Daycare/School Trunk or Treat Tips

Here’s what you need to know or have forgotten from last year

We have been participating in my daughter’s Trunk or Treat day at school since we moved to the area. We have come a LONG way.

The first year, I couldn’t take the day off since I had taken off time to take the bar exam. My husband went solo, and RAN OUT OF CANDY. He had to borrow some candy from the mom next to him. He also did the decorations, so he had a pumpkin table cloth, a string of ghost lights, a fake web, and sparkly spiders.

That may seem like a lot of things, but if you have gone to a Trunk or Treat you know that he clearly was an amateur. I was told that I needed to plan ahead for the next year.

Fast forward to the next year I found myself in Walmart the night before looking for decorations. I didn’t quite understand the scale that people went. I was so, so wrong. Let’s all go through this together. Each year we get better, but hopefully this helps us all.


For our trunk-or-treat, we are dealing with the age range of zero to 5. So for the babies, pouches are a great thing to hand out that they will actually get to eat. Applesauce pouch is a great basic one you can buy in bulk. Then have a range of animal crackers, fruit snacks, and goldfish. Depending on the kid, one of these will be a hit and it’s unlikely their parents are going to steal it away from them. Keep the actual candy for the kids three and up.

I also kept a separate container for kids who couldn’t do regular candy or who had allergies. Pre-pandemic vampire teeth was a hit. But bug-eye bouncy balls, stickers, spider rings–these are great small items that end up also being just as popular as the candy. Mini-PlayDoh has been a huge hit.


There are some people who are amateurs, and there are some that are experts when it comes to trunk-or-treat. I’m not at expert level, but I always have hopes for next year. I certainly don’t consider us amateurs anymore. We bring chairs to sit in! That’s a level up.

As a family, we try to do group costumes. We’ve done Baby Shark, Paw Patrol, and Ghostbusters. We now try to decorate the trunk-or-treat in order to match those costumes. Regardless of the theme, there is a structure that helps us.

  • Table: place for the candy to go as well as any decor items. We use a fold up table that can be set at kid-level.
  • Two chairs: at least one chair for each adult. A couple kid chairs too if you want some to stick around.
  • Water and snacks: if you want to try to keep yourself out of the candy.
  • Bandaids: we’ve ran into an issue with red ants in the past. The bandaids and water were key.
  • Games: kids love to be able to play a game at each chair. Can create a variation of lawn games (we like a variation of cornhole/sandbag toss).
  • Bubble machine: no brainer, always a hit.
  • Balloons are a great idea but watch the weather to make sure it’s not a windy day. You may end up spending your day chasing balloons instead of taking cute pictures.
  • Pets! If you have a dog that is good with kids and crowds, throw a costume on him/her and bring them. Teddy the Goldendoodle dressed as Chase from Paw Patrol was the biggest hit. Plus it gave our daughter an opportunity to introduce her class to her Clifford-sized dog.

Take advantage of the vehicle and try to incorporate it into your decor. I’ve seen people take their white SUV and decorate it to look like the Echo1 from Ghostbusters (not us, but I wish!) and I’ve seen the top of the SUV hatch door with sparkly streamers that give a Frozen-style decor.

Pandemic Notes

We used gloves to place all of the candy onto a low table in front of the car. We sat in yard chairs (a must) further back from the table but enough to monitor. We then added as needed between the classes. Even though we were outside, we did wear masks. My 10 month old didn’t recognize me since I didn’t wear my regular masks.

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