Pumpkins are out, leaves are turning and the Halloween candy is in BULK in the stores. Guess it’s that time of year again, huh? And if your house is anything like mine, you haven’t even bought/made a costume yet. My son has changed his mind on costumes 5 times so far!

You may also be like a lot of parents these days in having concerns about going trick or treating door to door. Back when we were kids, there wasn’t the slightest hesitation in going to as many doors as you could knock on and eating any of the treasured loot when you came home. But times have changed and going door to door is giving many parents a cause to pause and think of other ways to celebrate the holiday that doesn’t require the danger of candy from strangers.

A great alternative is hosting a simple trick or treat gathering at your home! Don’t be afraid – even the most simple décor and set up will thrill the children. They may even go home with better loot than trotting around the neighborhood.

Here’s how you do it!

  1. Invite your child’s friends over for a Trick or Treat party. You can get creative with wording to suggest that this is an alternative to trick or treating such as “Join us to load up on loot at our Trick or Treat party”, etc. To make it easy, use an electronic invitation to the parents like Paperless Post. (Visit this link on my website to get 35 free stamps!)
  2. The purpose of the party is to create an alternative to Trick or Treating. Set up one table with various candy and trinkets. Your local dollar store is perfect for this! Make sure to take into account the ages of the children attending. Spider rings, stickers, flashlights, Halloween erasers, pencils, etc are great. Put each item in separate bowls or jars to create a trick or treat station.
  3. Do the same with treats. Display various treats for each child to take home. The plus side of having your own trick or treat party is that you get to limit the amount and types of candy that is given. Don’t like giving children chocolate? Don’t put any on the table! Have a table with a variety of candy or only one or two things and go heavier on the trinkets – it’s up to you!
  4. The fun part is letting the child fill his own container with what they like. Target recently had adorable mini Halloween pails in their dollar section. These are perfect for this type of event for two reasons. 1. They are cute! But more importantly 2. They are small and you can fill it easily! Be extra cautious when choosing the containers. You want something on the smaller side that fills easily giving the illusion to children that they are getting a LOT of loot.
  5. Plan to have kid friendly party foods such as hot dogs, mini sandwiches, pretzels, etc and also have a few activities. A costume show and tell would be fun for younger ages where each child talks about their costume, who they are and why they like them, etc.
  6. Décor. If this isn’t your forte’, no problem. Here are a few tips to keep it simple:

    Elevate small pumpkins and glittery words on candlesticks. Use many candlesticks to give various heights to your décor. One word (from Target) on a candlestick. Easy!

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    Use pumpkins! They are easy decoration! I slid a bat ring over the stem of this mini white pumpkin. Adds a small touch of color and interest. (Bat rings came from the dollar store!)

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    Never underestimate the power of BUGS. Smaller kids love fake bugs. And you can use them everywhere! Fill a vase with them! Use them on top of cupcakes! Scatter them on tables, etc.

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    Same with skeletons! Instant spooky and kids love how they move. Get them at the dollar store and sit them up in unexpected places.

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With Halloween next week, you still have plenty of time to pull off a super fun and SAFE gathering for your child and their friends! All of these tips add up to an easy fun time with friends and costumes while still going home with a bag full of fun!