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Published November 02, 2010, 12:00 AM

Get creative with candy

Sharon Bowers has an ingenious trick for distracting children from their post-Halloween sugary stashes: Use the candy as construction materials in crafts.

By: Jennifer Forker, For The Associated Press, INFORUM

Sharon Bowers has an ingenious trick for distracting children from their post-Halloween sugary stashes: Use the candy as construction materials in crafts.

“How can a responsible parent let a kid enjoy candy without letting him stuff himself with junk?” asks Bowers in her well-timed book, “Candy Construction” (Storey Publishing, 2010). “The trick is not to EAT it but to make something WITH it.”

Bowers’ “Candy Construction” is a little book with big ideas, from a pirate ship whose hull is carved from a block of Rice Krispie treats to castles, a train and wearable jewelry. Her race car incorporates a Snickers bar, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey’s chocolate bars and sour candy strips.

Bowers was testing recipes for her book “Ghoulish Goodies” (Storey Publishing, 2009) when she hit upon ideas for this one, which is geared more toward entertaining kids.

She noticed that her boys, while in the creative throes of construction, weren’t eating much of the candy.

“‘Wow,’ I thought, ‘they’re actually making Martian aliens and not putting marshmallows in their mouths,’ ” Bowers says.

Of course, it helps that Bowers lays some ground rules for her little construction workers. She lists them in her book:

No. 1: “Absolutely no eating while building. What construction worker snacks on the job?”

No. 2: “One item can be chosen from among the supplies, or one piece of what was built, but it’s to be eaten after cleanup.”

No. 3: “Candy construction workers always brush their teeth after work.”

Her boys obey the rules, Bowers has found, because creativity trumps sugar. The kids rarely want to devour their finished creations.

“I had a castle in my kitchen for a month because I couldn’t bear to throw it away,” Bowers confesses.

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