This week is the week leading up to Easter. Therefore, I have some great Easter activities/ideas for you and your kids. Hopefully they are some new things that you have not thought of before. As always, each activity can be linked to SPEECH AND LANGUAGE in some way!
I've blogged before about cooking. Cooking is an excellent way to get your kids involved in language and to really EXPERIENCE what the words mean. They are not only seeing the items you are naming (ingredients and kitchen tools), but holding them, hearing them, smelling them, tasting them, and seeing what they can do! You can easily stimulate all of their senses - simply with cooking (something we do every day).
Here is a cute and simple Bunny cake for Easter. Cakes can be as easy as a box cake or as difficult as a cake from scratch. The important thing is to talk about what you are doing or ask your child what needs to happen next (read the recipe, get out the ingredients, mix them, pour the batter into the pan, bake the cake, etc). Kids who are pre-talkers are learning even if they are not talking. Therefore, pulling out the eggs and letting them feel them (cold, round, hard) and look at them (white) and watch you crack them open is so important. They are learning as you talk.
To make the bunny cake, bake the cake into two round pans. I didn't have two the same size pans and that's ok. One of the round cakes will be the bunny's face. The other will become the bunny's ears and bow tie. The picture to the left shows you how to cut it. If your child is old enough to use a knife, then supervise the cutting but you can let him/her experience cutting cake. You can ask them how it is different than cutting than cutting something hard, like an apple. Comparing and contrasting different things are a great way to get your kids talking about language.
Assemble the cake as shown on the left. I cut a little bit off of the ear to make it lie flush with the face. You will also want to brush off as many crumbs from the "exposed" cake as possible (the insides of the cake) to help make it easier when frosting the cake.
Now frost the cake and really let your imagination go wild! I didn't have much in my kitchen for eyes and whiskers. However, you could ask your child at the store what he/she thinks you should use. Twizzlers for the whiskers, m&ms for the eyes, etc. If your child is at the early language stage, then have them look at a picture of a bunny and name the different parts (ears, eyes, whiskers, nose, mouth) and then help him/her create those parts. You can even have them find their eyes, ears, nose and mouth. We chose a purple bow so that we could talk about the fact that white frosting with red food coloring makes pink frosting. Then, we had to figure out which color (blue), when added to the pink frosting, would make purple frosting! You could have yellow or blue ears and make a green bow. You could also make an orange bow with the pink frosting. Heck... mix all the colors together and see what color comes out (should be a dark brown).
Any of these ideas can be adapted for a child working on listening comprehension. Have your child follow the directions (one step, multi-step, etc) or have your child find the item you are requesting.
You can also take pictures of the process in order to make a book and talk about it later (or have your child re-tell the story to someone else).
You could also work on emotions by asking how the bunny might be feeling. Make the face match the emotion you decide to portray.
Find all the words that contain your child's articulation sound(s) and have him/her practice those words by themselves or in sentences!
Most importantly, make sure that you are constantly talking with your child to get him/her to experience the language of cooking while having fun.