You either love it or hate it. This unique candy is only available around Halloween, and its vivid colors and sweet taste has raving fans or loathing haters. Either way, the colorful treat makes for a great math teaching tool. So use this candy corn counting activity to help your kids have fun with math — and enjoy a sweet reward after too! This is a great addition to your fall-themed learning centers.
Try our fall science activities too!
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Don’t you just love fall? It’s cool but not freezing and the colors that change as the season changes is amazing. It’s my favorite season at least. Bring fall into your home with any of these fall books.
Toddlers and preschoolers will love this activity. It’s so simple and easy to set up — and has loads of play value and learning reinforcement. Counting, sorting, adding and subtracting can all be done with this straightforward activity. It’s also repeatable, and lots of fun, especially if you play along.
Start with some brightly colored plastic cups and a permanent marker. We used bright green mini cups. And don’t forget a big bag of candy corn! You’ll need at least eleven cups, and at least 50 pieces of candy for this activity. You could have more cups for this, especially if you want to practice counting past 10. You may need bigger cups for the bigger numbers, however!
Start by setting out the cups. Label each with a number from 0 to 10. You can even get your little one to help you label the cups, counting with them. Set them out so they are in order in your play area. Put the candy corn in a large bowl or container nearby. Don’t let your child eat them (yet).
Introduce the activity by practicing counting with your child.
Help your child count out enough candy corn pieces to match the number on each cup. The repeated counting will help them learn not just numbers and their order, but the one-to-one relationship that is the foundation of all math. Teach them to count out loud and to slow down a bit, so they don’t miss a piece and get mixed up on their count.
Put the correct number of candy pieces in each cup and move on to the next cup. For your littler students, you can celebrate every time they get it right.
Once all the candy corn has been sorted, you can extend the learning by playing with the numbers and candy pieces. What happens when you add two cups together? What about two different ones? Try writing down the number sentences you get so your child can see the symbols as they play with the math activity.
Another idea would be to compare numbers. Which cup has more candy? Which one has less? You can mix up the cups and have your child put them in order from biggest to smallest, or vice versa.
This candy corn counting activity is repeatable as well. Dump all the candy out from the cups, and have your child sort them again. For older children, make it a race and see how fast they can do it.
At the end of the activity, you and your child can sample some of the candy. Math is fun — and delicious!
Here’s what you need:
- Mini plastic cups (at least 11) in any color. We used green!
- Candy corn — at least 50 pieces.
- Black permanent marker
What you do:
- Set out your mini plastic cups. Label (or have your child help you label) them from 0-10.
- Have your child count using candy corn, by placing the correct number of candy pieces in each labeled cup, matching up to the number on the cup.
- Play with the numbers. Count them again, add them together, or separate them into groups. Write down what you learn.
- When you’re done, you and your child can eat some of the candy! Enjoy!