Carrot Math with a Side of Chicken Noodle Soup

Chicken noodle soup, chicken noodle soup, chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side. You’re welcome for that throwback reference that you probably forgot existed. Ha!

Now make it rain and clear it up 🎶

Here in Missouri we’re in the middle of a snowpocalypse. And what says snowpocolypse better than chicken noodle soup for dinner? Well, probably french toast…but the chicken noodle soup we made last night really hit the spot if I do say so myself. (Or is this post a poorly disguised plot to get everyone to stop buying all the bread, milk, and eggs at the first sign of snow?? Shhhhhhhhh don’t tell)

My cutie little helpers and I love to cook together. Well. Sometimes it looks like cooking. A lot of the time it looks like me juggling flaming tornadoes as I question my life’s purpose…but at the end of the day I put out the fires just to do it all over again. Did I just create a new motherhood analogy?

Snow fun. Good thing they’re so cute!

Jack’s current favorite, favorite food is homemade chicken noodle soup. I’ve made it approximately 300 times and I’m feeling pretty good about the recipe I’ve been using-I’ve tweaked it to the point of juuust right *chef’s kiss* so I’ll be sharing it with you at the bottom of the post! The recipe is both Instant Pot and Crock Pot friendly. Our whole family loves it and I hope you enjoy it too!

While you’re cooking up some chicken noodle soup, try out this easy to implement but super effective activity with your preschool age child! This activity builds spatial awareness, a mathematical concept that later on transfers to using place value, graphing, fractions, and more. Plus at a later time spatial awareness is essential for algebra and trigonometry! So basicallyyyy your future high school child will thank you for this. Just kidding, I taught high schoolers for five years; I know what kind of haphazard thanks to expect from that age group 😜.

Not pictured: me sledding and wiping out

Carrot Math


  • Carrot-the long kind. One with a wide part at the stem that narrows down will work best
  • Knife (child or adult)


  1. Slice up your carrot into thin, round pieces. You can do this, or if you have an older child with knife practice, they can do it.
  2. Show your child a big slice of carrot. Say, “This is the biggest piece”. Show them a small piece. Say, “This is the smallest piece”. Show them a medium piece. You know what to say 😉. Put the carrot slices in a line from biggest to smallest, explaining to your child how you’re lining them up by size, with the biggest one one end etc.
  3. When you’re done demonstrating, mix the carrot slices up into a pile so that they’re no longer organized by size. Tell your child that it’s their turn to line the carrot slices up by themselves from biggest to smallest.
    1. If three pieces are too difficult, take out the medium piece and change the activity a bit to this: ask your child to hand you the big piece/the small piece and repeat with different carrot slices. Slices that are further apart in size will be easier and slices closer in size will be more difficult. Start with easier scenarios and work your way to more difficult scenarios.
    2. If three pieces are too easy, add in more carrot pieces and have your child try again! You could even give them the entire carrot as a challenge to see if they can line up all the slices in order of size. Another challenge idea: see how tall of a tower your child can build using carrot slices!
  4. Encourage your child to continue the activity as long as you’re both interested. When you’re done, have them add their carrot slices to the pot to help make a yummy soup soup!

Thats it! Teaching early concepts is extra effective and the information sticks best when done and repeated through fun, real life experiences. Feel free to repeat this activity as many times as you want whenever it makes sense!

Sawyer helped by adding to the pot

Chicken Noodle Soup-Instant Pot or Crock Pot

Makes 6 servings


  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 carrots, sliced (chop smaller if needed after activity)
  • 3 celery ribs, sliced thinly
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • .5 tsp pepper
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 c chicken broth
  • 8 oz fusili noodles
  • 1 whole rotisserie chicken, chopped or shredded (I have the kids help do this!)


  1. Combine all ingredients except for chicken and noodles into your Instant Pot or Crock Pot and start using times below:
    1. Instant Pot: manual high pressure 8 minutes
    2. Crock Pot: low 8 hours or high 4 hours
  2. When you’re about 15 minutes away from being ready to eat, boil your noodles according to package instructions. Drain.
  3. Combine drained noodles and shredded chicken straight to your cooker with the rest of the ingredients. Stir until combined.
  4. Ya done! Eat it up. I like to serve our soup with a salad or kale chips and some crusty bread and butter.

Posted by

I’m a stay at home mom of two little boys, Jackson and Sawyer. I have a degree in Early Childhood Education and a masters degree in the education field as well. I have experience teaching a variety of ages from birth through grade 12! I’m passionate about child development, gentle parenting, and learning through play. I’ve spent the last few months developing a preschool curriculum for my 4 year old son and would love for you to follow along for inspiration in your own home!

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