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Tips for Passing Out Candy to Trick-or-Treaters on Halloween

I love everything weird and colorful in this world and I try to live a life that will make the world a little better once I'm gone.

Tips for a Fun and Safe Night of Goodies Giving

I love the whole idea of trick-or-treating. Trick or treating is a community tradition like none other. So often kids are secluded to their own areas - schools, parks, kids restaurants, it is great to have a holiday that links the young and the old.

Trick or treating is not just fun for the kids and parents who travel the neighborhood goodies. Trick or treating is also great fun for the people at home passing out the candy. Trick or treating connects people to their community and to their neighborhood.

Here are some tips for the people passing out the goodies to help them have a fun, safe, and stress-free evening meeting the children of the neighborhood.

Screen door photo by NataPics used under CC 2.0

Screen door photo by NataPics used under CC 2.0

Drop the Glass in Your Screen Door

Many people have screen doors much like the one shown here. These types of doors are ideal for passing out candy. In order to make your experience of passing out candy easy, drop both the glass and the screen of this door down so the top part is open. When your little visitors come to the door, you only need to open the main door, and then pass the candy through the top of the screen door.

This is especially ideal if you have pets. On Halloween, the dogs always try to greet the trick-or-treaters, but often that can cause stress for you, and for small frightened children.

Screen door photo by ChiBart used under CC 2.0

Screen door photo by ChiBart used under CC 2.0

Clear Pumpkins Off Porch & Pathway

The one thing you don't want on Halloween is a child injured having tripped over a pumpkin or other decoration on your property. Halloween costumes are often difficult to walk in, and sometimes obstruct the vision of the child. Make sure that there is nothing in their path that they can trip over.

Remember, children don't always take the route to your door that you might expect. Keep in mind that they might cut through your yard, or not use the stoned pathway.

Also, make sure there are no wet leaves in your driveway or on the pathway that the kids might slip on.

Turn Your Light On If You Have Candy

And Turn It Off When You Don't !

The first thing a trick-or-treater learns is that the houses that have their door light on are the ones that are participating. If you fail to turn on your light, you might spend all night with your bowl of candy and no kids.

Alternately, if you don't have candy, please leave your light off. It is very frustrating and disappointing for a child to stand on a stoop waiting for someone to come to the door. Houses with lights on and no candy are also more likely to find their pumpkins destroyed in the morning. Whether you are participating or not, be polite enough to let them know.

Have Some Alternatives to Candy

Not every child can have candy, and all kids will go home with too much candy at the end of the night. Consider having alternatives to candy available for the kids. Pencils, toys, little books, and money are great non-candy alternatives. You would be surprised how many kids choose these over the candy when given the choice.

Also, consider having individually wrapped non candy snacks available for very little children. Teddy Grahams, animal crackers, and cheese & crackers are great options for kids under 2 years old who are often traveling the neighborhood with their older siblings.

If you do provide alternatives to candy, consider posting a sign by the door so parents and kids can see it.

How Many Trick-or-Treaters Do You Get?

Next Step: Catch the Dog

Next Step: Catch the Dog

Next Step: Catch the Dog

Halloween Dog photo by Don Hankins used under CC 2.0

Halloween Dog photo by Don Hankins used under CC 2.0

Restrain Your Pets

Halloween costumes intrigue animals and often scare them. They sometimes smell a little funky too. Add to that the fact that this person is in their territory, and you've got a recipe for disaster. Animals will inevitably want to jump up on kids, and if scared for feeling threatened, they could bite.

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Also, kids are not used to other people's animals, and can often feel frightened of them.

Restrain your animals so they don't cause a problem with the kids, and so you don't have to spend all night chasing them. You want to make it easy for yourself so you are free to enjoy the evening.

Here are some more Halloween pet tips from the ASPCA.

Don't Judge Your Trick-or-Treaters

Or at least don't say your thoughts out loud

If you think a trick-or-treater is too old to be going around the neighborhood, or if you think the costume Brittney down the street came to your door in is inappropriate, keep your mouth closed.

You never know if a child is developmentally delayed, or is new to the country and experiencing Halloween for the first time. Perhaps they spent their younger years in a hospital setting and could not trick-or-treat. You don't know the situation, so keep your mouth closed. One snide comment could ruin their evening, and that is the opposite of what your goal is tonight. If you are giving out candy, you need to be willing to give it to all who step up to the door.

Consider how difficult trick-or-treating could be with a child who has autism.


anonymous on October 29, 2012:

If the older kids do not have a costume I make them tell me a joke... No costume, that's ok, but you have to work for it!

WindyWintersHubs from Vancouver Island, BC on August 29, 2010:

Make it safe. Make it fun. Great Tips for Halloween Candy! :)

Sandy Mertens from Frozen Tundra on August 27, 2010:

Great tips for Halloween.

Gamganny on August 25, 2010:

Very good tips for a fun and safe Halloween

WhiteOak50 on August 25, 2010:

Very good tips!

Wendy Henderson from PA on August 25, 2010:

Great tips

texasshutterbug on August 24, 2010:

Nice lens. I know when I have taken my little cousins trick or treating you will see older trick or treaters who get comments like that. Its not nice just go with it and have fun is what I'm thinking. I loved trick or treating as a kid.

Robin S from USA on August 24, 2010:

Excellent tips for trick or treating!

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