After the trick or treating ends and the costumes are put away, there’s one last thing a parent has to worry about for Halloween: the begging and pleading for one more! piece of candy.
How do you let your child enjoy his or her spoils from trick or treating without eating too much (or whining about not having enough)?
If your child is in elementary school or above, make a trading game out of it. Assign relative values to each candy. For example, two rolls of Smarties are equivalent to one two-pack of fun-size Starburst. Not only does this game teach your children to use both mathematical and analytical skills, but it also turns the candy into a commodity that your child will start to see as more than just a sugary, fruity, or chocolaty treat.
Once you have assigned the relative values to each candy, invite your kids to divide their candy into the various categories you have assigned. If you need help determining values, watch this hilarious and accurate Buzzfeed video.
Then, invite your kids to trade according to the value system in place. Since there is a lot of excitement on Halloween night, let them trade a few days’ worth of candy that night (and eat some of it, embracing the inevitable sugar high). In the days following, host a candy trading post at the kitchen table after school or dinner so that your kids can honor the value system and continue to trade their candy each night for one dessert’s worth.
Continue the activity every night until all the candy is gone. As a parent, you choose whether to participate or supervise. If you have an only child, you should definitely participate—otherwise, whom will he or she trade with every night? If you don’t want to eat your candy, bring it to the office or treat your child with it after his or her supply is gone.
This Halloween candy trading activity is a great way to trick your kids into rationing their treats without whining and overindulging while developing their analytical and bargaining skills at the same time.