Math Fun With Skittles

What makes math more fun?   CANDY!   Our Skittles Math activities incorporate counting, sorting, graphing, adding, comparing, estimating, and computer skills.   Whew!   Lots of skills snuck into an interesting activity.

Each child will need a bag of Skittles candy.   Ours was a very large bag, and yours certainly doesn’t need to be this big!

Ideas to explore Math concepts  using your Skittles:

*Guess how many of each color Skittle are in your bag.   Mom can make predictions too!   Incorporate big words like “estimate” and “predict”…your little ones will be excited to use real, big math words.   Older kids can add each color guess  together for a Total Number Estimate.  

* Make a bar graph and record your guesses.   Use pre-printed large square  graph paper, make your own graph paper, or have your child draw their own bar graph.   Work together to label the bottom with colors and side with numbers.   Or better yet, have your child come up with how you will record your results!   What will you put on the bottom?   On the side?

*Open your bag of Skittles & pour them into a bowl.   Encourage your kids to smell them.   Run their fingers through them.   Wiggle their hands in the pile.    

*Start sorting your colors.   Notice which piles are bigger, which are smaller.   Count each color and write the number down.   Let your kids see who was closest in guessing each color.   Make guesses as to WHY there are more of one color than another.

*Graph your Actual results!   We used the same bar graph for this.   I drew a bold, black line down the middle of the page vertically, then re-created our color list on the other side of the line this time.     Ask your kids how they would like to record their new results in a bar graph.   Looking back, I would have liked to graph each color next to each other (estimate vs actual) so you could get a really good look at which bar was bigger & by how much.

*Since you’ve counted all your Skittles already, you might as well eat a few.

*Older kids can now add up their actual color totals to find….the total number of candies in their bag!  

*Talk about different ways to graph results…make a pie graph together! My favorite site for making your own pie graph is Create A Graph. It is very kid-friendly, and the pie graph generator makes beautiful, bold, simple to understand graphs.

  A screen shot of my son’s pie graph is above.   Discuss the different bits of information you’re asked to enter.   Let your child choose which color will represent each pie in their graph.   Explain how the bigger the number, the bigger the pie slice.

*Print your pie graph!   Set it next to your bar graph and compare.


Which is easier to read?   Which do you like better?   Which was easier to make?   Compare each child’s pie graph to each other.   What would happen if you combined the results from ALL the pie graphs and made one, new big pie graph?   Would it look different?   See what your kids think, then create one.   Were the results surprising?

Think beyond worksheets and flash cards…have some FUN with your kids today while working on important math skills!      

 

15 Comments

  1. This is great! I use grapes in a similar way with my children since they are quite young. Although we don’t have different colours, we do have different sizes to compare, and we can cut grapes to make simple fractions.

  2. HappyCampers says:

    GREAT idea! I never thought to use grapes!!

  3. Love this idea! And thanks so much for the link to Create a Graph–I’ve been looking for something like it for a while. 🙂

  4. Creativeness will last a child’s lifetime. Gotta start fostering it early!

  5. I’ve never heard of that website before and now I cannot wait to use it! Thanks so much!

    Pinned to my Math board.

  6. happycampers says:

    Thanks!

  7. I’ve taught the basics of bar graphs to my son, but I will have to remember to add the Create a Graph website when we graph the conversation hearts!

  8. Great ideas! Colorful, fun, and yummy.

  9. HappyCampers says:

    Yes…it’s fun to see how different graphs represent the same information. On the Create A Graph site, you can also make a nice line graph!

  10. awesome – we LOVE using food for math – so hands on & definitely an attention grabber. I am pinning this & will most certainly be doing some skittles math in the future.

    Thanks for sharing on the Sunday Showcase – hope to see you this week.

    Bern

  11. Shannon J says:

    So much fun! Hadn’t thought of skittles- thanks! I remember my teachers using Goldfish for math & subtraction, that was my favorite 🙂

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