I know what you are thinking. We want kids to eat healthy, not to play with their food. Here my thoughts though, get the kids involved in preparing a meal and let them use math skills to help.
I was recently signed up to make a meal for a group of 3 - 5 year olds.Since it was so close to Spring, that is the subject I chose. I could have just made a casserole and hoped the kids ate it, but I like for food to be fun and tasty. I decided to let my son help me with the meal. First, we counted up how many of our friends we were expecting for the meal, then we went to the grocery.
We decided to serve, bananas, apples, cheese, ham, turkey and a dessert. I told my son that we were serving 10 kids and he had to help me get enough food for all of the children.
When we got home, we cut the ham and turkey slices with bunny cookie cutters. We allowed enough of each meat for every child to have three slices. My son helped me to count out the 30 ham bunnies and the 30 turkey bunnies. Next we moved on to the cheese. We were serving our cheese in the form of circles to represent coconuts and we needed at least three slices per child. Again, he helped me count out 30 slices.
Next, we moved on to the dessert. We decided to make birds in a nest. We counted out three square pretzels per dessert and laid them out in piles on a piece of waxed paper. Next, we melted chocolate and drizzled that over the pretzel "nests" and followed it up with rainbow sprinkles. Once the chocolate had hardened, we came back and melted some more chocolate and dipped bird shaped peeps into the melted chocolate and sat one on top of each pretzel nest. We allowed that to set and then we put each bird in a nest inside of a a cupcake liner to serve.
When it was time to serve up the meal, we cut up one banana per child and laid them out on the plate. We then added three apple slices at the top of each banana slice. These were our palm trees. We then added three cheese coconuts to the top of each palm tree. Next came the bunnies, we laid three ham and three turkey bunnies on each plate. The kids all loved this treat, but the favorite was by far the birds in a nest dessert.
Math is not my son's favorite subject, but he had lots of fun counting out all of our treats for our friends and he was eager to make sure we had enough for everyone.
Get your kids in the kitchen and open up a new perspective on math!