Halloween is just days away, and kids everywhere are putting the finishing touches on their costumes and getting ready to trick-or-treat. As the spooky holiday approaches, there are plenty of opportunities for parents to engage their little monsters in math in fun and tasty ways, says Laura Overdeck, mother of three and founder of the popular Bedtime Math national online community.
Several of Laura’s best Halloween math tips, which you can feel free to share with your readers, are below.
1. Make counting fun with candy: Halloween candy is perfect for practicing counting. When you get home from trick-or-treating, your kids will love to count all their candy to see how many treats they picked up. You can also count by specific candy type (Candy Corn, Gummy Worms, etc.) or by general category (chocolate candies, gummy candies, etc.). If you want to get fancy, older kids can count the number of little candies in a packet, then multiply out over several packets to guess the total number of candies they scored.
2. Learn about geometric shapes with a jack-o-lantern: Everyone likes to carve pumpkins for Halloween. As you and your little ones work on your jack-o-lanterns, introduce them to different geometric shapes. A pumpkin is round, of course, and you can carve triangles as eyes, squares as teeth, and countless other shapes to make your pumpkin unique.
3. Trick-or-treat distances: While walking from house to house to trick-or-treat, have your kids count how many steps it takes to get from one house to the next. Compare these numbers to introduce them to the concept of ‘distance’ – if it takes twenty steps to get to one house and forty steps to get to the next, which one is further away?