We love Halloween and we love how much our kids love Halloween. That’s why we don’t want to sound like the fun police, but we do want to make some sense of the excess (read: the sugar excess) from all that trick-or-treating.
Here are some simple and subtle ways to manage the candy rush and use up excess Halloween candy —including tips on how to curb our own temptations…
11 (Fun) Ways to Get Rid of Excess Halloween Candy
Gingerbread House Decorations
Choose colourful candy from the Halloween stash to use as the edible decorations on a holiday gingerbread house. Store your candy in the freezer or pantry for safekeeping until December. Good to know: Tootsie Rolls make excellent ‘logs.’
Use it for your child’s birthday party…
Repurpose excess Halloween candy by putting it aside for your child’s birthday party. Create a craft by making DIY candy necklaces, stuff it into a piñata, use it as prizes for party games, and tuck any extra pieces into loot bags for a take-home sweet treat.
Crush it to coat frozen banana popsicles
Frozen banana popsicles are a sweet snack for the kid in all of us, and this recipe is fun to make with the kids who will enjoy eating the fruits of their labour. Usually they’re made with crushed nuts but crushed leftover candy will make them extra yummy.
Create a DIY Advent Advent Calendar
‘Tis almost the season, anyway! Fill 30 small paper Dixie cups with some candy and cover each with a piece of tissue paper. Write numbers 1–30 on the cups, then attached them to a piece of foam core or Bristol board in a grid-like pattern, taking care to mix up the numbers as you go. Pop open a cup each day as you countdown the days to December. Brown paper bags stapled closed also work well.
Sweeten Other People’s Day
Think of this as trick-or-treating in reverse, but for a good cause. Simply collect any unwanted or uneaten candy—and ask your family and friends for theirs, too—and donate it to nursing homes, children’s hospitals, and women’s shelters for others to enjoy. Not only will you feel great, but you’ll sweeten someone else’s day, too.
Homemade Halloween Candy Bark
Our recipe for this popular homemade edible gift is a great way to use up excess Halloween candy and other themed decorations you may have bought for the Halloween season. Package pieces in cello wrap if you plan on passing them out to others, or store them in the freezer for future consumption.
Homemade Trail Mix
Take colourful candies—bonus points for using your favourite fall shades—and add them to a bowl of assorted nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and pretzels to make this Harvest Hash, a snack we guarantee you won’t be able to resist nibbling.
Fill Your Freezer for Future Baking
Leftover chocolate bars are perfect for baking, and allow you to make your own candy blends (think Hershey bar mix or assorted candy bar mix) for adding to brownies or cookies. Simply chop leftover candy bars into chocolate chip-sized pieces, and store in a zip top baggie in the freezer until needed. Good to know: Use equal amounts in place of chocolate chips for decadent and delicious cookies.
Currency for Mom & Dad’s “Store”
Here’s how your family can have a little fun with any excess Halloween candy: kids get to trade in pieces of candy (money) to ‘buy’ things (treats, services, excursions) in Mom and Dad’s store. For example, five pieces of candy might be equal to staying up 30 minutes past bedtime, and six pieces of candy might buy a trip to the movies with mom.
Use it for Learning
Let your kids practice their counting and sorting skills with small pieces of candy. Also, it can be used for solving simple math problems, or grouping items by colour, shape, and size. Math has never been so fun!
Introduce the Halloween Fairy, aka the “Switch Witch”
Here’s how it works: kids choose a few candies from their Halloween haul, then set out the rest of the sweets for the Halloween Fairy to collect overnight. In the morning they are surprised with a small wrapped present (toy, book, etc.) left in place of their offering of excess Halloween candy.