How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (2024)

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (1)

I'll say good-bye to my this year's group of little 1st graders this coming week. {Sniff, sniff.} Have you got kids or grand-kids out of school for the summer? If your child's teacher is at all like me, she or he probably said something about keeping your child reading, writing, and doing a little math over the summer, right? {And if she or he didn't ... consider this to be me saying it for them now!}

Well, did you know you can keep your child practicing reading, writing, and math through simply baking and cooking with them? That's right! ...

You can have fun in the kitchen with your kids this summer and keep them 'fresh' with their studies! How cool is that? And easy bar cookie and no-bake recipes provide the perfect opportunities.

How, you ask?

Well let's take a look at a few recipes to see.

Take these classic 7-Layer Cookies for reading, for example ...

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Readingrecipes gives great practice in … well … simply reading. But it’s also rich with reading comprehensionpractice, sequencing, and vocabulary.When cooking, your child can read the recipe, and summarize it in his orher own words. Vocabulary can bebroadened by discussing the meaning of unfamiliar words, and meaning can be reinforced through actually doing or experiencing those words while helpingprepare the recipe. Learning by doing isextremely powerful!

So, with these delicious 7-Layer Cookies, your child could:

  • Verbally summarize the steps to make these
  • Write a list or flow map of the order theingredients are layered in the pan (yes, sequencing is a reading skill!)
  • Look for letters or sounds or sight wordsappropriate for his/her grade level
  • Work on vocabulary with, perhaps, the words‘condensed,’ ‘chopped,’ ‘layer,’ ‘sprinkle,’ ‘remaining,’ ‘previous,’ or anyother unfamiliar word
  • Practice comprehension strategies by thinking ofquestions he/she has about the recipe, or predicting what will happen at eachstep

Butwhat about writing? How would that work with baking? Let’s let these ooey-gooey Caramel-Walnut Squares help us out.

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Now, writing practice doesn’t always have to involve apencil. The act of coming up withcontent is an extremely important part of the writing process … and thatcontent can simply be spoken aloud. Inmy classroom, we call this ‘writing withour mouths.’ You know, ‘causesometimes that ol’ pencil just gets in the way!So summer writing practice could be both a little ‘writing with themouth’ and a little writing with a pencil, if you’d like.

To practice writing while making these Caramel-WalnutSquares, your child could:

  • ‘Write with his/her mouth’ to describe theoatmeal layer, the caramel layer, and/or the finished product. Use all five senses … touch, taste, smell,sight, hearing … to come up with great descriptive words and sentences.
  • Write a summary, in his/her own words, of how tomake them
  • Write his/her opinion about the squares …complete with support for that opinion!
  • Create a fiction story involving the squares ... like, perhaps where the caramel layer goes crazy and flows out of the oven like a river all over the kitchen. Get creative! {making sure the story includes a beginning, middle, and end, of course!}
  • Think about a change he/she would like to make to the squares and write his/her own new recipe. Maybeyou’ll even let it be tried out!

Ahhhh, and math.Baking and cooking are jam-packed with math learning opportunities …like measuring, and counting, and patterning, and adding, and fractions … thelist goes on and on!

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (5)

For mathpractice withNo-Bake Strawberry Ice Box Cake,your child could:

  • Do a geometry shape puzzle. You’re probably thinking … what??? Well, this recipe naturally is a geometry shape puzzle! Yes … figuring out how to fit the graham crackers for each graham cracker layer into the pan, breaking some as needed, is a shapepuzzle. Cool, huh?
  • Create patterns with the strawberriesas he/she layers in the fruit
  • Calculate the amount of ingredients needed tomake ½ the recipe … or to double it. Or, to make any different size, for that matter.
  • Estimate how many strawberry slices will result froma handful of the strawberries to be used. Then, count the slicesto see how close the estimate was.
  • Figure out what time the cake will be ready,given the overnight ... let's say 10 or 12 hour ... refrigerating time

This No-Bake Chocolate Eclair Dessert is also fabulous for math practice.

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (6)

While helping make this recipe, your child could:

  • Do the same type of geometry shape puzzle with the graham cracker layers as with the No-Bake Strawberry Ice Box Cake
  • Continue the AB pattern of the graham cracker and pudding layers to figure out what would come 6th, or 10th, or 13th (or any other position) if you ... hypothetically, of course ... kept building that many layers of this delicious dessert
  • Further develop his/her conceptual understanding of 1/2 by dividing the pudding mixture into two bowls to see the halves used for each pudding layer
  • Compare the relative size of the different measures used in the recipe ... teaspoon, 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, 1/2 cup, 1 cup ... lay out the measuring instruments and have your child place them in order from smallest to largest, or largest to smallest
  • Conduct a research survey/data collection project about the final product ... He/she could ask each family member whether or not they liked the dessert, come up with a way to collect the data (tally marks, etc), and then come up with a way to graph or represent the data (bar graph, picture graph, t-chart ... the possibilities are almost endless!)
  • Now, this is science instead of math, but I've got to throw it in ... working with the butter in the topping of this recipe lends itself well to a discussion of solids and liquids ... I'm just sayin' ... take every learning opportunity you can!

I could go on and on about learning activities while baking and cooking ... they're simply sooooo rich with learning opportunities. So, pull out a few of your favorite recipes this summer, have fun in the kitchen, and keep your child's mind practicing reading, writing, and math at the same time!

*************************

Other great recipes to make with children:

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (7)

Classic No-Bake Cookies

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (8)

Nutella No-Bake Cookies

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (9)

Oreo Icebox Dessert

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (10)

No-Bake Hershey's Chocolate Bar Pie

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (11)

Toffee Bars

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (12)

Brown Sugar-Baked Peaches

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (13)

Surprise Rocks

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (14)

Slow-Cooker Pumpkin Butter

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (15)

Slow-Cooker Applesauce

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (16)

Homemade Lemonade

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (17)

Soil Property Pudding Cups

And one of my favorite 'cooking with kids' idea resources:

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (18)

How Baking Can Be Summer Reading, Writing, & Math Practice! (2024)
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