Statistics come to Hallowe’en

I wish that I had found this resource earlier so that I could have shared it before this.  Well, better late than never and it’s not too early to start stocking up for next year’s event.  The annual question, particularly if you live in a highly populated subdivision is “how much candy do we buy for Hallowe’en?”

The question is based on a number of assumptions…

  • kids like candy
  • you leave your porch lights on and invite scary visitors
  • you predict just how many of these visitors you’ll get

and, of course, this is one time when it’s not all that painful to over estimate visitors.  The overage that you buy won’t go to waste.  My strategy was always to give our the Snickers bars last.

Teachers know that, for the next week, you’ll be finding candy wrappers stuffed into locations throughout your classroom.  In my classroom, I always brought in an extra waste paper basket to encourage proper disposal (it didn’t always work) and also a big bowl where kids could drop off candy they didn’t want and pick up something new and interesting to try.  At the end of the day, I had a couple of options – one to add to my collection or two to take out to football practice as treats.

But, back to the original question.  How much to buy?

You can go with experience or, if you’re new to your neighbourhood, ask a neighbour what to expect or make a data driven decision based upon data from Statistics Canada and available through censormapper.ca.  Let’s say you lived in the Kitchener-Waterloo area.  What is the breakdown of Trick-or-Treat Children per Dwelling?

What a great planning guide for your candy purchases!  If you’re reading this early, you can still visit the local grocery store.

Or, in the aftermath to see how accurate your prediction was!

Or, in the mathematics classroom, a great answer to the question “When will we ever use this stuff?”

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