Math Fun with Summer Produce

Summer brings abundance of math toys. Who needs cheerios or marbles when you have fragrant, smooth, sweet, colorful delights to count, compare, measure and then gobble up. How many peas are there inside each green pea pod? Do all the pods from the same plant host the same number of peas?

Check it out yourself and make a bar plot to describe the distribution of peas in your snap pea pods.

Heirloom tomatoes: yellow, green, purple, red. What color is the sweetest? What is the sourest? Heirlooms are expensive, but their rare availability makes me splurge on them once or twice a year. This year I decided that our kids are big enough to be able to enjoy the tomatoes’ exquisite taste. We did heirloom tomato sampling and ran a contest.

We cut baby heirlooms into four little pieces. Each of us tried a few pieces of each color and ranked the colors by their sweetness (5 was the sweetest, 2 the most sour). Surprisingly, our opinions varied vastly. We created a chart and added all the ranks. Purple tomatoes were voted the sweetest, yellow – grimacingly sour. This chart is still hanging on our refrigerator to reinforce the memories. Kids loved the game and a week later suggested that we do the same with the canollis that a guest brought.

Plums: seductively purple, innocently yellow, confidently bright magenta. Their variety and colors can compete with a lipstick selection. Can you tell a plum type by its taste? Cut them into pieces, close your eyes and see if you can do better than chance (guessing correctly over 50% of the time for two types tasted in equal amounts, 33% for three etc 100%/n types)? Can you distinguish between plums by shape, with your eyes still closed?

How many large plums are there in a pound? How many little plums? How many little plums can you trade for one large plum?

Do larger plums always have a larger seed?
You can eat your fruits and veggies and do math in the same time.

What can you do, what can you do, what can you do with the carrots?
You can measure your height with them. 10 carrots tall?
You can count your bites while eating them. 9 bites?
You can imagine you are a Musketeer and fence with them.
Wait, you can even scratch your back or head with them.
And, for the finale, be adventurous and swallow them!

(inspired by “What can you do with a shoe?” by Beatrice de Regniers and Maurice Sendak)

P.S. Scientific studies show that kids' brains take a reverse evolutionary zip during summer month and by September they are two months behind in math and reading. Check out this Math Resources page for more pointers to math-infused books and games.

Here is a great fruit puzzle to brainstorm as a family: Mess at the Marrakesh Market.


  1. Apart from getting very hungry when I look at all your yummy fruit pictures, I keep thinking of how surrounded by things we are that are perfect for math. It makes it always so much more enjoyable when we give our kids something tangible to work with, rather than three circles plus two circles on a whiteboard, etc. The other thing that always works well with our kids is the storytelling; we have two girls, so I usually end up telling a story about a princess, fairy or adventuress who is stumped by some math problem. Works a charm (almost) every time.

  2. I absolutely agree with you. Exciting, relevant context combined with encouragement and confidence boost do magic.

    Just today, on a weekend car trip, our son was nugging us: "When are we going to be there?". I saw a sign showing that destination is 8 miles away and told him: "Look, it says 8 miles. We drive with a speed of 60mph. How much longer do you think it is?" He thought a bit, then said: 8mins and didn't ask again...

    And after you prime your kids brain, they start thinking in math terms as well:

    After visiting a medieval castle in Northern Italy my 7 year old daughter asked: "If there is a person that lowers the bridge to the castle every morning and raises the bridge every evening. He earns 1 euro for each of the operations. I wonder how much will he earn in a year?" She was thrilled to learn how to add 365+365 in a column and thinking it is the coolest trick, asked for more of such additions on the next day.

  3. This article is tsikavoyu.Meni it seems relevant and students can find more information here

  4. In line Coach Outlet Online is bringing Michael Kors Outlet unique Coach Factory Outlet to a Toms Shoes USA shoe for Cheap Jerseys Spring/Michael Kors Outlet 2014 Coach Factory Outlet, and this Coach Outlet, it’s a Coach Outlet. The Coach Outlet Sale Sandal Giuseppe Zanotti Outlet.Supermodel mom Coach Factory Outlet was Coach Factory Outlet Online being all kinds of hot this weekend Coach Outlet she Coach Store Online out in a Michael Kors Outlet-turning, Celine Outlet I did, I was Celine Bags possessed by Fitflops Flipflops suit madness.Fitflops USA-there string Michael Kors during Michael Kors Store vacation in Tomss Hoes Bahamas. Fitflop Footwear by her family, the 40-year-old looked happy and relaxed - Fitflops Outlet, uh, did we Fitflops Sandals super hot? - as she Giuseppe Zanotti by the pool.I've Giuseppe Zanotti Designer making my own vanilla extract for years. I love it! It's cost-effective, and in my opinion, Vanilla extract is also (easily) the most used extract in my Prada Outlet , sort of pretty (although it kind of looks like spiders too) tastes way better than imitation vanilla extract.


