Learning with Candy

Candy is fun to learn with too

Candy!!! It’s yummy! It’s sweet! It’s sooo good to eat!

We all know that candy is a tasty treat! But did you know you can learn with candy too? We get so much candy at Halloween time we couldn’t possibly eat it all. Here are some hands-on ways for preschoolers to learn with candy at home.

Social Studies:

Ask your child questions like: Where does candy come from? What makes it so tasty? What’s your favorite candy? And discuss. Here are some interesting facts to help your conversation:

  • The average american eats 24 pounds of candy a year.
  • Americans buy about 600 million pounds of candy a year just for Halloween.
  • Americans spend $2 billion a year on Halloween candy.
  • The top selling Halloween candy? Candy Corn!
  • Candy Corn is also the top searched candy item on Google.

Field Trip:


Go door to door and gets some treats. It’s a Halloween tradition. Malls and parks often sponsor trick-or-treating activities too. After trick-or-treating:

  • Wait until children are home to sort and check treats. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.
  • Try to apportion treats for the days following Halloween.
  • Although sharing is encouraged, make sure items that can cause choking (such as hard candies), are given only to those of an appropriate age.

After Halloween Shopping

If you just don’t have enough candy, check out the stores for some sweet after Halloween deals.

Math Skills & Language Arts:

  • Dump out your trick or treating haul on the floor, table, or bucket.
    • Sort the candy by kind, color, brand, or type.
    • Count the number in each category. Which category has the most? The least?
    • Which category weighs more? Put them on a food scale to find out.
    • Sort the candy by size.
    • Which one is the biggest? The smallest?
  • M&Ms or Skittles.
    • Open up a bag sort and count the colors.
    • How many of each color?
    • How many all together?
    • What happens when you eat 1,2,3,4…?
    • What happens when you eat a handful?
      • How many are in Daddy’s handful? Mommy’s handful? Your handful?
    • How many are left when you eat them all?
    • What color is the tastiest? The worst? The best?
    • Predict how many of each color you’ll find in the next bag. The sort and count to find out. See who guesses correctly the most.
  • Vote on:
    • which candy to eat next
    • which candy is the best
    • where to donate all the extra candy


Pixy Stix Sand Art

Don’t eat all those stix!! You can use them to make beautiful art. You just need the stix and some clean jars; Baby food jars work GREAT! Just tear or cut off the tops of the stix and artfully pour them into the jar.  You can use the sticks to push and manupluate the sand. Or you can try tooth picks, popsicle sticks, spoons…  Then put the lid on nice and tight and marvel at your creation.

Candy Wrapper Collage

After you’ve eaten all that tasty candy and brushed your teeth, make a candy collage with all the wrappers! All you need is a poster board, cardboard or even a piece of paper and glue. Just glue the wrappers to the paper in an artful way.

Cooking Projects:

Left over candy cookie treats

Just take your favorite cookie recipe and make the dough only. (No chocolate chips, etc.) Take your left over treats like Milky Ways, Reese’s, Snickers, Three Musketeers, Hersey’s, Kisses, and wrap them in the dough. (You may want to cut them up a bit first. Then again maybe not!) Cook as usual and let cool. Its anyone’s guess what treat is wrapped up inside. Take a bite to find out!

Here’s a standard chocolate chip dough recipe without the chocolate chips.

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (you may add another 1/4 cup if the mixture is too wet)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Your left over candy treats

Start Cooking!

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  4. Mix in eggs and vanilla.
  5. In a large separate bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda.
  6. Gradually add the wet contents of medium bowl into the flour mixture, mixing slowly.
  7. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  8. Option 1 – Fold in chopped up candies. Option 2 – Scoop out just enough dough to wrap around the candy bar. Wrap the bar and make sure the bar is sealed in the dough.
  9. Place rolled dough onto cookie sheet and bake for 9 to 14 minutes until they are just the way you like them. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack or cool counter top.

Candy Cookie Variations: Be adventurous try some candy you might not have thought of like Sweet Tarts, Skittles, Lemon Heads… (Lemon heads work well with a lemon cookie dough recipe.)

Science Projects:

M&Ms Water Flower

Place different colored M&Ms in a shallow bowl of water. M&Ms should be covered. Within minutes the M&Ms start to dissolve but the colors don’t mix. You’ll have a beautiful M&M flower. But wait there’s more!

Floating Ms & Ss

After making your M&M flower, wait about 5 minutes more. Do not disturb the water. Soon the letter (or parts of it) will rise to the top!! Is it magic? Maybe. Or maybe it’s because the edible letter ink doesn’t dissolve in water. | Want to see an S float? Try it with Skittles.

Sink or float

Fill a glass or bowl with water. Predict which candies will sink and which candies will float. Then start dropping candies in the water. See if there is a difference with the wrapper on or off. Is there a difference between M&M’s and Skittles? Does the color of the candy matter?

Sweet or Sour

Taste various candies and describe the flavor. Is it sweet or is it sour? Hard or soft. Crunchy or chewy.

Outdoor/PE/Gross Motor Skills:

Run, Run, Run, Run, and Run some more!!! You’ll need to burn off a lot of extra candy calories!!

Personal Care & Character Development

  • Encourage your children to share their candy, eat it in moderation and always brush their teeth after enjoying it.
  • Donate your candy to our deployed soldiers with Operation Gratitude. Just drop off your candy at Halsey Schools and we will do the rest! Learn more here.


  • Candy – caramelo
  • Sweet – dulce
  • Sour – agrio
  • Wrapper – envoltura
  • Sugar – azúcar
  • Chocolate – chocolate
  • Sink – hundirse
  • Float – flotar
  • Trick or Treat – engañar o tratar

I hope you enjoy doing these activities at home. These are just starting points. Expand on them and add your own. HAVE FUN!!

Jenni Rice - Owner & Director
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