Checkerboard Chocolate

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.

Checkerboard Chocolate

January 28, 2019

When we saw the photo of these amazing chocolates, the first thing we asked was, “Would anyone want to eat them?” How can you mess up something that looks so cool? These perfectly shaped mathematical wonders were made by Japanese company Nendo for the big Maison & Objet design show in Paris (that’s French for “House and Object”). The candies were made by pouring chocolate into a “mold,” a hollow shape cut so that when the candies cool down, they  pop out looking like these. Suddenly a flat chocolate bar doesn’t seem as exciting as a spiky crown or checkerboard chunk — but in any shape, it all tastes good.

Wee ones: How many chocolates can you count in the picture on the left?

Little kids: How many mini-cubes can you count on the top side of the checkerboard chocolate in the middle of the photo?  Bonus: How many edges do you think the cube in the bottom left corner has?

Big kids: How many mini-cubes of chocolate do you think the checkerboard candy has, if the very center cube is empty?  Bonus: How many mini-cubes would it have if all empty cube spaces were then filled with milk chocolate?











Wee ones: 9 chocolates.

Little kids: 5 cubes.  Bonus: 12 edges, like any rectangular “prism” or box.

Big kids: 14: it has 5 in the top layer, 4 below, then 5 on the bottom.  Bonus: 27, since it’s a 3x3x3 cube!

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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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