Plate and food pieces such as grapes, apple slices, carrot sticks, raisins
Introduce basic math concepts of addition and subtraction at meal or snack time, and maybe even get your child to eat his vegetables, too! This activity can be done with any food that has pieces, such as carrot sticks, apple slices, or crackers. First have your child count how many carrot sticks (or whatever food) they have on their plate. Then say, "OK, you have 5 carrot sticks now, how many will you have if you eat one?" Then he eats one and counts again. You can encourage him and enforce the match concepts by saying, "Right. You have 4 carrot sticks left. 5 carrot sticks minus 1 carrot stick equals 4 carrot sticks. 5 minus 4 is one." This can be repeated by continuing to ask how many will be left if they eat one more or two more, etc. Addition can be introduced by asking something like, "You have 4 grapes, how many will you have if I give you 2 more?" Then put 2 more grapes on the plate and ask your child to count. For older children, start with a larger number of food pieces and have them try to answer before eating the food or adding more.