While preparing for our first family trip involving an airplane, we got to do a little hands-on math.  Our kids’ pediatrician suggested we bring gummy bears along for the flight to help avoid painful ear pressure during take-offs and landings.  We bought a big bag and divided them up into four groups — two for each leg of our trip.  While the numbers we were working with were too big for our preschooler to divide, he got some practical experience in the concept of division as we carefully made equal groups.

We also started this activity with a little challenge — I let him put a random number of gummy bears in each bowl and then had him add bears to even them out.  He loves anything involving counting and sorting, so this was really fun for him.

In fact, he liked it better than eating the gummy bears.  He had one or two on the plane and decided he’d rather stick with pretzels.


Every single thing in our house doubles as a math manipulative.  What are your kids counting lately?


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