Why You Should Participate in the Teal Pumpkin Project this Halloween

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More Halloween

little girl in costume holding teal pumpkin project sign

Trick or Treat!

Fall is coming fast and before we know it, we’ll be getting ready for trick or treaters at the door on Halloween night. If you want to feel great about handing out all those goodies, The Teal Pumpkin Project may make you want to participate in Halloween a little differently this year.

What is the Teal Pumpkin Project?

hand holding teal pumpkin project halloween print out

The Teal Pumpkin Project was created by FARE with the idea to give out non-food items so kids are able to participate in the fun holiday, but not receive things that can make them sick. By setting out a teal pumpkin, you tell parents it’s safe for children with allergies to stop at your home and trick or treat.

Here’s what my Hip2Save sidekick Jami said about The Teal Pumpkin Project:

“I love The Teal Pumpkin Project! My best friend’s son has very severe allergies to just about everything and she has always participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project. I have also always tried to be mindful of all kids with allergies since my daughter is not severely allergic but suffers from colon issues and we have had to adjust her diet many times over the years.”

Set a teal pumpkin on your porch to participate.

little kids arm around teal pumpkin

Here’s a list of stores we’ve recently spotted teal pumpkins and you can even order them all online:

girl holding white pumpkin and blue glitter

Hip Tip: If you don’t want to buy a teal one, another great option is to paint a cardboard faux pumpkin or a real one you scoop up from the pumpkin patch. Grab the kids and some paint brushes and make it a fun and educational fall activity.

Here are my top 10 ideas if you want to participate with us:

hand holding wack a pack balloons in store

  1. Bugs in the Sand
  2. Party favor bubbles
  3. 120-piece Party Favors set
  4. Unicorn rubber ducks
  5. Mini character notepads
  6. Glow in the dark ghost bracelets
  7. Halloween Putty
  8. Pack of Spooky Spiders
  9. Halloween bookmarks
  10. Wack-a-Pack balloons

white pumpkin bowl with blue teal goodies inside

Here’s how Hip2Save readers have participated in the Teal Pumpkin Project in the past:

“For years I’ve been handing out glow sticks. My husband was annoyed when I started, but seeing how excited the kids get and how they’d yell to their parents about them, he’s totally into it now. Cheaper than candy too”

– Emily 

“Every year we hand out the mini Halloween tubs of Halloween Play-Doh. It’s so cute to see how excited the little kids get!”

– Kristine 

“We always have Dum Dums which are peanut, dairy, and nut-free in one bowl and toys in another for our teal pumpkin friends. I also save happy meal stuff year-round for goodie bags and purchase little packs of crayons for the little ones so parents can put them in their diaper bags. We also often do bubbles, bracelets, fangs, tattoos, and stickers.”

– Jodi 

“We gave out suction cup phone stands (found a bunch on clearance somewhere) and mini tubs of Play-Doh. The Play-Doh was the biggest hit even with the older kids. Definitely doing it again this year!”

– Cioci 

“We are a teal pumpkin family as well. I keep two separate containers. One with non-food items (mini-notebooks, crayons, party favor type toys, clearance finds, books, etc.) and the other with mini bags of pretzels, microwave bags of popcorn and other “lunch box” snacks. We do ZERO candy in our house since we end up throwing it away anyhow. Whereas the non-candy treats are always eaten right away. We even keep treats for the dogs, it always blows dog owners away.”

– Toretto 

Did you see these 5 fall mantels I put together from Hobby Lobby?!

Join The Discussion

Comments 39

  1. Lady H

    We love teal pumpkin! We have done it for years, and having kiddos with allergies, we always look for the teal pumpkins. We print out a flyer from the website every year and post it on our house at the beginning of October so people who drive by our house can see it all season long to know we’re participating. It also helps spread awareness. Such a fantastic movement!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      It sure is. Thanks for sharing how you have participated each year, Lady H!

