There’s no doubt about it, math is bound to be more fun when it’s hands-on. There are countless materials you can use as manipulatives for counting and sorting, but my favorite, BY FAR, is candy! Obviously, this can not be an everyday occurrence, (though my son asks for “Skittles Math” everyday). But as a once in a while treat, it’s the best!
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I’ve shared my love of combining math and candy before, so if you’re looking for some ways to use Skittles with older kids, check out this post for how I used them for multiplication, and read here about how we used them to think about fractions.
Today, I want to share some resources that I used with my kids (Kindergarten and First grade) to work on some important early math skills. With a handful of Skittles and these printables, we worked on sorting, counting, adding and graphing on a bar graph and circle graph.
First, I simply gave them a large handful of Skittles. They sorted them by color, and then wrote the total number of each color in the box. (Note: There is a color and black and white version in the download).
Then, we graphed each color on a bar graph to discuss and compare. We talked about “more than,” “less than,” and “equal to,” as well as simple addition problems, such as, “What’s the total number of red and yellow?”
Then, I gave them each exactly eight Skittles for a very simple circle graph. I didn’t want them to have to worry about correctly partitioning the circle, so this circle is already cut in eight equal parts. This allowed them to color the correct number of sections for each color.
Again, we used the graph to discuss “greatest” and “least,” compare the number of various colors, as well as talk about what “equal” means. We then compared the two types of graphs. How do we see the “greatest” and “least” on the bar graph? How do we see the “greatest” and “least” on the circle graph?
This would also be an excellent way to discuss fractions, make equivalent fractions and compare the fractions of each color.
Both pages of graphs have a few questions on them, but there is so much more to discuss among the different graphs. So get your kids talking and explaining their thinking!
Want to grab this whole set of “Skittles Math” sorting and graphing printables? Just click the link below!
*These activities have been updated and included in my huge Skittles Hands On Math Bundle for grades PreK-1! Get the full lesson pack today!*
What do you think? Do your kids enjoy learning math with Skittles or other kinds of candy? What are your favorite”Skittles Math” topics to explore?
Want more Skittles Math fun? Try one of these free printable activities:
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