This post may contain affiliate links.
I recently came across How Sweet It Is (and Was): The History of Candy by Ruth Freeman Swain at my local library. I grabbed it and put it in my library bag before anyone else saw it. A story about the history of candy is perfect for this time of year! Before we even left the parking lot, I was dreaming up ways to use this book with my children.
History of Candy Activities
Read the book
This is so obvious it feels silly to even mention it, but this a necessary step.
Create a graph
Poll your family and friends about their favorite candies and graph the results. Alternatively you can graph your trick-or-treat loot. For older kids, I recommend creating the graph from scratch using graph paper. Younger children might benefit from just filling in a pre-made graph. A whole sheet of graph paper can be overwhelming for kids just learning the concept.
Construct a candy timeline
Put various sweet treats in chronological order.
How Sweet It Is (and Was): The History of Candy follows the chronological history of candy so you can just follow the order laid out in the book. There is also a handy candy timeline in the back of the book. I chose to just use the sweet treats we already had on hand so our timeline isn’t 100% complete. We can recreate the timeline after trick or treating to fill in the gaps.
We chose to make a healthier version of this sweet treat because our house is going to be inundated with sugary candy very soon. This paleo fudge only has 5 ingredients – all things we normally have in our house. It was simple enough for the kids to make on their own and had the perfect amount of sweetness.
Grammar practice is always a little more fun when it involves candy. After we read that Hershey bars are named after Milton Hershey I broke into our Halloween stash to give the kids a milk chocolate Hershey bar. They used all of their senses and we came up with a long list of adjectives describing this chocolaty goodness.
Reinforce proper nouns
We dug through our Halloween stash again to practice proper and common nouns. We made two lists – one for proper nouns and another for common nouns. Kit Kats (my favorite) are a proper noun. Chocolate wafer candy is a common noun. My kids seem to learn best through their stomachs so I don’t think they will be forgetting this distinction anytime soon.
We learned a lot about the history of candy. Our Story of the World history lessons have taught us that the earliest sweet treats were dates, honey, maple syrup, and chocolate. We were really surprised to read that in the 16th century people believed white sugar was healthy!
What is your favorite type of candy?
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.