One of our family’s favorite fall traditions is apple picking. We do our best to go to a local orchard as a family and enjoy the day picking apples and just being together. Of course, if you go apple picking, you must make apple crisp. It is a rule in our home. 😉
What does this have to do with a literacy lifestyle? I am glad you asked. Cooking together with your children is an excellent opportunity to develop math, reading and even sensory skills. The recipe will need to be read. Even children that are not reading independently can be shown the words and letters on the page. You can talk about the beginning letters or sounds of the ingredients, maybe match up the word on the recipe card with the word on the container, where applicable. Point out letters that the child knows. Older children can read the recipe to you, with or without help. The ingredients will need to be counted, measured, maybe even doubled. (I have two teen-aged boys, lots of doubling of recipes here!) Perfect for practicing math and fine motor skills. While the measuring happens the senses are engaged as well, seeing, smelling, touching, tasting. Talking to your child while you bake will build vocabulary and more importantly, a bond between you.
Such a simple, enjoyable task can mean big learning, no matter your child’s age. Give it a try this week. You will be glad you did, both for the learning and the yummy treat.
Another idea to go along with the apple theme, is to cut apples in half and use them as stamps. Pour some fabric paint (or acrylic will do, but may fade with washing) into a paper plate. Use a separate plate for each color paint. Dip your apple halves into the paint and then stamp onto an apron or t-shirt for your assistant chef. You could also stamp some tea towels or cloth napkins to brighten your kitchen decor. Or even stamp some card stock to make placemats or a picture to hang on the wall.
Want some more ideas? Sign up for my email list and receive a free printable with a “bushel” full of simple, apple themed ideas that you can use to increase literacy in your family.