Every December for many years now, my mom and her best friend have gathered for “Cookie Day”. They wake up early and bake cookies and sweets all day long. Then comes dinner and Christmas carols. I’ve had the pleasure to help them with Cookie Day most years and am always sent home with more cookies than my husband and I can eat in an entire month. As a result, December always means cookies to me! Here are some fun cookie activities you can do with your children at home to improve their speech and language skills.
Cookie Activities #1: Baking Cookies
Baking CookSequencing and Following Directions
Cooking with your child is a great activity to improve language skills! You can find a recipe you like or if you’re not that into baking, try getting an easy mix or even the roll of sugar cookies that you slice and bake. Show your child the recipe or directions and tell them what you’re going to make. If you want, you can even make a kid-friendly recipe for them to read. For the kid-friendly version, you will want to put down just a few steps and possibly draw some simple pictures of what you’re doing. To prove that you don’t need to be a great artist to do this, I’ve included a poorly-drawn example of my own! You can make your recipe as simple or as complex as you want! Add more steps for older children, or keep it simple like this example for younger kids:
When you read the recipe with your child, go through and talk about what you will do first, next, and last. This will help your child understand sequences, which are very important to good literacy and story-telling skills. Following the recipe will also help your child work on following directions. While the cookies are baking, talk again about what you did first, next, and last. Have your child tell someone else the steps to what they did. The more you talk about it, the better they will understand it!
Cookie Activities #2: Decorating Cookies
Requesting Items and Using Descriptors
Tell your child that you are going to decorate cookies. If you have some plain sugar cookies, icing, and sprinkles, use that! If not, you can always draw a cookie on paper and decorate it with whatever art supplies you have around. Give your child the cookie (or picture of cookie) and then hold onto all of the decorating supplies. Don’t give your child anything to decorate with yet. Wait for a bit and see if your child will ask for the materials she wants. If not, give her some prompts that will remind her to use her words to ask for the decorations. You can say “what do you want?” or “use your words”. If your child has trouble using words to ask for items, focus on having her just say the name of the object she wants to ask for, such as “icing”, “sprinkle”, “candy”, etc. If your child is doing pretty well with that, have her request items using descriptive vocabulary. You can have your child ask for specific colors (I want the red sprinkles), sizes (I want the big candy), shapes (I want the circle sprinkles), or any other descriptors.
Cookie Activities #3: Making Play-Dough Cookies
Labeling objects and Requesting
Time to get out the play-dough! (If you don’t have any, you can always find a recipe online to make some) You will also need some cookie cutters for this activity. Try to find a variety of different shapes, sizes, and objects in the cookie cutters. Here is a collection on Amazon that would be a great gift idea for your child as well. If your child is old enough to be reading and writing, try these letter cookie cutters to make literacy super fun! Roll or smash out the play-dough and have your child ask you for a specific cookie cutter. Have the child label what the object/shape is when they are requesting the cutter. For example, your child might say “I want the circle cookie cutter” or “I want the tree”. Help your child use the cutter to make shapes in the play-dough. This is also a great activity for building hand-strength and developing fine-motor skills. If your child has an occupational therapist, she’ll love this!
I hope you and your child enjoy these cookie activities! Don’t forget to check out my store with great printable activities, flashcards, games, and e-books!