We’ve all heard of Thanksgiving leftovers. I love them. Turkey sandwiches, pumpkin pie for breakfast. You know the drill. But what about Halloween leftovers?!? Around here, we don’t get any trick or treaters at our house in the country, so I never buy candy for us to have around the house. Despite this, my kids are knee deep in Snickers bars and Jolly Rancher suckers. So many sweets! And it’s not just the candy. There are pumpkins sitting and rotting on the front porch, getting a bit squishier every day. Never fear, Halloween leftovers can be put to good use, in fun and even educational ways.
You can use your kids’ leftover candy for many different activities. The first thing my kids always do after collecting their giant haul of candy is to sort it. I let them do it because 1. It keeps them from sitting and just eating it all and 2. It’s a great activity for math to figure out where to put each piece. The number of different piles increases each year as they figure out how to better categorize the different kinds.
We added a new and so far favorite to our candy/school combo this year. We had so much fun doing Skittle math and science this week, courtesy of Jessica Waldock’s Candy Math and Science downloadable lessons (@thewaldockway). There were so many activities in the packet, each one building off the next. Plus, it used up some of the candy, and that’s a win in my book! In the past, another activity we have done with leftover candy is counting the entire collection and sorting into chocolate versus non-chocolate piles and graphing the results. We used google sheets to make a computer generated chart that displayed our results.
Other ideas include showing your kids how to read nutrition labels, including grams of sugar and ingredients. This could lead to a study of nutrition or for older kids, a study of macromolecules in the human body. You could also trace (some of) the ingredients back to the type of plants they originated from, learning geography and botany along the way.
Dealing with the pumpkins after Halloween is a different story altogether. I loved the ideas I found on the National Wildlife Federation’s blog...everything from composting to feeding wildlife. Check it out here. Enjoy your Halloween leftovers, everyone, and Happy November!