It's no secret that children absolutely love marshmallows. It's also not a secret that children don't always love math. But put the two things together and you've got some fun activities that will get your child excited about math basics like estimation, measurement, area, and counting. He'll have so much fun, he won’t even know he’s doing math! Here some ideas for marshmallow math games you can play with your kindergartener.
What You Do:
- Estimation Game: For this guessing game, place an amount of marshmallows (anywhere from 1-12 marshmallows) in a clear glass. Have your child estimate or guess the number of marshmallows in the glass. If he's correct or only 1 number off, allow your child to eat a marshmallow! You can try it several times with different amounts of marshmallows.
- Measurement Game: Help your child use marshmallows as units of measurement to measure different objects. How many marshmallows long is a spoon? Lay a spoon on the table. Show your child how to line the marshmallows up next to the spoon. How many marshmallows long is your hand? Mom’s hand? Find other items he can measure.
- Area Game: Help your child draw a square on a piece of paper. How many marshmallows can fit inside? Try this with different sized squares as well as other shapes. Help your child count if it’s a big number.
- Counting Game: Set out some mugs. Think about numbers your child needs to work on. Write the number on a post it note and stick it on the mug. Have your child drop the correct amount of marshmallows into the mug. If correct, eat one.
- For each of these different games, while you and your child are playing the game, talk to him about the particular math concept he is exploring with each particular game. And if you and your child want to snack on a few marshmallows while you're playing your marshmallow math games, well then that's ok too!
Hooray! Your child has completed many marshmallow math activities and practiced some important math concepts along the way! Celebrate by making hot cocoa with some marshmallows!
Tina Cho has been an elementary teacher for 11 years, mainly in the kindergarten classroom. She is currently a freelance writer.