Friday, January 25, 2013

Math & Science in the Kitchen

Math and science learning is all around us! The kitchen provides wonderful opportunities to measure, mix, pour, count and more! Learning about quantities, proportions, numbers and fractions can mean using measuring cups as part of following a recipe or exploring with water. Try this: Grab a large bowl to catch spills, a pitcher full of water (smaller pitchers are better for pouring success with younger children), measuring cups and spoons, as well as a towel and have fun! 
Add math language. Start with words like more and less, full and empty, then add units of measure such as ½ cup, ¼ cup or teaspoon. You might even ask, “How many teaspoons of water will fit into 1 cup?”  Then count as you fill the cup!

Add color to the water. Encourage children to:
Observe: Notice the colors of the water.
Predict: Ask, “What will happen if we mix two  
colors of  water?”
Experiment: Mix two different colors of water.
Conclude: Discuss what happened when you mixed 
the colored water.

This is the scientific method in use. Right in your kitchen!

Water play is a great way to facilitate learning in the kitchen, but math and science thinking can be facilitated with little effort. Ask about the patterns on plates. Compare and contrast with questions like, “How do the smaller plates look different from the larger plates?” Spark a conversation about Simple Machines by asking, “How does the can opener work? How does it move?” 
Parents don’t always think of themselves as math and science teachers, yet the kitchen can offer many opportunities to begin great adventures in science and math! 

Look for more next week,  
Let's Cook! More Math & Science in the Kitchen.

This blog is also published in Positively Napervillea printed guide of community events, volunteer opportunities and local lore. The publication is distributed to 35,000 homeowners by the first of every month. 

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