Is your child learning fractions at school? There are many fun ways to practice fractions at home. The most obvious way, of course, is to bake a cake or cookies. First, take a look at the work your child is doing at school to get a sense of what the class is working on. Then, pull out your recipe books and get to work!
- Practice measuring with cups with your child. Pour four of the 1/4 cups into the whole cup. How many 1/2 cups make a full cup? How many 1/8 cups go into the 1/4 cup and the whole cup? Physically practice as many combinations as you can think of.
- Cut a piece of paper into 8 even pieces. Show that 1 piece of paper is 1/8 of the whole paper just as the 1/8 cup is one of eight portions of water that will fit into the whole cup. Show that two of the eight pieces of paper is the same as 1/4 of the entire paper. Connect that to the cups of water.
- Ask your child to practice measuring with 1/4, 1/2 and 1 teaspoon. Compare the calculations with the paper fractions.
- Make a cake together and follow the recipe. Ask your child to use the measuring cups and talk through each fractions.
- Double the recipe! See if your child can write down a new recipe by doubling all the fractions, or you can actually make a few extra cakes for your friends or neighbors!
- Halve the recipe! Work together to figure out the fractions you would use if you wanted to make half of a cake.
- Pretend you are having a huge party and triple or quadruple the recipe. Write down the new recipes and compare them to the original.
- After the cake is finished, cut it in half, then in quarters, and then in eighths. Talk about the different words you can use to express fractions (1/4, one quarter, one of four, one part of a whole, etc.)
- Buy your child a recipe book and write down every recipe you create. If possible, take a picture to illustrate each new recipe.
- Eat Cake!
Math can be fun! It is important to remember that most of us do math every single day. Math becomes easier for children when they see (and taste) the practical applications. Baking, cooking, and measuring in the kitchen are fun ways for children to practice basic math skills.