- Reusable bags
- Your sweet tooth
- Practice counting. If you need a dozen bagels, let your child help the shopkeeper count them out.
- Try adding. Have kids count the bagels in the bag. Ask, If you add one more, how many will you have? Count again to see. Then ask, If you have three sesame seed and two cinnamon raisin, how many is that all together?
- Spot shapes. Look at all the cookies! Can your child find circles, triangles, squares, crescents, hearts and stars? What shape is a cake? A donut? A croissant? A loaf of bread? A slice of bread? Have your child point out two things in the bakery with the same shape. How is a jelly donut different in shape from a plain donut?
- Hunt for patterns. Can your child see stripes, spots or squiggly lines or sprinkles decorating the cookies? When you buy some, line them up in a pattern (spots, stripes, spots, stripes) and see if your child can decide what comes next.
- Sort 'em out. Back home, sort and classify your purchases into categories: All the cookies go in one pile, all the bagels in another. Or sort all the chocolate pastries together or all the ones with sprinkles.
- Now eat to subtract. Eat one cannoli, how many are left? Ask your child, When they're all gone, what number do we use for none?
- Divy 'em up. If there are nine cookies and three people, how many does each person get? Let your child dole the cookies out, one by one, to each person and find out. He's dividing! (Note: Don't worry about writing down equations at this point. Just let your child begin to grasp the concepts he's learning.)
- Make connections. Write the numerals 1 through 5 on pieces of paper. Can your child place the right number of cookies next to each numeral? This helps him make number/numeral associations.
- Change and rearrange. Place two cookies on one plate and four on another. How many are there all together? Now move one cookie to the other plate so you have two groups of three. Count them again. How about five cookies on one plate and one on the other? Does the total number change?
- Explore fractions. Whip out a pie cutter to explore part/whole relationships and fractions. First cut the pie in half and count the pieces. Then cut in quarters and in eighths. If you take one eighth away, how many are left?
- Read all about it. Check out Arnie the Doughnut by Laurie Keller, Bread Comes to Life by George Levenson, and The Donut Chef by Bob Staake. For adorable cupcakes you can bake with your kids, try What's New, Cupcake? by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.
For more exploring, play Dora's Great Big World game, find do-together Dora crafts, recipes, and activities, and print a personalized Explorer Kit for your child at DoraTheExplorer.com.
Thanks to Susan Hood
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