09 February, 2010

Sort a Sweet

Play with your food in this Valentine's Day conversation heart candy sorting activity.
Conversation heart candies are good for more than just eating. Try these math activities with your kids before the sugar rush.
  • Individual boxes of conversation heart candies for each participant (I used Necco Sweetheart candies for this activity)
  • paper
  • pencil 
  1. Before you open the box, challenge your kids to estimate how many heart candies the box contains. On a chart with each child's name, write down each estimation.
  2. Open the boxes and dump out the contents. Count how many heart candies the box actually contains. Write the actual number on the chart.
  3. Ask the kids to find the difference between their estimation and the actual number of candies contained in the box. Whose estimation was closest?
  4. Now, sort the candies into groups based upon color. What color was the most prolific? This can be referred to as the mode.
  5. Graph the candy colors. You can make a bar graph, a pictograph, or a pie chart.
  6. Ask the kids to make a pattern with their candies.
  7. Measure their hand with the candies. How many hearts long is it?
  8. Challenge the kids (and maybe yourself) to stack candies on top of their hand. How many candies high can they go before their heart tower falls?
  9. OK, OK, now let 'em eat.

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