What are you giving out this Halloween?

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I know, I know..  The obvious answer to this is “candy,” but don’t you want to be the one house on the block that does something different this year?  Something hip and cool?

There’s always the one house that gives out cans of pop and full size chocolate bars — and it’s pretty easy to become the most popular house on the block doing that — but what about doing something that’ll really stand out?

No, I’m not talking fast food gift certificates (though those are always nice) or something wacky (like a live squirrel) — I’m talking comic books.

Starting in 2009, certain comics publishers have been banding together each fall to offer Halloween mini-comics.  They’re small enough to fit in a child’s candy bag, big enough to read comfortably, and cost about the same as a quality candy product.  One of my local comic shops (featured previously on SmartCanucks) is selling them in bundles of 20 for $5.  We get 80-100 kids every year, so I dropped $30 and squared away my Halloween hand-out shopping early.  The best part?  Rather than giving kids more junk food (they’ll have every other house on the block for that) I’m giving them something that can stimulate their minds a little.  Plus, I’m not going to be tempted to eat the comics while waiting for 10/31 to roll around.

Thinking of doing the same?  Call your local comic shop to see if they’re carrying Halloween mini-comics.  Not thinking of doing the same?  Tell us what you’re giving out this Halloween!

46 responses to “What are you giving out this Halloween?”

  1. boyzmom33 says:

    That sounds like a cool idea……I’ll have to call and see if any stores around here offer that since I only get maybe 20 kids a year now. Anyone else notice the amount of kids going out on hallowe’en seems to drop every year??

  2. couponfreak says:

    I have to call I always send bags for the kids in my childrens classes comics would be great

  3. saraL says:

    i usually give out little erasers and stickers with some candy. this year i found some awesome mini halloween yo-yos so i think i’ll pick up some packages of those to hand out as well.

    i love the mini playdoh people hand out but they’re expensive so that’s not happening at my house this year.

  4. CarlyinCanada says:

    Well, we don’t get many kids that trick or treat..but I do up little baggies from the Bulk Barn with some goodies & give them to the neighbour kids that I know! 🙂
    Usually buy a couple bags of candy just in case..& any leftovers BF munches on, lol
    Also we make popcorn balls at mom’s for friends & family! 🙂

  5. lisa ferrier says:

    haha I hand out glow in the dark tooth brushes and bobblin tooth paste

  6. Heather says:

    Ill be handing out full size chooclate bars, maybe something to go with it too, but we only get about 10 kids (buy for 20 just in case lol) and weve watched all these kids grow up, so our entire street hands out enough to make it worth while for them. I love the comic book idea too, because we only have a few kids we hand out candy from both doors of the house!

  7. busy.mommy says:

    We are giving out mini-playdohs. I got them at Costco for cheap and I think it’s better than candy. Last year the kids loved them!

  8. Sally says:

    I havent even started to think about this, way to far away.

  9. Insane says:

    We usually do the full size chocolate bars. I ALWAYS by the nut free ones. Nothing sucks more than to be a kid with an allergy and to get a full size chocolate bar and not be able to eat it. I buy them at Costco and costs less than what I’d pay for a variety of little bars up here.

  10. Margaret says:

    I give out the min-playdohs from Costco too. It’s a pack of 80 for $9 or $10. Last year I also handed out mini playing cards from Costco. They were a little more expensive.

  11. meliisafle says:

    I have a sytem for handing out candy. I buy different kinds for different costumes (I don’t know if this makes me a jerk, or awesome haha). Last year my husband was actually home to hand out candy and I had to teach him the system since I was 3 days post-partum and not into getting up down/sitting outside.

    Anyway! I was thinking of upping my game this year and buying some full size chocolate bars for super awesome costumes. I love seeing people get creative. Everyone else still gets a treat, but if you show up at my door in a polo with a popped collar and tell me you’re a “jock” expect rockets!

  12. Stephanie says:

    This year we got the mini play doh (80 count) and the disney playing cards (60 count) from Costco. For both packs it was about $20.00. Much cooler than stale old candy!

