Maths Trains Brains

If you've got a child who enjoys getting crafty in the kitchen or a child that has a sweet tooth, get them to bake different shaped cookies with various toppings. This activity allows them to get as elaborate as they want and experiment with flavour – all while working with shapes.

Things you need

• Items for decoration (coloured icing, chocolate chips, sprinkles, etc.)
• Cardboard (optional)
• Aluminium foil or cling wrap (optional).

The challenge

Step 1

Find a cookie recipe that's suitable for your child's dietary requirements. Then spend the afternoon making the recipe together.

If you can hold off, rest the dough in the fridge for an hour. If your child can’t wait to get stuck in, roll the dough out on a bench.

Step 2

Now for the fun part. Use a variety of cookie cutters to create different shaped cookies. From triangles and circles to squares and rectangles, let your child’s creativity take over.

Tip: Don't have cookie cutters? Help your child create their own DIY cookie cutters by cutting a 2cm wide cardboard strip and folding it to make your desired shape. Wrap it in aluminium foil or cling wrap before using it in the kitchen.

Step 3

Decorate! It’s up to your child what they want to do here, but a bit of icing never goes amiss. How your child wants to decorate – and what shapes they want to put over the main shape – is entirely up to their imagination!

The conversation

As your child is making their cookies, here are some things to talk about:

• Wonder out loud about the features of the shapes. For example, "Oh, I can see that's a triangle because it has three sides and three corners. What other triangles have you seen today? What's the same about them? What's different?"
• "What's the same about a square and a rectangle? What's different?"
• "What other shapes could we make into cookies?"