Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Number Cookies - A Sir Cumference Snack/Activity

I wanted to make a plate of number cookies, to go along with our reading of Cindy Neuschwander's Sir Cumference and All The King's Tens, last night.

Unfortunately, I don't have a set of number cookie cutters, and I was not in the mood to hand cut that many different shapes. Finally, after a brief brain storming session with T (who didn't realize he was having an impromptu lesson in problem solving), we decided all the numbers could be made easily enough by using the letter "B" cutter...

...and just snipping a tiny bit, here and there...

...and removing them, digital clock style.

I used the cookies as a snack/math activity to go along with the story. Which this time deals with number grouping, and place values, instead of geometry, like the rest of the series.

I gave each child four, random, number cookies on a plate.

Before they ate their cookies, I asked them to arrange them into the largest...

...and smallest numbers they could.

Then, we went around the table to see who had the smallest, and largest numbers of all.

The older children, who already have a firm grasp of place values, helped their younger sisters, with their cookies. C, at age 4, didn't fully get the concept, but she enjoyed ordering the individual numbers from smallest to biggest, and biggest to smallest.

The story itself is entertaining, but a little busy for teaching the concept in one reading, to younger children. However, it makes a nice platform for discussion of place values, lends itself nicely to follow up activities, and goes along perfectly with the Cyberchase episode "And They Counted Happily Ever After" (click the link to view the episode on

It's great to be a homeschooler.


Christy Killoran said...

More awesomeness from you! Do you ever run out of ideas?

I never would have thought to use the B cookie cutter. Brilliant! This is sad, but I probably would have just gone out and bought number cookie cutters!

You must have a really good cookie recipe. Someday, you should share it with us!

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

Christy - Believe me, if I could have found them in my town, I might have considered it - life without the big box stores does force some creativity :)

April said...

I love how the learning seems to be so much fun (I wasn't much of a geometry fan...those proofs!)

Great idea as always.

Phyllis said...

I could use a book on place value. I will look for this one. I am not sure how you manage to eat up the snacks before the next time you bake! :) I am so happy that the boys have a party to take some of the goodies we have now away.
That was brilliant using the letter B! I always just got the smallest boys to roll the dough into snakes and make the numbers that way. It gives them a good hands-on practice for writing numbers but I imagine it does take a lot longer that way. :)

Unknown said...

1, 2, 3, 4,
Who's the blog that we adore?
Almost Unschoolers,
Almost Unschoolers,

(Did I put the numbers in the correct order?) :0)

Natalie PlanetSmarty said...

I didn't know that the series also has a book on place value... and I also didn't know that you can do all numbers out of B cookie cutter. Great lesson in problem solving for T :)

Debbie said...

Great lesson all the way around!

Ticia said...

Mmmm..... number cookies. I need to find the place value book, my kids are still struggling with that sometimes.

Susan said...

I have been enjoying reading all of your ideas for using this series of books...we have them home from the library right now! The girls love the stories :0) We've been into King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table lately, and the girls ADORE Jane and the Dragon (which I think you mentioned in another post...)