Math Circle Ice Cream Shoppe (Age 5)

The Activities

1. Topic: Combinations: Book: The Sundae Scoop by Murphy. picThis is a fun book about kids running an ice cream booth at the school fair, and how many different sundaes they could make.

2. Topic: Combinations: Use ice cream clip art to make all possible sundaes from the book, choosing one ice cream (chocolate or vanilla), one toppping (nuts or sprinkles), and one sauce (hot fudge, caramel).

The Math Ice Cream Shoppe

The Math Ice Cream Shoppe

3. Topic: Maps: I taped up a bunch of red squares around the house, one of which had a star on the back of it.  Then I showed the kids where the starred square was on a map of our house, and they had to go find it.  Next, each kid got a turn to hide the star, and show the spot on the map.


4. Topic: Reflections: The kids reflected half letters to make a phrase. Here are the 2 phrases they did.


5. Topic: Probability: Each kid rolled two dice, added them up, then colored the corresponding square on the chart. The first number to get rolled 6 times wins the race!


How did it go?

We had 4 kids this week. Most of the kids are starting kindergarten next week, which is bittersweet and exciting!  We’re still planning to meet for circle each week, so we’ll stay in touch.

The Ice Cream Shoppe

The kids enjoyed gluing the clip art ice cream to the papers.  We got a lot of repeat sundaes toward the end, but eventually, a couple kids came over to the wall to examine the sundaes we already had, and they found the last two.

Map Hide and Go Seek

The kids were amazingly good at reading the map, and only got the first one wrong. They all enjoyed hiding the star for their friends, so each kid took two turns.  All 4 kids seemed to totally understand how to use the map to find the starred paper.


The kids hadn’t seen this type of reflection much before, so it was a bit tricky, but after a bit of help from me, the all caught on.  We worked together to sound out the two phrases.

Probability Race

We did the activity when circle first started, but the kids’ attention span was noticeably shorter last time. This time all 4 kids stayed on task and finished at least one race. They all enjoyed my commentary, e.g. “Oooh, 7 is pulling ahead, but 5 and 8 are close too!”.

One kid completed 4 races very quickly. He could add the dice without counting the dots. The slowest kid was not only counting the dots on the dice to get the total, but also counting along the bottom of the chart to find the right column to color.

After everyone finished, we laid out a bunch of probability races, some from this week, some from previous weeks.  We noticed that 6, 7, and 8 were the most common winners.

I asked if ‘1’ had ever won, and the kids said no.  I asked if anyone had ever rolled a ‘1’.  They claimed they had gotten a one but I pointed out they had to count both dice.  One boy showed me that you could roll two ones, but he agreed that then you would add them to get a 2.  No one could convince me that it was either possible or impossible to roll two dice and get a 1.


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