I thought this was a tradition that all kids grew up with and was surprised when my husband wasn't familiar with it. Basically, someone starts the process by leaving a bag or basket full of Halloween/fall treats on 2 neighbors' front porches, along with a poem that instructs the recipients to each do the same for 2 additional neighbors within 2 days. The recipient places the "BOO" sign on their front door or front window so that other neighbors know they've already been "BOO"-ed, so that they don't get picked twice. If everyone plays along, you can spread the Halloween cheer to over 250 neighbors within 2 weeks!! It is fun for kids to design the "BOO" sign for their neighbors and do the "sneaking" to leave the bag or basket on the front porch, and it is fun for everyone to see the tradition spread from house to house as more houses bear "BOO" signs on their front doors or windows!
The goodies you include in the bag or basket can vary depending on the age / size of the family you're BOOing. When we were kids, the bags were normally mostly candy or Halloween cookies....sometimes there was even a bottle of wine or a couple of beers for Mom and Dad! Since most of the families in our neighborhood have toddlers who are too young for candy, I didn't want our bags to be too candy-heavy; instead, I filled them with Halloween stickers, a Trader Joe's pumpkin bread mix, a kit (from Hobby Lobby) to make a "BOO" garland, Halloween napkins, and a small amount of candy - I figured the pumpkin bread, BOO garland, and stickers were something that the families could enjoy doing together.
It's not too late to start this tradition in your neighborhood! I've included a printable of the "BOO" poem (that provides the instructions for the recipient) below, as well as a printable of the "BOO" ghost sign that we used (although feel free to make your own - or let your kids design one!)
For the "BOO" poem - print on white or colored letter-size paper:
For the "BOO" ghost sign - print on white letter-size paper and then use scissors to cut a ghost shape out of the paper.
Click here to download BOO ghost