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Counting Game For Kids In Your Math Kitchen!

Disclaimer: Elise Ho, aka “Dr. Ho” is a Holistic Health & Life Coach. Dr. Ho is NOT a medical doctor, licensed therapist, lawyer, or a bevy of other things. Products or services that Dr. Ho believes in are the only ones that she recommends. Dr. Ho may receive compensation, product, or an affiliate commission on anything you see on this site. This is a personal Website solely reflecting Dr. Ho’s personal opinions. Statements on this site do not represent the views or policies of any organization with which I may be affiliated.

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Counting Game For Kids In Your Math Kitchen!

Find math in the kitchen with a cupcake counting exercise!

Kids sort and decorate cupcakes while using math words like “set” and “unit.” This creative activity blends open-ended art with counting, matching and sorting, skills kids will use later for academic math.

Let the cupcake counting begin!


What You Need:

What You Do:

  1. Bake the cupcakes in advance. There are awesome recipes HERE but keep in mind that we want unfrosted cupcakes.
  2. Fill the cupcake tins only half full of dough so the tops will be flat.
  3. Allow to cool.
  4. Now, mix the marzipan modeling dough. Working on wax paper, divide marzipan into as many portions as colors you and your child want to use. Show your child how to squish marzipan flat between his or her palms, add color to the center, then fold up the edges and squeeze. Keep squishing until the color is even. For deeper color, add two drops and knead some more.  Make sure everyone washes and dries their hands between colors.
  5. You and your child can now sculpt with the marzipan — no special instructions needed! The only limitation on what to make is imagination… animals, shapes, flowers,  or anything else your little artist/baker can think of. Six of these creations will become cupcake toppers.
  6. While your artist/baker finishes sculpting, set up the matching activity on a long table or counter. Arrange the sets so like units are together (all six cupcakes on one plate, all six saucers in one stack, all six candles in one cup, etc.)

Now we bring more math to the fun!

  1. Have your child choose six toppers and ask if they can help you see if there are six “units” in the other “sets.” Name sets and count units together: “The saucer set has: one, two…” (Is your child an accomplished counter? Kids are usually delighted if you have “forgotten” a saucer or “accidentally” included extra candles. Let your child correct the units!)
  2. With counts confirmed, reorganize old sets into new sets: cupcake sets! Have your child hand you one saucer, one doily, etc., while explaining that a cupcake set needs one of each unit.
  3. After each cupcake set is organized, encourage your artist/baker to arrange each set in the way that they feel makes they most like.
  4. If she wants to keep going, have her break down the sets again. Can she sort everything so that like units are back together?

Allow for as much sorting and counting as you and your child desire, then enjoy a cupcake treat together.


After all, that counting, sorting, and matching, you have both had a great time and your child has learned the usefulness of math!

Does this sound like something you would do with your child? What other ways can you make math fun?

Please use the comment section below to share your tips, questions, and/or thoughts about this post.

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Naturally Yours,
Elise Ho
Ph.D., D.N. Psych.
Behavioral & Mental Health Specialist

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34 thoughts on “Counting Game For Kids In Your Math Kitchen!”

  1. Hi Elise,

    My grand-daughters love baking – although it’s hard to keep little fingers out !

    There are so many ways to introduce maths into every-day life for small people, and eating / baking cup-cakes is one of the more enjoyable ones.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

  2. I love this idea Elise. I’m a total disaster in the kitchen but my daughter is a master chef in the making but she’s struggling with maths at the moment. This might just change all of that. Thank you

  3. I reckon that as parents the best way to teach is to do it without the children realizing and food is a great way of achieving this. I always used to involve the children in cooking and baking. My older two are expert at math and are great cooks although my son enjoys it more than my daughter. He even took cooking classes when on holiday in Vietnam. My youngest has a deficit in math due to his disability but loves cooking.

  4. I love this idea! My four boys (and yes, hubby) love it when I make gluten free cupcakes. I had not thought about using them as a math teaching tool. I wonder…do I have what I need for this ‘class’ in the next week? Great way to teach (and treat for a job well done in counting): Cupcakes! ~Adrienne

  5. Chery Schmidt

    Hey Dr Elise! This is one page I am bookmarking for summer vacation! I love to have different things for when my grandsons visit, and baking is certainly one of them!

    Thanks for sharing
    Chery :))

  6. Such a fun exercise! We love ‘helping’ in the kitchen in our toddler self. I’ll have to keep this in mind when he’s getting bigger.

  7. This sounds like an awesome way to use math in daily life. I used math daily when going shopping at the mall or toy stores. My kids were motivated to use math to help them ‘earn’ a purchase!

  8. I remember my parents being very clear when I was a child about helping me to understand numbers and maths using household and everyday tasks. We were encouraged to count, tell the time, use maths at every opportunity. My Dad was an accountant and so was his Dad so numbers were important to him. This is a great activity to do with children, fun too!

    Enjoy the journey!

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About The Author

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho

Dr. Elise Ho is a Holistic Health & Life Coach with a special interest in emotional health, life alignment, and energy flow.

Elise will partner with you to align your mindset, your energy, your home and your career so that you can live your life's desire with freedom and love.

Elise offers 30 years of experience and multiple certifications and degrees including a Ph.D. in Natural Health and a doctoral degree in Naturopathic Psychology.