Teaching maths with baking and cooking

Teaching maths with baking and cooking

Today we’re sharing why teaching maths with baking and cooking is a great way to improve math skills in young minds. For that, we’re giving up the floor to Eric M Earle, co-founder of MathTutorAustin.com, MathTutorDenver.com, & MathTutorFrisco.com. Passionate about all things maths related, today he’ll tell us exactly why teaching maths with baking and cooking is the perfect way to instill some of the basics of maths without the sweat and drama.


The minds of young children, from early childhood to adolescence, are so uniquely malleable. Because their mind skills are all so individualized, every one of them learns a little differently than the rest (i.e. in time or intensity). That has the potential to be difficult for them; academic settings with a high volume of students can turn out to be overwhelming or chaotic to navigate. For instance, the retention rates of varying subjects like math and science will fluctuate. Some students may read slower than others. Whatever the case may be, an intense learning environment cannot wholly cater to every single kind of learning style present in the room.

That doesn’t take away the potent talents of these students, it just means their learning environments should be just as adaptable, flexible, and patient as they are.

With that being said, school is not the only learning environment able to nourish the development of these cognitive skills. In fact, non-academic settings prove just as effective!

Have you or any child in your life ever thought of exploring learning environments outside of school? I bet you have – and that’s awesome!

If you haven’t, that’s okay too! Sometimes even the most beneficial of resources happen to be the most accessible! Take the kitchen, for example!

Cooking can be such a constructive outlet for young minds to learn or strengthen their math skills! Imagine all the fun yet amazing opportunities for them to integrate an everyday practice into the trajectory of their education.

Teaching maths with baking and cooking

Here are just seven of the infinite reasons why cooking has the power to improve children’s math skills!

  1. Cooking, and culinary math especially is a great example of converging a vital life discipline with learning! Because cooking is a common practice, its necessary utilization of math as a lifestyle skill makes the actual math more digestible to the child or teen!
  2. The act of baking and/or cooking incorporates basic math skills, i.e. arithmetic and geometry. It even introduces basic science concepts like state of matter, volume, chemical reactions, and so much more!
  3. Some kids aren’t able to effectively learn under pressure, such as timed assignments or dense school schedules. Making something yummy is always a great chance to create a much less pressuring environment – you as well as the child cooking have the freedom to move at your own pace & comfortability! The fun in concocting something new or familiar is optimal for cognitive growth!
  4. Cooking and baking can constitute opportunities for creative liberty, so a young mind may feel more empowered to think of ways for the food to be extra appealing! Therefore, divergent thinking skills can develop, diversifying their problem-solving skills overall.
  5. Different recipes require different timed processes, which frames the overall length of the experience. The time limitations can be a chance to increase eagerness for the finished product, which helps encourage time management! The kid definitely wants their finished product to turn out great, don’t they?
  6. If a younger child wants to partake in the cooking, they obviously need some supervision. They can’t be expected to operate lots of kitchen equipment able to possibly hurt them, right? Regardless of who is supervising, they can take this as a great opportunity to teamwork the entire activity with the child, thus introducing the benefits of collaborative teamwork!
  7. Probably one of the best perks of including cooking into a child’s daily life aids in disguising mathematical concepts as a fun activity! It would be unrealistic to believe EVERY child enjoys math, so now’s a way to subliminally include the crucial math education in something approachable yet enjoyable!

Maths concepts and basics taught through baking and cooking

Now, with that being said: what are some math concepts actually introduced through cooking?

Well, here’s just a handful of the basics:

  1. Arithmetic: If you choose to tweak a recipe’s serving size to accommodate for one person, two of you, or a whole party – there are options to do so! Adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing are such rudimentary yet elemental parts of mathematics; they can become second-hand nature!
  2. Numerical Measuring Systems: Every recipe requires numerous measurements! Whether it’s grams, cups, or teaspoons, there’s a number next to each ingredient to be properly measured.
  3. Fractions: There are many smaller parts to cultivate the delicious sum in a recipe. All the parts and their specific qualities influence the part that they actually represent, which introduces easy numbers for conversion-based math techniques!
  4. Quantities: Recipes have modes for serving sizes. Quantifying the volume or amount of food further strengthens numerical skills.
  5. Word-Based Problems: Math is not only communicated through lengthy equations and proofs! Verbal communication of a real-life scenario includes essential language skills, bridging logic with cognition.
  6. Shapes: Don’t lie – we have ALL used cute-shaped cookie cutters for finger food. Every container, baking sheet, pot, and cupcake tin require geometry to create uniform shapes!

Teaching maths with baking and cooking is a fun and interactive way of teaching some of the basics of maths. So why not get your kids busy with you in the kitchen and use the experience as a teaching tool?

Food photo created by prostooleh – www.freepik.com

One comment

  1. Cooking is fun. This week I decided to try making a four star salad and a simple death by chocolate cake. Skills that were touched upon during the weekly lesson was counting numbers and reading a basic recipe.

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