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Cook with your kids: A fun way to teach math, science and other skills

Cooking with your kids
Cooking with your kids
Sherry Smith-Noble

During the week we are focused, busy, and everyone in the family goes their separate ways. The stress builds up Monday through Friday as we expend herculean efforts to meet scheduled deadlines. Are the weekends really used for relaxing and bonding with your family, or are they becoming an extension of the week – more, but different deadlines to meet?

Don’t put off family togetherness for those two weeks of vacation each year. Start it now by doing something simple, but enjoyable, together.

Baking is a wonderful diversion which results in an enjoyable outcome. Additionally, however, there are other benefits, as your kids can learn so much by spending time with you in the kitchen. Here are just a few advantages to creating family memories in the kitchen:

Stress reduction

Step into your kitchen, and the rest of the world dissolves into the background. No deadlines, no meetings, no have-to’s . . . just a recipe and a desire to create something to be enjoyed. It’s a simple, easy task which can be accomplished in a relatively short timeframe. Once in the oven, the aroma is another form of therapy. The result is a calmer you for the world and your family to enjoy!

Organizational skills/project management

When you teach your kids to bake, you teach them organizational skills as well. It’s important to choose a recipe, ensure you have the proper ingredients and tools, and then add the proper measurements at the appropriate times to achieve the desired results. This is a simple lesson in managing a project by organizing the resources to accomplish the outcome.

Independence/decision making

Depending on the age of your children, there are ways to empower them through the baking process. While very young they can watch and taste; as they get older they can measure and add ingredients. Eventually, they will be handling the project themselves. Your trust in allowing them to “do”, not just “watch”, shows you have confidence in their decisions and judgment, and allow them to act independently from you.


Baking is a lesson in chemistry. If you don’t add eggs or another coagulant to the mixture, your cake or cookies will fall apart. If you don’t add baking powder or another leavening agent, your baked goods won’t rise. If you don’t add flour or a similar ingredient, you won’t have any bulk. Each ingredient in a recipe has a purpose. Explaining that purpose to your children as you bake allows them to understand the interrelationship of chemicals and substances, and will allow them the knowledge to create new recipes.


Want to create a simple math lesson – ask your child to adjust a recipe’s ingredients to make 1 ½ times the amount or to reduce it by ½ or double it. This is math that doesn’t feel like math – the best kind of real-world teaching tool!


When your baking is finished and you’re surrounded by those scrumptious results, share them with your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. If you traditionally don’t bake because you don’t want sweets around, this is a way to enjoy everything that baking has to offer and, at the same time, build relationships with those around you. It teaches your children the joy of giving.

When your family is grown, they will look back on these wonderful times of togetherness in the kitchen and will carry on the tradition with their own children. This is a legacy you can leave them!

Here are some fun recipes you can try:

Easiest recipes

Fruit cobbler recipe – 3 ingredients and it’s delicious

Peanut butter cookie recipe – 3 ingredients only

Easy chocolate brownie recipe – mix them up with a spoon

Intermediate recipes

The best apple crisp ever – amazing taste!

Chocolate and marshmallow brownies – these are a wow!

Hershey kiss cookies – chocolate and peanut butter together!

Advanced recipes

The best chocolate chip cookies ever – this recipe is truly the best

Tiramisu cake recipe – starts with a cake mix and is delightful

Banana cake recipe – this is so moist and delicious!

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