Cookie Math: How Many Cookies Did Dan Put on Each Tray?

Mathematics is a subject that is often dreaded by many, but it doesn’t have to be. By incorporating real-life scenarios into math problems, it can become more relatable and easier to understand. One such example is the cookie math problem: “Dan put 16 cookies on trays. If there were 8 trays and he put the same number of cookies on each tray, how many cookies did he put on each tray?” This problem may seem simple, but it’s a great way to introduce the concept of division and equal distribution. Let’s delve deeper into this cookie math problem and answer all potential questions that may arise.

Understanding the Problem

The problem involves Dan, who has 16 cookies that he wants to distribute equally among 8 trays. The question is, how many cookies does each tray get? This is a division problem, where 16 (the total number of cookies) is divided by 8 (the number of trays).

Breaking Down the Problem

Here’s how you can break down the problem:

  • Identify the total number of cookies: 16
  • Identify the total number of trays: 8
  • Understand that the cookies need to be distributed equally among the trays

Solving the Problem

To solve the problem, you need to divide the total number of cookies by the total number of trays. In mathematical terms, this is written as 16 ÷ 8. When you perform this calculation, you find that each tray gets 2 cookies.

Visualizing the Problem

For those who are visual learners, you can imagine the problem like this:

  • Imagine you have 16 cookies in front of you.
  • Next, imagine you have 8 trays.
  • Start placing cookies on each tray, one at a time, until all cookies are distributed.
  • At the end, count how many cookies each tray has. You’ll find that each tray has 2 cookies.


Math problems can be made more understandable and relatable by incorporating real-life scenarios. The cookie math problem is a simple yet effective way to introduce the concept of division and equal distribution. By breaking down the problem, understanding what needs to be done, and visualizing the problem, you can easily solve it and understand the underlying mathematical concept. So, the next time you come across a similar problem, remember Dan and his cookies!