in one clean swoop, by adding to the Festive Cootie Catchers a fresh new design to celebrate Halloween! You didn't really think this would be a full-on rant, did you?

These 'Halloween Treat' Cootie Catchers are delightful paper-folding games that we used to enjoy as kids (forgive my gender, I am indeed a 'girl' but have no doubt that boys will enjoy this too!). And, best yet, the game we've designed calls for 'treat' trades, giving treats away, and receiving treats – many with 'tricks' to be performed to earn that treat! All the makings of 'real life' in a progressive and fun way... through Halloween!

You can download the 'Halloween Treat' Cootie Catcher for free here (first 100 downloads are free and folding instructions are included). Hint: print one and then go to your local print shop to make multiple colour copies – this will save you time (and money too) since this treat for your trick-or-treaters will require some time on your part to cut out and fold.

If you have kids over the age of 10yrs, get them to help you – what better time than to spend with your own child(ren)!

And – best of all – if you have any leftovers after Halloween? Save them for next year because they won't go stale or bad or to waste... and you won't have to worry about 'eating them' out of guilt against your calory count! You know who you are! (wink wink)

Personally, I've drawn out a few of these over the years by hand... It's what began all of this! I can tell you from experience that they are guaranteed to be a hit! The few times I did, I found myself amused watching children play with my Cootie Catchers while skipping and chanting on their way to school the very next day! But don't just take my word for it, print out a few and see how it goes with your child's class first... I just know already that you won't be disappointed!

Another idea is to make Silly Puddy and / or Playdough from home with varying food colouring. These orange, green, or black 'goos' can be baggied and twist-tied with little Halloween notations like, 'Boo! Happy Halloween!' – but try to save these for neighbourhood children you know and, for safety, include your name and address to that notation so that their parents know it's safe and from you. Again, you can involve your own child(ren) in the task... Get your kid(s) to help – which becomes invaluable time in the long run! These are favourites amongst children at the receiving end (but likely not so much to the parents... although we're on the topic of HALLOWEEN here)!

Or you can give out stickers, tattoos, and pencils... Snooze, in my opinion – I know that my kids don't bother much with these over time and I eventually (by the summer) throw them out... There are many other websites out there with great lists for alternatives to candy on Halloween. It's fairly easy to Google but here are a few we found interesting:

To end this very (haha!) short article, we mustn't forget that we all need refreshers for Halloween Safety. Skim through the following tips – and have yourself a Happy and safe Halloween!


  • Wear flame retardant costumes and keep your costume and wig away from candles. Review the "stop, drop and roll" procedure in case your costume catches on fire;
  • Make sure your Halloween costume is colorfast so the color doesn't run onto your other clothes if it rains;
  • Hem your costumes and double-tie your shoelaces so you don't trip and fall;
  • Apply reflective tape to your Halloween costumes;
  • Avoid cumbersome masks. Use make-up instead which should be hypoallergenic and non-toxic;
  • Wear comfortable, practical shoes;
  • Don't carry fake swords, guns, knives or similar accessories that look authentic. Make sure they're flexible and cannot harm anyone; and,
  • Carry a spare Halloween bag in case yours breaks or you fill your original one.
  • Carry a flashlight with fresh batteries after dark;
  • Take along money for a phone call or make sure your cel phone is charged;
  • Wear identification that's easy to read;
  • Always trick-or-treat in groups, and designate a responsible adult escort;
  • Follow a curfew and take a watch with a backlight;
  • Plan your route ahead of time;
  • Trick-or-treat in familiar neighbourhoods. Never accept rides from strangers. Report any suspicious or criminal activity to the police;
  • Only visit well-lit houses. Don't stop at dark houses and don't approach unfamiliar pets and animals;
  • Don't enter any houses unless you know the people;
  • Stay on the sidewalks and out of the streets. Cross only at intersections and designated crosswalks. Follow traffic signals and don't jaywalk. Always watch for cars backing up or turning;
  • Walk and don't run. Out of respect, don't trample through neighbourhood flower beds and gardens. Walk with your head up and be aware of your surroundings;
  • Be polite and say 'thank you';
  • Don't eat any candy until they are inspected for tampering under bright lights by a responsible adult. Avoid candy that has loose wrappings, is unwrapped, has puncture holes, or is homemade; and,
  • Small children should not be allowed hard candy they may choke on.

Don't forget to have fun too! Happy Halloween!

Sheila Quinn
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