Sous Chef - Pretend Play and Math - FamilyEducation

Sous Chef - Pretend Play and Math

March 05,2011


You don't have to be a homeschooling parent to teach your child lessons about school subjects. Every day activities offer endless opportunity to enrich your child's learning away from school.  My son loves to pretend and if we pretend to be someone else I can get him to do most anything. One of my favorite lessons are math lessons done while he pretends to be my sous chef as I prep dinner.

Here are some of the math skills he can learn :

1. Sorting. In the picture above he was sorting the spinach by size.  Another time I handed up mixed veggies ( you know the frozen ones) and had him sort them by type so I had piles of just carrots, peas, corn and green beans.  Color, size, food ... it's got no limit.

2. Measuring.  Learning about  standard measurement and how a cup of water will always be  the same amount is a big milestone for children. I have found no better way ot teaching this than cooking.

3. Number recognition.  You can see he is using a measuring cup to hold the spinach before he sorts it. This is because as he works I'd as " How much is left now?" and he's look down at the markings and tell me the number. We have done similar activities with adding mushed banana to pancake batter, and cream to quiche. With liquids we use measuring spoons for an added layer of measurement and it's also easier to clean up a spill from a table spoon.

4. Cooperation. Preschoolers often learn about sharing and cooperation from the perspective of giving something to someone who wants it next, like a toy or a turn with something like the slide on the playground, but they aren't given as many opportunities to work as a team. Having that chance to work as a team with their parents ( or other adult caregivers) is important .