Sunday, November 2, 2008

Don't Throw That Away!...Halloween candy

I know, I're probably thinking "Why would we keep all this sugar?" but I am certain you (and your tots) will want to play around with it for a while. I don't have any pictures for you because I only have half a bag of candy corn here in the casa but I will try to dig up some links for you to look at.

Did you know you can turn your kidlet's Halloween loot into a learning experience? Sure you can! The first and easiest thing to do is to sort it. I'm not sure about your kidlets but I remember the first thing I did was sort my sweets. Since your wee ones probably already do this in their own way, take a few steps further and guide it.

Play the guessing game. Have your kidlet write down how many pieces of candy they think they have. Spend time counting it out. Count by twos, threes or fives to mix it up.

Ways to sort:
*by color
*chocolates versus others
*favorites to not-so-favorites
*by multiples

When sorting with your wee ones, don't forget to ask questions. They may come up with their very one ingenious way of sorting. After sorting, get mathematical by graphing their findings. You can use a piece of paper or some posterboard. Break out the markers and graph away.

*save the wrappers for a collage. Sort by color and make color collages.
*save any small boxes and turn them into structures or Robots like That Artist Woman.
*save the hard candies for a gingerbread house
*have an abundance of American Smarties? have your tots smash 'em up to make a "sand" art collage, or use Pixy Stix.
*save the wrappers to use in a paper maché bowl for next year

*chop up the chocolate bits and mix them into cookie batter. Freeze the rest for a later use.
*melt the hard candies into nifty lollipops or temporary sun-catchers to brighten a chilly day.
*turn the mini bars into hot chocolate (add to milk in a saucepan and stir)
*make s'mores
*add some bits to freshly popped popcorn for a special movie night
*turn it into an advent calendar like Brenda of Secret Agent Josephine did.
*decorate cupcakes or a birthday cake

A few years ago I was hanging out with some nifty kidlets just after Halloween and while they were only allowed two pieces after dinner, they did build some amazing castles with their loot. We would dump the candy onto the kitchen table and they would sort the pieces they wanted to use and stack them up and arrange them until a castle or other structure was built. Then, out game the Playmobile people or Littlest Pet Shop animals and some great imaginary play would happen. Sometimes we would imagine what would happen if we ate all the candy right then and there and other times we would make up stories about the candy. There aren't too many children who aren't enamored with sweets. Why not use them as a stepping stone to great conversations, creative & critical thinking with a few tasty treats thrown in?


  1. LOVE THIS! Would you mind if I repost this on my blog ( and link it back to you (as the author)? This is AWESOME and I'd love to share it with my readers but would like your permission first! Please email me at bosssanders (at) gmail (dot) com

  2. Great ideas!!!! Thanks so much for sharing!

  3. This is wonderful! Just yesterdy one of my kids found yet another bucket of Halloween candy in the back of the pantry closet. Thanks for the great ideas!