You and your child or grandchild can have a lot of fun in the kitchen learning preschool-level math concepts as you make and bake cookies, play with kitchen measuring tools, and learn that division is extra fun if we are calling it “sharing.” Try any of the seven “Playdates” listed below for some great family fun and play-based learning.
Playdate #1: Read or listen to the book, “The Day The Doorbell Rang.” This fun book introduces the concept of division (and sharing) as two children have to learn how to divide and then re-divide a plate of cookies again and again. Reenact the story using your own plate of cookies to help your child practice figuring out how to share cookies equally among several people.
Playdate #2: Play with measuring tools. Get out 5 or 6 tools you use in your kitchen for measuring. This could include measuring cups, measuring spoons, a kitchen scale, a meat thermometer, and a timer. We recommend you add a tape measure or ruler to your stack of measuring tools because what child doesn’t love playing with a tape measure? There are dozens of interesting ways to use it to measure both kids and cookies. Use our free Cookie Measuring Guide and start brainstorming about some fun games you can play in the kitchen using measurement.
Playdate #3: Make and decorate a batch of cookies together. Use a simple recipe or even a prepared mix and help your child or grandchild bake their first batch of “homemade” cookies, watching for opportunities to teach them how to measure different ingredients. If you need a step-by-step guide, we’ve published an easy, delicious chocolate chip cookie recipe book that shows how to measure each and every ingredient with child-friendly photographic illustrations.
Playdate #4: Measure with Cookies. Using a batch of prepared cookies, think of all of the different ways you can measure using cookies as the unit of measurement. How heavy are five cookies? How many inches long is a line of three cookies? How about ten or twenty cookies? How many cookies long is your arm or your foot? How many chocolate chips are in your cookie?
Playdate #5: Make your own “Cookies and Cocoa Cafe” complete with play money, decorative paper cups, and a menu. Dramatic play is especially fun for preschoolers. Let your child dress up as a server and decorate a kitchen chair as their “shop.” Help children develop their creativity as they make and decorate their own pretend cookies using cardboard or felt circles decorated with scraps of paper and fabric. They can even design and draw their own money and menu, or you can simplify and download ours.
Playdate #6: Write a “Ten Things I Love About You” Cookie Journal
This sweet and simple journal asks ten questions and each participant will have different answers. A grandparent and child can fill one out together, with the grownup writing in answers to the question prompts: “I feel we look alike in this way” and “I love your hugs because…”
Playdate #7: Think of someone lonely who might need a cookie delivery. You won’t have to think too hard to remember someone who might need a little bit of cheering up. Whether you use commercially-baked cookies or your own special recipe, your child can design or download a greeting card to go along with your delivery, and you’ll be helping them develop sympathy for those less fortunate than themselves.
Playdatebox.com is an organization devoted to helping families make connections between generations. About once per month we release a new set of grandparent/grandchild play activities based on a specific theme like “Pancakes” or “Birdwatching.” Families can use the ideas to create adult/child playtime experiences that are fun not just for kids, but also for the grownups who love them, and many of the activities can be enjoyed via videoconference if you live far apart. Visit us at playdatebox.com or on Instagram @playdate_box.