Call me crazy or maybe you agree, but candy is not the greatest part of Halloween! Any toddler, tween, or teenager would of course, beg to differ, and likely snarl at the outrageous comment. Lol! Don’t get me wrong, parents are not excluded from enjoying the chocolatey chewy goodies that land in our children’s trick or treat bags. However, as a parent of two toddlers, Halloween means more than just candy and spooky decorations. Before we talk about my favorite ways (I narrowed the list down for you) to use leftover candy, I want to share how Halloween becomes more meaningful as an adult or parent. These two thoughts come to mind.
- The way it brings a family together.
- The creativity it fosters.
I adore the Facebook and Instagram posts. You know the ones where the entire family is dressed like Superheroes, or Star Wars, or whatever theme it may be. It’s all too funny and sweet when you see the neighbor Dad dressed as Whinnie the Pooh or Mario Brothers instead of his everyday suit. Dressing up is not a requirement for parents, sometimes you need a year off, and I completely understand not wanting to spend the money or time on a costume. After all, Halloween is really about the kids. That being said, when my husband wore a Buzz Lightyear costume last year – wings and all, my children were beyond excited. It’s silly and special memories like these that bring a family together. Let’s talk creativity. If you head over to Pinterest you will find endless inspiration. This year I volunteered at my daughter’s Halloween Festival, and some of the costumes were out of this world! Many of the children spent days and weeks building and creating their costumes. This teaches kids hardwork and fosters creativity and ingenuity. What parent doesn’t love that!
Leading up to the big day, our family read spooky books, made Halloween crafts, visited pumpkin patches, and attended fall festivities. It’s a fun week, but after all the fun, and all the trick or treating, what’s left?? A MOUNTAIN of candy that my family certainly doesn’t need to finish! So, here are a few of my favorite ideas for unloading your Halloween candy.
- Donate – This is an obvious choice, but if you are looking for places to donate, here are some great options. Your local church. Operation Gratitude – Heads up, ship candy no later than November 15th! Homeless shelters. Nursing homes. Ronald McDonald House Charities.
- Vacu-Seal and freeze candies for later months. Not all candies are meant to be sealed and frozen, but many chocolate candies will keep for months when stored properly. Empty snack size bags and separate each candy into piles. After sorting the candies, vacuum seal each pile, and store in your freezer. Don’t forget to label and date the bag. Think of all the Valentine’s Day and Easter treats you could make! Or desserts for your child’s upcoming birthday party.
- Thanksgiving and Christmas are right around the corner from Halloween. Cookies, brownies, trail mix, and cakes are great desserts that could incorporate Halloween candy. Again, I would separate and store for easy use. These Outrageously Peanutty Snickers Brownies look amazing! I’ve personally made these Resse’s Peanut Butter Cup Cookies and trust me..they go fast!!
- Get Crafty! Every year San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel builds a life-size Gingerbread house that is two stories high and completely covered in candy. It’s spectacular! Use your leftover Halloween candy to make your own Christmas Gingerbread house. The kids will love this activity!
Hope this helps with the candy craze! Happy November all! Until next time..