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November 1, 2010 Candy Experiments and Buybacks: Get Rid of Your Halloween Candy By Megan Power
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    Halloween is one of the most exciting holidays for our students. They get to dress up in costumes and run around the neighborhood, filling up their bags with free candy. What could be better than that? But where does all that candy end up after the excitement dies down? Read more to discover what you can do with that candy, besides eat it.

    Take a look at these three purposeful ways of getting rid of all the Halloween candy that you and your students didn’t eat, before you’re tempted to!

    Use Candy as a Teaching Tool

    Many people joke about how teachers find treasures in other people’s junk. I have often found myself telling my husband not to throw away a box or unique packing material because I know I could use it in my classroom. So, why not encourage your students to bring in some of their candy to use during science class?

    Candy Experiments has a good selection of simple science experiments using household materials and Halloween candy. Students test for density, oil, and acidity, and also learn about chromatography.

    My students love to make the M's and S's float off M&Ms and Skittles. Students are wowed by the separation of colors experiment, and they can’t stop testing all their candy for acidity.

    Experimenting with candy is a child-centered way to learn about science and nutrition while having a lot of fun!

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     Create with It

    Another idea is to use the candy to create art. In my kindergarten class we are learning about the seasons and the growing process. We used candy to make a candy tree with all of the tree parts including roots, trunk, branches, and leaves. Then we had our tree change with the seasons all using candy! The students had a memorable experience and will always remember the arts of a plant and how an apple tree changes with the seasons. This activity was connected to the story The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree written by Gail Gibbons.

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    Donate It

    Recently I was walking through the office at my school and saw a box decorated for Halloween and labeled as a candy drop off. Apparently this has become a big trend. Dentists and orthodontists sponsor a candy donation drive, which makes money for the school while saving students' teeth.

    It is a win, win, win situation because they send the candy off to our deserving troops. Check out Halloween Candy Buy Back to find a participating practice in your area. On this site you can also watch a video describing and sharing information about Operation Gratitude.

    Please share with us some of your candy experiments and/or candy buyback results in the comments section below.

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