There are 10 Easter baskets lined up in a row. The Easter bunny puts 1 egg in the first one, 2 in the second, 3 in the third, 4 in the fourth. The bunny continues to fill all of the baskets like this. How many eggs were used to fill all of the baskets?
After filling the baskets, the Easter bunny realizes that this is not fair. Help the bunny figure out how many eggs should be in each basket.
(Note: Feel free to adapt the problem by changing the number of baskets. it will be interesting to observe what students do if there are “leftovers”.)
After creating this problem I decided to test it on my granddaughter who is in Senior Kindergarten. I started out with 5 Easter baskets. I put 1 candy egg in the first basket, 2 in the second. She put 3, 4, and 5 in the next 3 baskets. When I asked her how we could make these baskets fair, she started eating the candies in the 5th basket. Oops! I didn’t think of this as a subtraction problem. After I explained that she could rearrange the eggs she discovered that 3 would go into each of the 5 baskets. She thought we should try this using 6 baskets. She quickly filled up the six baskets following the pattern. When rearranging she started to put 4 in each basket but discovered that 2 of the baskets would not have enough. She then tried 3 and discovered this worked, but there were 3 leftovers. She assured me that we could eat these. Problem solved!