Using math in the kitchen—learn how to keep kids engaged while cooking

The PlayShifu Blog

Using math in the kitchen—learn how to keep kids engaged while cooking

8 Aug 18
7 min read
8 Aug 18
7 min read

Ever thought the kitchen could be a resourceful space for your child to sharpen their mathematical skills? You will be surprised to find out that there are several fun math activities that can pop up in your very own kitchen. With a little bit of thought and planning, your little sous chef can have a fun time learning in the kitchen. Not only do you get an extra set of hands to help you out, but your child also gets a real hands-on opportunity to practice what they have been learning theoretically.


Here is a list of things that can get even the most reluctant learners to strengthen the number game.

1. Lay the table:
This is a simple activity that can help strengthen basic math concepts of your little one. With some assistance, encourage them to figure out how many plates, spoons, cups, and bowls would be required for setting up the table, for the next meal. Even toddlers can engage in early counting by pulling out “one spoon for Daddy, one spoon for me, one spoon for . . .”

2. Fruit basket:
Get a basket or a bowl with a few available fruits, such as berries, grapes, bananas, and apples. Ask your child to count the number of people at home, then ask them how many fruits can each person have. Or you can ask your child how many fruits they would like to give to each family member and then how many fruits should they have to make sure that each person will have that many. This activity will your child with multiplication and division.


3. Get cooking:
Counting, measurements and even fractions are some of the basic concepts that your child can learn while helping you cook. Asking them to source the ingredients for tonight’s salad is a great way to encourage their counting skills, it could be 5 tomatoes, 1 cucumber or even 2 olives per person. Baking a cake is a fun activity that can help you bond with your little one while sharpening their measuring and fraction skills. So go ahead and make that batter for a yummy cake with proportions of a ¼ cup, ½ cup, 1 cup of secret ingredients. You can also ask your child to cut sandwiches, pizzas and cheese slices into halves, thirds, and fourths.


There are also some conversations that you can initiate to help your child work on numbers. Here are a few examples:

  1. If I need one cup of rice to feed 2 people, how many will I need for 4 people?
  2. We have six pieces of cake and three people, how many pieces will each person get?
  3. Are there more grapes or oranges in your bowl?
  4. Let’s count how many items come out of this grocery bag?
  5. How many shapes do you think we can we cut this sandwich in?

You can create many more of your own too, just remember to share them on Instagram and tag @playshifu.

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