This topic has been explained in a previous post, but now we can supplement that with a photo. See the complete post HERE for detailed activities to make math understandable in such a fun way that it will prompt you and your kids to call it “SWEET!”
Notice that several activities are demonstrated in the picture: multiplication (upper left), showing that 2 rows of 3 cubes each is equal to 3 rows of 2 cubes each; volume (upper right), showing 3 layers of 3 rows with 3 cubes each, or 3x3x3; and the differences between area and perimeter (bottom). The four groups of sugar cubes at the bottom each contain 12 sugar cubes, so they all have an area of 12 units. However, the varying configurations show how the perimeter changes drastically. With the far right configuration, the sides in the middle hole could be counted as part of the perimeter, too, depending on the real-life application (e.g. if you were installing a fence along the sides of a trail, and the cubes represented the trail).
1) I wrote right on the cookie sheet with a dry erase marker and wiped it off with a tissue (but I did wash the pan well before putting it away).
2) The sugar cube activities can also be drawn on graph paper to save as a reference or worksheet.