Thursday, October 1, 2009

Easy as Pie

My family and I went apple picking over the weekend, and that can only mean one thing - time to make a homemade apple pie. I love cooking and baking with my daughter, and I'm always thinking about new, fun ways to bring learning into the kitchen.

For kids a bit older than my daughter, the kitchen is the perfect place to practice reading and math. Recipes are rich with sight words for new readers, and complex vocabulary for more seasoned readers. Next time you're cooking with your kids, see how much of the recipe they can read.

And math skills? Baking a pie or mixing up a batch of cookies is a great way to get some concrete fraction and addition practice. Halving and doubling recipes provides a real-world context for the very abstract-seeming multiplication and division of fractions.

My daughter is a pre-reader, so I taught her the apple alphabet game that I used to do as a girl. As you twist the stem off of the apple, say a letter with each twist. When the stem comes off, name someone or something that you love that begins with the last letter you said. A... B... C... D... Daddy! A... B... C... D... E... F... G... H... I... ice cream on apple pie!

So, invite your kids into the kitchen with you for fun and learning and delicious food. They just might expand their minds and their palates in the process.

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