This holiday season is a perfect opportunity to be a part of your child’s or grandchild’s early learning development. By letting them assist you with the preparation of the holiday meal, they are learning math skills in a fun way – and creating family memories that you will cherish in the future.
Adventures in math can begin at the grocery store when you are shopping for meal ingredients. When picking out ingredients, ask your child to tell you the color and shape while counting the items in the grocery cart.
Before your little sous-chef begins cooking have the following materials ready for them: apron, measuring cups, teaspoons, serving spoon and pre-prepared ingredients. Preparing a meal teaches them measurement by counting ingredients.
Use a timer, clock or stopwatch, so your little ones can measure how long it takes for the meal to bake in the oven. Review numbers with your kids by counting down the time when the food is almost ready to come out of the oven.
Looking for other easy ways to teach math around the house this holiday season? Use these tips to introduce math into everyday conversations:
• Count it out. Count out loud when serving snacks. Make comparisons such as, “You have more crackers than I do.”
• Talk math. Make comparisons such as “big” and “little” or “more” and “fewer.” “Heavy” and “light” introduce the concept of volume and mass. “Long” and “short” teach measurement.
• Measure heights. Use a tape measure or yardstick to compare your child’s height to your own. Make a game of measuring other things around the house.
For more tips on how to teach math through everyday activities, visit the Parents and Families section and view Talk Math in the Family Resource Library.