Your kids may think there’s no such thing as too much candy, but Halloween certainly tests the limits of that argument! Here are a few ideas for putting all that trick-or-treat treasure to good use.


Candy Creatures

Use some of your extra candy to make zany monsters that are more sweet than scary! Candy necklace beads, white chocolate chips, and candy-coated chocolates make great eyes. Fruit-shaped candies, like bananas and strawberries, make excellent horns or feet, and the tops of candy corn are perfect for goofy-but-monstrous teeth. Taffy and gumdrops are easy to shape and mold, and they work great for building bodies. Use scissors or a butter knife to cut soft or gummy candies to the shapes you need, and use tube icing to “glue” your candy creations together.


Candy Chemistry

Halloween candy provides a great opportunity to invite your own cadre of “mad scientists” into your kitchen laboratory! Dig in to the science of sweets with the American Chemical Society’s Adventures in Chemistry. Equipped with a wealth of candy experiments, fun facts, and interactive learning videos and tools, you and your kids can explore density, solubility, crystallization, osmosis, emulsification, and color chromatography together. So much fun, hands-on learning will satisfy much more than just a sweet tooth. Who knew your kids scored the beginnings of a chemistry curriculum in their trick-or-treat bags?


Candy Bark

Take your kids’ haunted haul to the next level with these gift-worthy candy bark ideas. All you need is candy, other assorted mix-ins, a package of candy melts, and this how-to:

Begin by (1) covering a baking sheet with wax paper. Make sure that your hands, bowl, and utensils are completely dry. (2) Microwave 2 cups of candy melts in a bowl for 30 seconds at a time until melted. Stir with a spoon until smooth. (3) Stir in about ½ cup of candy and other mix-ins until they are coated. Add more if you’d like. (4) Pour the candy mixture onto the wax paper. Use a spoon to spread the mixture smoothly and evenly. Sprinkle extra mix-ins over the top of the bark. (5) Let bark cool completely, then break into 2-inch pieces. Store in an airtight container.

To give as gifts, place some bark in a plastic treat bag and tie with a ribbon. Put the bag inside a festive container, and give it to a teacher, neighbor, crossing guard, bus driver, or friend!

Get creative with your combinations, or try one of these:


Candy Care Packages

Still have too much candy? Candy buy-back programs and candy donation drives have gained in popularity over the past several years. Through partnerships with organizations like Operation Gratitude and Soldiers’ Angels, candy collections benefit deployed military personnel, first responders, veterans, and others who support and care for them. Look for opportunities to give by contacting your local dentists’ offices, schools, and community organizations, or learn how you can organize a drive of your own.

“Candy Chemistry” links provided with permission from American Chemical Society, Education Division, 2017.

“Candy Creatures” and “Candy Bark” excerpted from American Girl magazine, various issues. American Girl Publishing, 2017. All rights reserved.