Is Candy Corn Actually Good For Kids? Do The Math And See
By Gaylene Davis
Does all the sugar in candy corn have you wondering whether or not it is good for your kids? In some ways, it just might be. Candy corn could possibly boost thinking skills and improve grades! After letting them eat their fill, have your kids use the candy corn for some math lessons.
On a very basic level, the orange, yellow, and white triangles can help teach colors and shapes. Mix them with some M&M's for a sorting exercise for little fingers. Have children arrange them together to make new shapes.
Need something a little more challenging? Try using the little candies for board game markers. Candy corn bingo is fun - with the numbers on the grid providing answers to equations and the candies marking the spots. Kids can graph different amounts of candy corn. Making spinners from cardboard with the arrows shaped like candy corn can provide another fun way of working with numbers.
Have you ever noticed that the little pieces - if turned on their sides - look like "greater than" or "less than" signs? Kids may enjoy unequal equations much more if they are using candy for the answers.
And what about some story problems? Tommy has 14 pieces of candy corn. If he steals his sister's 8 pieces, how many will he have in all? Since the story problem is quite versatile, candy corn is still helpful when the degree of difficulty is stretched a little. Maybe the kids should find the square root of the number of pieces of candy corn that Tommy has. Or maybe Tommy's stash of candy corn is going to grow exponentially over the entire month of October! Lucky Tommy.
How much does each individual piece of candy corn cost? That is a great math/life question. Which store offers the best price? Try weighing the candy corn - or maybe try weighing the children after they have eaten a few bags of it!
An enormous jar full of candy corn provides a great guessing/estimating game. And the jar will be award to the person with the closest answer. There is some mathematical way of making a fairly accurate guess. Is the prize worth the trouble of revisiting some old high school formulas?
Some geometry students might enjoy the Internet Math Challenge from the University of Idaho. The problem involves pretending the piece of candy is a perfect cone and reconfiguring its color's dimensions. Then again, maybe "enjoy" is too strong a word.
Math and candy corn unite in the world of fiction. Check out the books Who Brought the Candy Corn? by Judy Ann Brown and The Candy Corn Contest by Patricia Reilly Giff for some interesting reading as well as exercises in logic.
Talk about brain food! Perhaps candy corn will become the poster candy for educators everywhere. Not likely. But, hopefully, adding a little tasteful fun to a math lesson may encourage thinking and learning. It might also give the old excuse "the dog ate my homework" a little more credence.
About The Author
Gaylene Davis is an ex-teacher, now a work-at-home mom tending to her two boys.