December 4th is National Cookie Day! Today we will bake cookies, drink eggnog, sing songs, and decorate our home for the holidays. I encourage you to allow your children to help out in the kitchen. Cooking helps increase speech and language skills in children in a variety of ways.
This blog discusses how baking increases a child's receptive and expressive language in a range of subject areas. Children learn new vocabulary including ingredients and kitchen terms such as stir, blend, whisk, and mix.
1. Math: Children learn to use and understand mathematical terms. Vocabulary includes simple vocabulary such as big/little and more/less.
One-To-One Correspondence: While cooking, you can count such as counting the number of chocolate chips you put in the bowl or how many seconds you stir the batter.
Shapes: You can use different shapes of the cookie cutter to teach shapes.
Fractions: Older children can learn fractions such as a whole vs. one half
Data Collection: Older children can also create a chart as family/friends vote for their favorite cookie.
2. Literacy: Children learn what a recipe is and how to follow a recipe.
While cooking, parents can teach letters, letter sounds, sight words and/or vocabulary words.
3. Science: Cooking is a science
Physical Science: changing forms (Ex: chocolate melting when heated and water vs. ice).
Making predictions and observations: Observe how the cookies change during the baking process.
4. Social Studies
Where does food come from? Teach kids where food comes from and the importance of farmers
Share family recipes
Senses-Throughout the process, talk about your senses. How things feel/smell/taste/look/sound. Teach new vocabulary such as slimy, bumpy, rough, and smooth.
Hygiene: Discuss the importance of hand washing and using sanitary protocols when cooking.
Decorate your cookies!!!
As a certified Speech-Language Pathologist, I strongly recommend that you enjoy the baking experience with your children.
1. Give your child quick and safe jobs
2. Allow your child to help set up and clean up
3. Expect your child to make a mess (accidents happen).
4. Have fun
*Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish, eggs, or unpasturized milk may increase your risk of foodborne illness.*