Halloween art project - Keep, give, & toss the candy

Halloween is fast approaching and so is the candy-coma. How many of us can remember the excitement of dressing up and bringing home buckets of candy that we hoped would last forever? We want our kids to make memories and enjoy the festivities, but without carrying the candy with us into the New Year (much less into December)! Here is a fun art project to get your kids involved in paring down their candy collection while also practicing how to give something they value to others.

The 3 containers are labeled with the words “Keep”, “Give”, and “Toss”. Of course there is candy they will want to keep, but they can also help you determine what needs to be tossed (for example, candy with opened wrappers or candy/bubblegum that is past its prime and too hard to eat safely). The third category is “Give”. There are programs out there that will send leftover candy to troops overseas ( or you can contact a local nursing home, homeless shelter, or soup kitchen.


  • 3 containers for candy sorting (I used empty 32oz yogurt containers)
  • Construction paper
  • Permanent markers (black and metallic)
  • Wooden popsicle or craft sticks
  • Acrylic or craft paint
  • Paintbrushes or sponges
  • Glitter glue
  • Buttons or pompoms for decoration
  • Craft glue
  • Tape

Step 1: Cut the construction paper to fit around the containers and tape the paper into place.


Step 2: Line up 10 popsicle or craft sticks and tape them together the make one label. Do this 3 times (one for each container).


Step 3: Pick a Halloween-themed object to paint on each label (ideas include candy, pumpkins, bugs, ghosts, and jack-o-lanterns). Once the paint is dry, outline what you painted with glitter glue. Use the markers to write “Keep”, “Give”, and “Toss” on the labels.


Step 4: Use the craft glue to attach the labels to the containers. They will need time to dry, so this is good project to do while talking to your kids about planning to sort their candy after they bring it home.

When the Halloween decorations come down, you can take the construction paper off of the containers and flatly store the labels for next year. Get creative and you might end up with a new Halloween tradition that includes giving to others!

Robin Winningham is a mother and full-time artist in Charlotte, NC. She is also the owner of It’s an Art Party and specializes in mobile birthday art parties and art tutoring lessons for children ages 4 and up. Visit her website to see her artwork and check out to learn more about art parties and art lessons.