After your mini ghosts and goblins have eaten their share of trick-or-treating treasures and finished finagling the coveted mini Twix for two bags of plain M&Ms, the real question remains: what will you do with the pile of candy left after the big night? Before you find your fingers sneaking stealth-like into their bucket, take a peek at the 11 ideas we’ve found to put all that sugar to good use. Your waistline and your kid’s teeth will thank you.
photo: Jen Kossovan via Mama. Papa. Bubba.
1. Create art with candy. Skittles… taste the Rainbow. Or make a rainbow with Skittle paint. Bright colors, sweet smells and a lot of smiles come out of this clever candy project we spotted over at Mama. Papa. Bubba. Want to know how to get the glossy finish just right? Find out by getting the secret ingredient from creator Jen over at Mama. Papa. Bubba.
photo: Dayna Abraham via Lemon Lime Adventures
2. Feed curiosity with candy. Unload a few of those pesky pumpkin candies that seem to make their way down to the bottom of the bucket by joining mama Dayna Abraham of Lemon Lime Adventures for a simple science experiment. It’s as easy as grabbing a few drinking glasses, paper and curious kiddos. Get the whole tutorial here.
3. Have a fun math lesson by teaching the kids the art of estimation. Guess how much candy is in the jar? It can be a fun ice-breaker at a birthday party, too. The winner gets to take home the whole jar.
4. Give it to the Switch Witch. They know the Switch Witch is flying around looking for candy on Halloween night, but do they know why? Explore the legend of the Switch Witch with a charming story titled Switchcrafted: The Story of the Switch Witches of Halloween. After a couple rounds reading the tale, and getting to know their own Switch Witch, offering up all that sugary goodness might not be as painful.
photo: Amber Fawson via Givers Log
5. Add it to an Advent calendar. If you don’t want them eating their bounty all in one night (or week, or month!) grab a choice selection from the pile and save for a DIY Advent calendar or Christmas countdown. We love the easy how-to and delightful decor from Amber over at Givers Log. Find out how to create one for your own family over at Givers Log.
6. Prep your party piñata. Yay for party planning! Halloween is the perfect time to stock up on the candy you’ll be looking for when the birthday season picks up. Stash a pile of the good stuff and save for down the road. Want to know how to make your own piñata? Grab the how-to here.
7. Spice up family movie night. Add M&Ms, candy corn, Nerds, malted milk balls or other small sweets to your popcorn to come up with a unique trail mix.
photo: Don La Vange via flickr creative commons
8. Save supplies for holiday gingerbread houses. Pick out the best decorative candy from the bunch and save it for the gingerbread house-making sessions that will probably be happening a few weeks from now. We love the idea from Christina Le Beau of Spoonfed Blog, using Dum Dums as entrance lanterns, nerds being used as the gravel walkway, and various chocolate bars being formed into furniture. See more of her step-by-step here.
9. Let the kids sell it back. Taking extra loot to a national buyback program will not only relieve them of too much sugar, but kids will also feel good knowing their donation will allow U.S. troops overseas to get their fill of the Halloween spirit, too. Find a buyback program near you.
photo: courtesy meals.com
10. Use it up during your next dinner party. Gather up all the Crunch bars you can find and save them for your next dinner party. With just a little prep and a great recipe found over at Meals.com, you’ll be dishing up dessert with an added crispy shell. Want to know why leftover balloons will come in handy? Hop on over to Meals.com for the entire tutorial.
photo: Trisha Stanley via Inspiration Laboratories
11. Balance out sugar with science! For every M&M they eat, they can add one to the scale, while you talk about equal parts and balancing acts. Making your own version of this experiments is as easy as entering Inspiration Laboratories and getting the complete tutorial.
What do you do with your leftover Halloween candy? Share with us in the comments section below!
— Sommy Rhee & Gabby Cullen