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If your kids are into trick-or-treating as mine are, we are in for an overwhelming influx of candy. It has been my tradition to pause candy-eating regulations for the night of Halloween, but strict enforcement returns in the morning. In years past, I have found myself throwing out Halloween candy to make room for Valentine’s Day candy, and then the Valentine’s Day candy gets pushed out by Easter candy.

There is simply a lot of it, so let’s put it to good use!

Local Food Pantry — Your local food pantry accepts fully wrapped candy. Grab your kids, search your pantry for a few nonperishable items to add and take a field trip to the food pantry. Depending on your child’s age, you might be able to volunteer for a few hours or take a tour.

Bake — Many of my favorite baked goods are made even better with the substitution of candy for ingredients. Using hard-coated chocolate candy in lieu of chocolate chips or adding crushed candy bars to brownies can’t be beat. Don’t feel as if you have to eat them all yourself; take a plate to a neighbor!

Vocabulary Games — When I taught science, I used Skittles every Thursday for our vocabulary bingo. I would call out the definitions, and the kids would use the candy as a marker on their bingo card over the correct vocabulary word. It is a simple game to create, and Thursdays became their favorite day.

Math Games — Using pieces of candy as math manipulatives can be a lot of fun. Being able to hold number concepts in your hand {and then eat them later} can make a complex concept easier. Over at Kids Activities blog we have also created other Halloween math games for kids, like Candy Memory.

Repurpose for Gifts — With holidays on the horizon that include giving all sorts of gifts, sort out the non-Halloween candy and get creative! A cute holiday container filled with candy and a small gift card makes a great teacher’s gift; a baking-themed basket that includes a few candy ingredients is perfect for a friend.

If you get your kids involved, it will be less traumatic for them to lose all that loot. And it is perfectly acceptable to create a favorites pile for them to grab a piece or two at an approved candy moment!

What do you plan to do with all the Halloween candy your kids collect?

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