Building Speech & Language Skills - Thanksgiving Edition
Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to build speech and language skills. When preparing for the day, encourage your child to join in on the action by assisting with cooking, baking, table setting (with supervision of course!)
Vocabulary: Cooking provides multiple exposures to novel ingredients and utensils. Vocabulary like grater, zest, sage, baste, whisk (etc.) is not commonly used in every day conversation, so you will be able to introduce your child to these new concepts by having them help you out while preparing a meal.
Following Directions: When following a recipe, we are naturally following directions. This is a great way to work on directions in a fun and functional way! Include your child in this process by letting them add in at least 1 ingredient from the recipe. (for example: “we need 1 cup of flour. Here’s the flour. Pour the flour in the bowl”)
Sequencing: Following a recipe provides an excellent opportunity for working on sequencing skills. When cooking with your child, talk about what you are doing out loud (“first we need to melt the butter then pour it in the bowl”) Using “first/next/last” language is a great way to increase sequencing skills.
Describing: Exposure to a large variety of ingredients and dishes will allow you to work on describing them. You can talk about textures, smells, tastes, as well as physical appearance of a specific food item.
Categorizing: You can practice categorization skills by grouping the ingredients for a particular recipe by food group: dairy, meat, vegetable, etc. For younger children, you can have them sort by size or color.
Blog written by: Mazal Karan, MS, SLP-CF