Parents: Prepare for Your Thanksgiving Meal with These Math Activities

November 18, 2014

It’s the turkey time of year again!

It’s never too early to start thinking about Thanksgiving. “Thanksgiving Turkey” by tuchodi is licensed under CC by 2.0.

As you start your preparations for a house full of people (or not) or a casual meal with family, you can always get your child involved in the preparation to help them see why math is important to their future, which, according to recent research, does make a difference on their achievement in math.

Here are our ideas for bringing algebra into your Thanksgiving preparation:

  • Preparing the recipes. Work with your child on multiplying fractions by asking them to convert recipes to your party size. If your child has not yet learned this skill, review adding fractions with them by asking them to combine the recipe ingredients for the grocery list, such as adding 1/2 of a cup of graham crackers for a graham cracker crust to the 1 cup you need for these s’mores cookies.
  • Converting recipes. If one cup is equal to 8 ounces and you need four cups of flour and have half of a 16-ounce bag left, what size bag of flour should you buy? Your child can practice their multiplication and addition skills, while reviewing their volume measurements.
  • Deciding the budget. Getting your child involved in the budget for the big meal is a great way to discuss financial responsibility and freshen up those math skills. After you combine all of your recipes and estimate the cost for each item, give your child the task of adding everything up and adding the tax if they can handle it. If your child has not learned decimals yet, just round up to the nearest whole number.
  • Planning the leftovers. Everyone can handle the exact same Thanksgiving meal on Friday for lunch, but by Sunday afternoon, you may need some fresh recipes. Ask your child to plan additional recipes and add them to your ingredient list and budget.

How do you like to practice math with your child? We would love to hear your ideas on our Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest pages.

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