Spending time in the kitchen together is always a fantastic way to have fun! A time to talk about your day, share stories and cook up something delicious…..sounds good to me. Kitchen time is also a perfect opportunity to introduce basic math skills and help numbers and counting make sense. Sneaky, I know, and the end result is learning and a tasty treat for everyone!
You could use any recipe for these activities, as long as it has lots of measuring involved–baking is usually best for this because of all the measuring. One recipe we found that would work wonderfully is at epicurious.com–Dense Chocolate Fudge Cake. This basic cake recipe is filled with measurements and counting opportunities for all ages!
Here is a list of teaching items that could be mentioned during your cake baking extravaganza……
- While measuring the dry ingredients, explain how fractions add up to a whole. Keep it simple and meaningful.
- Bittersweet chocolate chips can be purchased in 12 oz bags. You need 8 oz for the cake mixture and 4 oz for the glaze. Be sure to mention that these measurements add up to 12 and count them together.
- Cut the stick of butter in half together and explain how 2 halves make a whole stick.
- Count the eggs while cracking them into the bowl.
Depending on the age of the young chefs, the difficulty level of adding, subtracting and fractions can be tweaked. For the youngest mini-chefs, just counting items as they are added is a great beginning. It is amazing how much math, as well as science, is involved in a simple chocolate cake! Just sneak in some easy counting and fractions and no one will know that a math lesson is in session!
Happy Family Cooking (and learning!) Everyone,