Halloween Candy Ideas! Or, what to do if you want to use it up before spring.

“We’ve got so much Halloween candy! I don’t know what to do with it! I just threw it out!”

I’ve seen this more times than I can count online in the past week or so. No! Don’t throw it out! Think creatively! I’m seeing this even on blogs or threads focusing on sustainability and the environment; avoid collecting it in the first place if you want, but trashing it perpetuates the issue. I can understand that you may find the trick-or-treating worth it for the fun and fellowship with your friends and then don’t want all the sweets in your house. I get that.  This is especially relevant in the Boston area where close-together easy walk neighborhoods equal large hauls. But let’s brainstorm some fun alternative ideas somewhere in between letting your kids binge til they pass out and the trash bin.

Candy corn

Donate:

Drop them off at a shelter or soup kitchen. Call first–they may have an overabundance this time a year. Yeah, yeah, I know it is not healthy nourishment, but everyone deserves a treat. This may be especially relevant if there are nut allergies in your family. In that case some of these other alternate ideas may not be workable, yet the bars made with whole nuts are ostensibly slightly healthier for others if you’re passing it on. Hard candies can be used for quitting smoking or blood sugar control. And, again, treats in moderation bring smiles to people’s faces. Some families fill baggies with candy and directly hand them out to anyone who looks like they could use a smile.

If you have friends and relatives overseas, set up a candy exchange.  We have access to some varieties they don’t and vice versa, so it is a good way to learn about and start a dialogue about other countries and cultures while also getting to try some new things.

Baking:

Click the link and check out these Butterfinger cookies.  Or these York Peppermint Patty Brownies.  A friend of mine just spoke of making a crushed candy cheesecake.  YUM! I know, no healthier than the original incarnation if you’re trying to place limits on your own family.  But the holiday season is coming up as we speak and  homemade baked goods will make better and more appropriate presents for the neighbors, teachers, and other loved ones than a spare Twizzler fun pack, right?  And whether you keep them for yourselves or not  (we don’t blame you if you do!) baking with kids is a great way to teach them about counting, measurement, percentages, chemistry, and more.

Crafts:

Speaking of the holiday season, it is gingerbread house time.  Save that candy and rather than chowing down use it to build a fabulous gingerbread house.   It doesn’t have to be a Christmas-y one if you don’t celebrate the holiday or want to try this another time of year.  There’s no reason you can’t adapt this to a year round activity.

Is a birthday coming up? Use your excess to fill a pinata!

Check out this neat article for candy wrapper craft ideas: http://earth911.com/news/2011/11/04/10-crazy-crafts-with-candy-wrappers/

My friends and I used to love to make gum wrapper necklaces in high school!  Let’s bring back that trend! You can also use Starburst wrappers. Some quick instructions here:

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-a-starburst-or-bubble-gum-wrapper-ch/#step1

gumwrappernecklace

 

Science experiments:

We’re all about kid friendly science experiments here at Playground Hunt!  I think we’ve all microwaved a Peep (haven’t we?) or wondered why Pop Rocks do what they do, but this person has an entire blog about candy experiments and there seem to be a lot of Pinterest posts about them going around, too:

http://www.candyexperiments.com/

They are a great way to make productive, educational use out of your candy without having to worry about overdosing on sugar (although, again, some experiments will allow the candy to remain edible if you want the best of both worlds).

What other alternative ideas do you have?  Share them with us!

 

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