Cooking with Cloverbud Math

Let’s take a look at math in the kitchen. You can use math skills like measuring, counting, fractions, weighing, and estimation. Utilize your whole group by having each Cloverbud help with making the snack. You can divide the jobs and ingredients among each Cloverbud (example one Cloverbud can measure the flour and another the sugar).  That way everyone is involved.  Here is a recipe that works great to give each Cloverbud a job.

Waldorf Salad

  • 1 stalk of celery
  • 1 apple
  • 1 cup seedless grapes (cut in half)
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 T sugar

Prepare the fruits & celery (supervise children when using plastic knives). Mix mayo and sugar. Carefully toss mixture with dressing. You can use any fruits or veggies that you choose especially if you have more than 5 Cloverbuds.

A fun activity for your Cloverbuds is to fill a measuring cup with water. Pour the water into different bowls or containers that are different shapes. Does it look different? Now pour it back into the measuring cup to demonstrate that the amount hasn’t changed. 

Bring a small scale and let the Cloverbuds weigh the ingredients and measure them in a measuring cup to compare two different units of measure.  Of course what is math without counting? This snack mix will lend itself to weighing, counting and sorting skills.

Ranch Snack Mix (makes 7 servings)

  • 8 oz. miniature pretzels
  • 24 oz. Bugles
  • 8 oz. nuts
  • 8 oz. miniature cheddar cheese fish-shaped crackers
  • 8 oz. mini club crackers

Put ingredients in a large plastic Ziploc baggie. Sprinkle with 3 Tablespoons envelope ranch salad dressing. Drizzle with 6 Tablespoons canola oil; toss until well coated. Air dry.

Measure one cup of sugar (or other ingredient), then measure again using half cup, third cup, and quarter cup measures. Talk about how they’re different. Then demonstrate that you can measure two half-cups and it equals the same amount as one cup. Here is a recipe for:

No Bake Peanut Butter Squares

Combine:

  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ¼ cup peanut butter
  • 1 ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla

Add to mixture: 3 cups crushed vanilla wafers

Press mixture into an 8” pan.

Melt: 1 cup chopped peanuts with 2 cups chocolate chips

Spread over mixture in pan. Let it set up before eating.

This recipe could also be doubled and the Cloverbuds could help rewrite the recipe so it can feed more people or even reduce it to feed less people.

Fruit and cheese kabobs are a fun way to add patterns and sorting to your Cloverbud math skills. All you need are grapes, strawberries, and bananas or any fruit, along with some small skewers or toothpicks. The Cloverbuds can make their own pattern and then draw the pattern on a piece of paper. They can make a quick dip with yogurt and a dash of cinnamon.

There are a lot of recipes that you can adapt to encourage math skills, so have fun. Happy cooking!

Cooking with Cloverbuds

All Cloverbuds like to eat so why not let them make a snack to share at a Cloverbud meeting? There are several recipes that they can make that do not require a stove or oven. The best part about cooking is children can learn and still have fun in the process. Skills that you can talk about as the Cloverbuds are preparing the snack can be anything from reading the recipe, math skills (like fractions), or learning about kitchen safety. As long as you make it fun, the Cloverbuds will have fun too.

Some tips that you should use when cooking with children are:

  1. First, be sure there are no food allergies
  2. Make sure space is clean and safe
  3. Assemble items needed to make the snack (if using a hot plate, electric skillet or toaster oven, supervise the children at all times)
  4. When thinking about a snack, use the MyPlate guideline for healthy treats
  5. Make sure all hands are clean when preparing food
  6. Have children use plastic knives (avoid graters since it is easy for little hands to cut themselves)

Cloverbuds can learn with hands-on experiences identifying things that are sharp, hot, and learning to be careful.   A great idea when thinking about what to make, is to link the food item to a book or even a topic you are exploring. By linking your activity to a book, Cloverbuds can learn about where a food item comes from and how it gets to the table.

Here are some ideas of foods to make with your Cloverbuds:

Pancakes:

  • Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaola
  • If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Joffe Numeroff
  • Pancakes, Pancakes! By Eric Carle

You can add different fruits or toppings to the pancakes. You can also color the pancake batter and let the Cloverbuds make pancake art to eat.

Popcorn:

  • Popcorn by Elaine Landau
  • The Popcorn Book by Tomie dePaola
  • Popcorn by Sara E. Hoffmann

If you have an old Stir Crazy Popcorn maker the kids can watch it pop. Kids can make and add different toppings to their popcorn.

Peanut Butter:

  • From Peanut to Peanut Butter by Robin Nelson
  • How Do They Make That? Peanut Butter by Jan Bernard & John Willis

Making peanut butter from scratch is a good way to show Cloverbuds what it takes to make peanut butter, especially if they can shell the peanuts themselves.

 Instant Pudding:

  • Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin

Recipe: 1 Tablespoon instant pudding with ¼ cup milk

If you have baby food jars they make a great way to shake up the instant pudding, along with Oreos for dirt and gummy worms.

You may have to enlist the aid of the parents to help provide some of the food items needed to make the recipes. These are just a few ideas to get you thinking. You may have to do some prep work in advance, but seeing the enthusiasm and fun the Cloverbuds have is well worth that extra time.