Holiday Pretzel Treats Language Tips
The holiday time is an ideal time to bond with your child in the kitchen. Why not make this opportunity an ideal time to facilitate language? With these pretzel treats, there are tons of language concepts that can be targeted including expanding vocabulary, sequencing, following directions and working on basic concepts such as prepositions, actions, colors and shapes.
Before beginning the recipe, review all of the ingredients with your child and make sure you have everything you need to create the festive holiday pretzel treats. Have your child sort the ingredients needed for the recipe, which can help build an increased awareness of categories (e.g. sort all candy corn together, sort M and M’s together). Discuss how the ingredients are the “same” versus “different” (e.g. candy corn and M & M’s are both sweet but they are different colors and have a different shape). As you are reading the ingredients needed for the recipe, have your child find the specific item you are looking for. For example, say “We need the pretzels. Can you give me the pretzels?” This can help a child learn to follow one-step directives and also expand on their vocabulary if that particular ingredient is unfamiliar to him or her. If your child is an emerging reader, point to the word “pretzel” on the recipe, so he or she can begin to link the word with the item. For a child who is reading, work on reading comprehension by having them read through the recipe and then ask them open-ended questions (“What ingredients do we need?”, “What is the first thing we need to do?”, “What do we do with the chocolate kisses?”).
Encourage choices during baking time! Since there are many different ways that the pretzel treats could be made (e.g. Turkey, Reindeer, Red and Green Hugs), your child can choose what they want to do. If your child has a hard time choosing, print out visual aids of each choice. As you are baking the treats, take pictures and use these pictures as visual aids to have your child retell you the recipe.
Discuss who you are going to give the gifts to and why. To target emotions, discuss how that person receiving the gift might feel when they receive the candy gift. I love to talk about giving in terms of bucket filling (e.g. see my book review of Have You Filled My Bucket Today? in carryover picture books below).
Role play and practice social scripts with regard to giving gifts to others (e.g. pretend you are the person receiving the gift and your child is the one giving the gift. Act out what you might say in that particular situation).
Festive Holiday Pretzel Treats Recipe
This post originally appeared on our November/December 2014 Magazine