Saturday, August 6, 2011

M&M Math

Much of science relies on number crunching - why not number munching?

I did this as a kid, probably in early elementary school, many times.  This is better for kids who can count probably to 20 or higher.  Anyways, who doesn't like math that involves chocolate?

*Take a bag of M&Ms and count how many total (parents can help little ones).
*Sort M&Ms by color (I can't tell you what colors are normal - except tan turned to blue sometime when I was in the 6th grade - just dated myself).
*Count how many are in each color.  
---This can lead to talk about fractions (part/total) if you have your child's attention, or think he/she will understand...
*Nerdy parents (like John and me) can construct pie graphs and show how many parts of the whole bag.  Use the same color to represent that color M&M section.  Whether your kid will understand pie graphs just yet is questionable, but at least you can master Excel!  (if you need help, just let me know - I recently taught my dad how to capture a screenshot on his computer)

*Start introducing the concept of subtraction.  Eat M&M's one at a time and count how many are left.
*Have your child give everyone at the table equal amounts of M&Ms to eat.  It's sharing, but it's also called division.

**For older kids, or nerdy parents, roll a handful of M&M's (10 works great) and count how many land M-side up.  Repeat multiple times (20+ or until you're bored).  Plot your results with # of M-up (0-10) on the x-axis and frequency of having that # of M-ups on the y-axis.  What does your plot look like?
---John and I did this once when we were dating back in college.  I think it was more like a study break than a date.  NERDS.  However, I can't find our M&M plot to show you.  It might be time to reconstruct it.  Stay tuned...(Costco run for M&Ms)

J is old enough to pick out the colors and put them in separate piles (aka. sorting).  I think he can count to 10 too (not even skipping numbers)!  Plus, I know for a fact he LOVES chocolate.  I'll post pics tomorrow about our M&M fun.

Edited - 10/31/12 to remove Refresh Voting tag.

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  1. lol, we do the sorting thing with JJ too. He loves his M&Ms.

  2. Wonderful!! The next question is, are YOU challenged enough with just sorting? You know you want to make pretty plots ;-)