5 family activities/games to celebrate the festive season and improve your child’s vocabulary and communication skills! – The second chapter
Word your way to cook
The festivities have begun and festivals, anywhere in the world are incomplete without food -festive or other- and children (even toddlers!) are generally super excited about it. I am back with the next family activity which not only encourages creativity in all family members but also improves body parts coordination especially among toddlers and primary level children. Benefits of adding new vocabulary to your child’s word bank and of course super family time with a sense of achievement are a bonus.
I present here a super simple recipe which does not require cooking with fire at all ( Can be used for kids aged 5or 6years too! Although, not using fire is not to be taken as the rule when cooking with kids as shared cooking and lots of communication is the aim ) .
So having with us our Chefs of the day ready for their cooking adventure, let us begin with the fun!
Chocolate Peanut Butter balls
The recipe notes and the picture above are self explanatory as to what is to be done. However I do have here, some pointers towards creating a great learning and fun experience for your kids:
- To give them a free hand and wide surface to work on, I covered the entire work table with butter paper. Thus, was able to give them free reign with the dough, without bothering about spills.
- All children love it when they are made to feel important and act all grown up. You can begin by making them some simple chef caps either temporary ones with chart paper and a stapler or readymade ones which are easily available too these days. Simple kiddy aprons to accompany are an appropriate touch .
Pretending to be chefs has all the advantages of pretend play added as a bonus too!
- Avoid almost all DON’TS and concentrate on the DOs .
- Do be very expressive –talk, talk and talk-deliberately use words which you want your child to pick up. Don’t translate words like stir, drip…, rather use your actions along with the words. They are more effective and fun as learning tools.
- You can go a step ahead by engaging the kids in a recipe recall game with the family joining in. This takes care of practicing logical thinking skills too!
- For younger kids you can even use the ingredients or their pictures for recalling the steps of a recipe.
Some fun and learning moments I had with my Co–Chefs
Mrinal, Mihika and Myra
- “What is this? Peanut Butter. What is Peanut? Pat jumped in Mihika with- Peanut is a nut. Never wanting to remain behind Mrinal jumped in, I know vegetable names Onion…” This Provided me the opportunity to talk about so many vegetable names and point out interesting facts about them.
- The problem of measuring out exactly 1 cup of milk powder brought in the use of Measuring Cups. While problem solving skills came into use when they could not fit the cup measure directly into the Milk Powder Jar. Mrinal had the quick solution of using a smaller spoon to fill the cup. What a fine start to lessons in measurement! Endless scope: How many spoons can fill one cup? Many and Much concepts too!
- Taking half a cup of peanut butter brought in the concept of half, the word divide and other fractions. Gradually I had them asking for half a glass of water and half a chocolate!
- Kneading in the milk powder along with peanut butter first and later with condensed milk had them super excited! All kids sure love to knead when they see their mother do it for chapattis or other bakery products.
- While rolling the balls their ideas took wings and we had some bricks and spoon shapes made too along with the balls!
- Dunking the balls into the chocolate sauce one by one; letting them swim in it and then catching them with a pair of tongs involved much shared laughter and became a game .The entire process is a wonderful hand eye coordination exercise.
- The word drip was loved, as they all wanted the chocolate sauce to drip from the tongs directly into their hands so that they could lick it!
The biggest problem I encountered –Had to send the kids again and again for washing their hands as they could not resist licking their fingers while preparing the dish!
Well there’s lot more to come in the third chapter of –5 family activities/games to celebrate the festive season and improve your child’s vocabulary and communication skills! So have fingerliscious da#teachersys till then with your kids!