Meal-time Math

Nutritionally speaking, breakfast gets your body off to a good start for the day. Use breakfast to stimulate the brain with 5 mini Math lessons you can do right at the kitchen table.

1. Counting, Adding, Subtracting
Your toddler can practice counting skills — how many strawberries are on the oatmeal? How many people are sitting at the table?

Line up some dry cereal for young school-age children. Add and take away pieces to practice addition and subtraction. There were 10 pieces and three went away – how many are left?

2. Geometry
Foods come in all shapes and sizes. Teach your little to recognize the shapes of his breakfast food: squares (waffles), triangles (sliced strawberries), circles (cereal bowl). Put out some finger foods your child can use to create her own geometric shapes. Use your artistic talents and some pancake batter to make even more shapes: rectangles, ovals, stars and crescents!

3. Measurements
Give your child a lesson in measurement while you are preparing breakfast. Discuss gallons, cups, tablespoons, ounces and more. Demonstrate greater-than and less-than measures. Which is more: two-thirds cup or one-half cup?

4. Fractions
Cut a large pancake or an apple into four pieces to practice fractions. Take one piece (one-fourth) away and you are left with three pieces (three-fourths). Show your child that two-fourths equals one-half. Next week, cut the pancake into thirds, sixths, or eighths.

5. Multiplication
Elementary school kids can hone their times tables with waffles: each waffle has six rows each with five squares. How many squares does the waffle have in all (6 x 5 = ___ )?

Older kids can practice multiplication by doubling or tripling a recipe:
If you need 1 cup of mix and 3/4 cup of water to make 12 pancakes, then how much mix and water do you need to make 24 pancakes? 36 pancakes? 48 pancakes?

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