M & M Math: Sorting and Graphing Candies

Is your preschooler going into kindergarten next year? Even if they aren't, this kindergarten readiness activity can be altered for younger children. It's an "oldy-but-a goody": M & M Math. Any small candies will work, however, M & M's seem to be a universal favorite amongst all children.

You'll need just a few items:
  • 1 package of M & M's ("fun size" works for smaller children)
  • Piece of plain white paper
  • black marker or sharpie

How to:
  • Draw as many medium size circles as there are M & M's. (six-ish).
  • Have your child sort the M & M's by color into each circle.

For preschoolers getting ready for kindergarten, you can line graph them. You'll need a ruler to draw your graph like the photo below. Muffin Tin Boy, who is a preschooler, had a little interest in the graph. But Muffin Tin Girl loved it and loved seeing the results in a different way.

You can count how many are in each row/circle and talk about which one has less/more or least/most. You can talk over how they taste and if the different colors make the candies taste different. M & M's all taste the same, but this might be effective with Skittles.

Most important, they got to eat the candies after they were done.

What about you? Do you have any tips for sorting candies or kindergarten readiness? I'd love to hear about it!


  1. I have to say that this is great. We do this very same activity, except I have my Little Bit sort into .... muffin tins! :D And to add interest, I make sure I get a package of the holiday M&Ms when they are available. It gives her more colors to sort.

    I hadn't thought about the line graph though. I may have to add that next time.


  2. We love to do math with m&m's. We have the m&m's counting book and we LOVE it! here is a link: http://www.amazon.com/Ms-Brand-Counting-Book/dp/0881068543

  3. Melinda - we do that too, for my daughter, laying them out on paper made it easier to count them.

    Christy - there is a book? awesome!

  4. Awe...Michelle why did you have to remind me that she's going into Kinder? haha (sniff sniff)

    We have the same book as Christy. Love it!

    Have a wonderful, chocolately day!

  5. We did a similar activity recently with candy hearts that I got on super sale. =) My post is scheduled for next week I think. I think anything with candy is fun! =)

  6. I did an entire unit on M&M's! You can see it here: http://confessionsofahomeschooler.blogspot.com/2009/11/prek-letter-m.html

    I love the sorting circles! Thanks for the idea :)

  7. Thanks for the great idea. I will be doing that this week or weekend with my girls we might use jelly beans since I have those at home right now...

  8. What a great idea! I'll have to try it this year as we start preschool again with my 2 youngest.

    For younger kids, I love this activity http://busymommymedia.com/2009/09/egg-carton-color-matching/