  13. Natalka says:

    The comics are a great idea!
    I always have a mix – cheapo candies to grab a handful of; small chocolate bars, granola bars, little craisins packs, cheezies, chips, etc.
    Last year, along with an edible treat, I gave out pencils (aliens, sports, etc. NOT Halloween ones) and wow did kids love those – even the tweens and teens!
    Haven’t decided yet what it will be this year…
    The little ones always come out first around 4:30 – 5 before it gets dark, so I make sure treats/stuff for them are appropriate.
    Along similar lines to meliisafle, kinds/amounts of treats really do depend upon the children. If they are costumed and into the spirit, they sure get more and better. If they are the kids that are dumped off by the vanload (from across the city) at the end of our crescent, they sure don’t get much. I’m a firm believer in pretty much staying in your own neighbourhood (depends upon age how far that is….).
    Last year we probably had 75, the year before much lower because it was so much colder and rainy. Average over the years is about 100.

  14. Marta says:

    We give out Ring-Pops, they are not too expensive at Costco. The first year we did this, an 11 year old boy said, awesome Ring-Pops, I’m eating mine now!

  15. Crateros says:

    Secret Deoderant

  16. Cmoody8107 says:

    We bought Play-Doh at Zellers last weekend – but Im keeping it!!! They had the 20 packs on clearance for $1.50!!!!

  17. saraL says:

    okay, wow, i’m jealous of all the people finding the cheap mini-play doh. i’ve only been able to find 10packs for $6.99!

  18. luvadeal says:

    I couldn’t help but be extremely annoyed by the person who said they were a firm believer for staying in your own area. We live in an extremely low income area – somewhere I do not want my children walking around at night, even when accompanied by an adult. I’m putting myself through school in hopes of getting a better paying job just so that we can one day get out of the poor neighborhood we’re in. I also send my children to a different school district as well, the crime is that bad where we are. Don’t you think that if people could afford to live in better neighborhoods, they would?

    Have some compassion for those less fortunate that you! Halloween is for kids, and kids don’t have any control over the financial circumstances of their parents OR over which neighborhood they live.

  19. mlongboat says:

    I agree with meliisafle. Expect crap candy if your not in the spirit. I like to give out juice boxes. You get thirsty walking around in costume. I’m in a new apt so I don’t know what the rules are here or if we get anyone at all.

  20. Catherine L says:

    We were in a new apartment last year and didn’t know how many kids we’d get. Many neighbourhoods in the city get several hundred kids, so we picked up enough for 140. How many did we get? Two. So this year I have enough for 10 kids (loot bags including pencil erasers, juice boxes with Halloween cups, gummie candy, ring pops, chips and some chewing gum).

  21. melissafle says:

    (yes, I spelled my own handle wrong the first time lol!)

    Loveadeal, I wouldn’t take it personally. I 110% understand the comment about people staying in their own neighborhood because when I was younger and growing up in a middle-class subdivision we would get over 300 kids; just because it was a quick in-and-out and then the van of kids would be off to the next neighborhood. If you’re never experienced that, then you wouldn’t know the anger and frustration that comes with having nothing to give a child you RECOGNIZE FROM YOUR STREET because 250 kids you don’t know already came a knockin’.

    There are always exceptions, and if you are one of the people who trick’r’treat honestly without driving all around town, you shouldn’t feel offended. My niece lives at my parent’s house on a busy main road with no side-walks – she has been coming to my subdivision for the past 4 years. We go up and down my street, and that’s it. So even though she is out of her “area” I know we’re not the people Natalka is talking about.

    On another note, my tiny one will be coming out this year and I have hired my mom to hand out candy at my place so both her Dad and I can take her and my niece around 😀 So excited!

