My favorite holidays are coming up – the ones with food! And that means extra time spent cooking in the kitchen. This is a perfect and FUN way to enhance your child’s language skills! You will want to choose a recipe that you can make with your child. Depending on your child’s age, you can choose something easier to make or something with more complex steps. Here are some goals you can target while completing a recipe:
- You can compare and contrast the different ingredients. How are they the same? How are they different? You can discuss textures, shapes, smells, tastes, sizes, and other features. You can talk about categories too – vegetables, fruits, meats, grains.
- Cooking is filled with so many fun actions! Here’s a brief list: cook, make, drink, bake, boil, burn, peel, cut, eat, scoop, stir, mix, put in, taste, pour, fill, smell, feel, pinch, break.
- Following directions
- That’s exactly what a recipe is! Break down the steps into smaller tasks if they are too complex for your child. Sequencing the steps aloud can help teach your child concepts such as first, then, next, before, after. You can also have your child practice recalling the steps and stating them in order.
- Your child does not spend as much time in the kitchen as you do. There are fruits, vegetables, spices, and tools that he or she has never heard of before. Expose them to these new labels, uses (peeling, stirring, etc), and purposes in the kitchen.
- You can pick recipes that have your child’s target sounds. For example if your child is working on s-blends, you could make a fruit salad and target stir, strawberry, smash, smooth, small, sticky, spoon, spread, etc.
These are just a few goals that can be worked on while cooking in the kitchen. Try them at home during the holiday season and enjoy time with your children learning together!
–Shannon Greenlee M.A., CCC-SLP