jewelry for kids. They can be unisex. They can be made from plastic to metal to cloth. Bracelets are unlikely to be a choking hazard. Rings can be swallowed or stuck on fingers. Necklaces can become wrapped too tightly around necks. Pick a Halloween theme or something that can be worn all year.
Bendy Action Figures – Generic figures work best for treats. The figures can be people or animals. There are a wide variety to choose: stretchy or bendy, small or big, multicolored or solid. Again, figures that are strong enough not to have pieces break off are best.
Slime – This might be better for a party. It’s a kid favorite – even teens and adults will ooh over it. There are some downsides: it can stain clothes and skin, depending on what’s in it, plus it’s generally messy. The mess factor is part of the reason kids like it! Little children who still put their fingers in their mouths shouldn’t have it.
Pencils – Most kids will be indifferent to this treat when they receive it. However, pencils have staying power. Pencils will be used long after the candy is eaten and pencils can even be cherished over time as many kids have a favorite pencil. Pencils are a good item to pair with a piece of candy.
Glow Sticks – If not glow sticks, there are glow bracelets and glow toys. They can be bought inexpensively and they’re popular with all ages. They won’t last much longer than candy. Cheaply made ones might burst which does spray the glow chemical all over the place. On Halloween night, kids might already have glow sticks or flashlights. However, glow sticks might make a good treat for taking out groups of trick-or-treaters around the neighborhood.
Decorative Mirrors – These might be more popular with girls but all kids like looking at themselves. This is another treat that doesn’t have a lot of wow factor but mirrors will last longer than candy. They’ll find their way into purses and backpacks.
Plastic Toys – This can be a very hit or miss category. First, the toy needs to me made well enough that it won’t break the first time it is used. Whistles, clackers and other noise makers probably fare the best. Spinning tops, yo-yos, sliding puzzles and stencils to trace are unlikely to be played with more than once. And those maze games where a child is supposed to shake a ball around? Pointless.
Toothbrushes – Parents might like this one but kids will be disappointed. They might make good gag gifts for teens (along with generous amounts of candy!) but they’re a real downer to trick-or-treaters.
Advertisements – Sometimes people see Halloween as a chance to spread the word about their business or cause. Most marketers have enough savvy to pair the advertisement with candy but most ads will become unread landfill material as kids discard them when sorting their candy.
Gift Certificates/Cards – These offer no immediate gratification for the trick-or-treater. Young children might not understand the significance of gift certificates in their treat bags. The biggest problem is that gift cards rely on the parents taking children somewhere else to get their treats. Often the children won’t get the chance to redeem certificates, so the gift giver has wasted the money spent on gift cards.
Tattoos – Some kids really like temporary tattoos. For those kids, tattoos would be on the good list. However, reaction to tattoos will be mixed. Children sometimes think they are stickers and then they’re disappointed when they can’t use them. Children can have an allergic reaction to the ink in the tattoos and skin irritation is no treat. Tattoo ink can stain clothes. Reaction is varied enough that other treats are a better choice.
Balloons – Kids love them but they’re a hazard to children and pets. From latex allergies to choking concerns, balloons aren’t worth the hassle. Older kids might be able to receive punch balls which are stronger than balloons.
Spider Rings – This gets it’s own special mention in the bad category. Plastic spider rings are the Halloween equivalent of wire hangers – they seem to multiply all on their own. Most children don’t want them. Much like stray Easter basket grass, plastic spider rings just seem to linger in household limbo and turn up at odd times during the year.