  22. Tracy Gaudet says:

    I’m giving out fair trade chocolate- Dairy Milk, yyuuuummmy

    Want to know why fair trade is important? http://inspireplanning.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/bye-bye-kit-kat/

  23. Felicia Taylor says:

    To the original person who started this I tried to call the silver snail and the harry trantula and they had not heard of them. The gentlemen at the harry trantula stated that he had comic books in full size and they were 3 for a buck and also had ones for 50 cents. Where was your local comic book store? Great Idea!

  24. brandy says:

    We usually give out Toys to the little ones and full sized chocolate bars to the teens(unless they want toys). This year is halloween themed rubber duckies and monster face nerf style footballs. We were the most popular house in our old area.. hoping our new area brings us tonnes of kids this year!(fingers crossed)

  25. Shannon says:

    Secret deoderant?! lol
    I’m doing the Costco mini-play-doh too. I can’t believe I’ve never thought of ranking costume effort and rewarding it! I’m going to get on board with that. Hmmm, maybe I’ll take my $3 off Bulk Barn coupon and get some rockets.

  26. Diane456 says:

    I usually make up bags, I loved them as a kid. This year they will have mini play-doh, a halloween pencil (dollar stores), and a bag of chips. Trying to get away from the chocolate.

    One thing I do is have two bags for my son. One for people we know, the other for people we don’t know. We check everything but it’s nice to know some things you don’t have to worry about.

  27. Hilda says:

    Comic books are a great idea. Especially with my boys birthday soon after and would be great to hand out to the birthday kids. I will call around

  28. SpiritMama says:

    We treat Halloween like it’s a national holiday. We decorate our house every year – 2010 will be the year of spiders including a full 33″ ft glow-in-the dark web spanning the front of the house. Parents have to often push the kids up our stairs past the strobe lights, fog machine, Black Sabbath music, flying ghosts, cackling skeleton and half-dozen jack-o-laterns to get to collect treats from our front door. Our own kids have to be coaxed to go past our decor.

    In the past, we have given out glow bracelets, full-size chocolate bars and sugar-free gum, McDonald’s certificates for fries, ice cream or pop, full packs of tattoos which I found on sale in the summer, and Happy Meals toys that I collected throughout the year. We want to make it worthwhile for the kids to go door-to-door in the October evening chill. This year we will be giving out Kool Aid.

    The parents and kids in our neighbourhood really appreciate what we do. We can bearly wait until October 31!

  29. Lucid says:

    Just curious, but what age do you guys think is too old to be going trick or treating? I know some of you said teens are okay, but does that still apply for older teens (17-19)?

  30. hogama says:

    LOVE, LOVE the comic book idea!

    I’ve done the mini play doh, and I saw some today. 20 for $6… i like to do the pencils, too. Kool Aid Jammers, cheezies, (good) chocolate, smarties, gum… I don’t get many kids here (maybe 6 or 7!), so I make up awesome treat bags!! 🙂 I love, Love, LOVE Halloween!!! 🙂

  31. 7mountains says:

    This year we are giving out Del Monte drinking pouches (recently on sale at Zeller’s for $2/case, we bought 10 cases (10 in each case)) and we are giving away bags of chips and cheezies. No sugar this year!!

  32. Kathleen says:

    I have been giving out Halloween pencils for years. A few years ago I started handing out Halloween coloring sheets. The little ones really seems to enjoy these and even the others kids ask for them as well. It is nice to hand out a full size bar instead of three of the tiny bit sized ones. The kids are aways excited to see what costume I’m in as it gives them ideas for the next year. If the parents are dressed up too, they get a chocolate bar as well. Hauntingly yours, Boo

  33. Minou says:

    I don’t much like the van-bound trick or treating, either. What I don’t like is when the parent follows/drives their van load of kids around to trick or treat and are in danger of running other kids down in the process. It eems selfish, not to mention dangerous. It looks as though the intent is to gather up as much candy as possible in the shortest amount of time with mom or dad’s help. Vehicles should be parked during trick or treating. The kids can walk! I’m not inclined to be overly generous in those situations, either.

    I think people enjoy handing candy out to kids they know from the neighbourhood, and why shouldn’t those kids get a little extra?

