“I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.” – Buddy the Elf, ELF
History of the Candy Cane
Candy canes are the quintessential must have candy tradition for the Christmas Season. Curious, we did more digging to find out about this tradition. According to Spangler, a candy cane maker, the tradition of candy canes started in Germany in the late 1600’s. They were made to keep children occupied during a long traditional ceremony. The candy cane is bent to represent a shepherd’s hook. While it was first originally all white to represent the purity of Jesus, in the turn of the century, red was added. Read more on the history of the candy cane on Spangler’s website. So what are fun things to do with candy canes? Well there are the most obvious: eating them and hanging them on the tree, but then there are lots of fun other ways to enjoy this seasonal favorite. Check out our clever uses for candy canes.
Clever Uses for Candy Canes
The Candy Cane Game
First off, the Candy Cane Game. This is a fun take on the game of Spoons. If you have ever played the game you know how fun and competitive it can be. This is an easy game for all ages.
1 Candy Cane for Each Person Playing, Less One
1 Deck of Cards
1 Pen & Paper
Arrange the Candy Canes in a small circle. Throughout the game you will use one less candy cane then the number of people playing. I.E. Five people, you will have four candy canes.
The dealer will pass out four cards to each player. Once everyone has their four cards the dealer will place the remaining deck face down and draw a card off the top of the deck
The dealer will then discard one card face down to the person to the left. This will continue around the table with each person picking up the card passed to them & discarding a card to their left.
The very last person will create a “garbage pile.” In the event that the dealer goes through the whole deck, then the “garbage pile,” will be used to draw from.
The first person to get four of a kind will take a candy cane. This is the fun part. Be sneaky about it, or dive in and claim it.
Once the first candy cane is taken everyone must scramble to grab a candy cane. Like musical chairs, someone will be left in the dust.
The person left without a candy cane gets an elimination letter, “C.” Once the word C-A-N-D-Y (Shorter Version) or C-A-N-D-Y C-A-N-E-S is spelled out that person is out of the game.
To make it more fun and competitive, if some one breaks a candy cane, they get two letters, for instance, “C-A.” (If all the candy canes get broken, you can always switch to spoons!)
Players keep playing until there is only one person left. The last person to not have, Candy or Candy Canes spelled out is the winner!
Use any crushed candy canes as a topper over whipped cream in some hot cocoa. Yum!
A Candy Cane Scavenger Hunt
Host an indoor scavenger hunt. If you have young kids or kids that range in age, pick up a pack of multi-colored candy canes. Assign each kid a color to avoid older kids monopolizing them all.
This is a fun activity for kids. Place the candy canes in a plastic zip lock bag. Let your kids have fun crushing the candy. This is an easy activity to split up if you have multiple kids. Each kid can have their own candy canes in a plastic bag. If your kids are younger it can also help with their fine motor skills picking up the small pieces and adding them to the cupcakes. (Always supervise children)
Grow a Candy Cane
This is one your kids are sure to love. Plant a peppermint seed in a bowl of sugar. Have your kids sing to it or read it a story. They can also “feed” it with sprinkles or colored sugar. They will be amazed when they wake up and a candy cane has grown.
Eat Green Candy Canes
“He devised a new plan
Though not quite as mean.
He licked all the candy canes,
And turned them all GREEN!
Pick up a pack of green candy canes to eat while reading Dr. Seuss’, How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This would also make a great children’s gift. Check out other Books and treats that pair well together.
Candy Cane Gram
Incoming delivery from the North Pole. A candy cane gram, wishing you a Merry Christmas.
Candy Cane Hot Cocoa
Make your hot cocoa as you normally do. An easy recipe is warm milk with Hershey’s syrup added to desired taste. Use a candy cane as a garnish and mixer. It will compliment your hot chocolate with a kiss of peppermint. Add a Peep marshmallow and the kids are sure to love it!