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3 Alternatives to Trick or Treating

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by Bastion Harrison (subscribe)
Freelance writer and poet from London; if you would like to read my poetry, please check out my book, 'Poems on the Page', available from
Published October 22nd 2013
Halloween Fun at Home
trick or treat, halloween, sweets
By Janine, from Wikipedia

When I was a child, my mum never let me go trick or treating; she thought it was wrong to go knocking on people's doors asking people for sweets. Many parents have similar feelings about Halloween, and there are many good reasons, begging for sweets being just one of them. There is also the issue of being out late at night, talking to strangers, and threatening people with a trick with they don't comply.

If you are not happy to send your children out trick or treating on Halloween, there are plenty of fun alternative activities to enjoy at home. Here are three ideas that keep to the same theme as trick or treating, but can be shared just among friends and family.

1. Trick or Treasure

The equivalent of an Easter egg hunt. Hide sweets and treats around the house and garden, and have the children search for them. You can make things more interesting my giving them a treasure map or scavenger hunt clues, in which the searcher has to make a choice on where to go. Make the wrong one, and instead of finding a sweetie, they'll find a trick, like a forfeit they have to do.

2. Trick or Trivia

Before Halloween became commercialised it was an important historical holiday. Make the day a fun learning experience by holding a quiz. Before Halloween, set your kids a project to study up on the history of Halloween, then on the day hold a quiz. Get the answer right and you get a treat, get it wrong, and you pay the fine. This can be done as individuals (one sweet per correct answer) or in groups (build up a kitty of sweets in a cauldron, and the winning team gets to share the sweets out).

3. Trick in Treat

Halloween baking usually means food with scary decorations like spider web icing or a blood (jam) filled cake, but (unless something goes wrong), they are usually all tasty. It is time to turn things around. Inspired by Harry Potter's Bertie Box Flavour Beans, make some cakes with a hidden surprise inside. And not all of them will be nice. It will be the baking equivalent of Russian roulette.

First bake a batch of ordinary cup cakes, then using a small cookie cutter, cut out a small hole in the middle and fill each on with a different ingredient. Some will be nice - fruit, jam, chocolate, etc, but others won't be so pleasing. Here are some suggestions:

1 tsp marmite
A sprinkle of chilli flakes
Some Branston pickle or piccalilli

Put the tops back on the cake so no one knows what is inside, and then gather everyone around the table. One by one each person will pick a cake. Who will get the treat? Who will get the trick?
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Why? Fun for children
When: Halloween
Where: At home
Your Comment
Love Trick or Trivia!
by Carly Ogborne (score: 3|4626) 3166 days ago
Nice ideas!
by EricaL (score: 3|1684) 3165 days ago
Trick In Treat sounds so fun!
by Gerii Caulfield (score: 2|398) 3130 days ago
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