  2. Courtney

    I have heard about the Teal Pumpkin Project before and feel that it is such a great movement. My 19 month old son has had food allergies since he was born and trying to determine what made him sick at the beginning was heartbreaking. Also, being a mom with a child who has food allergies, it is so unbelievably hard sometimes because they don’t understand why they can’t have what everyone else is having, allergy safe treats doesn’t just make my life easier, but it brightens that child’s day even more!! While I did check the map in our area for other households participating, I only found one, and it isn’t close. So this year we will be placing a sign and our teal pumpkin out! Hopefully it will bring awareness to other parents who stop by.

  3. Kat

    I made a white shirt with a teal pumpkin on it last year to wear while taking my kids around – I carried non candy treats to hand out while we walked and my husband carried a bowl of candy – best of both worlds! I missed handed out candy since we had five little ones to take trick or treating!

    • J

      That was generous & awesome of you all to still hand out treats!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      What a great idea, Kat! Thanks for taking the time to comment!

    • Jill

      I never thought of handing it out while we are walking around. Thanks for the idea.

  4. Carrie

    We have also done the teal pumpkin for at least the last 4 years. We find those vampire teeth to be the biggest hit, and you can get a 10 pack at Michael’s for less 10 pieces of candy. We also stock up on things when Halloween stuff goes on clearance, and since, unlike candy, vampire teeth and pencils, and snap bracelets don’t go bad, we always have a fantastic selection at very minimal cost.

  5. Brooke

    We love the Teal Pumpkin Project! While the above comments in your post are helpful, it might be worth re-thinking the idea of handing out Play-Doh. It is unsafe for anyone with a gluten/wheat allergy or sensitivity – especially those with Celiac Disease!

    • Jenn

      Agree with the play-doh comment. Play-doh contains wheat, which is one of the top 8 food allergies that the teal pumpkin project looks to avoid. Also, there are some Halloween packages of chocolate sixlets that are packaged in teal and are promoting the TPP but are NOT safe. I hope this helps someone!

      • Shannon

        Umm they aren’t EATING the playdoh?!? Does it cause them allergies to touch it?

        • Shawna

          Yes, some have reactions from touching it.

        • Wehaf

          For some people, yes. Even without that, though, young kids often put their fingers or hands in their mouths, especially while eating. If they play with Play-Doh, and don’t wash their hands immediately after, they may well end up consuming enough to cause problems.

        • TraciBo

          People that are allergic to wheat and colorings and other ingredients in a play-doh or slime cannot/should not touch it. I am so allergic to wheat I cannot even smell play-doh without having an allergic reaction; however each individual will have a different severity and a different reaction. Also, children with Celiac Disease cannot/should not touch it. I buy different items and always make sure the ingredients are on there and have the adult tell me which treat they can have. I have a cousin in Chicagoland that gives out potatoes 🥔 every year and the kids flock to their house

  6. Marie

    I can’t live in a world where there’s no candy on Halloween so it’s our tradition to fill little bags with a pencil, toys, and candy that way kids who want candy get it and kids who cant have the candy can just have the toys and toss the candy (or let mom and dad have it :P). Best of both worlds.

    • Jen

      My kiddo has food allergies and can’t live without candy on Halloween either! She wants to be like her siblings & friends. It’s never been an issue for us – we just switch out her candy for the stuff she can eat. My kids love goodie bags – nothing better than toys AND candy!!

  7. Jenn

    Love!!!! Thanks for sharing the information! We have three littles with severe food allergies and it honestly means the world to me and my kids are when people are thoughtful enough to be all inclusive! 😊

    • Collin (Mrs. Hip)

      You’re very welcome, Jenn! 🤗

  8. JW

    I have never heard of the teal pumpkin project but will be adding this to our porch this year! How could you not?! Thank you for sharing this! 🤗

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      You are so welcome and thanks for making it a part of your Halloween, JW!

