The kitchen is a communal place to come together as a family. It’s where you prepare food, eat meals, and sometimes doubles as a room for homework or crafts.
The kitchen can also be a great place to practice math! We’re constantly doing calculations while cooking: halving or doubling recipes, measuring out ingredients, and guesstimating how long the cake has been in the oven.
We invite you to practice math in the kitchen with your children. Start new family traditions with these ideas for a variety of ages:
Setting the table: The youngest members of your family will benefit from this activity. First, make an example place setting with plate, fork, spoon and cup. Ask your child to replicate this place setting for everyone in your family! Having to replicate the ‘pattern’ they see is great spacial reasoning.
Sorting: Younger children will also enjoy sorting exercises. For example, while you’re preparing dinner, ask your child to sort the spoons and forks into two piles. Or perhaps you’re having grapes for a snack. Can your child sort the red grapes and the green grapes into separate bowls? Get creative with sorting activities!
Measuring with cups and spoons: As your child begins to work with quantity and numbers, ask them to help you measure ingredients using cups and spoons. First, examine the tools you’ll be using, for example, “This is one cup. This is one tablespoon. This is one teaspoon.” Next, guide your child to measure the correct quantities of your recipe. “Please measure one cup of flour and put it in this bowl.”
Washing fruits and vegetables: Call upon your child’s love of water to help wash fruits and vegetables. Make it a math exercise by asking them to prepare a specific number of items. For example, “We need 4 potatoes washed and placed on this pan. Would you like to help with this?” or “We need one cup of strawberries for this recipe. Will you wash enough strawberries to fill this 1 cup?”
However you incorporate math into your next meal, attempt to make it a habit. Small steps to practice spatial reasoning, sorting, and simple number practice can go a long way towards helping your child get excited about numbers!
If you’d like more math practice at home or while on the move, try Intro to Math by Montessorium, where your child can learn to read, write and understand numbers from zero to nine.
Now, let’s get cooking!
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