  6. Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn't really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That's because they were able to connect experiences they've had and synthesize new things. natural ways to make your boobs bigger | perdre du poids rapidement

  7. ED Hardy Outlet

    Michael Kors Outlet

    Coach Outlet

    Kate Spade Outlet

    Cheap Jordans

    Michael Kors Outlet Store

    Coach Handbags

    Coach Factory

    Oakley Sunglasses

    Tory Burch Outlet

    Longchamp Handbags

    Louis Vuitton Outlet

    Michael Kors Handbags

    Coach Outlet

    UGG Boots

    Red Bottom Shoes

    Moncler Jackets

    North Face Outlet

    Kate Spade Black Friday

    Moncler Outlet

    Coach Factory

    Coach Handbags

    Kate Spade Outlet

    North Face Jackets

    Ray Ban Outlet

    Cheap Ray Ban Sunglasses

    Burberry Outlet

    Cheap UGG Boots

    Christian Louboutin Shoes

    North Face Outlet

    Coach Factory Outlet

    Kate Spade Outlet

    Michael Kors Outlet

    Coach Outlet

    Nike Air Max

    Moncler Jackets

    Nike Roshe Run

    Cheap Nike Air Max

    Buty Nike Air Max

    Nike Air Max Damskie

  8. coach outlet canada,
    oakley sunglasses,
    ugg boots,
    nike air force 1,
    canada goose coats,
    belstaff jackets,
    true religion jeans,
    coach outlet store,
    michael kors factory outlet,
    michael kors outlet,
    louis vuitton outlet,
    prada handbags,
    stuart weitzman boots,
    louis vuitton bags,
    replica handbags,
    rolex watches,
    coach outlet online,
    adidas outlet store,
    nike free uk,
    prada shoes,
    nfl jerseys wholesale,
    ray ban sunglasses,
    dansko outlet,
    chanel handbags,

  9. 20151016xiaodaige
    tods outlet store,
    lacoste shirts,
    louis vuitton outlet store,
    new york giants jerseys,
    cleveland cavaliers,
    rolex watches,
    converse sneakers,
    philadelphia eagles jerseys,
    nike foamposite,
    michael kors canada,
    los angeles clippers jerseys,
    ferragamo shoes,
    canada goose coats,
    kansas city chiefs jerseys,
    canada goose jackets,
    nfl jerseys,
    nike trainers uk,
    soccer jerseys wholesale,
    cheap ugg boots,
    nike running shoes,
    hollister clothing store,
    nba jerseys,
    nfl jersey wholesale,
    cheap oakley sunglasses,
    coach outlet store,
    new york knicks,
    christian louboutin,louboutin,louboutin outlet,louboutin outlet italia,scarpe louboutin

  10. This is a wonderful article. These type of articles keeps the users interest in the website.
    Angel investors in India

  11. I would like to thank you for the efforts you had made for writing this awesome article.Mississauga Real Estate Agent

  12. I have bookmarked you to check out new stuff of your blog. A must read!!!!

  13. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your efforts and I will be waiting for your further write
    Packers and Movers Bangalore
    Packers and Movers Hyderabad
    Packers and Movers Pune

  14. Such a great article its tell us how to manege your food buying account with math thanks for share it sop format .

  15. All the best blogs that is very useful for keeping me share the ideas
    of the future as well this is really what I was looking for, and I am
    very happy to come here. Thank you very much
    earn to die
    earn to die 2
    earn to die 3
    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and finally got the
    earn to die 4
    courage to go ahead and give youu a shout out from
    earn to die 6
    Austin Texas! Just wanted to tell
    earn to die 5
    you keep up the fantastic work!my weblog
    age of war
    Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now and finally got the
    happy wheels
    strike force heroes

  16. I am just pretty happy to sign up ones own guestbook these days,Your own feedback and listed below are excellent in my opinion,incidentally I should say also definitely will teach some great supplements for your needs every.Angel investors in India

  17. Quester is a Pakistan-based questioning answering website where people can ask questions and we try our best to provide them with the best answers. Anyone can ask any legit question in English or Roman Urdu and we provide answers in the same language format.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.