By Stephanie Cook Broadhurst/The Mother List
It’s that time of year when the office candy jar over-floweth. Parents looking to offload the extra Halloween Candy Corn and Skittles can’t bear to throw it all out, so they spread the love.
Of course, some kids (not mine) may be disciplined about rationing out their treats over several weeks. But many parents feel the candy stash is just too much temptation for one kid to handle. It might be fun to own a mountain of candy, but not such a great idea to eat it all.
You’ll be happy to know there are many productive – even feel-good – ways to whittle down the treat bags:
1) Some dentists offer candy “buy-back” promotions in which the dentists send extra candy to troops overseas in care packages. Those dentists may exchange healthy treats for the candy, for instance. For more information on candy buyback programs, visit: http://www.halloweencandybuyback.com
2) Your kids may be able to donate extra candy to a local soup kitchen where it’s offered, in moderation, as a treat/dessert (after a Thanksgiving meal, for instance). Also, look for other charities that accept candy donations: food pantries, children’s hospitals, veterans’ homes or women’s shelters, for instance.
3) Recycle your candy by saving it for a birthday or other party that’s coming up. You can use some of the candy to fill up goodie bags.
4) Parents can offer to exchange their kids’ candy for a book or toy. You can even make it fun by weighing the candy. Kids could earn a book for every pound they trade in.
5) Invite the Switch Witch to swing by your house. Like Santa or the Tooth Fairy, the Switch Witch visits children while they sleep and leaves a prize in exchange for their Halloween candy.
6) Here’s a crafty idea: Skip the Legos for an afternoon and show kids how to make a candy city using glue, cardboard, tape, and their imagination. Build a candy skyscraper – or use candy to decorate a holiday gingerbread house.
7) Leftover M&Ms, Hershey’s Kisses or other chocolates can be chopped up and tossed into a trail mix with raisins, pretzels, dried fruits, or nuts.
8) Hard candy (like Skittles) can be used to decorate an unfinished wooden picture frame. Add a photo and you have a holiday present ready for someone. Kids can also use candy wrappers to make jewelry.