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Sunday, November 3, 2013

Repurposing Halloween Candy

Now that trick-or-treat is over, what will we do with all of that Halloween candy? Let's take a look at some ways to repurpose it in the classroom.

Repurposed Candy, Take 1: Candy Concentration

Prepare a game for your winter holiday party (or use anytime)! Candy Concentration is competitive, quiet, and keeps children focused. Ask students to bring in two identical pieces of candy (or raid your own child's stash). Count out two index cards for each of the students in your class. Printing as large as possible, number the index cards. Randomly tape one piece of candy to the back of each card. When game time comes, simply prop the index cards, numbers out, on the chalk ledge. Students take turns selecting two numbers. The cards are turned over to reveal the candy then flipped back to hide it. When it's a match, the student gets those two pieces of candy. Keep playing until all candy is matched. Everyone's a winner!

Repurposed Candy, Take 2: Sweet Probability

If your students are new to probability, use Trick-or-Treat Candy Probability at to teach the concept before this activity.

This activity involves students in a probability experiment.

  1. Place twelve pieces of candy in a paper lunch bag for each group of four or five students. 
  2. Tell the students that each bag contains twelve pieces of candy.
  3. Ask one child to record the candies pulled from the bag.
  4. Have each group sit in a circle and pass the bag. Each student should pull out one piece of candy then replace it. 
  5. After a set number of trials (30 worked well for me), the group should predict the number of each candy in the bag. 
  6. Then . . . drum roll . . . they may open the bag and see if their prediction was correct.

Using candy of the same shape (all suckers or all mini candy bars, for example) works well. That way, students can't reach around and select a candy for its shape, keeping the results random.

Repurposed Candy, Take 3: Reading Labels

Is one candy more nutritious than others? Ask students to bring labels from Halloween candy to school. Introduce the concept using How to Understand and Use the Nutrition Facts Label from the FDA.

Place students in small groups, and ask them to order a set of candy labels from most nutritious to least nutritious. Have each group present their findings to the class; discuss.

Repurposed Candy, Take 4: The Prize Box

Do you have a prize box in your classroom? No need to spend extra money this month! Simply ask students to donate unwanted Halloween candy to your prize box.

Repurposed Candy, Take 5: Your Ideas

How have you repurposed Halloween candy in your classroom? Let's add to the list. Please comment with your ideas. Thanks!