Halloween Math for Kids: Free Candy Corn Activities, Worksheets, and Printables

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Many of these materials are geared for kindergarten and first grade students, but it is easy to modify them for additional grade levels.

Why use candy corn for math?

This October, mix up your regular math routine at school or at home with candy corn math materials. Although it may seem trivial, using timely themes can increase student motivation and interest. There are many Halloween topics that you can use in your curriculum, but candy corn lends itself naturally to many types of math lessons.

Halloween Math Options
Lesson Plans
Worksheets
Activities
Games
Printables
Other Materials

This article includes the following math skills.

 
Skill Sets
 
Adding and Subtracting / Multiplying and Dividing / Fact Families
Measurement
Sensory Play
Counting
Number Recognition
Shapes
Counting On
Number Forms
Story or Word Problems
Estimating
Patterns
 
Graphing
Place Value
 

Did you know that October 30 is National Candy Corn Day? You can use candy corn math materials throughout October. However, October 30 and 31 are particularly fitting.

Adding and Subtracting / Multiplying and Dividing / Fact Families

The structure of candy corn with three separate colors lends itself naturally to adding and subtracting, multiplying and dividing, and fact families. If you've taught any of these skills before, most likely you can already envision how you'll use candy corn imagery. If not, there are a lot of great resources out there.

Halloween Math Song - (adding 6 + 6)

Counting

One of the simplest ways to use candy corn with math is to have students practice their counting skills. Structure the activity to their skill level. There are lots of standard counting worksheets and materials out there, such as counting boards, that are perfect for candy corn.

Halloween Pumpkin Seed Children or Kids Counting Activity

Counting On

When students are first learning the concept of "counting on," manipulatives or tangible materials can be extremely helpful. Break out the candy corn for Halloween.

Estimating

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Have students estimate how many pieces of candy corn are in a jar. You can have students write down their guesses ahead of time or you can record oral guesses on a white board or overhead. Discuss how to make a good estimate. For example, if you have a large jar like the one pictured on the right, would the number 20 be a good guess? Why or why not? After students have made their estimates, as a class, count up the number of pieces to give students additional practice with counting. Award a small prize to the winner(s).

Alternatively, have students estimate how many pieces of candy corn would fit into different sized containers and then test it. This works well in small groups or as a whole class.

Graphing

Manipulatives can be helpful for making physical representations on graphs. Use candy corn to determine the number of items needed for each bar of a bar graph before drawing or coloring the bars.

Measurement

Use candy corn as a non-standard form of measurement to measure all sorts of items around the classroom. Have students estimate the measurements first.

Number Recognition

The Princess and the Tot has a great simple game for working on number recognition skills using candy corn. You can customize this concept for your students if they need a different skill level.

Number Forms: Numerical, Word, Visual

A piece of candy corn has three sections, which break down perfectly for the following number forms:

  • Numerical
  • Word
  • Visual (tally marks, pictures of items, etc.)

Cut apart the pieces of a paper candy corn so that students can match them up again.

Patterns

There are a number of free worksheets out there with candy corn patterns that students can complete. You can also use real candy corn to create patterns if you have at least two kinds. Look for chocolate candy corn and pumpkin candy corn. Alternatively, you can mix candy corn with other types of small candy, such as M&Ms.

Grade one students share all the things they can do with patterns.

Place Value

Instead of using plastic cubes, use candy corn with the place value mats that you already have.
Instead of using plastic cubes, use candy corn with the place value mats that you already have. | Source

Many teachers opt to use plastic cube sets when they teach place value. There is nothing wrong with this, but it is important to switch things up once in a while. Candy corn and other seasonal items (i.e. red and green M&Ms for Christmas) are often popular, especially when students can look forward to eating the "materials" when they are finished.

Alternatively, you can use paper candy corn forms to work on expanded number forms. A couple of the links below have materials and resources for teaching standard, expanded, and word forms for numbers.

Sensory Play

Instead of popcorn kernels, use candy corn for Halloween.
Instead of popcorn kernels, use candy corn for Halloween. | Source

Preschool and kindergarten students will benefit from a candy corn sensory station. Set up a single station in the classroom or create small sensory trays that students can use at their desks. Sensory stations with candy corn give students the opportunity to sort, scoop, pour, and count. In addition to cups and spoons, consider other tools that students can use in a sensory area to work on fine motor skills, such as tweezers. Encourage students to handle the candy corn with their fingers for an another sensory experience.

Shapes

Have students outline or fill existing shape materials with candy corn.
Have students outline or fill existing shape materials with candy corn. | Source

Use candy corn pieces to make the outlines of shapes or to fill in pictures of shapes. Fabric or paper shapes work well. Some students will need visual aids to create outlines while other students will be able to make free form shapes independently.

Story or Word Problems

Take existing story problems and substitute scenarios or language about candy corn. If you can find problems online that are of an appropriate level for your students, you can cut and paste them into a word document and then change the text. You can also write problems yourself. It is time consuming to create these problems initially, but once you have them, you'll be able to use them for many years.

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Comments 8 comments

thebookmom profile image

thebookmom 4 years ago from Nebraska

Awesome! Can't wait to try you math ideas. I loved the chart at the beginning, really good organizing. The videos added a lot too. Great work.


leahlefler profile image

leahlefler 4 years ago from Western New York

What a fun way to learn math! Or, should I say, a sweet way to learn math! I work with our boys a lot at home, and I will definitely be "stealing" some of these ideas to boost their understanding of place value, etc. throughout October!


Janine Huldie profile image

Janine Huldie 4 years ago from New York, New York

Wow, I absolutely loved this and have pinned to refer back to. Great job here and have also voted and shared all over!!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks, thebookmom! I appreciate the feedback.

Leah, yes, definitely a "sweet" way to learn math. I hope that your boys enjoy these ideas.

That's awesome, Janine. :) Thanks!


tipsheets profile image

tipsheets 4 years ago from Philippines

great halloween idea!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Thanks so much!


cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 3 years ago from Western NC

Haha, these are great activities for teachers, but really, I have more of a candy corn craving after reading this. ;) Nice job!


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 3 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin Author

Haha well a good candy corn math lesson has to include at least a little time for eating candy corn!

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