    • Pamela I Morris

      I absolutely love this idea for children who have allergies. Being classified as being allergic too myself & having to live on breathing medicine, up to 32 medications, along with epipens for the past 12 year’s has definitely made me aware of everything in & around my environment, yet have never heard or seen anything on the teal pumpkin project. I was surprised reading about the teal pumpkin project & seems to have been going on for some while. I am in the allergist/immunologist office more than I visit my own adult children & grandchildren & have never seen anything about this project. Nor, have I ever seen a teal pumpkin on any porch in my community or surrounding community & We don’t miss a Halloween trick or treat night. I will definitely be painting me one of the white pumpkins this year & participating at my son’s home to hand out the treats while they go tricking. I will be sharing this information with my Drs office as well so they can spread this news for the upcoming holiday as well.

  9. V

    My daughter has peanut and tree nut allergies, and no one in our neighborhood does the teal pumpkins. So sad! So, we usually separate out what she can eat, and sell all the rest back at our dentist “candy buy back” for $.

  10. Sarah Lamb

    My 7 year old was diagnosed with food allergies last August. I went full out Teal Pumpkin last year, even though we had always had non toy items to give, I did 75% toys and you k ow what? It was the candy, not the toys left behind! We had over 300 trick or treaters too!

  11. Anne

    Any ideas on items that are easily recyclable/biodegradable? I often see stuff for this project thats like plastic vampire teeth or cheap toys that just end up in the trash.
    So far I can just think of stickers/tattoos and pencils.
    All the trash waste around holidays makes me sad.

  12. Melie

    I’ve handed out glow sticks with our candy for several years now and kids *love* it. Plus it helps keep them a little more visible trick-or-treating in the dark :).

    Also, off topic, but the organization behind the teal pumpkin project (FARE – Food Allergy Research & Education) has some fantastic resources for those with food allergies. Their “Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan” is fantastic for anyone who needs to carry an epi-pen – it details symptoms to look for and how to use common auto-injectors, with spaces to fill in information like your specific allergens, medication dosages, and doctor’s contact info.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks so much for the information on FARE, Melie!

    • Lisa

      Where do you get the glow sticks from?

    • jen s.

      Great info – I also would like to know best place to get glow sticks???

  13. Karen

    I am glad you posted this as we just had a horrible realization that my daughter has an allergy to tree nuts. So now I too will make that Teal pumpkin and get some glow sticks at the dollar store now to stock up for Halloween. You just never know when those allergies will kick in, my daughter is 18 and never had a problem before. This Halloween we join the teal pumpkins family.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      SO true! My dad found he was allergic to tree nuts in his 30’s and had never had an issue before!

  14. Doreen

    As a mom of a 18 yr old son who found out he had anaphylaxis to peanuts when he went into anaphylactic shock DAYS before his very 1st birthday …I LOVE teal pumpkin!! If anyone is looking for glow sticks- Play Glow Bright Glow Sticks Rings (they are glow bracelets- jst giving everyone proper title to search) at the Dollar Tree (Chgo suburbs) 20 sticks per tube…not bad for $1! HTH

  15. cathieh@live.com

    What a terrific project!!! By the way Home Goods (PA) have Teal pumpkins all of the store ..from glass to soft fabric . They have small ones, large ones and gigantic ones too. Here’s to a safe Halloween for everyone !!!!!

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      How cool! Good to know they have so many varieties available! Thanks for the heads up! We’ll be sure to check for those in our stores too!

  16. Happy Aunt

    I’ve been giving out drinks such as Capri Suns or bottled water along with Frosty coupons. Kids love the novelty And they often ready for a drink.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Those are great treats to give out! Thanks for the suggestion!

  17. 5pink1blue

    We had neighbors that gave out bags of chips and packets of hot chocolate. Not sure about allergens but an alternative to candy.

  18. Darla

    Last few years I’ve been giving away pencils and erasers and Play-Doh with candy. If you are a teal home can you still give away candy as well? Thanks for the new ideas!

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