Fun with fractions and baking

At mum's group when our girls were younger, we all used to take treats to share. One time we took some cupcakes that I'd made with help from our girls. The kids all sat down to devour the tasty cakes.
When they'd finished, they all wanted another one.  We told them that unfortunately there were only two cupcakes left, but there were 4 children.  My five year old daughter then piped up with, "Well we could cut them both in half, then we could all have a piece!"  

I was impressed by this instant calculation.  Simple, yes, but a good example of mathematical problem solving, and of the importance of numbers in everyday life.  Half a cupcake is definitely better than none at all!


On another occasion, while baking cupcakes for a class party at our daughter's school, I realised what good practice baking in Australia is for kids to practice basic fractions!  I say 'in Australia' because here measurements are done largely in 'cups'.  (Growing up in England I learned to bake using pounds and ounces (lbs and oz)!)

So for example for these cupcakes the recipe asks for:

1/3 cup butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 egg
1 cup SR flour
1/3 cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Since our daughter is just starting out with fractions - this was great for her to find the right cup to use, and to see the relative sizes of those cups too.

To slip in a bit of maths practice while doing something fun like this is great!  It also shows the kids how what they are learning at school - is relevant and useful in daily life!

When we'd made the cupcakes - our daughter then iced them with little Japanese flags ! Perfect for the party!

Do you bake with your kids?  What measurements do you use?

1 comment:

  1. Hi from your latest follower. I found you blog hopping. My kids love to cook. I am proud to say that my 11yr old Nicola can now cook a packet cake by herself. This is great cause it means that I don't have to. My hubby is the one that likes to cook the sweet stuff. I would rather cook savoury stuff. Be sure to check out me out at Sarah


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