The EAT-SAVE-GIVE candy challenge! - Small Legacies

The EAT-SAVE-GIVE candy challenge!

Using Halloween Candy to Teach GIVE SAVE SPEND

By Kendra Johnson

It’s candy time!!! Let’s put our kids to the test this year and see if we can encourage them to practice kindness, generosity and control.

This year I’m giving my kids a special challenge! The EAT-SAVE-GIVE candy challenge. 

Here’s how you can join the fun!

Before trick or treating, let the kids know that you are going to be doing a fun activity to help sort the candy when it has all been collected. Even a few days before you can explain the plan so they aren’t caught off guard. 

STEP 1: Decorate and Label 3 Containers for Each Child

These could be random bowls, paper bags, or zip lock bags. Clearly label each one with EAT, SAVE, and SPEND. I love craft time so we decorated ours in advance. 

STEP 2: Talk About the Plan

While decorating the bags, talk with your kids about how fun it is to sort out your candy once you’ve collected it all. Explain to them that they will be splitting it into 3 categories. 

EAT - to be eaten that night

SAVE - to save for the next day (or many future days depending how much they collect!)

GIVE - to pass on to someone else as a gift

STEP 3 - Go Trick-or-Treating!

I am a huge advocate for making this a marathon event. My kids are tiny and I look forward to when it’s a full 4 hour extravaganza! Despite the fact that the kids are collecting 10 pounds of sugar, it’s actually a really healthy family activity! They are spending hours walking around outside getting fresh air! They are earning those treats! 

STEP 4 - Make a Giant Pile

Once your bounty has been collected, admire your work! Growing up, my sisters and I always liked to keep separate piles and then compare and trade. If you have more than one kid it’s especially fun to encourage bartering and trades. 

STEP 5  - Start Sorting!

I like to start with what I know I will want to eat that night. I pick out my favorites (Hello Butter Fingers and Dots!!) 

Next, take a look at what’s left. Ask your kids to select a few pieces that they don’t need. Maybe they really don’t like a certain candy so they can happily give that to someone who will appreciate it. OR if you as a parent have a favorite, you can try to convince them to share a special one with you. :) 

As a 3rd grade teacher I experienced multiple occasions where a student would come to school on November 1st wanting to share a piece with every classmate. It was so sweet and generous. Just make sure that if your kids are going to be sharing at school they have enough for every kid in the class (or that they share privately so it doesn’t cause any conflict.) And of course, be aware of any allergies in the room. 

I do not expect them to give away ⅓ of their candy. Just a few pieces will do.  And the rest can be put in the save bag for the next day!

Why do this?

Why not?! Skill building and learning doesn’t have to be boring. Using candy as a metaphor for financial literacy is a super easy way to get them thinking about how to be responsible with what they have. I can’t imagine a more fun way to help teach my kids the power of give-save-spend.

So, what’s your favorite Halloween treat?! Comment below!

Happy Halloween! 

Kendra Johnson is a certified elementary educator based in rural Wisconsin. As a parent and teacher, Kendra has a passion for teaching through engaging and varied techniques. Her background in theatre, educational technology and curriculum development have fueled her passion for teaching life skills to youth creatively.

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