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Fun Trail Mix Math Activities

Nicole Sanchez on

I love using trail mix to teach math skills in the fall, and so do my students! I like to use it to teach skills like number sense, skip counting, estimation, sorting, graphing, patterns and basic operations. You can use them just like you use a lot of your other math manipulatives on a daily basis. Here is a list of some of the ways I like to use trail mix with my students during math time. Just make sure that kids wash their hands and have a clean surface to work on so that they can have a sweet treat when they’re done.

Number Sense: Count out the correct amount to match numbers on flashcards, or use the pieces as manipulatives for ten frames.

Skip Counting: Count a large amount of trail mix by putting them in groups of 5s or 10s and then skip counting to find the total.

Estimation: Fill a jar with trail mix. Ask students to estimate how many pieces they think are in the jar. Then count them together as a whole class.

Sorting: Give students a bag of trail mix and have them sort it by ingredient into cups, small bowls, or muffin tins.

Graphing: After sorting the trail mix ingredients, graph the results. Another fun way to incorporate graphing is to have students survey their friends to see which ingredient is their favorite. Then graph the results of the survey.

Patterns: Use the trail mix ingredients to make AB, ABB, or ABC patterns. To extend this activity, let kids create their own type of pattern and explain the rule to the class or their small groups.

Basic Operations: Use the trail mix ingredients as counters for simple addition or subtraction problems. Or divide up a large amount of trail mix to count collaboratively in small groups and then add up the total.

Happy Teaching,
Nicole Sanchez