game · math · STEAM

Snack Math

Who doesn’t like learning with food? Snack time is a great learning opportunity. Provide larger bowls of snack and have your child(ren) count out the number they will eat (counting and number sense). Draw a grid on the napkin your child will use and have them put one item in each section (one-to-one correspondence). Have your child line up the snack items in a line and then say “Eat the third strawberry” or “eat the cracker next to the piece of cheese” (following directions, cardinal numbers, prepositional words).

Here’s the key…. they don’t realize you are teaching them something. They don’t see it as learning, they see it as snack time, but a fun version. Why is it fun? It is interactive. They have your attention. There is a challenge. How many Cheerios can you stack before they fall over? (enigeering)

This weekend is Valentine’s day. So if you have some heart shaped snacks, have some Valentine snack fun. I used heart shaped Cheerios to practice addition fact of 5. Draw a heart on a piece of paper and provide your child with cheerios. Put the math facts into the heart and then again on the line. I would have them leave the 5 for the line to use each time and then let them eat the ones in the heart. You need to let them eat of they will loose interest!

You could have your child write out the facts on a sheet of paper. You are creating a fact family, all the number facts that add up to a specific number. 0+5, 1+4, 2+3, 3+2, 4+1, 5+0. You also want to have your child learn to see that 5=1+4 is the same as 1+4=5. When they begin to understand how to put these facts together, challenge them. If you have 2 and you want to have 5, how many more do you need? 2+_=5. You need to have 5, you already have 4 how many more do you need? 5=4+_.(missing addend)

This can all be worked on during the time your child is eating snack. You do not need to have a long drawn out lesson. Five to ten minutes of playing with numbers every day is a HUGE benefit going forward in math learning. We want children to see all learning is fun and sometimes tasty.

family activity · math · STEAM · topic

Apple Structures

Children love to be creative. They love to build and construct. And, if you give them something different, out of the ordinary as the building “blocks” of the structure… oh my!

So… give your child chopped up apples, toothpicks and tell them to build! That’s it. Give your child permission to build with their food… and when they are done, they get to have apple for a snack.

To the child they see… Cool! This is fun! But, to you the teacher/parent/caregiver… you see engineering!

Have your child there when you cut the apples. While you are working toss out terms such as cutting in half, quarters and even eights. Look I cut the apple in half, now if I cut this half in half I now have 4 pieces, that is quarters. How many pieces do you think I’ll have if I cut the quarters in half? Let’s see if you are right!

I cut each eighth into thirds… see all that math! Kitchen math is so important. Also, if your child is an older four and above, let them help you cut the apple. Even if it is hand over hand for a few chops, it is the start of self-help kitchen skills!

Ok… now take these apple chunks and make a structure. If it falls down, don’t solve it for them. “What do you think you could do to make it sturdier?” “Did you build a strong enough foundation? What do you need to add or take away?” What would happen if…

I typically build along side my students for a bit after they get started to see if they watch and ask questions. Do you think I should build high or wide? Why? Do you think it will fall over if I put this here? Why?

What do you predict will happen if we leave this structure up to show ______? How else can we show ______ your structure? Encourage your child to create an illustration of the structure.

Have fun… and enjoy this tasty STEAM project