Pop a Whole Pumpkin in Your Mouth

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

Pop a Whole Pumpkin in Your Mouth

November 28, 2014

With Halloween and Thanksgiving behind us, it’s finally time to say goodbye to pumpkins for the year. And what better way than to make a whole pumpkin patch you can eat? What you see here is a cake and candy pumpkin patch: the ground is actually a tray of brownies, with chocolate frosting and crushed chocolate wafers for the dirt. And those pumpkins are actually balls of candy clay, which is a lot like cake frosting but with less milk than usual, so it’s stiffer and more like Play-Doh. Food coloring turns it orange and green, and a toothpick lets you make grooves down the sides so they look like real pumpkins. If you don’t still feel totally full from yesterday, check out the recipe below and try making your own farewell-to-fall pumpkins. But if you can’t eat one more bite, no worries: pumpkins will come back next year.

Wee ones: How many candy pumpkins can you count in the photo?

Little kids: If you roll up 7 balls of orange candy clay, but smush together 2 of them to make a bigger pumpkin, now how many candy pumpkins can you make?  Bonus: If you cut the brownies into 3 rows of 5 brownies each, how many pumpkins do you need to stick 1 on each piece?

Big kids: If you need 2 cups of powdered sugar to make the clay for 14 little pumpkins, how much sugar would you need to make 28 pumpkins?  Bonus: How much would you need to make 21?




Wee ones: (need photo)

Little kids: 6 candy pumpkins.  Bonus: 15 pumpkins.

Big kids: 4 cups of sugar.  Bonus: 3 cups, since you need 1 1/2 sets of the recipe.

And here is the recipe! Courtesy of the American Girl “Dazzling Desserts” book/cookie-cutter set.

2 tablespoons soft butter (do not use margarine)
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla or mint extract
2 cups powdered sugar
Food coloring: yellow, red, and either blue or green

Mix the butter, corn syrup, salt and flavoring in a bowl. Add the sugar a little at a time. The candy clay will be crumbly at first, but as you knead it it will become like clay. Color 3/4 of the batter orange using equal number of drops of red and yellow food coloring; color 1/4 of the clay green using either green coloring or equal parts of blue and yellow. Roll little balls and ovals of the orange, pressing a toothpick down the sides to make grooves. Take pinches of the green to make stems, and stick one to the top of each pumpkin. Enjoy!

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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