By: Jennifer Tripoli M.S., CCC-SLP
With the holidays around the corner, more than likely you will be baking some sweet treats this season! Believe it not, baking can be a great context to practice language skills. Here are a few speech and language skills you can work on while making your desserts this holiday season.
- Following directions- auditory comprehension of 1 and 2 step directions (e.g. Get out the eggs from the fridge and put them on the counter) and reading comprehension of written directions (e.g. following written recipe).
- Sequencing- doing steps in the correct order is key to baking! Have your child retell you the steps to making the dessert once it is completed.
- Inferring/Predicting- ask your child what he/she thinks you will need to complete your recipe. “We are making chocolate cupcakes, what do you think we may need.”
- Inferring is a child’s ability to relate known information and apply it to a new context. This is an important skill not only for language, but also academic and social success!
- Predicting– ask your child what he/she thinks will happen prior to each step in the recipe.
- Describing Skills- have your child describe what he/she is seeing, thinking, feeling, smelling, and tasting! Baking provides a rich sensory environment that allows for great practice with using different adjective/attributes (e.g. “this chocolate feels sticky and gooey, looks brown, and is smooth).
- Improving vocabulary- baking is a great opportunity to introduce your child to new vocabulary words that they may not learn typically be exposed to such as utensils (e.g. whisk, spatula, etc.), appliances (e.g. oven, mixer, etc.), and unique verbs (e.g. beat, stir, bake, sift, etc.). You can also have your child name other desserts they know or like to eat!
- Problem solving/safety- all children should be baking with parent supervision, but this provides an opportunity to teach problem solving and safety skills. For example, you can ask your child questions such as “What should I do if I burn my hand?” or “What do I need to wear when I take the cupcakes out of the oven?”
- Planning/organization skills-have your child take part in the entire baking process from the beginning. Have he/she make a list of ingredients, go shopping with you, and pick out what is needed.
- Story retelling- have your child tell people who were not present during the baking session what you made! E.g. “Tell Aunt Kelly the chocolate brownie story.”
Now that I have shared the different language skills you can work on while baking, I better give you some yummy recipes to try these out!
I follow a blog on Facebook called “Super Healthy Kids” and they post some amazing, healthy, kid friendly recipes (including desserts!). I highly recommend giving them a “like” so you can follow along too! Also, you can check out these best holiday baking recipes from food network! Also, there are some fun and useful tips for baking with children from Food Network.
Did I really have to convince you to go make something yummy? Life is short, eat dessert! HAPPY HOLIDAYS!
Are you looking for holiday gift ideas for kids? Our therapists have suggested toys and games they use in therapy that can be purchased for our Centers as a holiday gift. This Wish List also makes a great gift guide, as it is therapist recommended!
To learn more about Easter Seals DuPage & Fox Valley Speech & Language Therapy click here.