Cooking and Baking have always been great activities to do with kids as a way to build language skills and have fun at the same time.
Cooking naturally builds in size and number concepts as you measure the different ingredients. Take the opportunity to explore concepts of 1 cup vs. ½ cup. Children with learning disabilities learn best when things are specifically taught so be sure to explore the size differences and what that truly means.
You can also explore higher-level language skills when measuring things! Consider questions like:
• What would happen if we put 2 cups of sugar
• Or, what if we use 2 cups of flour if it only calls for 1 cup?
Cooking is a natural way to build in sequencing skills. You can break down skills with questions and directions like:
• What do we need to put in first?
• What do we do next?
• What do we put in after…?
• And, what is the last thing we need to do?
Vocabulary building can be included so be sure to label everything you or the child are using to cook with, like a spatula, cookie sheet, dough, wooden spoon, mixer and beaters. You can even incorporate different parts of speech by breaking down verbs like slice, chop, peel and others! Cooking activities can also be helpful for building a child’s sequencing skills and ability to retell events and activities. They can tell a parent or grandparent the steps needed to complete the task, not every step but some main ones, “First we, then we, next I, after that I, last we……” Cooking can also support motor skills development.
Let your child scoop ingredients into measuring cups and support the use of two hands, the same can be done when mixing ingredients that need to be stirred