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We have been making up little cellophane bags of candy.

First year we made up 300 and had about 100 left so ...figured about 200 kids.

Last year we made up 400 packages...and ran out and resorted to our own secret stash of candy :p

This year, as Halloween is on a Friday, we are planning on making up 1000....Wo! Hoo! I hope we run out again!

We have a friend who has a haunt in FL and he passed this "tip" on to us....Works out great!
 

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I should do something like that because I never know how many kids we have. I buy about 15-20 bags of candy and we usually have about 1 bag leftover. But I am not consistent. Sometimes I give one piece, sometimes two. And if they are real cute, three. :p And I eat some along the way and give some to friends if they stop by. So it would be good to have a head count.
 

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~zombie hunter~
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I think preparing is hard. You just never know. I mean where I live it could be raining, snowing or be perfect.

The best way I could do a live head count is to make the bags for them on the spot and then tally them off on a piece of paper. You could give them 2 or 3 choices of there own little goody bag. In the mean time while your putting them together you could tell them to do a trick to recive there treat.
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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We did it by glow bracelets. They got a handful of candy out of our candy cauldron, and their choice of colors on the bracelets.

We bought 160 and ran out about 3 hours in... and there were some kids that didn't want one. Best guess is over 175 and maybe close to 200.

I may pick up one of those clicker counters, just to keep accurate tabs. We had well under 100 the first year out, so that's a good jump!

I don't have the time or energy to do treat bags and I couldn't imagine doing hundreds of them in any case! You have lots of patience!;)
 

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~zombie hunter~
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We did it by glow bracelets. They got a handful of candy out of our candy cauldron, and their choice of colors on the bracelets.

We bought 160 and ran out about 3 hours in... and there were some kids that didn't want one. Best guess is over 175 and maybe close to 200.

I may pick up one of those clicker counters, just to keep accurate tabs. We had well under 100 the first year out, so that's a good jump!

I don't have the time or energy to do treat bags and I couldn't imagine doing hundreds of them in any case! You have lots of patience!;)

Clicker counter? That's a GREAT idea. Do they have these things at walmart?
 

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Frankie's Girl....I was just talkin' to hubby about one of those clickers. Where the heck do you buy those>>>Office Max?

We started counting by bags too but we ran out of bags all 3 yrs. that we been here. I kept a pretty good count the 1st 2 halloweens but last year it got a bit crazy for us with the long line of people coming thru & me trying to take pictures.......plus you guys know I mentioned that we had more adults than kids.

I lost count at 250 & that front door never closed for the longest time. We ran out bags, ran out of loose candy, ran out of popcorn & had people waiting for Jerry to make more popcorn, the parents can get a bag too. I think he made 190 bags of popcorn to start....anyways we bought a 50lb bag of popcorn(we have a commercial popcorn machine from when we owned the restaurant) & used quite a bit of it. It was blast!


ya know what........I'll be ready this year!!lol

Parents are gonna love their candy coffins!!

the Merry Muffster
 

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we also count by how many treat bags i make. we did run out of them last year but i always have a box of those popcorn balls from walmart or extra candy around just in case.
 

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Vicious Dog Wrangler
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I make individual bags and sort them by multiples of 25 or 50 in seperate containers. When I'm outof the first bucket of bags I then know I had 25 kids or whatever. I am a little nervous this year since Halloween is on a friday that I will need a LOT more candy. Anyone else concerned? I don't mind making 100 bags or more (we got like 65 kids last year..a good # for my area) I just don't want to run out. I always start having nightmares in late Sept. that I run out of candy.
 

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The area that we live in has several children, but we don't have that many show up and last year there just weren't that many people in our neighborhood giving out candy either. I don't know if maybe we went out too early because I was rushing to get back home to have my wedding or what. Normally I fill a giant cauldron full of candy for my oldest daughter to give out until I get back from taking my little ones trick or treating, and we usually run out of candy. We didn't this year though. The counter is a great idea and so are the bags. I'd just hate to make up a lot of bags and have them just sit. Would be like the year I made my kids treat bags for Christmas school party and it got snowed out :(.
 

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spookiness in the suburbs
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Treat bags are a good way to track numbers, but they are incredibly time-consuming. It was fine when we had 100-200 TOTs, but last year we had well over 300. It took a long freakin' time to make the 275 goodie bags that I had ready. At least I had backup candy last year and didn't have to send anyone to the store :)

I'm thinking click-counter this year. There just has to be an easier way than goodie bags! Although, I probably will still make goodie bags for the little TOTs, so I can be sure that they get safe candy (no peanuts, nothing that is readily "chokeable" etc). I'd hate for some 2 year old to choke on something I gave them!
 

