At the end of our week of measuring rainbows, we decided to do some data handling. We could have used the data from all our rainbow measurements, but instead decided to ‘taste the rainbow’ with some Skittles.


  • Coloured sweets e.g. Skittles, Smarties or M&Ms
  • Magnetic letters
  • Grimm’s boards or rulers


After sorting the skittles in to colours, we set out a very simple bar chart. We used the Grimms boards for our axes. Our horizontal x-axis showed the colour of the skittles. Our vertical y-axis measured the number of sweets.

I asked Ioan and Finn to predict which colour sweets there would be the most of and which colour there would be the fewest of.

They lined the sweets out in columns for each colour. Being huge rainbow fans, they decided on rainbow order.

After a lot of discussion, Ioan and Finn decided to have their columns go up to 26 sweets, our smallest number of sweets. After 26, any extra sweets for each colour had to start a new column next to the original. They set it out that way because Ioan likes everything to be neat and tidy, so he didn’t want the lines longer than our y-axis. but it had the added advantage that it was easy to compare the number of sweets.

Once they had set out their bar chart, they counted and recorded how many of each type of sweets there were.

Their findings for their number of sweets were:

  • Red – 32 sweets
  • Orange – 26 sweets
  • Yellow – 31 sweets
  • Green – 29 sweets
  • Purple – 44 sweets

I asked them whether their predictions were correct.

Our next steps were to measure the range, median, mean and mode.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS and National Curriculum (2013)

Numeracy Year 3 programme of study


  • interpret and present data using bar charts, pictograms and tables
  • solve one-step and two-step questions [for example, ‘How many more?’ and ‘How many fewer?’] using information presented in scaled bar charts and pictograms and tables.