How many spoonfuls in a jar? How much cereal do we have? Let’s count and find out!

As a first time mom, there isn’t much sleep taking place and coffee is my new best friend.  Of course, there are days that I don’t feel up to thinking about how to explore the world of math, but still want to give it a try.  The simplest thing is that since my baby has to eat, this would be a way to start introducing how to count.  At this point of doing this, my son is at the age to start baby food and I can count up to twenty with even this much lack of sleep.  Even still, waiting for the coffee to kick in is still a good idea.

So how many spoonfuls of baby food are in a jar?   It depends on the size of jar and what the child is eating out of the jar.  It also depends on what kind of spoon you are using.  In other words, it is okay to have different answers.  It is also okay to estimate later on.  For survival’s sake, let’s keep counting because counting will keep mom awake 🙂

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 0-18 months?

Answer:  Wednesdays for learning about numbers, specifically on counting.

Schedule of Activities 0-18 months

When your baby is older and can eat some cereal, like cheerios, use this to help your child learn how to count and learn about quantity.  Depending on how old your child is, if you have a crawler or young toddler, start counting out cheerios one by one.  Show what one piece of cereal looks like.  What does two pieces of cereal look like? What does three, four, or five pieces look like?  Use fruit pieces, or vegetable pieces to count, depending on the meal of the day.

For our kids who are ready and have more patience sitting a little longer, use cereal to compare quantities.  Count three cheerios, then count ten cheerios and place the two quantities side by side to compare which is more, or which is less.  Ask your child to count out five cheerios and put it aside or a plate.  Then ask your child to count out then cheerios and put them side by side with the other group.  Which has more?  How many more?

For my three year old, to get him to finish his oatmeal sometimes, I ask him to tell me how many spoonfuls or bites it took to finish the bowl of oatmeal.  At this age, it works from time to time. 🙂

If anything, you can also take this time to ask a simple question of what shape are the cereal pieces.  What I am trying to help you see is that you do not necessarily need to build a “formal” lesson to teach about counting, quantity, or shapes.  Math is all around us, even during breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  🙂

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 0-18 months?

Answer:  Wednesdays for learning about numbers, specifically on counting.

Schedule of Activities 0-18 months

Where is this on the Schedule of Activities 18 months-3 years?


1)      On Tuesdays for learning about numbers

2)      On Mondays for learning about shapes

3)      On Thursdays for learning about quantities of more or less.

Schedule of Activities 18 months- 3 years

Something to Think About:

This activity is something that can be done for any age of child, depending on where the child is at.  For much older children, they can keep a tally of how many spoonfuls of apple sauce is in a jar.  If you have multiple children of different ages, count the spoonfuls of baby food in a jar and have the older ones keep track over time and graph it.  Find out how many cheerios it takes to fill up a two ounce jar and compare it with using other types of cereals.  There are ways to use this idea to make it fit for all your kids so that you do not have to find a completely different activity for each child.  We as parents multitask very well, let us do the same for teaching about math.

Most importantly, as a parent, we might think we need to hurry up on teaching certain things to our children so that they won’t fall behind.  This allows us to become more stressed or pressured if our children are not learning at the rate we think they should.  No worries….just breathe.  Because even reading this blog and finding out how to help your child become more successful in math should tell you that you are a wonderful and caring parent.  If your child takes more time to learn concepts, it is okay.  We all learn at different times.  Don’t worry too much. 🙂

copyright 2012 learning math with mom


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