Math games :: bake some shapes

Active math games are more fun than worksheets, aren’t they? I was reminded of a great phrase this week : hands on, brains on! Children learn through their senses, through hands-on play and through doing. This idea combines all three – let’s bake some shapes!A great recipe to have fun with math : how to bake shapes!

Math games :: bake some shapes!

If you’ve never baked bread before, don’t be put off! This recipe is super easy. It’s taken from by e-book The Homemade Play Dough Recipe Book {which you can download here}  and makes a simple bread dough that’s only improved by the children playing with it.

math games bread shapes

To make the dough we used

500 g strong bread flour

a slug of olive oil

a 7g sachet of fast action dried yeast

300 ml water

{there’s a printable recipe in the book}

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, and knead with your hand or a wooden spoon to bring it all together into a dough.

sensory play math

When I’m baking with the children I add a little extra flour to the dough, so it’s easier for them to handle and we don’t just end up with a table and child covered in stickiness. Everyone gets their own piece of dough to play with – and what a super sensory material it is.

fine motor activities

You can roll it, and squish it, and squash it! Baking bread is one of the most requested activities here, so if you’ve never tried it before I would encourage you to give it a go. It’s a great science lesson, and good for developing children’s hand and wrist strength, paving the way for holding pencils and doing up buttons.

math activities shapes

And you can play some fun math games with bread dough too. Today we decided to bake some shapes. We used some cookie cutters but if you don’t have those I bet you can find some cups, bowls, and plates in a variety of shapes, or just use a blunt knife to cut some out.

math games bread shapes

We baked the bread shapes in the oven (Gas 7 / 220C / 425F) for about 10 minutes.

math games learning shapes

Once they’ve cooled, you could use some icing {frosting} to add in some art, exploring the shapes a little further. Tubes of writing icing or icing ‘paints’ are great for children, as they’re easy for them to use.

super sensory footerSuper Sensory Invitations to Play

Ready for a whole year of exploring through the senses? Super Sensory Invitations to Play is a delightful resource that encourages your children to explore the five senses through the year, using a wide variety of sensory materials. It includes 52 invitations to play, linked to the festivals and seasons of the year, and including water, ice, dough, rice, paints, sand, sensory tubs, and more.

They are easy, simple, and fun ideas that you can use right now to give a multi-sensory boost to your play and learning. It comes with a printable recipe book featuring all our favourite recipes for play. Come and see more here.


  1. says

    I’m confused. Where does the math come in? I can see all the motor skill development benefits of teaching kids to bake, and that’s great, but the math part seems to have been glossed over. As someone who hates math, I’m always interested in ideas that might make it entertaining, or at least palatable, but I think I missed something here.

    • says

      Hi Chris. There’s lots of math going on here: we measured the ingredients using weight and volume. We selected cookie cutters in various shapes which gave the opportunity to pick out shapes we knew and learn the names of those we didn’t. Then as we made shapes with the dough we were thinking again about the names and properties of them. The icing at the end also worked on the idea of the outline of each shape. You’re right of course that the dough is a great work out for motor skills, but baking and cooking in general offers lots of opportunity to work on every day maths skills too. We have lots more math idea in our archive if you’d like to see them:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *