Teaching Math By Teaching Your Kids to Cook

teaching kids to cook teaches math
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My son loves to cook.  So every chance I get I try and teach him something new in the kitchen.

The other day we were working on cupcakes, using a recipe that only made two cupcakes. (Love that there is no waste).  However we were missing a couple ingredients to complete the recipe.

Instead of running to the store we made our own substitutions for the buttermilk and self rising flower.

Our problem started when I realized that we used all of our substitution creations in the recipe.

  So we had to back track and quadruple the recipe.

All of a sudden teaching my son to make his own treats turned into a math lesson.

This was at the same time that I was reading about the positive impact that teaching more math was having on young adult's personal finances.

It was like the clouds parting - a fun way to teach kids two skills that will help them with their finances and their life on their own is to teach them to cook.

Math will make them stronger by teaching them to be comfortable with numbers and cooking will help them save money by not getting take out or going out to eat all the time.  Talk about a win-win.

So how do you go about teaching your kids to cook while teaching math?

Well, I am not the person you want to be taking cooking advice from, so for that check out this article:  How to Teach Kids Basic Cooking Rules.

As for the math part of that I can help you with.  Here are some tips that will expand their cooking math knowledge beyond the basics.

  • Select a measuring cup that is smaller than what is needed, and have them calculate how much they need.  For example if the recipe calls for 1/2 cup, select your 1/4 measuring cup and have them figure out what they need to do.  You can also do with with things like tablespoons to really advance the conversions!
  • Try doubling recipes so they can work on their multiplication skills.  So instead of having them measure one cup of milk, they have to multiply it by two and then do the measuring.  Bonus points to do more than just doubling. 

Cooking is a great way to share multiple skills to prepare your child for life.  Plus you might get to take a night off from cooking.  Yet another win-win!