    The first year we lived in this house, we had 180 trick or treaters come to the door, and a lot seemed like they had been driven to the area (lots of van traffic on the street) I’d love to be very generous and creative when giving out treats, but when a person is buying for numbers like that, they can’t be! I always try to do something special for the neighbour kids.

  34. Ferdo says:

    This year i am handing out anything I have bought with a coupon I dont use. So kids get ready for Olay ribbons body wash, Lax a day for the older teens,old Spice for the boys.

  35. Jim Squires says:

    @Felicia Taylor. My comics shop is in Niagara Falls (Pulp Comics), but I’m quite surprised the big Toronto store aren’t getting involved.

    Here’s a link to their description on the Previews website (Previews is what all comic shops use for ordering) — http://previewsworld.com/public/default.asp?t=1&m=1&c=6&s=782&ai=100163

    Maybe you can point them in this direction?

  36. pooh says:

    I give out boxes of crayons to the little ones. I purchased them in the states @20 cents a box of 24. The older ones are getting pens, notebooks etc. all purchased for 10 cents each. We don’t get many kids…maybe 40

  37. Emily says:

    I’m not sure if I agree with the ranking costumes idea. Little kids can’t help it if their parents can’t afford great costumes nor can they help it if they or their parents aren’t creative enough. It’s about being in the spirit of hallowe’en, that’s what matters.
    Yes I agree showing up with a popped collar and saying you’re a jock is a bit lame, but I feel like only teens would be the ones doing that and perhaps the ‘ranking’ suggestion could apply there. But c’mon, don’t do that to a young child.

  38. worldgirl says:

    Silly Bandz! Along with a bag of a few other things like glow sticks (picked up for .25 last year after halloween), chips, and mini Almond Joys.

  39. Felicia Taylor says:

    Thanks Jim as I called the Silver Snail and the Harry Trantula and they had never even heard of them, thanks again for the link. Thanks again for the great idea as well!

  40. Shannon says:

    Oh for sure, giving out the crappy candy would only be a passive aggressive hit at the lame teenagers with a backpack full of candy who claim to be going as “a student”. I don’t have the guts to turn them down, but they may get a consolation prize 😉
    I myself am very likely to be sending my kids out in half-assed costumes, and it’s sure not their fault!

  41. Liz says:

    Where do you guys buy your glow sticks? I would love to give them out to the older kids this Halloween.

    Thank you!

  42. Tina says:

    TBS usually have great prices on glow sticks and/or Dollar store. I usually pick up glow sticks in the summer whenever I see them reduced.

    We give out spooky rings (spiders,skeletons,pumpkins) for the youngsters. Pencils with spooky erasers for older ones and Yes candy/chocolate bars for all. Last year after Halloween, Zellers had huge bags of rings,pencils,erasers for .25cents. The young ones love the rings.

    Love the idea of comic books, Thanks

  43. Zay says:

    We will give out candy and toys and the little ones always get extra since they are so cute! I usually give out more than I should to everyone as I don’t want my husband eating all the leftover 🙂

    Happy Halloween to all!

  44. twinmommy says:

    We have been in the same house for the past seven years and we have had 100+ kids each year. We give out an assortment of chocolate bars and candies that we stuff into little treat bags. Each year we get one kid who says, “Wow! They’re giving out a WHOLE bag of candy!” It’s always cute to hear. This year we’re taking our kids out for the first time, so it will be extra special. Fingers crossed for good weather!

  45. Linda says:

    @ Jim…the comic store here in Saskatoon, SK is also selling comic bundles
    25 for $6.00 I love love love this idea
    Archie, Bones, Toystory, Smurfs, Hotstuff and Toys in the basement
    so cool. I m picking up some today!

  46. Hedy Dunshee says:

    You can make buttermilk in a jif! Just add 1 1/2 Tsp of Lemon Juice to your 1/2 Cup milk and let it sit for 10 minutes and you have buttermilk!


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