You may have come home from trick-or-treating with a huge pile of candy. Where are you going to put it all? Have you ever used a fridge with an ice dispenser, where you push your glass against a lever and ice cubes shoot out? Well, a guy named Deric Peace emptied the ice out of his freezer and filled it with candy pieces. Now when he pushes a glass against the door, his cup fills up with frozen Reese’s Pieces! Frozen candy has a crunchy yumminess all its own. Given that Americans buy 600 million pounds of candy every Halloween, our freezers’ ice machines might be working hard for a while.
Wee ones: If Deric’s freezer lets out orange, yellow and brown Reese’s Pieces, how many colors is that?
Little kids: If instead Deric filled the machine with M&Ms and they have twice as many colors as the 3 Reese’s colors, how many colors of frozen M&Ms do you get to eat? Bonus: If you eat 2 of each color, how many M&Ms do your teeth get to crunch?
Big kids: Of the 600 million pounds of candy bought every Halloween, 1/3 of that is candy corn (which might work well in the ice dispenser, too). How many pounds of candy corn does the country buy? Bonus: If each of America’s 320 million people puts 1/2 pound of candy corn in the freezer, how many pounds of candy corn are still sitting around at room temperature?
Wee ones: 3 colors.
Little kids: 6 colors. Bonus: 12 rock-hard M&Ms.
Big kids: 200 million pounds. Bonus: 40 million pounds, since the 320 million people will freeze 160 million pounds.
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.