You’ve Been Booed! Boo Back or Start a New Tradition for Your Neighborhood!

You've Been Booed

You’ve Been Booed! Now what? If you’ve ever had the privilege of opening your front door to see a Halloween-themed goodie bag left for you, someone has thought of you and tagged you in a game of pay it forward! It’s called Booing and it’s a really cute way to spread good spirits all month leading up to Halloween. It’s especially great because you can involve your kids every step of the way. If you’ve been booed, boo back by creating a one-of-a-kind goodie basket or two to surprise neighbors with or start the “You’ve Been Booed” tradition for your neighborhood.

You’ve Been Booed! What Does That Mean?

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Have you ever gotten to the window at the Starbucks drive-through only to be told that your drink has been paid for by the person in front of you? The person in front of you paid it forward and you have the choice to pay it forward for the next person. Sometimes the pay-it-forward will last hours with delighted customers eager to put a smile on the next person’s face.

It’s the same idea with Booing (aka Boo bag, Boo bucket, Boo basket, getting Booed or Boo’d). You fill a basket with treats and anonymously drop it off on a neighbor’s porch with a “You’ve Been Booed” sign and note explaining the surprise and instructions on how to Boo two additional neighbors. Hopefully they will continue the chain and it will spread throughout the whole neighborhood.

you've been booed

How To Boo

If you’ve been booed, follow the instructions left with you on the sign or in the basket. If you’ve never been booed, you can start a fun new tradition in your neighborhood! It’s an activity that lasts all month and kids love surprising one another and seeing which neighbors have been booed and which ones might be next! The best part of booing is that you don’t have to worry about what time to trick or treat or if the weather will cooperate on Halloween night, you can Boo people anytime!

Step 1: Pick a Container

It can be a basket, a bucket, a small paper bag, or a cup. I like things with handles so that you can hang it on a door handle to keep it out of reach of small animals and keep it safe from the elements. Some opt for gift bags so they can print and stick a label on the bag that says “You’ve Been Booed!” Psst: I’ve seen booing supplies in the Dollar Spot at Target!

Step 2: Gather your Goodies

It’s Halloween so anything goes! Candy, stickers, themed erasers, temporary tattoos, balloons, bubbles, pencils, books, Dracula teeth, glow-in-the-dark eyeballs, individually wrapped treats, glow sticks, and most importantly, toothbrushes!! I ran to the Dollar Tree and bought pretty much everything in the store. If you have young ones, handmade drawings or paintings would be especially appreciated by older neighbors.

Step 3: Prepare Instructions and a Boo Sign

Finding a random bag of goodies on your doorstep may be confusing. One of the first things someone should see when looking in the bag should be an instruction sheet. This can be a simple printed out quarter sheet of paper (or if you have appropriately aged children, they can write out instructions). It should explain that they’ve been Booed and should hang up a We’ve Been Booed sign (that you provide) signifying that they’ve been Booed so they will not get hit twice. You should provide two additional We’ve Been Booed signs for them to use or a template for them to make their own.

Here’s a sample instruction sheet:


You’ve Been Booed!

Now it’s your turn to Boo two other people in the neighborhood.

Here’s what you do:

  • Fill two bags with candy and treats. Make two copies of this letter and the We’ve Been Booed sign. Choose two neighbors who have not already been Booed and make a Boo bag for them. Include treats, this letter, and a Boo sign.
  • At a time when your neighbors aren’t around or near the front door, leave your treats for them. You can ring the doorbell, just make sure to run so they don’t see you!
  • Hang the We’ve Been Booed sign on your front door so everyone can see that you have already been Booed. And look for the sign when deciding who to Boo next.

you've been booed

Step 4: Deliver your Boo Bag

This is the most exciting part for the kids. Try to start it a couple of weeks before Halloween to ensure everybody has enough time to pay it forward. You can make it a whole operation to scope out houses and make sure they don’t already have a Boo sign. If the coast is clear, leave the Boo bag on the front porch or their door handle. You can deliver when they’re not home or ring the doorbell and quickly run away! The kids will be excited when they see their Boo sign hung up in the coming days.

Step 5: Wait, Watch, and Walkabout

In the days or weeks leading up to Halloween, it’ll be fun for your kids to walk around the neighborhood looking for Boo signs. They can then compare notes with the kids whose houses were also Booed. They might be itching to assemble and deliver a few more Boo bags so make sure to get extra materials just in case!

*If you don’t live in a neighborhood that is conducive to this type of activity (no other kids, houses too far apart, etc.) you can easily adapt this to other social networks. You could do a sports team, a classroom, a friend group, etc. Just be sure to explain who is included in the instructions.

We are looking forward to this fun activity this year. Our kids love Halloween, surprises, and their neighbors! The whole process will be exciting for them from creating the goodie bags to ringing the doorbell and running. So get creative and bring a smile to someone’s face this Halloween! If your kids love the You’ve Been Booed concept as much as mine did, start preparing for a You’ve Been Gobbled Thanksgiving or spread holiday cheer by starting a You’ve Been Jingled tradition!

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9 thoughts on “You’ve Been Booed! Boo Back or Start a New Tradition for Your Neighborhood!”

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  4. To boo someone you could get a basket, bucket, or a bag. Then after that is all settled put your goodies in what ever you are using. Make sure you surprise them and put the goodies at their house when they are not there. Then once you do that, when they get home they will have to boo someone else.

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  9. S Rosalind Mixson

    Spook-tacular. My daughter & son-in-law’s family was ” booed.” They & my grandchildren were thrilled.

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