Halloween was a little different this year, but chances are your kids still got some candy or other treats. But what do you do with all of the candy? Other than eat it, of course. Why not use the candy for some fun learning? Try some of these fun kindergarten learning activities with Halloween candy!
If you’re like my guys, they love getting candy, but they’re not really a fan of eating it. Well, they do like a bit of candy, but usually only a piece a day, so their candy will last awhile!
So while we have all this candy lying around, and my guys are pretty interested in it, I figured why not use it in our learning?
Actually, I can’t fib – I have to give credit to my 5 year old. He decided he wanted to sort his candy – and did a great job! That led to some other math with the candy, some of it prompted by me, some of it initiated by the boys.
But that’s beside the point.
What kind of things can you use the Halloween candy for? Besides eating, that is….
There are so many ways you can use the candy, almost like you would with manipulatives in math. Sorting, patterning, graphing, measuring, the list goes on and on.
Depending on your child, and you know your child best, you may need to model a few activities first and then prompt them to come up with another way to do it. For example, start sorting a few pieces of candy by brands (kit kat, snickers, etc) and then challenge your child to think of a different way to sort the pile! You might be surprised at what your child comes up with!
>>Tip: Start with a small pile of treats, so as not to overwhelm your child.
You can do any of these activities with other objects or manipulatives, but since you’ve probably got so much candy, why not use that to make learning fun!
So get your candy ready and use it in your learning activities this week! Keep reading this post for some fun kindergarten learning activities with Halloween candy.
Fun Math Activities to do with Halloween Candy
Sorting is one of the first math skills that children learn. Your child may begin to sort some things naturally, like their toys, using basic similarities and differences. By encouraging your child to sort, especially in different ways, they’re thinking logically and developing their thinking skills.
Using Halloween Candy is a great way to practice this skill! You can sort by brand, by size, shape or just sit back and see how your child sorts!
Counting is another of those first math skills that children learn. Depending on your child, you might just want to start with a small pile of candy and practice counting by one’s to five or ten. If your child can do fairly easily, you can always try counting in different ways. Ask them to show you a certain number, or how many more do you need to make 10? We’ve been working on understanding ten, so my guy started making piles of ten to figure out how many candies he had. Then he counted by ten as he pointed to the piles! (Yes, he had that much candy….)
Halloween candy seems to lend itself naturally to patterning. Kids usually get a few of the same type of treat, so pull out a handful of two or three different types and get making some patterns! Start with simple AB patterns, and then see if your child can create their own pattern using different types of candy. Most kids will have an easier time continuing a pattern, rather than creating their own pattern. You can always challenge your kids to make a specific type of pattern (AB, ABB, AAB) and see what they come up with. I have two boys, so I also have them each make a pattern and then have the other figure out what the pattern is.
Estimating is a good skill to teach kids and it’s fun too! My guys love to do this in the bath and see how many small cups of water it will take to fill a bigger cup. So I thought we’d try it with Halloween candy too! How many …..(chip bags, chocolate bars) will it take to fill the …..(plastic pumpkin)? Change it up for whatever you have around the house!
Measuring is another important skill to teach kids, but it doesn’t have to be with standard measurements. In fact, in school, kids don’t start to learn standard measurements until primary grades. When they first begin to learn about measurement, it can be as simple as ‘this block is 3 cars long’, or any other object they have. Again, Halloween candy is perfect for this! As long as your child chooses to measure something using the same type of candy, they can measure how long/tall/wide something is in the house. The important thing to remind kids is that to measure properly, you have to start measuring from the edge of the object and there are no spaces in what you are using to measure. My guys started measuring a block that we had on the floor, and then moved on to measure our door and their balance beam. They also used several different types of candy to see if it would take the same amount of candy to cover the length.
Now graphing is a skill that is not as intuitive for kids. It’s an activity that I find I have to model how to set up, but then the boys can continue. We use similar graphing activities in literacy, when we roll a letter (or sight word) and graph how many times you roll the letter (or sight word), or in our apple unit where we graphed different types of apples. But candy is so much more fun to graph! Choose three or four different types of candy and a handful of each type. You can just set them on the floor to graph, or draw a graph on a piece of paper to fill in.
Alphabet Activities to do with Halloween Candy
Make Alphabet Letters
Use the candy to form letters of the alphabet. We found the small chocolate bars worked best for us, as they were skinnier and small enough that we could form some of the curves on the letters.
Make your name
Once you’ve made some letters of the alphabet, try making your name! We’re lucky that they boys names are both short names, so a bit easier for them to make their names!
Make sight words
You can also make sight words. We use the popcorn words in our house, and many of them are two and three letters. There’s a few that start with ‘i’, and the boys figured to use a those small chocolate balls to make the dot for the ‘i’!
STEM Activities with Halloween Candy
How high of a tower can you build using candy? It may be tricky if you don’t have boxes or flat candy to use, but let your child experiment and use those problem solving skills to see what they can build!
Can you build a gate or fence? Again, some candy will work better than others, but there’s nothing to say a gate has to be tall! My guys used their candy to build a fence and a gate to keep the spider and dinosaur in!
I hope you’ve found some of these Kindergarten learning activities with Halloween candy to be fun and engaging for your child! If you have any other suggestions, please let us know in the comments below! We still have a lot of candy left!
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