Tootsie Roll Pops… making math and science yummy

I love memories I can pass on to my kids. One of my favorite candies as a kid had a chewy, Tootsie Roll center covered with delicious, hard candy coating . . . Tootsie Roll Pops! What’s more fun than trying to count the licks before taking a yummy bite?

Since I can add learning to anything … oh yes I said ANYTHING … I picked up a poster board along with a bag of Tootsie Roll Pops.

Tootsie Pop Science Experiment

Tootsie Roll Pop Math

The math was easy. “How Many Licks Does it Take to Get to the Center of a Tootsie Pop?” COUNTING! Yahoo, and boy did they count. Everyone except Big M that is. He bit right in.

A quick bar graph measuring which colors everyone chose gave us something great to talk about when we enjoyed our treat!

Expand on the graph by talking about which color was chosen the most, which was chosen the least and which (if any) weren’t chosen at all.

Tootsie Roll Pop Science

Since I knew we would be counting our licks I asked the kids to make a guess (hypothesis) about how many licks it would take them to reach the chewy Tootsie Roll center. After counting I added in our answers. Simple science of a tasty snack!

Expand on this science by talking about what they concluded from the results. Grab another Pop and see if you get the same answers!

Tootsie Roll Pop Fun Facts

  • Engineering students from Purdue University created a licking machine and recorded that it took an average of 364 licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop. (Now that is math and science that kids can get excited about!)
  • Did you know that the question “How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” first aired on a commercial in 1970. That same commercial still runs today.
  • Since World War II, because of their non-perishable qualities and resistance to harsh weather conditions, Tootsie Rolls have been an integral part of U.S. military rations.
  • The great “How Many Licks” Mystery has encouraged thousands of children to submit hand-written letters to Tootsie Roll Industries sharing their answers!
I love learning new things!
Tootsie Pop Science Experiment

Lick or BITE? How do you eat your Tootsie Roll Pop?


  1. I love this idea!!! I will be buying a bag of tootsie roll pops tomorrow to do this ‘experiment’ with my 3 year old math and science loving boy. 🙂 Great idea and ty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *