A night out trick or treating. Jack-o-lantern buckets brimming with candy and pillowcases about to burst at the seams. Little hands digging through treasures, tearing wrappers open and indulging in this once a year candy overload.
Many of us parents stare at the cache of candy with mixed emotions. Nostalgia overwhelms as we remember our trick or treat adventures as kids. For us softies, there might even be a tear or two over memories of long ago. But then reality sets in. What are we going to do with all this candy?
Images of our child all “sugared up” run feverishly in our minds and a part of is half tempted to toss the loot in the trash. Compassion seeps in. That would be too rash. Okay, what if we keep a small stash out and freeze the rest. Yes, that might work. Or we could negotiate with our child: “Pick out the candy you want, and I’ll buy the rest from you at 5 cents a piece.” Or we could say, it’s only once a year and allow our kids to enjoy the candy.
We parents could also put some of that candy to good educational use. Yep, you heard me right. Our kids can learn with candy.
As a writer, I’m always looking for creative ways to teach writing to my son. With a recent purchase of candy to hand out on Halloween, I selected several pieces from the bag and gave them to my seven-year-old son to write a story. Kind of like a candy gram, except the candy is used to create a fiction story instead of a note.
All you need for this creative writing activity are at least five pieces of candy from your child’s trick or treat stash, a poster board or large piece of butcher paper, tape, and a pencil. I removed the candy from most of the wrappers and allowed my son to enjoy the candy, but it’s your choice if you want to do this.
Now depending on the age of your child, you might want to create a writing prompt using one or more pieces of candy. For my son’s story, we decided together that the story would be about a cat named “Kit Kat” and a dog named “Butterfinger.” I gave him the prompt: “Once upon a time, a cat named Kit Kat and a dog named Butterfinger went on an adventure to . . .” From there, my son used three more pieces of candy to write his short story.
So you see, candy can have a positive impact on our kids. :0)