There is no better way to expose your child to an enriched language opportunity than to make delicious treats the entire family can enjoy. Baking is engaging and allows for social opportunities with family. Not to mention it targets all five senses! Here are some ways to target language while baking;
Target verbs: During baking, labeling and using actions is a wonderful way for the child to learn and incorporate a variety of verbs. Whether you bake cookies or make a pie, you can target the following words during the activity: “mix, pour, stir, cut, eat, roll, smash, taste, etc.”
Target pronouns: While gathering and combining ingredients, use this opportunity to use pronouns to encourage turn taking and answering simple questions. Asking simple WH- questions such as, “who wants to add…” or “who should mix…” will encourage the use of pronouns. Continually emphasize these pronouns during actions. For example, while they are mixing ingredients practice saying my turn, your turn, her turn, his turn, we want, they are, and so on.
Target adjectives: Don’t be afraid to use your senses to encourage describing words during baking activities. You can smell, taste, see and feel the ingredients while creating these tasty treats. You can target the following words; “yummy, sweet, salty, rough, red, green, blue, soft, sticky, etc.”
Target sequencing words: Baking involves a variety of executive functioning skills including attention, organizing, planning, direction following, and problem solving. Additionally, it works on simple sequencing. Sequencing is therapist terminology for putting steps in order. You can practice these skills by using language such as “first, then, last” and incorporating this language when gathering and pouring ingredients to make a yummy treat for all.
So, the next time you decide to make those delicious treats, incorporate some of these language targets and see your little one’s language explode!