Is all that Halloween candy that your kids collected driving you nuts yet? In the past we’ve done the Great Pumpkin, or some people call it the Switch Witch. On Halloween night, the kids get to pick a few pieces of candy to keep and leave the rest which gets taken by the Great Pumpkin or Switch Witch. In the morning, they find a new toy in its place. But we have toys coming out our ears and birthdays and Christmas coming up, plus it’s expensive to buy even a $5-$7 toy for 5 kids. Last year, we tried having the kids pick out some candy to keep and donate the rest of it. But I didn’t find a place to donate until the day after they stopped taking donations. So, we needed a new plan this year.
It took me a couple days to come up with it, but here’s what we did:
- I gave each of the kids a sandwich size bag and told them to pick out the candies they want to use to decorate gingerbread houses in December. This ended up being so much fun as they planned out what they’re going to do. One kid has plans for a fish pond with his gingerbread house to use his Swedish Fish and a package of gummy sharks! Another is going to use Fun Dip to sprinkle on the floor of his Gingerbread house. The added bonus here is that it will save me tons of money over having to buy several different bags of candy for gingerbread houses in December!
- Then, I gave each kid a gallon size bag. They got to fill up that bag with the candy they wanted to keep. Anything that didn’t fit in the bag went in a bowl in the middle of the table. That’s the candy they weren’t going to get to keep.
- Our rule for candy consumption lets them govern themselves a bit. They are allowed to have up to three pieces a day (things like fun dip or large pixie sticks count as 3 pieces). And they don’t need to ask me first. They can just get it when they want, as long as it’s not before school or before breakfast on the weekend. This is saving me from hearing, “Can I have a piece of candy?” 15 times a day. We did this last year and it worked really well. You also see their personalities come out a bit as some kids eat their three pieces every day as soon as they’re home from school and others make them last longer by only eating one a day.
Leave me a comment if you have a great solution to share. Or if you decide to try these ideas, let me know how it goes!