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Tricks for Treats: What to Do with Leftover Halloween Candy

It’s that time of year again when kids go trick or treating and come home with mountains of candy. On top of the sweets they get at parties, school, and other events!

While most parents are excited to see their children’s faces light up when they dump out the loot, they may not know what to do with all the candy. I think we all know that they shouldn’t eat it all (at least not all at once!), so we’ve got some tips for dealing with all that leftover Halloween candy.

Table of Contents

What to do with leftover Halloween Candy

Donate it

One option for dealing with excess candy is to donate it. Many children’s hospitals, local food banks, or homeless shelters would be happy to accept donations of candy or sweets. Make sure to call to check they’re accepting donations before you drop the candy off.

In the US, there are also some organisations, such as Treats for Troopsand Operation Shoebox which will accept leftover Halloween candy to send to troops stationed overseas.

surprise candy cake for extra candy

Bake with it

Another option is to bake with an extra Halloween candy. You can use it as toppings or mix-ins for things like milkshakes, cookies or cakes. Get creative and see what you can come up with!

Top tip: if you chop the items up small and freeze them, they will be ready to go and easy to use in your baking through the year!

Chocolate fondue with leftover halloween chocolate

Indulge in Chocolate Fondue

We never said that you can’t enjoy the Halloween loot! A fondue is a fun way to use up any extra Halloween chocolates. Melt the chocolate down and gather your family or friends around for fondue to enjoy the chocolate in a new way.

Add in some fresh fruit, such as strawberries and bananas, and you can even (almost) convince yourself it’s healthy!

decorate gingerbread house with leftover halloween sweets

Decorate Gingerbread House

Conveniently, Halloween isn’t too long before Christmas. Pick through your Halloween stash and pick out any of the small, non-chocolate sweets. Then, closer to the holidays, make a gingerbread house and decorate it with all the leftover Halloween candy.

Christmas candy advent calendar

Make an Advent Calendar

Another fun way to use up your candy at Christmas is to make your own advent calendar. You can fill it with candy or small toys and have your kids open one each day leading up to Christmas. This is a great way to spread the holiday cheer and use up that extra candy!

And who says you have to do it just for December – if you have enough sweets go ahead and start the countdown earlier!

Trade it (a.k.a. Switch Witch)

I know a number of families who use the Switch Witch when their kids have particular food allergies or intolerances but still want to join in the Trick or Treating fun. The kids put out all of their candy on Halloween night, and the “Switch Witch” (or “Halloween Fairy”, whatever you want to call it!) comes overnight and takes the candy away and leaves a toy in its place.

There are many ways that you could use this same idea to fit your own family, it doesn’t have to be just for allergies. You can agree that the kids can eat as much as they like for a few days and then have the switch witch come.

Of course, there is still then the issue of the switched candy and what to do with it. Because if it is left in the house then I am sure to eat it up! So keep reading for more suggestions of what to do with it all!

halloween candy for sorting and learning

Use it for Learning

Candy can be a great way to teach children simple science concepts. For instance, you can use candy to teach them about counting and sorting. Start by giving each child a handful of candy. Then, have them sort the candy by colour or type. Once they’ve sorted it, have them count how many pieces of each colour or type they have. If they’re old enough, maybe have them create a bar chart of their candy.

This is a great way to introduce kids to simple concepts like classification and basic math. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!

Craft with Candy

Candy and candy wrappers can also be used for crafts. You can use it to make jewellery, decorations, or anything else you can think of. Get creative and see what you can come up with!

Acts of kindness bags of candy

Give it Away 

We all know how important it is to thank people who help our family and community. Why not package up some of the leftover halloween sweets into little bags or packages and leave them out for the postman, courier, or bin collector, or anybody else who contributes to the family?

Brainstorm with your children to see if you can come up with some ideas of people who help out the community and family. Are there any of those that may not get the thanks or appreciation they deserve? Deliver them some sweet treats in a basket and with this small gift idea you can help teach your kids gratitude while having fun together as well :)

Compost it

Did you know that you can also compost your candy? This is a great way to reduce waste and help the environment. Just make sure to remove any non-biodegradable wrappers before you compost it. Some people have reported problems with pests from composting candy, due to the high level of sugar, so you may want to be sure any sweets are buried or wrapped in other brown waste.

birthday pinata for extra halloween sweets

Reuse for Birthdays

Have a birthday coming up? Another great way to use up any extra candy is to save it for a party. You can use it to decorate the cake, fill goody bags, or anything else you can think of. A pinata is always a hit (pun intended!) at a birthday party and would be a perfect use for all that extra Halloween candy.

Throw it Away

And finally, you can also just throw it away. This is probably the easiest option, but certainly not the most fun!

Wrapping Up

So there you have it – some ideas of what to do with all that extra Halloween candy. What will you do with yours? Do you have any other great ideas? Share them in the comments below! Happy Halloween!