Education World: Decorate-a-Cookie

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Brief Description

Students use cookies and candy to practice finding the sum of three single-digit numbers.


Students find the sum of three single-digit numbers. Students recognize one to one correspondence.

Key Concepts

edible math, addition game, math activity, primary grade

Materials Needed

  • large round sugar or butter cookies
  • white frosting
  • plastic knives
  • three types of small candy
  • teacher's suggestions: chocolate chips, gummy bears, Skittles
  • three plastic containers or trays for the candy
  • one die numbered 0 to 5, one die numbered 1 to 6, one die numbered 4 to 9
  • pencils
  • strips of paper or index cards.

Lesson Plan

  • Each student spreads a layer of white frosting on a cookie. The frosting acts as glue in this activity.
  • Each student rolls one die at a time. After each roll, the student takes the corresponding number of candy pieces from one type of candy (suggestions listed in Materials section above) and decorates the cookie by gently pushing the pieces into the frosting.
  • After placing all three types of candy on the cookie, the student writes a math sentence to represent his or her experience on a strip of paper or index card; for example, "I used 3 + 5 + 9 = 17 pieces of candy on my cookie." The teacher prepares a form that students fill in.
  • Throughout the activity, the teacher asks questions related to bigger, smaller, most, least, how many more, and how many less. Ask students to write a vertical as well as a horizontal math sentence.


  • Students roll all three dice at once and then choose which type of candy will correspond to each of the rolled numbers.
  • Students use the same numbers on each of the dice in order to improve the chances of rolling doubles or triples and to incorporate multiplication.

Teacher's Note: This is a great center activity to use in conjunction with other related primary-level math activities.

Activity Time



After students complete this activity, have students practice adding three single-digit numbers, using math manipulatives rather than candy. Eventually, student understanding can be assessed through a quiz.

Lesson Plan Source

Wendy S. Rosenberg, ( Horeb Elementary School, Warren Township, New Jersey

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