SweeTART Sorting and Graphing

This week, Miss G and I are participating in a candy play series with several other mamas  and munchkins from around the world…  On Monday we created beautiful glossy paint using Skittles, and yesterday we created candy clay that is fun, mouldable, and edible.

Sorting  Graphing With SweeTARTS  or other small candies

After yesterday’s homemade candy clay recipe, I decided that today we’d get back to finding creative ways to put Grae’s soon-to-be Halloween candy stash to good use.  One of the treats that always seems to be popular during the month of October is small coloured candies, whether they’re SweeTARTS, M&Ms, Smarties, or something else.  The good thing about these types of goodies is they lend themselves perfectly to all sorts of fun math activities – sorting, counting, comparing, and graphing included.  So that’s what we did – we used a few individual-sized bags of SweeTARTS to develop some basic math skills, all in a way that just seemed like regular fun and games.

IMG 2330

While Miss G just recently turned 3, I’ve actually done a very similar candy sorting / comparing / graphing activity with my kindergarten and grade one classes each year, so this activity can easily be adapted to different ages and abilities.  In my classroom I usually use a couple of fun printables to help my students sort their candies and record their findings, but here at home we decided to do things a bit differently…. using WASHI TAPE!

IMG 2331

Using an already opened package of SweeTarts for reference, Gracen helped me find 5 rolls of colour coordinating washi tape to use for our two game boards.

Washi Tape Workmats | Mama Papa Bubba

With our washi tape and a couple of square pieces of white card stock, I quickly put together these two work mats.  The first  is simply several short pieces of washi placed beside one another in order to create ‘landing pads’ and the second is even easier – strips of tape that will be used as guides for a very simple graph.  Now if you aren’t a slightly crazy person who keeps a giant stash of washi tape on hand at all times {like I do!}, you could always create something very similar using markers or crayons.

IMG 2335

Then it was onto the fun!  Gracen opened our 3 packs of candies, and poured them into a small bowl.

IMG 2336

Then I gave Grae the bowl and the first work mat and asked her if she’d like to play.  Her first question was, ‘Are we playing a matching game?’ and the second was, ‘Can I start right NOW?’ ☺

IMG 2339

With a little handful of candies in hand, she carefully began placing them onto her sorting mat.

IMG 2345

As she sorted, we talked about which colour we had most of, and which we didn’t have very many of at all.  She’d update me on how many were in certain piles and I’d ask things like, ‘Which do we have more of right now, orange or purple?’  {‘Silly Mama!  They BOTH have THREE!’}

IMG 2348

When she was done with sorting, I asked if she knew how many we had of each colour.  She said she didn’t, but enthusiastically offered to count each pile in order to find out.

IMG 2350

Next I brought out the second game board and a bottle of white glue.  This was her reaction – ‘We’re really going to put glue on these little candies?!’  Hah!

IMG 2355

I explained that we’d be placing the candies on the game board in towers to see which would end up being the tallest and she chose to start with blue because it had the most candies.  One by one, she glued the candies onto the blue washi strip starting from the bottom.  This was her reaction to how tall her blue tower turned out being.

IMG 2359

While continuing on with the other colours, she suggested putting a line of glue directly onto the washi tape instead of onto each individual candy.  It made adding all of the pieces a breeze, and it was also a great opportunity to practice estimating – I’d start the glue line at the bottom of the mat, and based on the number of candies she had in that particular colour, she’d tell me when to stop.

IMG 2362When all of the SweeTARTS had been added to our graph, we talked about what we saw – which tower was the tallest, which tower was made of the fewest candies, how many candies were in the purple tower, etc.

We had a blast with this simple little activity and we’ll definitely be pulling it out again once Halloween comes and goes.  In the meantime, Miss G has already selected a spot to hang her graph on her bedroom door once the glue is dry.


Now for a bunch of other fun learning activities that involve candy…  Click on the links to see creative ideas from some of my favourite kid bloggers from around the web.

Learning with Candy 1

candy corn counting & math  |  spelling with M&Ms  |  math games with candy  |  candy train game

Learning with Candy 2


pixy sticks learning tray  |  learning with licorice  |  free printable flashcards for jelly bean addition

On tap for tomorrow – CANDY ART!

For more fun not found on the blog, join us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram.

3 thoughts on “SweeTART Sorting and Graphing

  1. Hmm – while I cannot fathom ruining perfectly good sweetTARTS (a personal favorite) with glue ;), I think this is a really great activity. I love that you explained all of the conversations that you had throughout the process… many times, parents simply don’t think to talk about things with their children. It makes a world of difference.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.