STEAM in the Kitchen

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STEAM in the Kitchen

by: Kary
Posted September 5, 2017 | Building Literacy

We’ve moved from the backyard to the kitchen, but we’re still celebrating science and math activities that you can do with your child. There are many activities to do in and around your kitchen to help your child develop math and science literacy.


Magic Milk is a fun experiment to do together, and it’s especially nice because you most likely already have everything you need. Drop some food coloring into a shallow dish of milk, and then drop a bit of dishwashing soap into the dish. The colors swirl right before your eyes! Experiment as to how many drops of dishwashing soap will continue the effect. Or you can experiment with different types of milk (skim versus whole, for example). Time the movement to see how long the colors will move. When your child asks for the why behind the magic (as they always do), explain that milk is made up of a lot of things, including protein and fat. The soap not only changes the surface tension of the milk, but also interacts with the protein and fat molecules in such a way that it makes them move and the colors swirl.

Preparing meals and baking together is another great way to practice math skills (measuring, portions, etc.), but so is simply setting the table for a meal. Counting out plates and cups for your family is a great activity for the littlest ones. If each person needs two forks, have your school-aged child use repeated addition (aka multiplication) to figure out how many forks are needed altogether.

Once you’ve sat down for the meal together, just grab the weather page in your newspaper for more math activities. Talk about the temperatures for the week. What’s the highest high and the lowest low? For a challenge, ask your child to figure out the lowest high and the highest low.

It’s easy to incorporate math and science into everyday activities. If you need more ideas, don’t forget to check out our great non-fiction collection. You can find books on math, science experiments, weather and just about any subject that interests your child! You can also find more Building Literacy videos on our YouTube channel.