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?

Soon, houses across the country will be filled with chocolate snack bars, chewable gummy candies and sweetened beverages. (Yes, little hugs are still around!)  It’s time for Halloween!

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. For parents and dentist, though, it can be tough to allow all that candy into the house.

While I’d love every parent to send in only healthy Halloween treats for parties, I don’t get too worked up over the pillow cases full of candy my kids bring home. Why? Because collecting the loot is fun!

Before you take the fun out of this age old tradition, consider turning the focus to something else.   You can start by preparing a Halloween themed meal. Then, let the kids go wild for a night collecting the sweets. Use the diversity of the colors and textures they collect to make candy creations.

How To Make Candy Halloween Houses

I’m talking about candy covered haunted houses! To start with, open all of the candy wrappers and let the candy open to the air.  Talk to the kids about the variety of shapes, colors and  textures of the candy while letting the licorice harden and the chocolate get stale. Gather materials such as glue sticks, scissors, construction paper, Styrofoam cups, etc.

For younger kids, encourage creativity. Categorize the candy based on how it will be used.  Talk about using round candy for eyes, chocolate candy for hair, gummy candies for ears and a nose. Begin to build the 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.  Don’t sweat it. Allow them to eat a few pieces, then be sure to keep the rest out of site.  After a few days, the novelty will wear off, and the kids will be onto something else.

My kids and I have a great time doing this craft together. I hope you do, too!

Other Ideas For Leftover Candy

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!) If you do this, the candy will be gone before you know it!

Most important- keep the focus on fun and have a happy halloween!

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