Mixing Math and Muffins: questions you can use to teach math while cooking with kids
Simple kitchen activities can be the perfect ingredient for enhancing your child's mathematical understanding and extending their classroom learning. No fancy chef hats required, just a willingness to mix, measure, and multiply the fun while boosting those math skills.
Here are some questions you can ask kids while cooking to help enhance their math abilities:
Numbers, Counting and Sequencing:
- "We need 1 cup of flour for this recipe. Can you help me find the measuring cup that says '1 cup'?"
- "We need three cups of noodles for this recipe, can you count the cups as you put them in?"
- “I’ve counted three of something on our kitchen counter. What could I have counted?”
- “If I have six cookies and I eat three of them, how many could you eat?”
- "Which ingredients does the recipe tell us to add first? What are the ingredients that follow?"
- "The oven needs to be preheated to 350°F. Can you help me set the temperature of the oven?"
- "The cookies need to bake for 15 minutes. Can you set the timer for that amount of time?"
- "If we need 2 cups of milk and we already added 1 cup, how much more do we need?"
- “It says this bag has 4 cups of sugar, will that be enough for this recipe?”
- "We need about a cup of chopped vegetables. Can you estimate how many carrots we’ll need?”
Multiplication, Division and Fractions
- "The recipe calls for 1/2 a cup of milk. Can you show me on this measuring cup where the halfway point is?"
- "If we have 1 cup of water and we pour half of it into the bowl, how much water is left in the measuring cup?”
- “Looks like our 1 cup measuring cup is dirty! How else can we measure 1 cup of an ingredient?”
- “We need to cut this pan of brownies into squares. How should we cut them to get enough brownies for everyone?”
- “This pie has 8 pieces, how many eighths would you like?”
- “Let’s double this recipe so we have more cookies!” or “let’s make half this recipe.”
Compare and Contrast
- "Is 400°F or 325°F hotter?"
- “Which ingredient am I using the smallest amount of?”
- “Which ingredients are liquids and which ones are solids?”
- “Would you like to taste a tablespoon of chocolate chips or a teaspoon?”
- “We use the same ingredients to make cake as we do to make cookies, why do you think they turn out differently?”
Engaging your child in cooking activities goes beyond creating delicious treats – it's a recipe for developing robust math skills. From measuring ingredients to understanding fractions and making comparisons, each moment in the kitchen is a chance for your child to explore and expand their mathematical knowledge.