Teaching Kids Math Through Menus

Guest Post Courtesy of Education.com

Activity:  Menu Math

menu-math-slideshowmainimage (1).jpg

Got a stack of take-out menus sitting in a drawer in your kitchen? Pull them out for this game of "restaurant." While talking about sweet and savory foods, you and your second grader can reinforce real-world applications of counting and using money. You'll also be building success in school: In second grade and beyond, money is a very common math topic.

For more fun and engaging math activities, go to Education.com!

What You Need:

  • Old, extra take-out menus
  • Bills and coins
  • Silverware tray (to be used as a cash register tray to keep money sorted)
  • White-out
  • Paper
  • Pencils

What You Do:

  1. Locate some old take-out menus in your house, or you can look up some sample menus online. Prices will likely be listed in decimal form, which kids won't study in detail until third, fourth, and fifth grades. Use your white-out to cover the decimals and just show the dollar amounts on each item.
  2. Now tell your child that you will take turns “playing restaurant,” switching off roles of being the customer and the server.
  3. You should start out in the role of server, so you can model the procedure first for your child. Your child will pretend to be the customer.
  4. Take your child's order on a notepad by asking what he or she wants and writing down each item, along with the cost of the item.
  5. Add the value of the items on the notepad for your child to see, state the total cost, and give your child the check. Make change if necessary (no tip required!).
  6. For the next round, try allowing your child to add each item themselves.
  7. You can repeat this game as many times as you want, switching roles each time. Use a different menu to keep things fresh, or have your child create her own menu.

Thanks again to Education.com for sharing these fun ideas. Be sure to check out more math resources on their website.