If you’re like me and enjoy cooking, you will love these ways to incorporate your child and language skills into the activity. Cooking with your child is a naturalistic way to practice some important communication skills such as following directions, sequencing, and learning new vocabulary. Another benefit is that your child will end up with a tasty treat that he will be proud to have made!
How to incorporate language into cooking with your child?
Provide your child with some options of what to cook together. Make sure the recipe is kid-friendly so your child will be able to participate in most of the recipe directions with minimal support. Then make a list together of what you will need. Have your child help find the items in the kitchen. Review the recipe with your child and talk about what you need to do with each ingredient (i.e. mix, spread, bake, cut).
Give your child one direction at a time to carry-out. If your child is able to follow directions accordingly, try to provide him with two-step directions such as, pour the milk then the oil in the bowl.
While your child is making the recipe, take a picture of your child participating in each step. For example, if your child is making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich then take a picture during the following steps:
- Your child with two pieces of bread
- Your child spreading the peanut butter
- Your child spreading the jelly
- Your child closing the sandwich
- Your child eating the sandwich
After finishing the recipe, ask your child to tell you how he made the food. If he has some difficulty with this step, show him the pictures as cues and have him tell you what he is doing in each photo. The task of sequencing is important as it is a vital part of telling a story. Help your child use key words such as first, next, then, and last when talking about how he made the recipe.
10 Recommended Kid-Friendly Recipes
- Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
- Ice cream sundae
- Pizza (use a pre-made crust)
- Tacos (make the meat ahead of time and have your child help assemble the tacos)
- Assembling a hamburger (putting patty on roll and adding toppings)
- Chocolate pudding
Do you have any other favorite recipes to cook with your child? Let me know!
Have fun and happy cooking!