Does all the sugar in candy corn leave you intrigued whether or not it's good for your kids? In some ways, it just might be. Candy corn just might boost thinking skills and improve grades! After letting them eat their fill, have your kids use the sweet treats for some math exercises this Halloween season. On a very basic level, the orange, yellow, and white portions can help teach colors and shapes. Mix them with some jellybeans for a fine motor skills exercise for little fingers.
Have the kids arrange them together to make new shapes. So you need something a smidge tougher? You could try using the tiny candy corn for board game markers. Candy corn bingo sure is great fun - with the numbers on the grid providing answers to equations and the candies marking the spots.
Kids can graph different amounts of the candy. Making spinners from cardboard with the arrows shaped like candy corn can provide another fun way of working with numbers. Have you realized that candy corn - when turned sideways - can be "greater than" or "less than" symbols? Kids would enjoy unequal math much more when using candy for the answers. Next, what about a couple story problems? Tommy has 25 pieces of candy corn. If he is given his brother's 20 pieces, how many will he have in all? Since the math story is very versatile, candy corn is still helpful when the degree of difficulty is stretched a little. Maybe the kids could find the square root of the number of pieces of candy corn that Tommy has.
Or maybe Tommy's candy corn savings account is going to grow exponentially over the entire month of October until Halloween! Lucky Tommy. (And Tommy's dentist too.) How much does each piece of candy cost? That is an excellent math/life problem. Which store charges the best price? Try weighing the candy corn - or maybe try weighing the kids after they have eaten a few pounds of it! A huge bucket chock full of candy corn provides an excellent guessing/estimation math exercise. And the whole thing could be awarded to the kid with the best guess. There is some mathematical way of making a fairly accurate guess.
Is the candy worth the trouble of doing the geometry calculations? Hopefully the sweet candy corn prize will be suitably motivating. Some geometry students might enjoy the Internet Math Challenge from the University of Idaho. The challenge involves assuming the piece of candy is a perfect cone and reconfiguring its color's dimensions. With each stripe of color being 1/3 the height, determine what fraction of the total height each color would occupy, if the candy corn colors were flipped. Mathematics and candy corn unite in the world of imagination. Check out the book The Candy Corn Contest by Patricia Reilly Giff for some interesting reading and exercises in logic.
In the book, a student can't stop thinking about his class contest. Whoever estimates the right number of yellow-and-orange candies in the jar gets to keep them all. The only catch is that each guess requires the kid to read a page of a library book. Talk about brain food! Maybe candy corn will turn into the poster candy for teachers all over. Not likely.
But, maybe, adding a little tasty entertainment to a math exercise may develop thinking and learning. It could also give the old excuse "the dog ate my homework" a bit more credence.
Gaylene Davis is an ex-teacher, now a WAHM taking care of her two boys. This candy corn article was originally written for http://www.Candy-Corn.info . For more fun candy corn activities and candy corn facts - check it out.