The Sunday before Halloween my husband asked me to coordinate trick-or-treating with a friend to which I replied “If it was up to me, we wouldn’t go. I don’t want all that candy.”
Some of you are in sheer horror and others are standing in solidarity nodding their heads thinking “next year, we’ll do something different.”
Regardless of which camp you find yourself aligning with, can we all agree that there is an overload of sugar and figuring out a plan for Halloween candy and what to do with it is a challenge?
Clever Ways to Use Up Halloween Candy
If you spent the night out trick or treating you know that you may come home with an abundant amount of Halloween candy.
What on earth do you do with all that candy?
Here are some fun and resourceful ways to use up Halloween candy, that doesn’t mean gobbling it all up in a night! If you have a large supply of bite-sized treats, use up your surplus in a fun creative way. You will find a variety of ideas to fit you and your family perfectly.
Save it to make an awesome Gingerbread House
If you decorate gingerbread houses for the holidays, save back your candy and let your kids use it when they create their gingerbread houses. They will have a wide variety of options to decorate their houses.
This especially a great idea for using the Halloween candy nobody likes!
You know, Dots make perfect little additions to gingerbread roofs, almond joys could make a log cabin, etc..
Freeze your chocolate
Freeze some of your candy to use throughout the year.
It’s a great thing to have to chop up and toss on top of ice cream, throw in brownie and cookie batter and cook it up, and more.
It’s even awesome to use for birthday parties and other get togethers.
You can find so many recipes to use candy pieces in. With the holidays around the corner, you can make a variety of cookies and bars to hand out to neighbors and loved ones.
Replace With Healthier Alternatives
You might let your kids eat a few pieces of candy on the night of Halloween, and then you can replace the rest with a healthier alternative. You could even buy fun toys (dollar section is a great place to look), pencils, or even healthy snacks.
Start a “Great Pumpkin” tradition
Tell your children that the Great Pumpkin will come in the morning, so they can eat as much as they want to now (or not). Then have the kids leave the sweets out at night and the Great Pumpkin will replace it with a toy or small gift.
They will feel like they aren’t losing anything this way, and will look forward to what surprise they will find when they wake up. A friend does this with their little kids and the kids love it.
Use your Halloween candy for cash and trading
Kids can trade in candy to buy things they would prefer. Some call this the “Switch Witch”.
Ultimately, you create a currency system, they exchange candy as money to buy items they really want. This is a great way to let them decide if they want to eat the candy or trade it in for something they have been dreaming of and it teaches them a bit about money, choice and ROI (return on investment).
Maybe they want a new toy or book. It will cost them a set amount of pieces of candy for the item.
Create an Advent Calendar
Let your kids take part in creating an advent calendar for the holiday season. Use up some of the candy, so that each day your child can get a small treat. It is a fun way to use up some of the candy.
Come up with fun Crafts to make with the candy
Let your child enjoy some fun food-inspired crafts. Maybe make handprint turkeys and then use M&M’s and other colorful treats to make the feathers of the turkey. Or use up other candies to make fun holiday inspired crafts.
Halloween candy buyback is a great way to donate
Whether you donate to a homeless shelter, church, or someone else who could use it, donating is a great way to give back. It teaches your child to give to those in need and helps get rid of all that candy.
Use the candy as a learning tool
Let your kids count the amount of colored Skittles or have them match all the colors together or shapes. It can be a fun learning tool.
For us, we even let the kids pick out out the number of candies they could keep based on their age. Which in itself was learning counting for our littlest, but also an exercise in choices and self-control.
Kara is an author and advocate for positive, grace-filled parenting. She is homeschooler to her 4 children living in Boston, MA and believes in creative educational approaches to help kids dive deeper into a rich learning experience. She has her degree in Secondary Education & Adolescent Childhood Development and is passionate about connecting with and helping other parents on their journey to raise awesome kids!