Pumpkin Pi and Other Math Treats for Halloween

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.

Pumpkin Pi and Other Math Treats for Halloween

October 15, 2013

The most bootiful time of the year is just weeks away; a time when ghosts and goblins, witches and wizards, and princesses and princes come out of the woodwork for fun parties and tasty treats. However, there’s no need to leave math fun behind as you embark on Halloween hijinks. It’s easy to incorporate your love of math into this crazy holiday.

Want some help? Here are some exciting ideas for Halloween costumes and goodies:

Pumpkin Pi: Take an ordinary pumpkin costume and multiply the cute with the pi (π) symbol.

  • Purchase or make a pumpkin costume. (You want a pumpkin without a face.) Here are instructions for a traditional pumpkin costume. If you decide to make this one, just omit the black felt face!
  • Draw a puffy pi symbol on a piece of cardboard, poster board, or card stock paper. Make your pi as big as you want, as you want it to be a focal point of your costume.
  • Cut the puffy pi symbol out.
  • Use your pi cut-out to trace pi on the black felt with a white or yellow marker.
  • Cut out your black felt pi.
  • Sew the felt pi symbol onto the front of your pumpkin costume, placing the side with the marker on it face down to hide the color. If you’re not handy with a needle and thread, use fabric glue to keep your pi in place.

This easy-to-make costume adds up to big fun.

  • Grab a large cardboard box, and mark a rectangle (for the display) out of the top, front section.
  • Paint or color the rectangle white (or another light color).
  • Cut a vertical oval out of the center of the display rectangle. This hole is for the wearer’s face!
  • Cut the bottom out of the cardboard box, so the wearer can walk around in it, and arm holes, so she can hold her candy bag.
  • Draw buttons on the calculator.
  • Paint the buttons to make them stand out.
  • Add numbers and symbols to the buttons.


Rubik’s Cube: Remember all those good times you had with that logic game and math puzzle called Rubik’s cube? Now you can make a Rubik’s cube costume for your child  to wear.

  • Find a large, square box. You might do well with one that is 24 X 24 X 24.
  • Get poster board in white, orange, yellow, green, blue, and red.
  • Cut blocks out of the poster board to make the colored blocks of the puzzle. Make all the blocks the same size, and give them rounded corners.
  • Glue the blocks onto the cardboard. Arrange the colors as you see fit. You can make this costume a solved Rubik’s cube or mix the colors up to look like a puzzle in progress.
  • Cut a hole for the wearer’s head and another one for his lower body to extend from; arm holes might be handy, too. This is easier to do once the colored blocks are in place.
  • Outline each block with a thin strip of black duct tape or electrical tape.
  • Tape the edges of the sections you cut out for the head, arms, and lower body with the same electrical or duct tape.


Once you have your math-themed costume at the ready, get busy working on some yummy math treats and activities. Fun costumes + delicious goodies = happy Halloween memories.

Pumpkin Pi Cookies: Bet you can’t eat just one. Vary this recipe by decorating your cookies with operation symbols ( +, -, =, etc.).

Candy Math: Have your kids practice sorting colorful candies with this simple but tasty activity. Up the ante by sorting by shape, size, and type as well.

Calculator Cake: Make this cool calculator cake, but dress it up in honor of Halloween. Use orange icing, black for buttons, and add some icing spiders and cobwebs for good measure.

What math tricks and treats are part of your Halloween celebration?


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About the Author

Kim Moldofsky

Kim Moldofsky is a mom of teen boys in the Chicago area. She blogs at TheMakerMom.com and hosts a the popular monthly #STEMchat on Twitter where parents and educators share ideas and resources to raise STEM-loving kids.

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