Talk about a fun week of math learning with M&M’s! Below you’ll find all sorts of activities we have done with M&M’s. Most of the ideas could easily be used with other types of candy pieces, too.
Sorting: Place a pile of M& M’s in front of each child and have them sort the candy into color groups. Older kids can sort according to various attributes, like colors containing red vs. those not containing red, for example. Let them sort as many times as they can think of a new attribute.
Counting: If you have younger children, count and tally the various color groups of M&M’s.
Add/Subtract/Multiply/Divide: Depending on the age/ability of your children, offer various operational problems to your children.
Red + Green =
R + G =
(R + G) x (Y – Bl) =
2(R + G) x 3(Y – Bl) x 12 =
Fair Shares and Division: Invite several stuffed animals over for a party. Divide the M&M’s into fair shares and determine if there are any remainders. Do this several times with varying numbers of “guests”.
Multiplication Arrays: Use the M&M’s to build multiplication arrays. (Not sure what an array is? Visit this site.)
Word Problems: If you have younger children, give oral word problems like, “You have three blue M&M’s and six yellow M&M’s. How many do you have altogether?” Use the M&M’s as manipulatives.
Older children should use the M&M’s to make up their own written word problems.
Mean, Median and Mode: A pile of M&M’s is a great opportunity to practice finding averages, middle numbers and the number occurring most often.
Fractions, Decimals and Percents: Use the pile of M&M’s to decide the fractional part of each color of M&M as compared to the entire group. For example, if you have 5 red M&M’s out of a total group of 25, the fraction would be 5/25 – reduced to 1/5. Transfer the fractions to decimals and percents, too.
I’d say that’s just about enough math to rival any textbook curriculum for a week, don’t you?
I found some fun sites with other ideas for using M&M’s in your homeschool classroom.
And here are a few books that relate to candy math.
Comments8 Responses to “M&M Math”
Leave a comment, and if you'd like your own picture to show up next to your comments, go get a gravatar!