This Halloween, use the variety of colorful candies to create candy-coated haunted houses or other holiday decor.

Are you ready for a candy filled house?

In less than two weeks, houses across the country will be filled with chocolate snack bars, chewable gummy candies and sweetened beverages (yes, little hugs are still around!)  Kids have been dressing up in costumes, trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins and having school parties for years.  Some kids wait all year for this night. It can be scary for parents trying to maintain a healthy home to allow all that candy in the home. But, “collecting the loot of candy” is usually more fun than eating it.

While I’d love to persuade every parent to send in only healthy Halloween treats for parties and convince every house on my block to offer only healthy treats for trick-or-treating, I doubt I would have much success. The kids would be pretty upset, too. While Halloween represents treat terror for many parents (and dentists), it does not have to be so dreadful.    Before you think about taking the fun out of this age old tradition, try turning the focus to something else.   Let the kids go wild for a night, and use the diversity of the colors and textures they collect to make candy creations.

To start with, open the candy wrappers and let the candy open to the air.  This is a good time to talk about the shapes of the candy, the colors, the textures all while letting the licorice harden and the chocolate get stale.  Categorize the candy based on how it will be used.  Gather materials such as glue sticks, scissors, construction paper, Styrofoam cups, etc.

For younger kids, encourage creativity. Use round candy for eyes, chocolate candy for hair, gummy candies for ears and a nose.  Kids will also have fun creating a Halloween Haunted Houses by gluing the candy onto the sides of a cardboard house.  Younger trick-or-treaters might be happy making a one story, square house while older kids will have fun creating a Halloween mansion.  The bigger the house, the more candy that gets glued onto it, so encourage multiple stories!

Of course, the kids will want to eat the candy as well.  Allow them one or two pieces and be sure to keep it out of site.  After a few days, the novelty will wear off, and the kids will be onto something else.

If you still have candy left over, consider these other ways to utilize the Halloween candy:

  •  Donate it to a local food bank or shelter.  While it is not the healthiest choice a few pieces may be a welcomed treat.
  • Consider a sending a treat package overseas to our troops- they’ll appreciate being included in the holiday festivities.
  •  Make treat bags and visit a local long term care center. Have the kids pass it out to the residents.  They will appreciate the visit.
  • Recycle it on Halloween night.  Allow the kids to go trick-or-treating and then leave their candy out in a bowl for other trick-or-treaters.  (This typically only works with the little, little ones!) It will be gone in an hou

Most important- keep the focus on fun.  Have a Happy Halloween!

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