Cooking provides plenty of opportunities to do some “figuring out” for children.
- Increasing and decreasing: If you need to double a recipe, (or increase it by 3x, or 1 ½ x or 10x) you can ask your child to figure out how much of each thing is needed now. You can do the same if you need to halve a recipe or only mix up half of a packet of something.
- Fractions: Explore what 1/2 and 1/4 and 1/3 mean within the context of cooking. This may mean learning to choose the right measuring spoon or cup, or estimating with a bigger spoon or cup. It can also involve taking a block of butter and cutting it into pieces to get the right fraction (like 1/2 cup = 125 g or the 500 g cut into quarters).
- How much, How many? If you are making food for a large group or for a bake sale ask your child to help you figure out how much of each of the ingredients you will need or how much it will cost altogether and how much each thing should sell for in order to make money. When shopping for ingredients, take your child with you and ask them to compare prices and help decide the most cost efficient way to make the large batch. Many shops record the cost per unit on the shelf sticker, for example $1.75 per 100 g, which helps people make comparisons about price.