My thoughts on Halloween is this: I love dressing my kids up. I even don’t mind sewing and creating costumes. I love taking Halloween photos and seeing their little happy faces. What I don’t like about Halloween? The presumption that it’s a free pass to be a total blood-thirsty weirdo and chill your neighbors to their bones with Styrofoam gravestones in the yard and creepy things that cackle when you walk by and the plethora of leftover candy–the bags and bags of candy. I kind of hate it. And hate is a strong word, but I look at it and I just sort of want to vomit. What are we supposed to do with it? It feels so wasteful to throw it away, but the option of eating it all is just preposterous. Hello, diabetes. #sarcasm
Naturally, I brainstormed. As my sweet children sorted and traded their candy, I brainstormed what on earth I could do with all of this stuff without making my kids feel like I’ve stolen from them. Here’s seven ideas I came up with….
Seven things to do with leftover Halloween candy
1. Chop up the candy bars and use for ice cream or ice cream toppings.
We love making ice cream in our ice cream maker all winter. It sort of brings out my old-fashioned flair with great modern-day appliances
involved. Sift out all those great chocolate bars like Snickers, Reeses, Butterfinger, or Heath and chop them up. If you’re going to use them for ice cream, chop them a little smaller, but if you prefer them for toppings, go ahead and leave them a little chunkier. Make vanilla ice cream according to your favorite recipe. When is just about done mixing, add your candy–as much as you want. Let it freeze for a while and enjoy!
2. Make goody bags for the elderly. You’ll want to check ahead with a local nursing home or assisted living to check if they will allow it first, but the elderly love to see little kids and they would love to have some little visitors bearing gifts. Better yet, bring some books along and let your kids read to them. There’s people in the nursing home right now that only went through eight years of school and some cannot read–what an amazing gift to give a story! Others would just love to hear your child read. This would be a great activity to do in November–reminding us to be thankful for all people–young and old, we need them all.
3. Save the colorful candies for Christmas ornaments and gingerbread houses. We go buy candy to do these projects anyway, might as well use what we already have.
4. Create a rewards jar for your school room or for your kids’ classroom. I am not above bribery, folks. There’s no shame in rewarding your little students with a Tootsie Pop for a job well done. If your kids go to school, their teacher might appreciate this gesture too.
6. Decorate for parties. Jars full of candy make terrific party decorations, and it’s holiday party season! Think North Pole party or Sugar Plum Fairy party, fill up some clear apothecary jars with some colorful candies and you’ve just created some adorable party decor. Now I am not suggesting that you throw a party just to use up your Halloween candy, but just a friendly idea for you 😉
7. Make desserts to freeze and take to holiday parties.
Tis the season to bake and to to parties. Put some of those candy bars in a bag in the freezer and save for December. Make fudge
, or truffles
with your treats.
If you’ve still got some candy left after these ideas, here’s one more:
BONUS: 8. Use for some sweet math lessons. Fractions, sorting, skip counting, and adding can all be done with a little help from sugar. Here’s some books I found that look like great resources. (Click the cover for more info.)
This should make a big dent in that candy stash–good luck, mamas!
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