Monday, December 3, 2012

M is for Marshmallows and Mugs Math

We had hot cocoa today and it got me thinking of a fun way to review math. We still have some leftover mini-marshmallows from our shooters, so we did math with them! I thought about using real mugs, but I thought those would be harder for the kid to see, so I found a print out of a mug at

I gave Early Bird 8 marshmallows to count and I gave Builder Boy a handful. (I forgot to have him guess/estimate before counting.) We are using Right Start Math, so instead of counting them all, he put them in lines of 5, two lines together to make 10, and figured out that he had 20 without having to count them.

Adding: "How many marshmallow are there if you put Builder Boy's and Early Bird's mugs together?"

Subtracting: This was fun. Say the number you have in your cup, and then eat some and say how many you have left! :) Good for taking away 1 at a time and counting down.

Sharing Fairly (dividing evenly): Start with marshmallows in the big mug. Take turns taking some for each kid's mug to divide them evenly. Practices "even" and "fair." Then have kids take turns splitting the marshmallows themselves. Divide some unevenly/unfairly and have them decide who needs to share how many to make it fair. Also start with an odd number and have them decide what to do with the leftover marshmallows.

Multiplying Practice: Put the same number in each mug (you can print more than 2 mugs for harder problems) and figure out what the answer is.

(This is the point where Early Bird was done and ate his marshmallows and went and played with other things.)

Making 5: Right Start Math has kids practice dividing 5 with a whole-to-parts circles. We did it with our mugs.

Mystery Mug with 10: Right Start Math has kids learn numbers as quantities and numbers as 5 + n for 6 through 10. Builder Boy and I played "Mystery Mug." I told him that there were 10 marshmallows, put some on his mug, and he had to tell me how many were in my (real) mug. (This also counts as subtraction from 10, and could be done with other numbers.)

Math is fun!

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