3 Ways Kids Can Practice Math in the Kitchen
Children can learn a variety of practical math skills that can be useful in everyday life and that can help them to conceptualize math better when taking tests such as the EOG as they help in the kitchen. The kitchen can also become a math classroom as children learn math skills such as:
- Counting and grouping
- Addition and subtraction
- Multiplication and division
- Measuring and converting
- Fractions and ratios
Teach Children Basic Math Concepts in the Kitchen
Even very young kids can learn math skills in the kitchen. They might learn comparisons, such as more, less, and equal. Perhaps they can count and add silverware as they set the table. Children may wish to count the number of ingredients in a recipe and might then arrange them in groups, such as liquids and solids or from smallest to biggest while making comparisons. Perhaps they can learn subtraction as ingredients are placed back in the cabinet.
The kitchen also provides a wide variety of manipulatives for practicing math skills, including items such as:
- Refrigerator magnets
- Pieces of fruit
- Much more
These might be used to help children visualize math skills in a more concrete manner.
Older children can learn more advanced math skills such as multiplication while helping in the kitchen. Kids can practice multiplying as they predict the total number of pieces of silverware needed when given the number of people and the cutlery for each person. Perhaps they can divide the number of glasses of juice available in one pitcher. Add extra information in the problem to give children the opportunity to discover which information is necessary and which is simply informative.
Teach Children More Advanced Math Skills in the Kitchen
Recipe books are full of great opportunities for measuring solids and liquids. Kids can also see and learn that three teaspoons equal one tablespoon and many other conversions. Look at ounces, pints, quarts, and gallons and see how they relate to milliliters as children learn both English and metric units of measurement. Adults who need to brush up on conversions might like to review a simple online conversion chart.
Fractions are naturally found in many recipes and in serving foods. Kids can compare fractions and incorporate ratios when measuring in cups or spoons. Cut a pizza or cake into equal parts and then divide each in half to discover which fractions are equal to another.
Use an online program, markers or crayons, and paper, or other creative ways to graph the numbers lesson in kitchen math. For example, children might graph the number and types of fruit pieces eaten by each family member using a free online graph maker.
Children can also learn more about money in the kitchen. Set up a “shop” where the younger kids can purchase and sell canned goods with play money. Help older kids create a food budget while teaching tips for saving money while grocery shopping.
Help Get Kids Ready for EOG Math Skills in the Kitchen
Many parents and other caregivers are constantly challenged to find the time to help children with educational skills amidst the many pressures and time constraints of work and home. Involving the kids in food preparation can instill a sense of accomplishment as they learn to be more self-sufficient and hone valuable math skills. When children can see math skills as they relate to everyday life, they may be able to understand and conceptualize numbers, measurements, and more in a more concrete way. They can then move toward learning to apply math not only in the kitchen but in other areas of their life as well.
Teaching math skills in the kitchen naturally lead to other teaching opportunities, such as colors, vocabulary, healthy eating, and more. Use the kitchen as a classroom by teaching kids ways to incorporate important math skills into everyday life.