Edible Math Activities with Goldfish Crackers
When Campbell’s so generously mailed me a box of their Goldfish crackers to sample I couldn’t waste the opportunity to turn it into a learning experience!
Here are a few math activities that you can do with children using Goldfish crackers. An activity is always a lot more motivating when there is a snack involved! I used these activities with my sons aged 6 (grade primary) and aged 7 (grade 2). These ideas can be adapted to suit the age and ability of your child.
1. Basic Equations – Write out a few equations and have the child use Goldfish to figure out the answer.
For my older son, I gave him multiplication questions and he made sets to figure out the answer. For my younger son, I drew a cute picture with basic addition and subtraction questions for him to figure out using the Goldfish as a visual.
2. Ice cube Tray and Dice Game – Place an empty ice cube tray on a piece of paper and draw a box on the paper beneath each section of the tray. Give the child a die. Have her roll the die. Whatever number comes up, the child then takes that many Goldfish and places them in that section of the ice cube tray. Have the child write the number on the piece of paper in the appropriate box. As a bonus question, have the child add up all the boxes for a grand total.
3. Blind Taste Test Survey – Set out a bowl of each type of Goldfish cracker. Show the children which flavours there are. For this, we used pretzel, vanilla cupcake, whole wheat and rainbow flavours. Blindfold the child and have him guess which Goldfish he is eating.
Level up: We took this activity one step further. I wrote each boy’s name along the top of the paper with a “YES” and “NO” beneath it. After guessing which Goldfish he was eating, we made a tally chart of whether he was right (YES) or wrong (no). At the end, I taught them how to make a bar graph and pie chart to represent their responses.
4. Tic-Tac-Toe: Give the children two different types of Goldfish and draw a tic-tac-toe board for them to play on.
Not a lot of direct learning, but it sure is fun!
5. Complete the Pattern: Put different types of Goldfish in bowls and have the children make up patterns using them.
For this, I had each boy start a pattern and have his brother figure out the pattern and complete it.
6. Colour Sorting: For this, we used a snack pack size of the rainbow Goldfish. Give each child a packet of rainbow Goldfish and a piece of paper. Along the top of the paper write the four colours: red, green, yellow and orange. Have the children sort the colours of the fish and count how many there were of each colour.
We then compared the two different snack bag contents and as a bonus added up the number of fish in each bag. And yes! They were different! (Although, I’m sure that a few were sneaked before counting!)
7. Survey of Favourite Goldfish: Set out a bowl of each type of Goldfish. At the end of one piece of paper write “Like the most” and at the other end write “Like the least”. On another sheet of paper, list the types of Goldfish you are using for the activity.
One at a time, have the children test each Goldfish and place the bowls on the first paper in order of what they like the most to what they like the least. For our activity, we used four types of Goldfish. Therefore, the “most” was awarded four points, and the “least” one point, with the others getting two and three points in between.
We then wrote that number of points beside that type of Goldfish in the list. For example, Thomas liked the pretzel Goldfish the best, so it was given four points. The vanilla cupcake Goldfish were given three points, the rainbow – two and the whole wheat ones that he liked the least were given one point. All three of us did this.
The total points for each type of Goldfish were added up, and for us, the vanilla cupcake Goldfish was the clear winner!
Our family loves Goldfish and we had great fun testing the new flavours (especially the vanilla cupcake ones). I highly recommend testing, and maybe trying a few of these learning activities with your kids!
Can you think of other learning activities that you could do with Goldfish?