Finding the math in leftover Halloween candy
Wondering what to do with all those trick or treat goodies after Halloween?
Wonder no more - try our ultimate baking recipe which will help use up all those chocolate skeletons and improve math skills at the same time!
Baking is a great way to use up leftover Halloween junk food - getting it all into cupcakes or a bar cookie makes it easy to bring in to your workplace or to share with friends. Not to mention that baking is a fantastic way of introducing mathematical concepts to children!
Kids can do most of this with supervision. Here’s the recipe:
Get a measuring jug and throw in those individual chocolate eyeballs (unwrap them first!) candy bars, soft toffees, marshmallows - literally anything that will melt easily.
Next, you need to melt it all over a pot of hot water or in the microwave. When it’s liquid, check how much there is - this is good measurement practice for kids! You can even estimate how much there’ll be before you melt it, and then check who came closest.
You’ll need to add three parts of puffed rice cereal for every two parts of chocolate mix you’ve got - good ratios practice! To work this out, divide the amount of chocolatey goo by two, and then multiply your answer by three. You need to measure out and stir in this much cereal.
At this stage you can go nuts and add whatever else needs using up - either stir it into the mixture or keep aside to decorate the top. NB no one wants to come across a sour fizzy candy buried in the middle of their cupcake so keep this sort of thing for decoration!
You can make up some word puzzles here, for example: if I have stirred in 24 chocolate covered raisins, how many should each person get if we make 12 cupcakes?
Spoon your mixture into individual cupcake cases, or press into a baking tray and cut it up once it has cooled in the refrigerator for a bit.
As you spoon, estimate how many cupcakes you’ll get.
If you’ve put it into a baking tray, cutting the cooled mixture into squares can help with multiplication, division and fractions. How many downward cuts will you make? How many across? How many buns will you end up with if you cut them into four columns and five rows?
For younger kids, encourage them to count the candy and use repeating color or type patterns when they’re decorating their cupcakes or bar cookie.
Can you find any more math in a baking session?!
Take a look at our kitchen math video for even more ideas.
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