Thursday, October 31, 2013

Post-Halloween Candy Sort

If your family is like mine then you also have too much Halloween candy.  My sons did not go Trick-or-Treating (Bruce is too little - to eat the treats and to brave the chilly weather and Dean, well, it's a sensory overload for him. He refuses to wear a costume and is scared of decorations people have out) so all this candy is from JUST my 2 girls, from around our block and we did one loop around the bottom floor of Mall of America. Almost 300 goodies!

We love to make learning fun and what is more fun than sugar?! We sharpen our math skills - graphing for older kids, color sorting and simple counting for my preschooler.  Here's what we do with our candy each year:

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
Total chocolates
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!