Here’s an engaging and versatile activity to help us “sort through” all the Halloween chaos! Use leftover Halloween candy in engaging ways to teach sorting, describing, graphing, and simple data analysis.
Before we jump into celebrating gratitude, turkeys, and pumpkin pie, let’s focus on what to do with all of that leftover Halloween candy the kids have floating around. This post will focus on a sorting activity, but please see the extensions and adaptations section for more ideas.
- Collect your child/student’s stash of halloween candy and dump it out in front of them. (You may need to do some pre-sorting to help make this process easier.)
- Ask them to sort the candy into piles by type or by wrapper color. You may need to help by providing probing questions or support.
- Count how many pieces are in each pile.
- Graph or write about your results. You can use the candy itself to make a pictograph, color in boxes on a grid, use a sticker to represent 1-5 pieces of candy, or use art tape to create a line graph.
- Sample some candy of course!
Extensions and Adaptations:
- Use hand under hand guidance to support students with complex access needs to sort their candy.
- Use bowls, cups, or a work-play tray with dividers to create clear boundaries for the candy.
- Use a variety of graphing materials and strategies to meet students with different levels of needs. Some examples might include tactile graph paper, large tactile grid, wikki stix, or simply line the candy up in rows to compare the data.
- Put the candy in bags, and ask the student to label the bag with the name of each item for later.
- Ask students to write a story about how they think their favorite candy was made.
- Ask students to write about their experience trick-or-treating.
- Help students survey peers or staff about their favorite type of Halloween candy, and then graph your results.
- Mix the candy back into the bag, and practice tactile discrimination skills by asking them to select a specific type.
- Encourage students to make treat bags for favorite teachers or staff and write tags or cards to go along with it.
- Label each piece with its name, and ask the student to sort based on beginning letter or sound.