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Baking and STEM Skills

Baking and STEM Skills

Baking is a delicious way to practice math and science concepts with your child!

Baking always involves counting. For example, you might have to crack two eggs or measure out three cups of flour. Counting as you go is a natural way to practice basic math skills, and that might be as in-depth as you need to go when baking with a very young child.

As your baker gets older, you can discuss more advanced math and science concepts while you bake together.

For instance, fractions are a key part of baking. Your recipe might call for ½ teaspoon of salt or ¾ cup of sugar. To help your child understand the way that fractions work, you can fill one of the fractional measuring cups with water and pour it into the whole cup measurement. This way you can show that ⅓ cup means you need to fill that one three times to equal one whole cup. After you’ve demonstrated it with the water, you can talk more about fractions as you work through the recipe.

Chemistry is essential to baking. The temperature at which you cook something affects how it turns out: whether it’s perfectly baked, burnt on the edges, or runny in the middle. That is because the ingredients react differently and do different things at different temperatures.

Ingredients such as baking soda and baking powder are included because of the chemical reactions they cause: They break down into carbon dioxide gas, causing the dough to rise and leaving little holes that give baked goods their light, fluffy texture.

You don’t have to be an expert in chemistry to talk about these sorts of reactions with your child. Simply be curious about what different ingredients do and willing to do some research to learn. You can also experiment by changing different aspects of a recipe and seeing how that affects the final product.

Baking is an excellent, fun, and tasty way to introduce and review math and science concepts, and the complexity of what you learn and explore can grow as your child gets older.

Learn more

Read More

The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs

Baking Bliss

Kids’ Baking

Exploring Kitchen Science


Written by Carolyn L., Youth Services Programming and Outreach Coordinator

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