When I was a kid, my parents were afraid to let my sister and I go trick-or-treating. Instead we went to our grandparents’ houses for Halloween goodie bags. Ours were filled to make it look as though we’d gone trick-or-treating with a few extra treats you wouldn’t normally find going door-to-door. Whether it’s used as a replacement for trick-or-treating or just for fun, if you’re putting goodie bags together this Halloween, tries using a theme. Having a theme can eliminate some choices off the bat and make you’re goodie bag shopping experience easier. When it’s time to choose packaging, the Halloween goodie bag you pick should reflect its contents. If all the candy you put in your bag has cartoon characters on it, use a cartoon character goodie bag. If everything is completely random, buy a silly looking goodie bag. If you’re having trouble thinking of a theme, here are a few suggestions:
Choose candies whose packaging hasn’t changed in decades and the harder to find favorites of old. If you don’t have a candy store in your area, there are many companies that specialize in retro candy favorites online.
Gross Out Candy
Skip this paragraph if you’re easily disgusted. For the rest of you, there are many gross, disgusting, and fun candies on the market to choose from. Bugs, rats, and reptiles goodies are a must for the creepy crawly squeamish. I’ve seen liquid filled candy zits, barf gummies, witch’s warts, road kill, and many gummy and lollipop body part candies in my local stores. You shouldn’t have a problem finding these, but if you do orientaltrading.com has some fun gross treats.
What’s the only thing worse than getting no candy on Halloween? Getting candy you can’t eat! For those kids with food allergies or dental work that puts some candy off limits, make of bag of candy tailored to there needs. You can decorate their bag with the food they can’t have with a slash through it.
Include chocolate coins, butter rum Lifesavers, root beer barrels, temporary tattoos, eye patches, toy ships, plastic jewelry, bandanas, and dice. Pack this in a pirate themed bag or glue an eye patch on a trick-or-treat pumpkin pail.
Worst Trick-or-Treat Handouts
Treats get more attention in goodie bags, but you might want to make up a bag of tricks. Put the worst trick-or-treat handouts you can think of in this gag bag. You can include: raisins, rocks, pennies, travel size toothpastes, toothbrushes, floss, combs, sugar free candies, and packets of restaurant condiments to name a few. For extra lack of pizzazz, put these tricks in a normal brown paper bag with “Tricks” written on it in your most boring handwriting. Use regular tape instead of a sticker to tape down the opening.
Black and Orange
Black and orange are the dominate colors of Halloween, so it should be easy to put together a bag of only orange and black candies. Add it to a bag that is, you guessed it, orange and black.
This one’s pretty self explanatory. If it doesn’t have chocolate; it doesn’t make it into the bag. You can mix it up by including a book like “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” or “The Chocolate Touch” and some chocolate scented toiletries such as lip balm or soap. Use a chocolate brown bag or a rich color like purple or gold for this bag.
Look for candies that are all one shape and add them to a bag or box that is the same shape, but don’t feel limited to squares and circles. Try an all pumpkin bag or other common Halloween shapes such as bats, spiders, and bones.
There won’t be a chill in the air for everyone this Halloween night. If you live in a warm climate, add some water pistols, a water balloon kit, goggles, pool floaties, and other beach and pool toys. Wrap this up in a tote bag that can double as a beach tote.
While I’m sure it would be appreciated, you don’t have to include money in this money themed bag. Chocolate coins are easy to find; check party stores for other money themed candies, or make your own by wrapping candies in play money. You can also include play money, a wallet, coin purses, travel size Monopoly games, or even a small piggy bank. If you’re making your own bag for this, try decorating it with a jack-o-lantern with dollar signs for eyes.
Trick-or-Treat Readiness Bag
A quick disclaimer: this is a bag I recommend only if the recipient will be doing some trick-or-treating. It may be fun, but it’s also practical which should not be your first concern for a Halloween goodie bag.
For this bag, include all the essentials for a night of trick-or-treating. You can buy little Halloween flashlights, glow sticks and glow jewelry to increase street visibility, Halloween socks for all that walking, bug repellant wipes if you live in a buggy area, a hand fan for hot areas, small bottles of water, and a healthier non-sugary snack, like pretzels or beef jerky, to keep kids, and adults, from getting cranky with hunger. Add a fold-up poncho if there’s a chance of rain and put it all in a trick-or-treating pail or sack.
It may not seem like a theme, but a random assortment of candy and favors can be used to recreate a night of missed trick-or-treating. Choose a traditional pumpkin pail and fill it to the top for this one or use a silly looking goodie bag.