Managing My Home – Candy

With Halloween just barely under our belt and the rest of the holidays barreling down on us, I thought I’d broach the subject of candy. It seems to be everywhere in the world of a child–whether it’s as a reward for an accomplishment, a birthday party or just from a kind person that loves to see kids smile. I know that people mean no harm, but as the generous spirit increases in these holiday times…what is a parent to do?

Maybe you don’t particularly care about the amount of candy your child consumes, but I do. The amount of candy that passes through our home, with 5 children, can be a bit overwhelming to manage. At times, I feel like someone is always asking if they can have a piece of candy and I honestly can’t keep track of who had what piece when and how much without losing my mind. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather fill my mind with more important things than how much candy my children have had. I suppose I could just let it go and not pay attention, but candy is full of high fructose corn syrup and harmful dyes. That bothers me and so does the amount of sugar that sits on their teeth, leading to cavities. If I didn’t pay attention to their candy consumption, I’d sure pay attention to the dental bills we’d have. Side note: I do have to testify that previous to changing the way we approach food, we DID have those bills. My children DID have those cavities, but in the last year they have not had one cavity. Moving along…

My reason for this post is not to convice you to pay attention to what your children are eating. That is your call. I only seek to share with you a creative way that we have found to deal with the candy that comes through our home.

A few months ago, I came upon an idea in a Family Fun magazine that has taken off in our home. When candy enters our home, my children now opt to eat a piece or two and then do candy experiments. I thought it was just a one time fluke, but Halloween proved to me again that they have embraced the idea and made it their own. Instead of eating candy, my children now view candy as something to be explored. By the time I came down the stairs the morning after Halloween, this is what I saw:

My kids were up and already testing out all sorts of possibilites with their candy. Soaking it, freezing it, putting it in the sun, and waiting on me so they could put some in the oven or the microwave. It has been amazing to watch them become little scientists. I hear them talking amongst themselves and making guesses on what they think certain candies will do. They have even felt the freedom to start cutting things in half just to see what was inside–was it solid or hollow, liquid filled or not? Our next venture is to see what happens to different candies in an acidic liquid.

I love seeing something that was once a chore to manage has now become a blessing and now my kids are learning something from it–and I don’t even have to suggest it–they’re doing it on their own!

Below are some pictures from previous experiments:

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One Reply to “Managing My Home – Candy”

  1. Loralee

    I’m so glad your kids liked the idea, that’s great! And I love the pictures. My kids are still loving candy experiments after three years, and nearly all of the candy we collect is used for science. (So far, out of all our Halloween candy, they’ve each had one piece and we’ve probably dissolved three pounds.) And it’s not just my kids; when I presented this idea to five groups of kids this week, many of them loved the experiments and NOT ONE tried to eat any.

    Best of luck with your Halloween candy, and let me know if you come up with anything new. I’m especially interested in the acidic liquid test, I’ve been thinking I ought to try it myself.