DIY: Boost speech & language skills with this kid-friendly 4th of July cake

4th-of-July-blog

I don’t know about you, but the fourth of July is my favorite holiday! It is fun to be surrounded by all of the patriotic colors and decorations. It seems like everyone is excited and gearing up to attend parades, family get-togethers, and finally get to soak up some warm summer weather!

Baking and decorating a cake is a fantastic opportunity for you to spend time with your child while also working on their speech/language skills.

Cooking in the kitchen with your child provides excellent opportunities to encourage language skills. Feel free to use the recipe attached, or use these strategies during any cooking activity (i.e. cookies, rice Krispy treats, Jell-O, you name it!)

Skill #1: Sequencing

  • Step 1: Show your child the recipe you are going to follow. If the child is older, you can use the full recipe. If the child is younger, make a visual recipe for them. You could just draw 3 pictures representing the 3 main steps. An important skill for children is sequencing. During this activity, make sure to explain the first, second and third steps or “first” “next” and “last.” Make sure at the end, you recall what you did and which steps. This will help increase receptive language (comprehension).

Skill #2: Descriptive language/vocabulary

  • Step 2: While you are following the recipe, try to use all 5 senses to increase descriptive language. Talk about the way the ingredients look, feel, smell, sound and of course taste! Also incorporate verbs by labeling your actions (i.e. dump, scoop, bake, cook, mix, stir, pour, spread, push, etc.)

Skill #3: Following multi-step directions

  • Step 3: During the cooking process, work on increasing your child’s ability to follow multi-step directions. This skill improves receptive language (comprehension) and will greatly benefit your child in the classroom/day-care setting. While you are cooking, give your child 1-2 or 2-3 step directions (depending on their age). You could say “grab the spatula and spread out the blue frosting” or “open the box, pour the cake batter into the bowl, and stir until fully mixed.” You can get creative and have fun with it to see if they are able to execute the instructions successfully!

 

Have fun and have a wonderful Fourth of July!

 

DIRECTIONS:

(For this flag cake, you will need a rectangular-shaped cake, icing, and toppings such as sprinkles or fresh fruit).

  1. Prepare a box cake mix as instructed on the back of the box.  Bake the cake in a 9 ½ x 13-inch pan.
  2. When the cake is cool, use a knife to spread white icing on the top of the cake.
  3. Using blue sprinkles, blue icing, blueberries, or any other blue topping, create a square in the top left corner.
  4. Add dots of white to the blue square to represent the stars on the flag.  You can use sprinkles or drop little bits of the leftover white icing.
  5. Using red sprinkles, red icing, raspberries, or any other red topping, create 7 stripes running horizontally across the rest of the cake.  Make sure the first stripe is along the top of the cake and the last is along the bottom edge.  Use a picture of an American flag if you need to remember how it should look.
  6. Ta-Da!  You’ve made an American flag cake!  Talk about the colors you see, how it feels, and how it tastes.

*Recipe found from: https://www.speechandlanguagekids.com/about-us/

 

By: Jayne J. Weiss, MHS, CCC-SLP

 

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