As easy as it is to create contrived communication opportunities littered throughout your classroom – it is just as easy to schedule in some regular activities and stations that lend itself perfectly to communication instruction. How perfect is that? Your student or child will have regular access to communication training and opportunities in a fun and motivating context. Sign me up! I love cooking, art, and games for engaging and interactive ways to get my students fluent and secure in their communication skills and abilities!
I freaken love cooking activities! Cooking activities rock my world because my little bundles of love are always (shockingly) perfectly behaved. Those attention seeking and escape behaviors that drive me up the wall every other second of the day are sometimes mysteriously gone. Why? Because my kids are chomping at the bit to participate in cooking. What is more motivating than food right? Now while these cooking activities can be amazingly fun and beneficial, if not planned and prepared for properly – you will have a crazy hot mess on your hands.
Cooking is great to work on expressive/receptive language, sequencing, requesting, question answering, fine motor skills, measuring, counting, matching, life skills, independent living skills… you sold yet?
How to prepare:
- Visual or Adapted Recipe: I have made a lot of my own visual recipes for items for my students who are lower functioning or non-readers. I have some freebies on here (double fudge, pineapple smoothie, pumpkin waffles, Thanksgiving food) and I also have some sets on TpT (Pb&J and Mini Pizzas, Rice Krispies and Chocolate Pie, French Toast and Caramel Apples). I have got to upload some more – I have tons. The freebie will give you ideas on what I mean. My SLP will make two version of each recipe – a visual one for my lower kids and I written one (written in simple language) for my higher kids. We also make corresponding PECS pictures for the recipes. For higher kids you can also use a recipe on a box and highlight right on the box to make it easier to follow. That’s a great quick and easy accommodation.
- Get everything ready ahead of time. Have all of you kitchen equipment, food, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, etc. My SLP and I like to leave the food in the fridge or cabinet so the kids need to discriminate correctly where each food item is stored (ie. is milk in the fridge or the cabinet?).
- Have loads of visuals ready! Have your behavior management visuals or token economies on hand! Oh yea need more visuals? Download some freebies in this post:
It has been my mission over the past year to get more crafty and cutesy with my classroom. My school does not have an art teacher so it’s up to lil ole me to provide any and all art instruction and opportunities. Art works on turn taking, commenting, following directions, sequencing, color identification, adjectives, inferences, and social skills.
This book is a great resource for visual art activities. It’s amazing, check it out:
My current set of kiddies are game-obssessed. And you know what? So, am I. Because playing games provides so many amazing communication opportunities! Games work on turn taking, requesting, commenting, and problem solving skills! It is also a great independent activities for higher functioning students.
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