Can Cookies Help Language Development?
During the pandemic we’ve all been stuck at home. Some of us have picked up new hobbies like gardening or bike riding, however we’re so far in they may have lost their allure, especially if you’re trying to find things to do together as a family! Introducing a new activity: cooking! It’s not the newest thing on the block but cooking together can be a fantastic way to bolster language and model language skills. Here are some things you can work on with your kids to build language skills through a fun(ctional) activity!
Sequencing: Recipes are all about sequencing. Model “First we do _______, then we do ________”. This will reinforce following directions as well. You can increase and decrease steps based on your child’s ability!
Boost Vocabulary: Use this as an opportunity to introduce novel ingredient names and kitchen tools! Discuss and learn new action words such as pour, stir, measure, dump, cook, boil. Ask questions on how the materials look, feel, smell and taste. Using WH- questions in general is a great tool.
Cooking naturally engages in categories, grouping foods into cateogires such as meats, dairy, fruits, vegetables, baking supplies, etc.
Work on requesting for tools and ingredients.
Articulation: Choose ingredients and methods that help target speech sounds your child has difficulties with.
Problem solving: Throughout the activity you can challenge your kids’ critical thinking skills to solve problems like good ways to crack eggs without getting shells inside, how to cut pastries into triangles from a circle or square or how to squeeze an orange without catching the pulp or seed.
Teaches numerical concepts such as fractions, ratios and measurements as well.
If your recipe requires cooking, you can have the kids draw up signs to set up a shop and create displays and fake money while they wait to teach monetary exchange as well.
The learning continues after all the yummy food has been eaten! Take pictures as you go and print it into a little picture book that they can share the activity with classmates or guests once we’re allowed to have them in our homes!
In conclusion, if done right, turns out cookies may help with language development after all! I’ve included some kid-friendly recipes/resources below to help you get started. Fret not if you’re not an expert cook, this is a fantastic pretend play activity as well. Happy cooking!
By: Theo Li