Large cardboard piece
Disposable cups or bowls
Marker or pen
It’s inevitable. Your child will come home from a trick-or-treat adventure with an insane amount of candy and you’ll cringe as you see how much is consumed over the next few days – if it lasts that long. You have a choice: let them eat the candy at will or ration it out over a period of time. I vote for the latter. It’s too hard for me to watch kids eat candy to the point of being sick. So, before your child goes out the door for Halloween fun, make an announcement. Tell him or her that you’re starting a new tradition and an advent calendar will be given to ration out the candy. You probably won’t see a smiling face but you’ll feel better, that’s for sure.
An advent calendar is usually a countdown to something so I guess this one is a countdown to the end of the candy. You’ll need a large piece of cardboard as the backing for the advent calendar. Cover it with decorative paper or cloth – or leave it as it is.
Pour the candy out on the table and separate it into 30 piles, put each pile in a Dixie cup, Solo cup, or other disposable container. As you separate the candy, try to put a nice variety into each cup, so that each cup has really great candy, some so-so candy, and some of the candies that your kids always leave for last.
Cut circles of paper to be the size of the cup openings. Write a number, 1-30, on each circle of paper, and then tape one over each cup. It might be necessary to poke a hole to allow for a sucker stick or another long candy. Glue all of the cup bottoms to the cardboard and align them in sequence, like a calendar. Or, create your own cup arrangement. Each day, your child can punch through the paper top, and retrieve the candy inside of the cup.
There are variations that you can do with the advent calendar. For example, do away with the cups and paper circles and just put a handful of candy in plastic wrap or a zipper-lock bag. Write a number on each bag and your child can pick one every day. You can even make cups of candy and give them out for good behavior or as chore rewards.
Your child might not be all that thrilled with the new advent calendar but he or she will go along with it. You’ll feel much better knowing that the candy won’t all be consumed in a day or two. The Halloween advent calendar – a new family tradition!