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Treat bags are a good way to track numbers, but they are incredibly time-consuming. It was fine when we had 100-200 TOTs, but last year we had well over 300. It took a long freakin' time to make the 275 goodie bags that I had ready. At least I had backup candy last year and didn't have to send anyone to the store :)

I'm thinking click-counter this year. There just has to be an easier way than goodie bags! Although, I probably will still make goodie bags for the little TOTs, so I can be sure that they get safe candy (no peanuts, nothing that is readily "chokeable" etc). I'd hate for some 2 year old to choke on something I gave them!
all my treat bags will be made with stuff i know the little ones can eat(no hard candy or gummies this year) i was thinking those safety suckers, peanut butter cups,fun size teddy grahams,those individualy wrapped pumpkin marshmallows & maybe those straws with sugar. i can't think of anything else so if anyone has any ideas please let me know.
 

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The last few years we have handed out full size candy bars or M&Ms depending upon the age of the child. One to each TOTs makes it easy to count, but I think the kids really love the treat bags.
 

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Ravenous Zombie
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Wow, you guys are lucky getting so many TOT'ers. I only get 15-20. It's sad. Anyway, I guess I do unconsciously make a certain number of bags then can tell by the end of the night how many there were by counting what's left. I always have too much leftover.
 

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We used the tally counter but quickly realized that was no good either. We had far to many repeat customers. We had about 50 people in line to go through for almost 2 hours on Halloween night. I'd say about half the line was repeaters all night though. At first I was a little upset at the repeaters, but they turned out to be rather nice, most didn't get a second helping of candy and almost all of them brough at least one more person with them the second (and often third) time through.

At the Trunk or Treat we count the kids before we turn them loose. We had around 200 people, with around 125 of them being kids. But by far, we had more of the adults coming through. The real littles wouldn't come near us and the tweens and teens kept bring their parents through.

Funny how many grown men scream like girls in dot rooms. Men seem far more scared of a dot room than women.
 

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spookiness in the suburbs
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all my treat bags will be made with stuff i know the little ones can eat(no hard candy or gummies this year) i was thinking those safety suckers, peanut butter cups,fun size teddy grahams,those individualy wrapped pumpkin marshmallows & maybe those straws with sugar. i can't think of anything else so if anyone has any ideas please let me know.
For kids under 3, I'd avoid peanut products. Reese's aren't something that a kid could choke on, but most pediatricians suggest holding off peanuts for children under 3 or so because of potential allergy issues. The current school of thought on peanut allergies is that exposure too early can actually cause peanut allergies when they might not have developed at all. I have a DD who's allergic to peanuts, so I learned all this the hard way :/

The other goodies you mentioned would be fine though. I've given out the small Hween tubs of playdough to little ones in the past and had no complaints. Little bags of Goldfish would be good too.
 

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...is up to no good
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Man...I want to live in the neighborhoods that you guys live in. That's amazing!!!

300-1000 TOTers???

Good grief. I'd start making up bags on Oct1!
 

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Another clicker person here. We do the honor system with the candy, so...yeah, not so accurate count that way. (even though we're typically only off by a few dozen pieces.) ~430 kids last year. ~460 pieces given out. I know a couple adults got candy so, don't really know how many were double-dippers.

Not sure what to expect this year.

Last 4 years:

160
230
300
430

Who knows how many this year with it being Friday.
 

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For kids under 3, I'd avoid peanut products. Reese's aren't something that a kid could choke on, but most pediatricians suggest holding off peanuts for children under 3 or so because of potential allergy issues. The current school of thought on peanut allergies is that exposure too early can actually cause peanut allergies when they might not have developed at all. I have a DD who's allergic to peanuts, so I learned all this the hard way :/

The other goodies you mentioned would be fine though. I've given out the small Hween tubs of playdough to little ones in the past and had no complaints. Little bags of Goldfish would be good too.
Chips, too.

We have one of those big copper firebowls filled with an assortment of full size candy bars, MM's, Skittles, starburst, etc. Try to make it so folks get one of their favorites.

3 years ago, we mixed in some "big grab" chip bags just to see. The Chips went QUICK. The following year, we upped it to about 1/3 chips. Still, the chips went before the candy. Last year, it was 50-50 chips v candy, which seems about the right mix as we had a few of each left.
 
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