Snow in the Summer

A snow cone is crunchy ice topped with bright yummy syrup, served in a cone or cup. And kids like you helped invent it! In the 1850s freezers hadn’t been invented yet, so ice companies up north would send ice down south in trucks. On hot days, kids would chase the trucks and beg for chips of ice. Grown-ups started topping it with flavored syrup, then wrapping in a newspaper cone. And guess what: that’s pretty much how we eat it today!

Wee ones: Wrap a piece of paper to make a cone. What shape does it look like from the side? How about from the top?

Little kids: If you and 5 friends each get a snow cone, but when no one’s looking you buy 2 more, how many snow cones do you all have together?  Bonus: Motor Oil is a snow cone flavor. If the 1stcone is Motor Oil, then the 3rd, then the 5th, what number is the next Motor Oil-flavored cone?

Big kids: Say a small snow cone holds 1 cup of ice, a medium holds 2 cups, and an extra-large holds 4 cups (oof!). If you buy 2 of each size, how many cups of ice do you have?  Bonus: If you buy 1 cone each of strawberry, lemon, Motor Oil and Wedding Cake, in how many different orders can you eat them? (Hint if needed: How many orders can you eat just 2? Then look at how many orders to eat just 3…)

Wee ones: It looks like a triangle from the side, but a circle from the top.

Little kids: 8 cones, since you had 6 before you snuck 2 more.  Bonus: The 7th cone.

Big kids: 14 cups, since 1 set of cones adds up to 7.  Bonus: 24 orders. 2 flavors can be eaten in 2 orders: SL and LS. You have 2 choices for the 1st slot, then only 1 choice for what’s left: 2 x 1 = 2. For 3 flavors, you have 3 choices for the 1st slot (S, L, or M), and then for each of those, the other 2 flavors have 2 orders as we just found out (so it’s SLM, SML, MLS, MSL, LMS, LSM). You get 3 x 2 x 1 = 6. Now if you have 4 you have 4 choices for the 1st slot, times 6 ways to order the other 3 for each of those 1st-slot choices. So you have 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 24.

Recent Posts

Pick a Math Skill

Pick a Topic

50 States


Daily Routine




Science and Nature


Vehicles and Transportation