Using Candy as a Reward

How to Reward Toddlers With Candy for Potty Training

Count out 20 or so pieces of small candy and place them in a jar or plastic container with a lid.

Show your child the candies you plan on using as rewards. Allow her to eat just one piece, which can motivate her to use the toilet more often because she'll naturally want to eat another piece.

Schedule regular potty breaks. When it's time to use the potty, take your child into the bathroom and help her pull down her pants and sit on the toilet.

Remind her that she'll get to choose one piece of candy if she actually goes in the toilet. Give her a few minutes to see if she needs to go.

Help your child wash her hands before rewarding her with the candy. This ensures that her hands are germ-free after going potty but also teaches her to always wash up after she uses the bathroom.

Open the candy container and allow her to reach in and select one piece of candy. Replace the lid and put the container out of her reach.

Continue using the candies as an incentive and reward until the jar or container is empty. At this point, your child is probably getting pretty good at heading to the bathroom and actually going, so it's time to switch to a different reward. Candy should only be used for a short time, and most kids are willing to accept nonfood rewards, such as stickers or high fives, just as readily as they'll take the candy.


Place the candy jar in an out-of-reach location that your child can still see, such as on top of the refrigerator or a top shelf. That might help remind her to at least try to use the potty.

Don't give in and let your child have a piece of candy every time she goes into the bathroom. Only offer the candy if she actually goes. Otherwise, she'll be going into the bathroom a hundred times a day in hopes that she'll get to have a treat.


Offer your child candy that doesn't pose a choking hazard, such as soft, easy-to-chew chocolates or miniature marshmallows. Don't use hard candies, taffy or caramels.

Use candy as a reward only in the short term because your child could begin associating good behavior with candy, and she'll starting asking for it every time she does something you want her to.

Indoor Activities for Children in Northeast Pennsylvania


Car fans won't want to miss the interactive America on Wheels in Allentown, which is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the United States' automotive history. Permanent and rotating exhibits feature everything from vintage cars like Ford's Model T to drag and muscle cars, as well as bicycles, scooters and Mack trucks. There's also the Electric City Trolley Museum in Scranton, which features interactive exhibits and vintage trolley rides that take visitors on a scenic 5 1/2-mile route along what used to be the Lackawanna and Wyoming Valley Laurel Railroad Line, as well through the 4,747-foot Cown Avenue Tunnel -- one of the longest interurban tunnels ever built. For motorcycle fans, Bill’s Old Bike Barn in Bloomsburg offers a collection of vintage motorcycles and motorcycle memorabilia.

Sports Facilities

The Revolution Ice Centre in Pittston offers weekday and weekend public ice skating sessions at varying times, depending on local youth hockey schedules. Batting cages are also part of the fun at Lahey Family Fun Park in Clarks Summit.

For Those With a Sweet Tooth

Family owned and operated by the Callie family, Callie's Candy Kitchen and Callie's Pretzel Factory are two separate sites that give visitors the chance to see how candy, hard and soft pretzels and gourmet popcorn are made -- as well as try free samples. The Candy Kitchen is located in Mountainhome and the Pretzel Factory three miles south in Cresco.

Arcade and Movies

The Fernwood Game Zone Arcade at the Fernwood Hotel & Convention Center in Bushkill features pool tables, air hockey, skeeball, a basketball throw, laser shooting range and more than 60 arcade games. It's open primarily on weekends, so it's a good idea to call 570-588-9500 before you go. Prize tickets can be redeemed for candy, stuffed animals, games, mugs and other rewards. There are also several movie theaters offering both independent and popular, mass-released films, including the R/C Wilkes Barre Movies 14 in Wilkes-Barre, the Galleria - Split Rock in Lake Harmony and the Casino Theatre in Mount Pocono.

Help Kids Build Some Sweet Math Skills

Have you noticed the big emphasis on both creativity and STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) skills for kids lately? At first glance these two things may seem to be in opposition, but in reality creative thinking and innovation are necessities to scientific and technological advancement.

So how do we foster these skills in our kids at home? By providing lots of engaging and open-ended set ups to get them flexing both their analytical and creative muscles. This simple (and fun) building activity is one of my all-time favorites for accomplishing these goals.

A big part of the appeal of this activity are the exciting materials: candy!

Traditionally this project uses mini marshmallows as building blocks and toothpicks as connectors. We added colorful gum drop candies because they add a visual pop and are also more stable than marshmallows, leading to less frustration for our littlest engineers. The various colors also provide the opportunity to practice color sorting and pattern making.

When first introducing this activity, hold off on giving lots of direction and let your kids take it in whatever direction they choose. Our 4-year-old son wanted to start off making a car.

Meanwhile, our 2-year-old daughter began to naturally sort the candy by colors and created several matching “dumbbells.”

These materials are also ideal for exploring lots of 3D geometric structures. Older kids may even use them to create various molecular models.

You can see the kids jumped into this activity with enthusiasm and it didn’t take long before all sorts of crazy contraptions were taking shape.

In fact everyone in the family, age 2 to 32, thoroughly enjoyed this project. It’s one we will certainly return to again and again.

Photo Credits: Stephanie Morgan

How to Make a Top Hat Out of Candy

Open your box of mixed liquorice sweets and other candies, and lay the individual candies out on a tray or plate in front of you.

Sort the candies so you have a pile of longer, narrower tube shaped candies and a pile of thinner, wider, round candies. The long narrow ones will be the top of your top hat, the shorter fatter ones will be its brim.

Take a round candy and place a blob of ready mixed frosting in the centre. Balance one of the longer pieces of candy vertically on top, pressing it down into the centre of the other piece of candy so the frosting is sandwiched between the two.

Skewer the two pieces together by pushing a cocktail stick up through the centre of the bottom candy and into the centre of the top candy. Leave until the frosting has set, "gluing" the two candies together. Remove the cocktail stick or leave in place and use it to secure your top hat onto a cake.

How to Make a Candy Tie for Dad

Lay a cellophane bag flat on a table. You can use clear or colored cellophane bags for this craft.

Fold up the two bottom corners of the bag so they meet in the middle and secure with tape. The bag should have a triangular point (like a tie) at the bottom when you turn it over.

Fill the bag with candy. Tie the bag closed with a plastic twist tie.

Cut out a small triangle out of card stock in a color that coordinates with the candy or the bag to make the tie knot.

Cut the tip off of one end of the triangle and round out the other two edges to give it the look of a tie knot. You can write a short message like "Happy Father's Day!" on it.

Tape the tie knot so that it covers the twist tie and the top of the bag completely.


Make tie designs by layering the candy in the bag by colors.