Halloween Candy: Alternatives and Trade-ins


candyHow many of you run to the store at the last minute for Halloween candy? (I admit I am in that category this year.) But what to get?

And, for those of you who take your children trick-or-treating, what will do with all the candy? Seriously, how many of us are still eating our Halloween candy at Christmas? (Guilty.)

Well, I have scouted around for some fresh ideas that appeal to kids and won’t break your pocket book.

Candy Alternatives:

  • Glow sticks in balloons—you can get these items fairly cheaply from the dollar store.
  • Mini Containers of Play-dough—I’ve seen these in some Aldi stores and heard they were at Costco.
  • Bubbles—make them glow in the dark by pouring glow stick liquid inside the mixture.
  • Small toys—bouncy balls, plastic bugs, stickers, bookmarks, whistles, temporary tattoos, etc.
  • Decorate mini bottles of water or juice boxes.
  • Mini packages of chips, gold fish, or animal crackers—buy in bulk at Sam’s Club or Costco.
  • Draw pumpkin faces on clementines.
  • Gift certificates for ice cream desserts at Wendy’s or McDonalds—buy packs of certificates for reasonable prices

If all else fails, consider other creative ideas. I read a fun idea about a family whose father dressed up like Pooh every year and passed out honey sticks purchased from a local, honey farm. The kid’s in his neighborhood look forward to it every year.

Candy Trade-in:
After Halloween’s over and your kids have done their best to break their record intake of candy, what’s to become of this sugary drug?
Some parents do a candy trade (similar to the tooth fairy) where kids leave their candy out and wake up the next morning to find a special gift or toy.
In the meantime, parents take that candy obtained from the trade and get creative:

  • Freeze it—eat it later or save it for tasty recipes in the kitchen (ice cream, cookies, milkshakes, etc).
  • Put chocolate in your coffee instead of creamer or sweeteners.
  • Practice Counting—use skittles or other pieces of candy to help your younger ones learn to count.
  • Science Experiment—let your children learn about science thru candy experiments (see: Science 2.0 for ideas)
  • Holiday Decorations—use candy pieces to decorate a ginger bread house for Christmas.
  • Birthday Pinata—Looking for a birthday activity? Yeah…brilliant, I know.
  • Take it to work.
  • Donate the candy—mail it to troops through Operation Shoebox or Operation Gratitude; give it to a local nursing home or shelter.