Before we ever head out the door we make predictions - what candy will we get the most of, how many non-candy items we'll get, so on. The girls know that a hypothesis is an educated guess - we can make our predictions based on prior years, for example.
First, sort all candy. A parent must inspect each item - this is the first year we have not had to toss an item that was open or otherwise unsafe. Then we sort by type. A pile of Kit-Kats, a pile for Skittles, and so forth.
All our loot is shown above, except the juice pouches, which they promptly enjoyed upon returning home.
This part is Dean's favorite - sort by color. He is very into "rainbow color order" so he and Julia created this candy rainbow - complete with white clouds! :)
We alphabetize the candy, make a list of kinds, and how many of each. We also predict which letters will have the most and the least. I guessed we would have one "N" (Nerds), while Taylor said none, for example. Turns out I was wrong (bummer, we ALL love Nerds in this house).
The girls predicted we would have the most of suckers,which was techinically right, except that we sorted them by Dum-Dums, Blow-Pops, Tootsie Pops, and other suckers. As a result Mom AND Dad were the winners - we did indeed have more Snickers than any other kind of candy.
We also tallied up:
Items that were not candy
Items that were not food of any kind
Fun size, regular size, and mini size
In a bag, in a bar, or on a stick
Red (wins with 14 different types of candy in a red wrapper), orange, yellow, blue, green (loser - 1 sucker), purple, brown, silver, white, gold
A few items are good for science experiments, so I set those aside.
Then we pull out all items that are not chocolate/melty. If it's a favorite, we can keep a few, but the rest we package up and send with our Troop Care Packages. :)
I freeze some of the chocolates to get us through till Easter, set aside the ones I bake Christmas goodies with (mints, M&Ms, Dots - they are great for our gingerbread house), stick all the fruit snacks/pretzels/crackers in the snack bin (great for on-the-go lunches), and we all pick our favorites.
Dan & I were bummed to find there were only TWO Butterfingers, and I stole one of the Peeps and a Blow Pop. Score!