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Discussion Starter #1
So, candy is the obvious favorite for handing out at Halloween, but I know of an online magic shop with decent prices on all those cheesy gags and jokes from when I was little. Thus, along with candy, we also give out crap like trick squirt lighters; Chinese finger traps; the trusty nail-thru-finger gag; bomb bags and fart bags you crush for a slightly smelly effect; the old bloody soap gag; invisible ink; fart whistles; belch powder,; gelling jokes and a bunch of other crude, kid-friendly crap. I keep waiting for an angry parent to show up on my doorstep the next day, but so far, so good.

Does anybody else find other unusual items to hand out besides tried and true candy?
 

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I sometimes give out Halloween erasers and pencils. This past year I gave quite an assortment of plastic spiders, finger puppets and plastic pumpkins along with candy. It was something I ordered off Oriental Trading to give to the kids in my therapy group but since only 2 kids showed up, I had lots of extras.
 

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The magic shop novelties are a brilliant idea! Love it!

I give out a wide variety of treats... everything from Lego sets to plush to toy novelties. The toughest part is finding out a fair way to hand out different things. In the past, I've built a Plinko game and converted an old fan into a Wheel of Fortune. I've also done a fish pond. But without help, it's tough to do with too many TOTs showing up at once. I generally get about 70-90, most in the first hour since they all want a chance at the best loot!

TREATS COMBO.jpg
 
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If we had actual ToTers I be inclined to do some of the above mentioned things but alas never have had a ToT at the house. We take our hearse into town and park at the welcome center during the chamber's ToT hours. We can have upwards of 300+ so I have to stay within a budget or go broke.

In the same vein as candy the past couple of years we've handed out snack sized ziplocks of breakfast cereal. After feeling I was busting the bank on candy one year there was this great deal on discounted character cereal. Mixed it up with some colored mini marshmallows and bags of chocolate chips into a kinda chex mix thing. Stuff was more popular then the candy. So I have continued making this up every year. Second place for us is Peeps. At Easter I get as many as I can of the Bunny peeps the dang things have years long expiration dates... Like Rats and Roaches - Peeps will be here long after we're all gone. Come Halloween I cut the ears and the bottoms to make 8 legs and now I have spider peeps for next to nothing. Zip a few into snack bags and they fly out of the bowl. Candy is third and in trying to keep to those that are free of this that and the other thing I have a bowl of apples. 2 years ago or so Dollar Tree had bags of toy zombies (like the plastic soldiers but zombies) Those were pretty popular that year... wish I had gotten more. Went back to get more and never seen them again.
 

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I love giving out different things as extras to candy.. After Halloween, I stock up on all the Halloween toys on clearance. This past year, I did king size M&M's, Popcornopolis Halloween edition popcorns and around 15 huge bags of the good candy from Sams Club.. I always buy glow sticks as well for all the kids. Needless to say, the kids LOVE my house.. Storing the toys from clearance from the year before saves me money.. 42962252_10156544097297696_8754542112722124800_n.jpg 43009683_10156544097262696_4612749533934256128_n.jpg
 

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I love giving out different things as extras to candy.. After Halloween, I stock up on all the Halloween toys on clearance... Storing the toys from clearance from the year before saves me money.
Amen! Toys don't go stale! I get fewer than 100 TOT's, so if I get a great deal on a small toy, I can store the items for the future. Most years, I just open the H Day TOT boxes that I've been adding to all year. Last year, I got a good deal on Lego vampire and Play-Doh sets. This year, Bed Bath & Beyond had slime toys. I'm always on the hunt for inexpensive toys to add to the upcoming holiday. The BEST year was when a Big Lots store was remodeling and marked their toy department at 90% off! (posted earlier in this thread)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Second place for us is Peeps. At Easter I get as many as I can of the Bunny peeps the dang things have years long expiration dates... Like Rats and Roaches - Peeps will be here long after we're all gone. Come Halloween I cut the ears and the bottoms to make 8 legs and now I have spider peeps for next to nothing. Zip a few into snack bags and they fly out of the bowl. .
:D This made my morning. Thanks!
 

