I love using food in therapy. There are SO many skills you can address including social skills, life skills, sequencing vocabulary, directional concepts, descriptive language, answering/asking questions etc., etc. And to top it off, it’s highly motivating and memorable.
So here we go! Let me share with you my top 5 faves that are simple to execute, have only a few ingredients, and are kid friendly.
*It is extremely important that you know of ANY feeding issues, allergies, or diet restrictions from parent, teacher, and/or nurse before preceding with any food related activities!!*
So simple. So cheap. My students love mixing up the TWO ingredients and seeing it change before their eyes. It’s completely optional, but I occasionally add sprinkles to the finished product just because I always seem to have some on hand.
Yes! Campfire, burnt marshmallows, fall weather….. making s’mores in a classroom, office, or clinic doesn’t quite have the same ambiance, but there is a simple way to get that s’more taste without starting a fire. Now, you could technically use a microwave, but I really prefer the method I share below because it’s less of a mess and there are no worries about anything getting too hot.
Here is the plan:
- Talk about campfires, burnt marshmallows, and fall weather
- Read books or show videos/pictures about s’mores and/or camping
- Break a graham cracker in half
- Spread the chocolate on one cracker
- Spread the marshmallow cream on the other cracker
- Put the two pieces of graham cracker together like a sandwich
- Talk about the similarities/differences between s’more made over a campfire and the ones you just ate
Fish in the Ocean
You may have seen this one floating around (I kill me) on pinterest looking ah-mazing. I nailed it by super simplifying it to three easy-to-find ingredients. There are a lot of great ocean themed books out there but most recently I have been reading Way Down Deep in the Deep Blue Sea by Jan Peck. It’s really cute with great pictures to discuss.
And listen – you can buy the white icing and the blue food dye if you want, but if you need a cheaper/quicker way to crank out this activity to multiple groups you can purchase blue icing that includes sprinkles that LOOK LIKE FISH. I’m in love.
I don’t think this needs much explanation but it can take two seconds to complete and two seconds to eat. I usually break out this activity during a holiday such as Christmas or Valentines Day. Which means I could surround this activity with holiday themed books and discussions. This is also a great time to prompt your students to give the directions to YOU. Then you must do it exactly as they say which can become a pretty hilarious exercise for everyone involved.
My FAVORITE activity is the hot. air. popper. Around 9 or 10 years ago I purchased the hot air popper pictured below for around $15. I save it for the last week of speech therapy of the school year. It is a hit EVERY time. For some, they have never even seen one before – understandable in the age of microwave popcorn. My students who have been with me for multiple years, are still excited to see those kernels pop every May!
Ta Daaa! There ya go. You now have 5 ideas to get your student/child engaged and ready to talk! What simple food ideas to you use in speech therapy?