20 Brilliant Things To Do With Leftover Halloween Candy

20 Brilliant Things To Do With Leftover Halloween Candy

Halloween candy

It's a question that comes up every Halloween -- what to do with all the leftover candy? Between Halloween parties, the massive plastic pumpkin the kids fill while trick-or-treating, and whatever candy there's left in the house after handing some out to kids in costume, suddenly the kitchen looks like a room in Willy Wonka's factory. Eating it all is always an option of course, but the family may come to regret that decision when it's time to go to the dentist. And no one wants to be the parent who simply throws good candy away (especially peanut butter cups) -- not only is that wasteful, but the kids did put in the effort to gather it all. 

Those with great self-control can always tuck the treats away to enjoy throughout the year at the movies, on long car trips, or as special rewards. But for those of us who find ourselves reaching for the candy bowl instead of the fruit bowl more than we should during an otherwise ordinary day, coming up with a way to get the Halloween candy out of the house sooner rather than later is a better plan. 

Whether the goal is to avoid late-night candy raids while watching Netflix, not having the kids break every lamp in the house while in a sugar-induced frenzy or simply trying to avoid the massive dental bill that comes with filling a cavity, it's OK to want to get rid of some of the excess Halloween candy in the house. Too much of a good thing is possible -- even when it comes to chocolate. From fun science experiments and clever art projects to a few amazing ways to give back to the community, here are 20 creative ideas to use up all that leftover Halloween candy.  

  • Donate It To Service Members & Veterans


    Looking to lighten the house's candy load and teach the kids a lesson in kindness at the same time? The nonprofit organization Soldiers' Angels partners with dental offices and local businesses to for a massive candy drive right after Halloween, and sends the sweets overseas, to wounded heroes, and to veterans. Click here to find the nearest Treats for Troops drop-off center

  • Make a Candy Christmas Countdown


    If the idea of making the kids get rid of their candy doesn't sit right, how about simply making it last longer? Rather than buy one of those cardboard Advent calendars filled with chalky-tasting squares, fill 24 tiny stockings with the best of the Halloween stash and enjoy the trick-or-treat spoils until Christmas. 

  • Practice Fine Motor Skills


    Let's be honest, licorice is rarely anyone's favorite Halloween treat. But even though those twists aren't too tasty, they can be used to help littles practice their cutting skills. The texture will challenge muscles differently than plain paper, and they can sneak a bite or two for a job well done.

  • Do Science With Skittles


    Rainbow-obsessed kids will love this Skittles density experiment so much, they won't mind sacrificing some candy for the cause. (And they won't even notice that they're learning too!) 

  • Make Mini Pinatas


    Is there a birthday coming up? Or want to make a cold, rainy fall weekend feel like a party? Save that Halloween candy and make these super adorable but easy DIY mini pinatas

  • Go Reverse Trick-or-Treating


    Round up that extra candy and take those Halloween costumes out for one last spin with a feel-good round of reverse trick-or-treating. Kids can give treats to the mail carrier, local construction workers, familiar retail workers they come across while out and about, local librarians, crossing guards -- it's a great way to share their sweets and some kindness. 

  • Make a Pixie Stix Learning Tray


    Rather than let all that powdered sugar hit their bloodstream, dump Pixie Stix into a baking tray or shallow dish that kids can use to trace letters, spell out words, or just draw sweet-smelling pictures. 

  • Design Candy Jewelry


    Why go out and buy candy necklaces when it's possible to make them at home? Pour out the Halloween candy, grab everything gummy and get to work.

  • Do a STEM Activity With M&Ms


    We all know that M&Ms are delicious, but they're also great for teaching kids about science. Grab a few leftover packs to try this melting M&Ms experiment that teaches kids about types of food dyes, density, and edible ink. 

  • Donate It to Kids Who Couldn't Trick-or-Treat


    Not every kid is healthy enough to go trick-or-treating on Halloween. If the family has plenty of candy to share, consider contacting the local Ronald McDonald House chapter or children's hospital to see if they'd like some special treats for those in their care. 

  • Save It for Gingerbread House Decorations


    Gingerbread house kits are fantastic when it comes to making a house that actually stays standing, but the tiny bag of gumdrops and peppermints they come with don't really scream candy wonderland. Rather than buy more sweets in December, earmark some of the leftover Halloween candy for gingerbread house making and holiday cookie decorating. 

  • Play the Candy Bar Game


    With the holidays coming in hot, how about a great game to play with the whole family? Save the biggest, best candy bars from the treat bag and grab some oven mitts and silverware to play the hilarious candy bar game with aunts, uncles, the grands, and all the cousins. 

  • Sculpt With Starbursts


    Try using some of those sweet smelling Starburst squares or taffy as modeling clay to create vibrantly colored creations. Eating any mistakes is always encouraged. 

  • Build a Lego Candy Dispenser


    Build a cool Lego candy dispenser to help kids learn how to savor their stash of Halloween treats rather than bingeing on them in a single sitting. 

  • Practice Counting Skills


    Rather than just diving into that bag of treats, why not use the kids' bounty as a teaching tool? This handy printable features popular candy so they can tally their totals and learn just how many they have of each item. The only downside to all this learning? Not being able to sneak a Butterfinger without them knowing. 

  • Bake


    For an easy way to make a lot of Halloween candy disappear, add chocolate goodies to baked goods like these yummy Halloween candy blondies. Now there are treats for the office or just a weekend with the family.

  • Chocolate Bar Density Game


    Use leftover Halloween chocolate bars to answer an important scientific question: Which candy bars sink and which ones float? Have kids make their own predictions and chart their results. 

  • Let the Switch Witch Take It


    Worried the kids will put up a fight over getting rid of their precious Halloween haul? Read them this poem about the Switch Witch, who will take the candy overnight in exchange for a small toy or book. 

  • Starburst Finger Paint


    Get a ton of Starburst while trick-or-treating? With some water, cornstarch, and a little heat, make fun, fruity smelling fingerpaint that's completely edible. 

  • Practice Patterns


    All those colorful candies are perfect for letting littles explore patterns and sequences. Just give them a color order to follow and the rest is sweet success.

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