What kid wouldn’t love a break from the regular schedule of homeschooling to enjoy a funschooling day full of candy heart lessons??? Mom, I promise that your day won’t be wasted and you’ll be able to check off just about every box in your lesson planner!
Teaching with Candy Hearts
Grab a big bag of candy hearts from the Valentine aisle at the grocery and you have just about everything you need for a full day of STEM candy heart lessons and more.
K-3rd Grade Candy Heart Lessons
My little guy was five when we completed these activities, but they are very appropriate for children through 2nd grade.
1 Given a small a pile of hearts, Eli had to figure out how many each person in our family would get if he divided the group into fair shares. I had him use critical thinking skills to determine various options for using the remaining hearts.
2 I didn’t get a picture of a real pattern as you can see, but we did create various color patterns with the candy. We practiced naming the patterns, too – AB, ABC, ABAC, ABB, etc.
3 We love making concrete graphs in our house! Eli has practiced many times with bar graphs, so this time I made sure to introduce circle graphing.
1 To begin transferring concrete bar graphs to written graphs, I asked Eli to physically make a bar graph with his candy hearts.
2 Then, I asked him to draw his own graph on a chalkboard. Why a chalkboard? Both because we had colored chalk to match the colors of the candy and because chalk encourages a more tactile experience than pencil and paper.
4th-8th Grade Candy Heart Lessons
My two oldest always appreciate a funschooling day!
This was a fun twist on measuring area. Instead of placing candy on a prepared heart to determine the area, I gave my children a small pile of candy and said, “Take a look at the pile and cut out a heart that you estimate has the correct area.” We did this a few times with different sized piles of candy to improve estimation skills.
Each of these pictures show a sampling from our graphing and probability activities. After receiving a pile of at least 40 candy hearts, they each had to create from scratch their own circle graph, stem and plot graph, and histogram.
We also had fun placing several different numbers of each color in a bag to predict and test the probability of drawing each color.
Our day wasn’t all math related. We had fun with some science experiments, too. In the first two pictures, we experimented with the rate candy hearts dissolve in various acid and base mixtures.
The final picture shows the results of an erosion experiment. We placed one heart in water and let it stand still. The second heart was placed in the same amount of water, but we shook the container for three minutes. In the end, we talked about how this models why jagged rocks eventually become small, smooth pebbles.
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Extra Candy Heart Lessons
We literally could have spent a week learning with candy hearts. Would you like to spend a week with candy hearts? Here are some other activity ideas we’ve done over the years that I think you’ll enjoy, too!
- estimate the number of candy hearts in a jar
- use the hearts as a measuring tool to measure length, perimeter, area and/or volume
- see how many candy hearts various object weigh using a balance
- determine the mean, median and mode within a box of hearts
- determine percentages, fractions and ratios within a box of hearts
- create graphs in Excel
- write word problems with the candy hearts as your manipulatives
- determine the cost per heart or cost per ounce – compare cost between brands
- sort hearts by characteristics – color, beginning letters, word length
- use the nutritional information on the package to discuss ingredients & nutrition value
- create recipes using the hearts as an ingredient
- do a displacement experiment
- crush & dissolve candy hearts in hot water and see how many hearts it takes to create a saturated solution
- determine the density of one or more candy hearts using a graduated cylinder
- research the process of creating candy hearts in a factory
- determine how many candy hearts you can stack easily then figure out a way to stack more
Language Arts Activities
- sort hearts into piles of words that begin with A, B, C, etc.
- place hearts in alphabetical order
- create sentences with hearts
- grab a handful of hearts and incorporate those words into a paragraph or story
- look up words printed on the hearts in the dictionary and determine the words listed before and after them
- translate the words printed on the heart into a different language
- research when the candy heart was first created and why
- learn about the biggest producers of candy hearts
- research whether or not sayings on the candy hearts have changed over the years
Y’all. There’s some serious STEM learning with candy hearts!
Fun Valentine Books
Just in case you’d like to add a few Valentine books into your funschooling, here are some of our family favorites – all are most appropriate for younger elementary children.
Whether you use candy hearts or another variety of colored candy, make it a fun day once in a while!