Picking Summer Squash: Learning that Sharing is Caring and So Is Division


The summer of 2015 was the first time we planted a garden as a family. Of course we talked about how long it takes to start growing vegetables from seed and even read a bedtime story about it. ( Planting and Time ). It was still a long wait for them, but it was worth it. Even through our scorching desert heat, the summer squash grew.

It was time to pick and eat the squash and, yes, there was a math problem here. What if there are three kids and six squash? How many will each of them get, if each person gets the same number of squash?  – That was the question I asked my two older kids.

The boys were able to use the squash, fingers, and whatever else it took to figure this out. They took a few moments and they figured it out.  We have done something similar while grocery shopping for lettuce(Lettuce Division ). But what if they needed more help?

If they needed help with how to start, I would have taken three squash and handed one to each of the three. I would then ask them how they would share the rest amongst themselves. This was basically, in just a few moments, their math problem at home.


What math concepts are learned for 3-5 years of age?


  1. Division
  2. Numbers (counting)
  3. Problem Solving
  4. Quantity




Something To Think About:

What if we had twelve squash to share amongst the three kids? Now, what if we have sixteen squash to share amongst three? What do we do with the extra? These are questions that we can also ask, depending on when the children are ready to explore.  But was is really important here, is that the kids were solving a problem in context, or in the real world.

Funny how we all want to understand how to use math in the real world. That is why I post ideas for you to try with yourself, or with your children. 🙂 Remember, math is everywhere, including the garden.

copyright 2015 learning math with mom

copyright 2015 learning math with mom




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