Those tiny, candy-coated chocolates are more than just a tasty treat. M&M’s also are a great math manipulative to reinforce common math concepts like estimation, addition, multiplication, graphing, and so much more! These fun-filled activities take math skills to the next level while incorporating M&M’s into each homeschooling lesson.
Fill a jar with M&M’s and ask your children to estimate the number of M&M’s.
Have your child sort a pile of M&M’s into color groups.
Tally the various color groups of M&M’s.
Sort a bowl of M&M’s into color groups. Then, use the candy to solve various operational problems to solve depending on age and skill level.
Blue + Yellow =
Yellow – Red =
Red x Green x Blue =
Yellow / Blue =
(Red + Green) x (Yellow – Blue) =
2(Red + Green) x (Yellow – Blue) x 5 =
Solve the word problems below or create your own.
- Ruth has 6 more M&M’s than Mary. Mary has 9 M&M’s. How Many M&M’s does Ruth have?
- Luke has 25 blue M&M’s and 42 green M&M’s. How many more green M&M’s are there than blue?
- John has 126 green M&M’s and 89 brown M&M’s. Rachel took 42 of John’s green M&M’s. How many M&M’s does John have left?
Mean, Median, and Mode
A pile of M&M’s can be used to practice finding averages, middle numbers, and the number occurring most often.
Mean – The average of a data set.
Mode – The most common number in a data set.
Median – The middle of the set of numbers in sequential order.
- Count the number of each individual color and record those results.
- Count the total number of M&M’s and record the number.
- Find the mean by adding up all the numbers. Then, divide by the numbers you added.
- Rewrite the numbers from smallest to biggest and find the middle number. If there are two numbers in the middle, find the average of the two.
- Find the mode by identifying the number that occurs the most.
- Find the range by calculating the difference between the largest value and smallest value.
Fractions, Decimals, and Percentages
Use a pile of M&M’s to decide the fractional part of each color of M&M as compared to the entire group. For example, if you have 5 red M&M’s of a total group of 25, the fraction would be 5/25, which can be reduced to 1/5. Transfer the fractions to decimals and percentages as well.
Sort a bag of M&M’s by color groups and record the numbers in a table. Use the information to create pictographs, bar graphs, comparison graphs, pie graphs, and more.
Use the M&M’s as measuring tools to find the length, width, circumference, radius, perimeter, and/or area of various items around the house.
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