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News from Mathnasium of South Beaverton

The Kitchen Is a Great Place To Practice Math Skills

Jan 19, 2022

Math is a part of all of our daily lives. The Fibonacci sequence is frequently in nature, in the petals of a sunflower and the florets of broccoli. We use math all the time, and there are many opportunities where a child can learn without textbooks, workbooks, and expensive teaching software.

 

Children can learn different mathematical concepts in the kitchen or while doing routine shopping with their families. When mathematics is learned in daily life, it helps to reinforce computation, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.

 

Buying groceries, organizing the pantry, and measuring portions for recipes, provide excellent kitchen-based opportunities to practice math concepts. 

Let us read further to know the real-life opportunities to learn mathematical concepts in the kitchen.


 

Calculating Quantities Needed:

Estimation is an important skill in mathematics. It will teach children quick and approximate calculations without the help of a calculator.

 

The activity: 

Ask your child to estimate the number of chocolates she might need to buy to share with all her classmates. Let us say a packet of 10 chocolates costs 5$. How many packets should be brought to distribute to the class of 40 students, and what will be the total cost? This is a quick and easy exercise to teach multiplication and division!


 

Measuring portions: 

Routinely weighing items using a kitchen scale will sharpen the child's skills in estimating weights, fluid measurements, and even cooking time.

 

The activity: 

Allow the child to measure the weight of chocolate chips needed for a batch of chocolate chip cookies. For a more challenging calculation, take the recipe and see how many cookies you can make with the total weight of the chocolate chips bag. For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of chocolate chips for 2 dozen cookies. How many batches can one bag of chocolate chips make? This is just one example of how kitchen math can help your child! 


 

Ratios and proportions: 

Calculating the proportions of ingredients in recipes will help children get familiar with the concept of ratios, proportions, and mixed numbers.

 

The activity: 

Lemonade is a simple drink to prepare, provided the ingredients needed. Parents can explain that to prepare one glass of lemonade, squeeze the juice of one lemon into a glass of water and add two teaspoons of sugar. Then ask how the ingredient quantities have changed to fit the size of the order. This will help children visualize the rate of change and proportion.


 

Calculating and comparing prices: 

Calculating money while paying bills can help increase your child's understanding of and confidence in the calculation.

 

The activity: 

Ask your child to compare prices of items by asking things like, "Which juice costs more? How much would we be saved by going with the cheaper juice?" You can also give your child the chance to pay for small purchases at the store; you give them the money for the cashier then have them calculate the change.


 

Calculating calories: 

Calculating calories in their food will reinforce math skills, understand the importance of a balanced diet, and avoid junk food.

 

The activity: 

Encourage children to calculate the calories in the serving size of their favorite cereal. Then have them measure out the portion for their breakfast. This teaches them both math skills and conscious eating habits.  

There are many ways to involve the child in the kitchen and teach them important math concepts. 


Children learn better when involved in an activity rather than just solving sums in a notebook. What is required is an open mind and the willingness to have fun. So, go ahead and cook up some new equations!