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We alternate between "Happy Meal" toys , ( If we go to Mac's my wife gets a "Happy Meal" and we save the toys.) and "Glow Sticks" that we get at the dollar store.
 

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We give out glow in the dark necklaces from oriental trading company. I love the idea that we are helping the kids be seen better by on coming cars. Kids and parents all love them. I also have never had next day regrets for eating too many necklaces which is not true for when we gave out candy. Finally it helps us count how many kids we had for the night. Usually we buy between 500 and 600 per halloween
 

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I also started doing glow bracelets and necklaces after my sister had started putting them in her ToT bowl to light up the candy and the kids asked for those instead! I offer either and the glow sticks always go first and I give good candy. I pick them up from the dollar store and its more economical by far than candy. Also gives any little ones with health concerns or allergies the choice for something still fun.

I love the joke shop toys, I wish I had that growing up! :D
 

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I also started doing glow bracelets and necklaces after my sister had started putting them in her ToT bowl to light up the candy and the kids asked for those instead! I offer either and the glow sticks always go first and I give good candy. I pick them up from the dollar store and its more economical by far than candy. Also gives any little ones with health concerns or allergies the choice for something still fun.

I love the joke shop toys, I wish I had that growing up! :D
 

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We do candy + fun size PlayDoh mini canisters. The PlayDoh is pretty popular even with the teenagers. We usually give 2-3 candies + 2 colors of PlayDoh. One year I also got some great Halloween holographic stickers at Goodwill that looked like they were originally meant to sell in a vending machine. Fun stuff & the kids seem to really enjoy having a fun item to keep after they eat the candy.
 

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Certainly the Chinese products are one way to go. As a kid, I ordered stuff from this company. It's - "Thing You Never Knew Existed". Check them out - thingsyouneverknew.com They used to send out catalogs for free, now they're $2.95. Probably worth it just to browse. They are also known as Johnson Smith company - an American company. You can check out their other odd ventures at johnsonsmith.com
Enjoy,
JD
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Here's the address for that online magic shop I mentioned at the top, in case anyone's interested: Mad Hatter Magic Shop If you scroll around some of the sub-categories along the column to the left, you can find lots of other odd stuff besides just the gags and jokes I buy. I should note that I am in no way receiving and gratuities for my endorsement. Just had a couple of good orders from a dependable company. I think I originally landed there while on a search for smoke bombs or something.

Another great place for fun give-outs is Archie McPhee. Their monster finger puppets would be fantastic, though it would quickly get costly if you see a lot of trick-`r-treaters. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I have a small stockpile of discounted 4th of July lightsticks that I've been sitting on through the last couple of Halloweens. I don't know what the lifespan for those things is, but I've been meaning to use them for an eyes-in-the-bushes decorating technique I read about. Just hasn't happened. If it doesn't this year, I might as well just hand those out, too.
 

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We have an open container law in our town, I'm hoping to have a well stocked bar for the parents this coming halloween.
 

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OK, here's something unusual. For a few years my wife and I chaired the Christmas Bazaar at our Church. The pastor always wanted a theme, and one particular year it was a western one. To decorate the school cafeteria tables we ordered 2 dozen plastic western boot-style mugs. My wife added sand and some western props to make centerpieces. Afterwards we took the mugs home and there they sat. I tried to sell them on eBay and Craigslist - no takers. So this past Halloween I had a great idea - we passed the western mugs out to the parents of the ToTers! The looks on their faces were priceless!
 

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We have an open container law in our town, I'm hoping to have a well stocked bar for the parents this coming halloween.
I never thought of a that, and being in MA I doubt we could get away with it. We usually have a tray of jello shots to hand out to the parents until they run out. They are always well received.
 
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