The family kitchen is the best and easiest place to introduce kids to math. Little kids love helping in the kitchen. And I love all they can learn by kneading and stirring and licking their fingers alongside me.
But I admit, there are days their help is more of a hindrance. I simply don’t have time or patience for little helpers when dinner prep is happening under pressure. Instead of ordering the kiddos out of the kitchen, I’ve come up kitchen projects they can work on while I’m busy. Here are two of our favorite kitchen math projects for little ones…
PASTA NUMBER COLLAGE
* Give your child a bag of dry pasta, a sheet of sturdy paper, a pencil, and some glue.
* Instruct them to pick a number between one and ten. Then ask them to see how many groups of that number they can make on one sheet of paper, using pasta. Tell them to make each group a different shape.
* When they’re finished with each group of pasta, have them circle the group and label it with its corresponding numeral.
* Congratulations! You’ve just cooked up number recognition along with dinner.
MEASURING CUP FRACTIONS
* Buy an inexpensive white or clear set of measuring cups. Using permanent markers of different colors, mark the cups in big, bold letters and numbers.
* Fill a container with rice, seeds, or small beans.
* Using the color codes on the cups, make a sheet for your child to record their discoveries. We keep our answer sheet in a page protector and write on it with dry erase markers so we can repeat the activity whenever we want.