This Halloween, head out for some Reverse Trick or Treating with the kids! Reverse trick or treating is a fun way to give as well as receive on Halloween.
In cultures where Halloween is not widely accepted, but the kids are dying to go trick or treating, this is an alternative way to take them around the neighbourhood.
‘Oh I forgot all about Halloween’.
‘We don’t have any treats here’.
‘I’m sorry, we don’t celebrate Halloween’.
These are all responses my kids have gotten when trick or treating on Halloween. The holiday is not actually a holiday in Australia and the older generations never celebrated it at all. You can see why they’d be a bit baffled or annoyed to have the neighbourhood kids dressed in costume and knocking on their door to ask for junk food. Before I had kids, I never celebrated it either.
Meanwhile, Halloween has been FULLY EMBRACED by the younger generations. They’re talking about what costumes they’ll be wearing long in advance, looking forward to trick or treating and wanting to make fun Halloween crafts and decorate their homes with ghosts and other scary things.
This kind of leaves parents stuck in the middle.
Of course, if you tell them we won’t be trick or treating because Halloween is not celebrated here they’ll be the only kids in the class who aren’t allowed trick or treat (or so they tell you).
What to do?
You could knock on the doors of only the homes which look halloweenish, but some people do remember to buy treats and don’t really decorate their homes. You could buy your kids off with a new toy or a bag of sweets instead, but that’s nowhere near as much fun as door knocking. You could plan to be out that night (haha – I’ve done this option in the past).
These days, we like to go reverse trick or treating.
Reverse Trick or treating
Reverse trick or treating is where we hand out treats as well as receive them. Last year we’ve made some pumpkin and ghost marshmallow treats, but you don’t have to make them. It could just be a small chocolate, lolly or whatever you want. Pre-wrapped sweets are probably best at the moment.
We like it because it diffuses that awkward moment when the person has no treats to hand out.
When my girls hear the “I’m sorry” comments, they can now reply with “That’s OK, we have a Halloween treat for you”. Then they hand over a home made treat. It’s so much more fun than playing a trick.
We’ve done this for the past two or three years, and it always goes down, well, a treat!
The neighbours now say things like “Thank you, how lovely”, and “We don’t usually celebrate Halloween, but next year we’re going to”.
Free printable Reverse trick or treating label
If you want to make up a reverse trick or treating bag to take with you, I’ve made up a freebie printable. Glue it on the front of a paper gift bag filled with treats to hand out.
Free printable Trick or treaters welcome sign
If you want to make sure trick or treaters don’t skip your house because they’re afraid you’ll have no treats (which is kind of annoying if you’ve gone out and bought some), I’ve also made up a Trick or treaters Welcome sign to glue on your letterbox or front door.
Trick or treaters Welcome sign
My guess is that in a generation or two’s time, Halloween will be more widely accepted and celebrated here in Australia. Until then, let’s Reverse trick or Treat!
More fun Halloween ideas
- Make a spooky pom pom popper
- Decorate your windows with tissue paper Halloween suncatchers
- Create the cutest Yarn doll ghosts
- These peg doll monsters are so colourful and fun to make!
- Have you seen out Halloween printable craft collection?
Love the idea. I don’t celebrate Halloween as such but I do have treats for children that knock on the door. I see it as a bit of fun for children in this crazy world.
I agree totally! They really love it.
When I was a kid, Halloween was a big deal. Our mom bought 3 costumes in the early 1960s that were worn by all 5 of us at one time or another. One house in a small town near where we lived always had a line from her front door and down the sidewalk. The old woman who lived there alone didn’t hand out candy. She gave hot chocolate drinks with marshmallows or whipped cream. Everybody went there because Halloweens were usually cold back then.
Reversing Trick or Treat is a wonderful idea. I wish I had thought of it.
Id like to difitemiut a way to incorporate this idea so we CAN celebrate at school. Right now, Halloween is off limits due mainly to the few kids who dont celebrate or cant afford costumes. That’s a hard one though. I get it, but doing away with a tradition that is so fun for kids makes me sad.
If anyone has some ideas, please share.
Call it a Harvest Festival. No scary costumes. Dress as a Famous person (wear sweats: you are an athlete!) or whatever you want to be when you grow up example: wear a suit to be a CEO/ business executive. Do some brain storming: dress as a fairy tale character, a food……