Photo from cooksmarts.com
Looking to engage your child in a fun activity that can build their language skills and fill their bellies? Cook with them!
At Emerge, we frequently use cooking projects as a basis for working on speech/language, motor skills, planning, and social interaction. Here are some of the ways you can build language skills while cooking with kids:
- Work on sequencing. Many popular blogs have pictures for each step. Pick a simple recipe, like this one: http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/french-bread-pizzas/ to make at home. Print out the recipe, cut out the pictures, and talk about each pictured step as you do it. While the pizzas are baking, mix the pictures up, then have your child put them in order and tell what he/she did.
- Ask questions using sequence words, like first/last, before/after. For example, “What step did we do first?” “What step came last?” “What did we do before we put the pizza sauce on?”
- Practice using action verbs, like pour, mix, and chop. Then switch the verb tense to talk about what you and your child did: poured, mixed, chopped.
- Work on pronouns. “Who is going to chop the mushrooms?” “I will”. “Who will pour the pizza sauce?” “You can.”
- Practice social interaction and conversational exchange. When the pizzas are done, offer them to family members (e.g., “Mom, do you want some pizza?” “What toppings do you want?” “How many pieces?”)
Think about how your child communicates, and consult with his/her speech/language pathologist to determine what language skills need work. Many language skills can be easily, and enjoyably, addressed with a cooking activity!
Blog post by Kelly Goad, MA, CCC-SLP