Everything You Need to Know to Nail a Boo Basket

Photo by: Yaroslav Shuraev. Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase something through a link, I may make a small commission at no cost to you.

The most wonderful time of year is upon us. I have an appreciation for all seasons, but there is something truly magical about the period between late September through the New Year. Maybe it’s the festivities. Perhaps it’s the tradition or the change of seasons into a more hygge lifestyle. Whatever the case, I truly love this time of year and try to make this season extra special for the little people in my life. One way I do this: boo baskets.

Boo baskets are a fun spin on another holiday favorite around here – The Black Friday basket. While that’s certainly a conversation for another day, these baskets are what inspired me to begin The Invisible Trendsetter. After having a friend call me “extra” for all these little things I do, and then having the same person ask about how to put one together, I came to realize that even though I was invisible to society, I was also five steps ahead of everyone else.

So.. what is a boo basket?

For the people who don’t live on Pinterest, a boo basket is a basket of Halloween-themed goodies given to children to excite them about the coming holiday.

Image by: Daisy Anderson

When do you gift the boo basket?

In my house, we enjoy giving the boo basket either October 1 or the first weekend in October. I try to time this with the day we will be decorating for Halloween, but this year, a small mutiny formed, and decorating happened earlier than I’d hoped. Do whatever makes your heart sing, but I do recommend timing it around another fun anchor for the year – decorating, apple picking, crafting, whatever.

What should I include in the Boo basket?

Halloween is such a fun season, ammi right? I love it so much, that I made it my wedding anniversary. No, I’m not kidding. While you can’t go wrong with anything fun and Halloween-themed, I like lists and ideas. I’ve compiled a list of all the wins we’ve had in previous years in hopes it brings some joy to your household, too.

Spooky Window Clings

My children would love it if I allowed them to run amuck with the decorations. Unfortunately, we have different opinions about what looks “nice.” To give them some decorating autonomy, I set aside a window or door (usually out of my daily view), and then gift them with some mom-approved window clings. Pro tip: avoid the “gel” clings with kids under 4.


My kids still enjoy dressing up and I typically DIY our costumes using Primary. I make their costume part of their Boo basket so they enjoy dressing up all month! Also, by getting their costumes early, I can ensure we get all the pieces and parts we need, they’re seasonally appropriate, comfortable and they all FIT. Crazy, I know.

Halloween Jammies

Matching family jams are all the rage. And for good reason – they’re adorable. From Carter’s to Hanna to Primary, they’re all on sale by the second week in September, leaving plenty of time for shipping.

Festive Leggings / Outfit

I like to move on from a holiday after it’s happened. Halloween is no exception. I gift my kiddos a Halloween outfit at the beginning of the month, and they can wear it 31 days straight for all I care. It gives them the opportunity to celebrate Halloween outside of sleep and the day of. This year, I snagged a pair of orange-cream striped leggings from Primary and a solid black t-shirt. The kids feel festive and I can rest easy knowing I can re-wear the pieces throughout the year.

Nail Stickers

With three little girls in the house, you’d better believe we paint many nails (with toxin-free nail polish, thank you very much). A great way to amp up the fun is by using nail stickers! I love the ones by Dashing Diva, but they don’t have the kids’ variety on Amazon.

Nail Polish

Quality non-toxic nail polish is hard to find. My favorites are Kapa Nui (everything free) and Ella & Mila (17 free). Piggy Paint comes off in the bath, and Kapa Nui can be a little persnickety on little hands. None of the natural nail polishes last very long, but it brings happiness to my household.

Halloween Treats

Photo by: Charles Parker.

Most kids love Halloween because of the candy. I say most because I was never one of them. My kids? They’re sugar bugs. Whatever the case, pick out some of your kiddos’ favorite treats (candy or otherwise), and put them in the Boo basket. It’s a fun way to kick off the festivities, and maybe it’ll even help mitigate the Halloween night candy binge. That’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

Halloween-Themed Books

The benefits of reading to and with kids are widely known. Beyond improving their own reading skills, reading to your children improves your relationship with them. And, of course, it can expose them to interests and ideas that go beyond the school’s radar. And real talk: reading for pleasure is something everyone could stand to do more of, and Halloween-themed books are just that – fun. Here are a few of our favorites:

For the 0-2 Crowd:

For the pre-k crowd:

For the elementary crowd:

Stickers, Pencils & Notebooks

My family has found a lot of joy in these stickers, but I’m sure any Halloween-loving kid would be happy to receive Halloween-themed school supplies. And have you tried Paint by Sticker? Genius.

Craft Supplies

What kids don’t love crafts? I can’t think of any. Michael’s has a ton of kid-friendly craft supplies this time of year. Bonus points: it’s a consumable, so once Halloween is over, you don’t have to store it (or you’ll have a cute keepsake for when you’re old). You’re welcome.

Play-Dough Kits

My favorite place to get play-dough kits is through Young, Wild & Friedman. She does an amazing job with her kits and my kids are always thrilled to receive one. The YWF kits are also my go-to birthday gift for other families. I do recommend either getting a mini or midi kit, as opposed to the larger variety and absolutely avoid anything with slime for the 0-3 crowd.

Fun Safety Supplies

Do you know what stresses me out on Halloween? Cars. In fact, it’s such a point of contention for me, that I started driving 14 hours to my parents’ house to Trick or Treat in a neighborhood. Well, that and the weather. And the vibe. I digress. Anyway, my kids are still little enough that they enjoy wearing light-up shoes, but I also go ahead and throw some glow necklaces/bracelets their way. They come in such a big pack, that I’m able to put some in their baskets and keep some stored for the big night.

Activity Books

Besides the Halloween Paint by Sticker, my children have found a lot of joy in the Usborne activity books.

Little anchors make big memories.

I struggle with ending my posts. But today, I want to leave you with this: “Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.” -Charles Swindoll.

Whether you do a boo basket or go to the pumpkin patch every year, or skip the festivities altogether to binge on Chinese food and Hocus Pocus, the anchors and traditions you set when your kids are little are the memories they will have for a lifetime. Life is for living, so set your intention, take advantage of the season, and make this year magical.

Happy Halloween!

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