Math Projects with Halloween Candy

While the deliciousness of Halloween candy is hard to deny if you are a parent you may be wondering if all the sugar in candy corn is good for your kids. However in some ways, it just might be! You may be surprised to learn that candy corn could possibly boost thinking skills and improve grades! After letting them eat their fill, you can then have your kids use the candy corn for some math lessons. Here are some ideas on math projects with Halloween candy-

  • Colors and shapes – On a very basic level, the orange, yellow, and white triangles of candy corn can help teach colors and shapes. Kids are fascinated by candy (especially with the possibility they can eat it later). Keep in mind that sorting is one of the basic pre-reading skills as well.
  • Mix and Match – You can mix some candy corn with some M & M’s for a sorting exercise for little fingers. It works well to have children arrange them to make new shapes. Have them sort by color and shape and then give the kids numbers to sort with as well.
  • Board game markers – If you need something a little less elementary you can try using the little candies for board game markers. Candy corn bingo is very fun. You can make it even more difficult with the numbers on the grid providing answers to equations and the candies marking the spots. Kids can even graph different amounts of candy corn.
  • Greater than or less than – Candy corn can be used to teach this basic math principle as well. Have you ever noticed that the little pieces of candy corn if turned on their sides look like “greater than” or “less than” signs? Your kids may enjoy doing unequal equations much more using candy for the answers.
  • Story problems – You can use the candy in some story or word problems. For example: Susie has 12 pieces of candy corn. If she steals her sister’s 8 pieces, how many will she have in all? Since math story problems are quite versatile in all lesson plans, the Halloween treats are helpful when the degree of difficulty is being stretched a little. Your kids could find the square root of the number of pieces of candy corn that Susie has. Or maybe Susie’s stash of candy corn is going to grow exponentially over the entire month of October! There really is no end to the use of candy in story problems.
  • The cost of something – You can use the candy to figure out how much each individual piece cost? This is a great math/life question. You can take it a step further by asking which store offers the best price. You can even try weighing the candy corn or maybe try weighing the children after they have eaten a few bags of it!
  • Estimation – An enormous jar full of candy corn can provide a great estimating exercise. If this is a classroom activity the jar could be award to the children with the closest answer. There is some mathematical way of making a fairly accurate guess. Hopefully the sweet candy reward will be suitably motivating.
  • Geometry – While many of the problems can use any type of candy this works best when you use candy corn. The problem involves pretending the piece of candy is a perfect cone and reconfiguring its color’s dimensions, based on the idea of a perfect cone. With each layer of color being 1/3 the height, the student then determines what fraction of the overall height each color would consume, if the candy corn colors were inverted.

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