Who doesn’t like learning with food? Snack time is a great learning opportunity. Provide larger bowls of snack and have your child(ren) count out the number they will eat (counting and number sense). Draw a grid on the napkin your child will use and have them put one item in each section (one-to-one correspondence). Have your child line up the snack items in a line and then say “Eat the third strawberry” or “eat the cracker next to the piece of cheese” (following directions, cardinal numbers, prepositional words).
Here’s the key…. they don’t realize you are teaching them something. They don’t see it as learning, they see it as snack time, but a fun version. Why is it fun? It is interactive. They have your attention. There is a challenge. How many Cheerios can you stack before they fall over? (enigeering)
This weekend is Valentine’s day. So if you have some heart shaped snacks, have some Valentine snack fun. I used heart shaped Cheerios to practice addition fact of 5. Draw a heart on a piece of paper and provide your child with cheerios. Put the math facts into the heart and then again on the line. I would have them leave the 5 for the line to use each time and then let them eat the ones in the heart. You need to let them eat of they will loose interest!
You could have your child write out the facts on a sheet of paper. You are creating a fact family, all the number facts that add up to a specific number. 0+5, 1+4, 2+3, 3+2, 4+1, 5+0. You also want to have your child learn to see that 5=1+4 is the same as 1+4=5. When they begin to understand how to put these facts together, challenge them. If you have 2 and you want to have 5, how many more do you need? 2+_=5. You need to have 5, you already have 4 how many more do you need? 5=4+_.(missing addend)
This can all be worked on during the time your child is eating snack. You do not need to have a long drawn out lesson. Five to ten minutes of playing with numbers every day is a HUGE benefit going forward in math learning. We want children to see all learning is fun and sometimes tasty.