Autumn brings beautiful leaves, harvest time, and a popular fall confection—candy corn! With its three colorful segments, this activity is perfectly suited for helping your child with her subtraction skills. Round up some subtraction facts your child is learning in school, cut out some paper candy corn, and have some subtraction fun! With this activity you can also sprinkle in a little math vocabulary as well—minuend, subtrahend, and difference.
Candy corn template (make your own by dividing a triangle into 3 sections)
Bag of candy corn for use as manipulatives
What You Do:
Draw a candy corn template. Then, have your child cut it out.
Help your child trace the pieces onto the colored construction paper as directed. Have her cut out a yellow, orange, and white piece for each candy corn subtraction fact.
Think about some subtraction facts your child might need to work on. You can check out some of her math homework from school to see what your child is currently learning.
In the yellow part of the candy corn cut out, have your child write the minuend or the large amount that will have another number subtracted from it. Come up with a subtraction problem with your child.
In the orange part, have your child write the subtrahend, or the number to be subtracted.
In the white part, write the difference, or the answer to the subtraction problem. You can teach your child these math vocabulary words along the way. For example, in the problem 11 – 3 = 8, 11 is the minuend, 3 is the subtrahend, and 8 is the difference.
Give your child three candy corn subtraction problems at a time. Mix up the pieces. Set the white pieces on the bottom and explain that these are the answers or differences for the subtraction problems. Can she figure out what the top two pieces are? A yellow piece (or the minuend) goes on top minus an orange piece (or subtrahend) and ending in a white piece or difference. Give her some real candy corn to use as manipulatives to her figure out the problems.
When finished, eat some candy corn to celebrate subtraction!
Tina Cho has been an elementary teacher for 11 years, mainly in the kindergarten classroom. She is currently a freelance writer.