Brain food: how to sharpen your kids’ math skills by cooking together
Cooking isn’t just a great way to brush up on your science and history skills, it’s a terrific way to feed a love of math!
Photo credit: various brennemans "1/4 teaspoon" (original: http://bit.ly/2cNIkmM) CC License 2.0
While there’s a lot of creativity that goes into preparing a meal, cooking is a great way for kids to develop their practical math sense. Whether they’re using ratios to prepare rice, measuring volumes in teaspoons, or even just breaking a cookie in half to share with friends—appetizing math problems are everywhere in your kitchen.
If you or your child feel less confident about your math skills, cooking is a great way to develop your confidence. The relaxing effects of cooking together can calm even the most math-anxious of us while we figure out a problem—plus, something tasty to eat at the end of your efforts is a great motivator for getting over hurdles like figuring out how to halve (or double!) a recipe.
To help you get inspired, we’ve rounded up three easy after-school cooking projects:
Once you’ve concocted your snack, enjoy these tasty math reads!!
- The Doorbell Rang (by Pat Hutchins)—A plate of chocolate chip cookies has to be divided between more and more cookie-loving guests. A great way to introduce kids to using division and fractions in everyday life.
- One Grain of Rice: A Mathematical Folktale (by Demi)—Can a clever village girl outwit a greedy prince to feed her village?
- Lemonade for Sale (by Stuart Murphy and Tricia Tusa)—Friends sell lemonade to raise funds to fix their clubhouse—and the energetic illustrations track their success through graphs.
- Eat Your Math Homework (by Anne McCallum and Lisa Hernandez)—This cookbook teaches higher math concepts with really delicious recipes! (Try Tessellating Two-Colour Brownies here.)
Looking for more inspiration to learn in the kitchen? Check out our posts here and here for fun kitchen science experiments. For kids curious about Roman or Egyptian food, try our post on cooking your way into history; and if your children love an after-dinner read, they'll enjoy our round-up of our favourite children’s classics (that feature great food, of course!).
If your family is hungry to learn other useful skills, we’ve got tutorials on how to teach your kid to use a knife—plus more great cooking projects, including making a fabulous school lunch (there's still time to enter our lunchbox giveaway before the contest ends on September 30th, 2016 - here's how!!)