Who has heard that before? Like 10 times, or 20 times... and it's 10:30 am. Am I right?
Lucky for us, making meals and snacks can be a super excellent way to work on speech and language AND feed your starving child. It's a win-win!
When I first started working in early child development, a mom told me the most valuable thing she had learned so far was how to talk and be with her kid while he was eating. She told me that before her therapy services, meal and snack times were all about getting other stuff done while her son was busy eating. BUT once she started using some of the following tips her son's language really started exploding.
- Use lots of describing words when you cook and while you are eating:
- adjectives: hot oatmeal, sticky honey, wet, cold pudding, crunchy carrots
- verbs: cutting, mixing, pouring, squishing, rolling
- adverbs: carefully, quickly, before, after
- prepositions: in the cup, on top of the muffins
Using My 5 Senses
- Talk about how things taste, look, feel, sound, and smell. These kinds of sentences help your child make connections. I use my nose to smell. Apples smell sweet AND peas smell sweet! I wonder how they taste?
- Use words like first, next, then, after, and last to help your child learn to sequence. These words automatically take language to a more complex level.
Imagination and Guesses
- Ask your child to imagine what his meal or snack might look like, taste like, feel like one you are finished. Being able to make an educated guess based on what you know is critical for good reading comprehension and social communication skills.
Repetition is key!
- One of the best parts about cooking is that it is naturally repetitive. You follow the same basic steps each time you pour a bowl of cereal or make your child’s favorite sandwich. Because of the repetition your child has lots of opportunities to learn and practice!