Monday, February 6, 2012

Edible Math

Who likes to do Math? Not me! Who likes to do Math with something sweet? Oh, yes, "count" me in!
Do you know that you can teach your children about numbers, patterns, more than, less than, equal to, and even create story problems with some yummy treats?

If you are willing to let your kids have a little Hershey Kiss or two, candy hearts or M&Ms, this Valentines or any time, then why not teach them how to add, subtract and even how to compare and contrast while enjoying something sweet?

If you are not a fan of giving your child candy, and that is can absolutely do any of these activities with less sugary snacks such as Chex Mix, the colored Goldfish, fruit chews or Multigrain Cheerios. The point is trying to integrate Math into your everyday life while also making it fun for you and your child.

Below are some "edible math" ideas that you can do with your kids. You don't have to have a bunch of candy or snacks. Really, just a handful will do.

  • Counting and odd/even numbers concept:  Give your child a small cup of M&Ms or heart candy, and have them count how many pieces of candy they received. Then, ask them " is that an odd or even number?" "Why is it odd or even?"  "Can you divide your M&Ms equally between you and your sister? If not, that is an odd number."
  • Count, sort, compare and contrast: Give your kids a small cup of the colored Goldfish or M&Ms and have them graph how many reds,yellows, greens, etc. You can easily draw a small graph with the colors down at the bottom. Once they have counted and sorted out the candy by color (another great concept...sorting) ask them how many more reds do you have than yellow? What type of color do you have the least amount of? The most?  You could also do this activity with fruit chews. For example, sort the fruit chews by type. Maybe you have Cars fruit chews or Tinkerbell? What a great way for them to learn how to sort, compare and contrast, than with characters they love or a snack they enjoy!
  • Patterns: You can use candy such as the seasonal Hershey Kisses, snacks such as the colored Goldfish or even the Multigrain Cheerios for this activity. Whatever snack you choose to do, you can have your child create different patterns such as ABC patterns using the pink, red and silver kisses or ABA, pink, red, pink depending on your child's developmental level.
  • Number Stories:  Again, you don't have to do can do snacks like fruit chews,Chex Mix or Goldfish. For example, give your child a handful of the tasty treat, model a number story for them (I have 4 Goldfish and then you gave me 2 many do I have in all? ) and then have them do a number story on their own. This is a great way to reinforce counting, sorting, more than, less than and even and odd numbers concept?
So I hope that you will give these "edible math" activities a whirl. Math really can be fun and tasty too!

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