Creative Ways to Use Halloween Candy and Avoid Sugar Overload

hallloween candy
Image via Mindi Stavish

The pumpkins have been carved.  The costume has been chosen and worn (after your child changed his or mind on said costume at least five times).  The doorbells have been rung.  The “thank yous” have been said.  Now you must face the dreaded candy dilemma –  just how will you pry all this candy out of your child's hands, without a major meltdown occurring?  Sure you are the parent.  You can sort through the mound of candy, snatching all the “good candy” and then throw away the rest.  Yet, that seems wasteful doesn't it?  Instead, here are a few other creative ways to use the candy.  Yes, even the Tootsie Rolls and Sweet Tarts.  

Image via Flickr/jreifegerste

Crafts with Leftover Halloween Candy

  • Help your child decorate a pumpkin with candy using a hot glue gun and a wide variety of candy. 
  • Create an advent calendar to countdown the days until Thanksgiving and Christmas, using small paper cups, tissue paper, and cardboard.
  • Repurpose old picture frames by decorating them with candy, using a hot glue gun. Place a picture of your child in the frame and you have a perfect grandparent gift.  
  • Create DIY candy necklaces.
  • Save it to decorate a Christmas gingerbread house with your child.  
  • Craft a colorful and creative Starburst Candy Mosaic  

{ MORE: If Children Ran the World  }

Image via Flickr/Larkyn.

Learning with Leftover Halloween Candy

  • Math Concepts: Practice counting, adding, and subtracting with smaller pieces of candy such as M & Ms and Skittles.
  • Literacy: Help your child cut out letters on the candy wrappers to spell out his or her name, as well as preschool sight words
  • Use this spelling with M & Ms printable to help your child practice letter recognition while manipulating candy.
  • Fine Motor Skills: Play a simple game of Pick up Sticks, using Pixy Stix.

Image via Flickr/TerryJohnston

Baking in the Kitchen with Candy

  • Preschoolers love to help in the kitchen. Have your child choose candy to mix in cookies, cakes, and brownies. After you help them bake the treat, have them choose a name for it. You may be surprised with the end result!
  • Candy has a very long shelf life. You can freeze it in a plastic storage bag and pull it out as needed. Have your child help you make milkshakes and ice cream sundaes next summer with all that leftover sweetness. 
  • Teach your child about measurements while making trail mix with leftover candy, nuts, and granola.

Image via Flickr/quinn.anya

Trade In or Give Away

  • Check with your dentist to see if they participate in a candy swap. Many dentists encourage children to trade in their candy for prizes or cash.
  • Several organizations send donated candy to deployed military troops. Check out the organization Operation Shoebox for more information. 

If you have exhausted this list and still find yourself with piles of sugar you can always use it for birthday party favor bags, to fill holiday mugs, and to stuff in pinatas.

What do you do with all your child's leftover candy?

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Creative Ways to Use Halloween Candy and Avoid Sugar Overload

Mindi is a working mom with three boys ages 4, 2, and an infant (born June 2013). She spent her first 8 years of her career in Speech-Language Pathology at a Children's Hospital. She currently works with adults and children in home health. The real fun for her happens when she is at home with her boys, chasing them around and pretending to be a super hero. She blogs about life as a working mom at Simply Stavish. Her weekly feature, Words in the Sand, teaches parents how to grow their child's s ... More

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1 comment

  1. Wiley says:

    I think sweets is the biggest personal struggle I have with my 3 year old. He doesn’t give me a difficult time about it, just me to myself. I never gave him any sweets at all until he was over 2 1/2 years old. I know some people think that is cruel, but really, they don’t miss what they have never tried and everyone tells us that he is the happiest kid they have ever seen. He was never in daycare, however, at 3 he started school and I realize he will be exposed to some candy at times. Also, I want him to have those simple pleasures but I want him to get a good start and develop long-lasting good eating habits. He does eat well so far. He eats his veggies well, and healthier prepared meats (the boy LOVES sardines since he was 6 months old), and doesn’t eat much in the way of junk food. We began taking him out for frozen yogurt once a week and he loves that of course! Now came Halloween. We got him his costume and took him out trick or treating with friends in a good neighborhood. Now, the boatload of candy. I gave a lot away and replaced some of it with less evil items 🙂 but I’m letting him have a couple pieces in the afternoon. I cringe a bit though.


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