What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?
Happy October! Halloween is just days away. You might see some teal pumpkin decorations and they’re part of a national campaign called the Teal Pumpkin Project, originally created by Becky Basalone. She had a wonderful idea to have some teal pumpkins and a sign outside to let people know non-food treats are available in a separate container to help kids with food allergies feel included and safe.
Disclaimer: Please check that all ingredients are suitable for your allergies and be sure to ask your medical care team regarding any allergy related questions (I do not share medical advice). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Choose Allergy Safe Non-Food Ideas
Some examples of non-food treats include coins, Halloween themed stickers, pencils, bubbles, decks of cards, etc.. As you shop for different items, be mindful to avoid potential allergens in non-food items such as latex in balloons, wheat in play dough, nickel in costume jewelry, and dyes in temporary tattoos.
We seldom ever have people come to our house so this year I’m hosting a vehicle at my church’s trunk or treat. I was happy to see that CVS has a lot of non-food options along with the usual Halloween candies. However, I have some issues with being around latex and opted to order online so that I could choose items that are latex-free to stay safe.
I shopped online and found some unique non-food treats that might be fun, functional, or spark a new interest. I added links so you can see what I mean but over time those links might change due to availability (or if you find this post next year). I also recommend checking after Halloween to see if anything super cute that stores well is still available at a lower price.
12 Unique Teal Pumpkin Project Non-Food Items
My professional background is in education and as a former teacher, I like to give away things that are fun and also offer learning opportunities. I also tapped into my local Buy Nothing, Sell Nothing group and my neighbors gave me some items to give away which added more variety to my selections. Some kids came back multiple times which was rewarding for me to see.
- Increase trick or treaters’ visibility at night. LED items that blink and light up are great. I bought some LED rings (affiliate) but ended up not liking them as the battery cover came lose during the event. These jelly light up rings (affiliate) look a little bit better, but if you order early you have more time to check and return as needed. Glow sticks are also a great option to increase visibility.
- Check with your local businesses for freebies or low cost coupons. Our local bowling alley used to give away packs of free bowling passes, good for one game.
- Bugs are awesome. These creepy crawly insects (affiliate) light up and look beautiful. Alternatively, you can also buy a combo pack of insects and glow sticks (affiiate).
- Sensory toys are fun. People who like to hold something or fidget will enjoy silicone stress relief and sensory toys (affiliate) and keychains (affiliate).
- The former teacher in me loves school related items. Bookmark rulers (affiliate) that kids can use at school or for completing homework.
- I love multipoint pencils when I was a child, these Halloween multipoint pencils (affiliate) are cute but a bit pricey.
- Another childhood favorite are multicolored pens (affiliate) with a pumpkin decorative topper, some of them are teal pumpkins.
- There are lots of glow in the dark options. I also ordered these glow in the dark bugs and fingertips (affiliate). Glow in the dark bouncy balls (affiliate) are also fun and easier to find if they glow in the dark. If you like cute things like I do, these mochi squishy glow in the dark toys (affiliate) are adorable. Place these items in the sun or under bright lights until they glow in the dark (10-30 minutes, as time allows).
- Wind up toys (affiliate) are great for developing fine motor skills.
- Encourage hydration. Buy stickers or labels to decorate small 8 oz bottles of water with stickers (affiliate link) or Halloween water bottle labels (affiliate). Trick or treaters will become thirsty after an evening of walking and yelling “trick or treat!”, quench their thirst with a bottle of water.
- Older kids love vinyl stickers (affiliate), look for ones which are waterproof and easy to remove.
- Save money by shopping for Halloween party favor packs (affiliate) for a fun and large assortment of toys. This is an affordable option where each item will cost about the same as candy and you can save any leftovers for the following year.
Bonus idea: If you need a special gift to tuck into a Halloween basket for a loved one, I adore Winston, the teal colored owl. Both Squishmallows Winston the Mummy Owl or Winston the Owl Frankenstein (affiliate) are so cute!!
Have a Safe and Healthy Halloween
If I were to do this again, I recommend pre-packaging the gifts into little goody bags and limit the opportunity to pick through items for hygiene reasons.
If you are staying home to pass out treats, be sure to put a sign outside to let trick or treaters know that you have teal pumpkin non-food treats for children with food allergies. You can also learn more on FARE’s site about the Teal Pumpkin Project.
I bought a cute teal pumpkin sign (affiliate) to hang on my car for the trunk or treat, some teal and black streamers, and will use other items that I already have in my house. I recently found a very cute teal pumpkin sign with the FARE logo on it. My neighbors in my local BNSN group also gave me extra toys to give away.
If you’re passing out candy or want to buy some allergy safe Halloween candy, I recommend Kids With Food Allergies’ Halloween Candy Post. They’ve included some of my favorites: Enjoy Life Foods, Amanda’s Own, free2b, Gimball’s Jelly Beans, Surf Sweet, Trader’s Joe’s sunflower seed cups, and YumEarth. Definitely head over to their website and check out the complete allergen information.
If you are heading out with your children to trick or treat, have a good dinner before so no one is tempted to snack on treats before returning home to read labels and check for safety. Walk with a group to stay visible and carry a flashlight. Most importantly, remember to bring your epi, other emergency meds, and a fully charged phone in case of an emergency.
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