Have you ever played Sudoku? Sudoku is a number puzzle that involves a player using logic to figure out the placement of numbers. Each row, column, and box of 9 squares on the game board must have one each of the digits 1 through 9.
Here’s a really cool way to play Sudoku using M&M’s candy. It’s the same game, but players will solve the game with colors instead of numbers. While this game does not involve any math computation, I would still consider it to have value in math education because of the logic involved.
If you don’t have access to M&M’s where you live, I’m hoping that you’ll be able to find a similar candy that includes red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and brown pieces. If you are one of my international readers, feel free to comment with a suggestion!
How to Play Candy Sudoku
This game is based on 6 color choices rather than 9 numerals since there are 6 colors in each package of M&M’s.
I gave the game boards rows of 6, columns of 6, and then boxes of 6 within the grid (outlined with bold lines).
There are two levels of Candy Sudoku Game Boards.
Level 1 is recommended for ages 5 – 7.
Level 2 is recommended for ages 8 – 10.
These recommendations are based on trying these games with my own kids and with friends. However, kids will vary! For any child, I would start with a level 1 game and then progress from there. Kids will find the puzzles easier to solve with practice.
The puzzle below is a Level 1 puzzle.
To solve the puzzle, kids should first look for a row or box that is only missing one color. They’ll know which color to put there! Then that will lead to another row or box having only one missing.
Once the puzzle is filled in, the child can check for mistakes. Show them how to go row by row and column by column to check that there is only one of each color in each.
My 8 year old had a couple mistakes on her first one!
If there is a mistake, it will usually take more than one step to fix it. It may be as simple as switching two candies, but it’s likely that they’ll need to rearrange more than two to correct the problem. Good for logic skills!
The Level 2 game boards have a greater number of blank spaces. Students will need to think about both the row and the intersecting column to figure out what color to put in a particular space. For example, the fifth row has 2 spaces open that need to be filled with either green or blue. But how do you know which one goes where? There is already a green in the bottom left box, so the space above it must be blue. Then the other space on that row must be filled with green.
Make it a Classroom Activity
Candy Sudoku would be so fun to do with a class! Put the candies in small condiment cups, and you’ll be able to pass them out quickly. Students can trade the game boards with each other as they finish them.
The students should not need constant help. They can assist each other and check each other’s final solution for errors. The teacher will just need to travel through the room, adding pointers where needed.
Ready to print your Candy Sudoku Game Boards?
There are 8 total game boards to print (2 per page). You’ll get 4 of each level.
These printable game boards are free for subscribers of our weekly newsletter. The subscription to the newsletter is free, and it’s full of fun kids activities, crafts, STEM challenges, and original LEGO projects. Don’t worry if you have already subscribed to the newsletter. You can go ahead and enter your email and print the Sudoku game boards. You won’t be added to the list twice!
Lbgage Jul 21, 2022
I love this idea of kid friendly Soduku with M&M's. I'm going to try it out with my
Lynda Jul 21, 2022
In Canada we could use Smarties which are much like M&M's
cathy Jul 21, 2022
is there a certain number of m &m's to start with? One of each color? Thanks
Sarah Jul 21, 2022
The number of M&Ms needed will vary for each puzzle. I would hand out 4 of each color, and that should be plenty. One of each color won't be enough to solve any of the puzzles.
Vicki Jul 21, 2022
I can't wait to use this! It will be the perfect challenge for my high school self contained. I think we will do a couple of times, as a class, the lower one. Then use it for rotations. Then we can do a harder one as a group, or in small groups maybe, then perhaps use as an individual station. Thanks so much!!!
Jennifer Jul 21, 2022
Great idea! If you have kids with a peanut/tree nut allergy (M&Ms are made in the same factory with peanuts & tree nuts), Skittles Wild Berry/Tropical would work. Just swap out the brown for purple.
Pam Gardner Jul 22, 2022
My grandkids will love this as well as their friends from the campground.
Eve Webb Jul 26, 2022
It's mid winter, 1c - 15c depending on time of day and netball training tonight. This is a perfect activity for my 6 year old grandson as we huddle together on the sidelines watching his sister. I'll do the same for her on Saturday when he's at football skills training. Grandparenthood at its finest, education, sweet treat and share a hot chocolate at the end. Thankyou
Felicity Bower Aug 29, 2022
Thank you for all these lovely ideas 💡 I look forward to your e-mail every week.
Felicity Bower Aug 29, 2022
This is a wonderful idea. We will use Smarties instead of m& m's. Thank you, Sarah
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